§ 16-239. Optional forms of benefits.  

Latest version.
  • (a) In lieu of the amount and form of retirement income payable in the event of normal, early, or delayed retirement, or deferred pension, as specified herein, a member, upon written request to the board, which request shall be retained by the board, may elect to receive a retirement income or benefit of equivalent actuarial value payable in accordance with one (1) of the following options:

    (1) A retirement income of a larger monthly amount, payable to the member for his or her lifetime only.

    (2) A retirement income of a modified monthly amount, payable to the member during the lifetime of the member, and following the death of the member, one hundred (100) percent, seventy-five (75) percent, sixty-six and two-thirds (662/3) percent, or fifty (50) percent of such monthly amounts payable to a joint pensioner for his or her lifetime. Except where the retiree's joint pensioner is his or her spouse, the present value of payments to the retiree shall not be less than fifty (50) percent of the total present value of payments to the retiree and his or her joint pensioner.

    (3) An actuarially equivalent larger monthly amount, with a reduction in the monthly amount when the member's social security benefits are estimated to start so that the member's total monthly benefit, inclusive of social security benefits, will remain constant upon the starting date of his social security benefits.

    (b) The member, upon electing any option of this section, will designate the joint pensioner (subsection (a)(2) above) or beneficiary (or beneficiaries) to receive the benefit, if any, payable under the system in the event of member's death, and will have the power to change such designation from time to time. Such designation will name a joint pensioner or one (1) or more primary beneficiaries where applicable. If a member has elected an option with a joint pensioner or beneficiary and the member's retirement income benefits have commenced, the member may thereafter change his or her designated beneficiary up to two (2) times and may change his or her joint pensioner up to two (2) times without the approval of the board or the current designated survivor. The retiree member need not provide proof of the good health of the designated survivor being removed, and the designated survivor being removed need not be living. Provided that in the absence of proof of good health, the actuary will assume that the designated survivor being removed has deceased for purposes of calculating the new benefit payment.

    (c) The consent of a member's or retiree's joint pensioner or beneficiary to any such change shall not be required. The rights of all previously designated beneficiaries to receive benefits under the system shall thereupon cease.

    (d) Upon change of a retiree's beneficiary or joint pensioner in accordance with this section, the board shall adjust the retiree's monthly benefit by application of actuarial calculations to insure that the benefit paid is the actuarial equivalent of the retiree's then current benefit. Any such retiree shall pay the actuarial recalculation expenses and shall make repayment of any overage of previously paid pension benefits as a result of said recalculations. Each request for a change will be made in writing on a form prepared by the board and on completion will be filed with the board. In the event that no designated beneficiary survives the retiree, such benefits as are payable in the event of the death of the retiree subsequent to his or her retirement shall be paid as provided in section 16-240

    (e) Retirement income payments shall be made under the option elected in accordance with the provisions of this section and shall be subject to the following limitations:

    (1) If a member dies prior to his or her normal retirement date or early retirement date, whichever first occurs, no retirement benefit will be payable under the option to any person, but the benefits, if any, will be determined under section 16-238

    (2) If the designated beneficiary (or beneficiaries) or joint pensioner dies before the member's retirement under the system, the option elected will be canceled automatically and a retirement income of the normal form and amount will be payable to the member upon his or her retirement as if the election had not been made, unless a new election is made in accordance with the provisions of this section or a new beneficiary is designated by the member prior to his or her retirement.

    (3) If both the retiree and the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) designated by member or retiree die before the full payment has been effected under any option providing for payment for a period certain and life thereafter, made pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a), the board may, in its discretion, direct that the commuted value of the remaining payments be paid in a lump sum and in accordance with section 16-240

    (4) If a member continues beyond his or her normal retirement date pursuant to the provisions of section 16-236, and dies prior to his or her actual retirement and while an option made pursuant to the provisions of this section is in effect, monthly retirement income payments will be made, or a retirement benefit will be paid, under the option to a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) designated by the member in the amount or amounts computed as if the member had retired under the option on the date on which his or her death occurred.

    (f) Except as set forth in subsection (b), hereof, a retiree may not change his or her retirement option after the date of cashing or depositing his or her first retirement check.

    (g) Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the board in its discretion, may elect to make a lump sum payment to a member or a member's beneficiary in the event that the total commuted value of the remaining monthly income payments to be paid do not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000.00). Any such payment made to any person pursuant to the power and discretion conferred upon the board by the preceding sentence shall operate as a complete discharge of all obligations under the system with the regard to such member and shall not be subject to review by anyone, but shall be final, binding and conclusive on all persons.

(Ord. No. 98-19, § 2, 10-20-98; Ord. No. 2010-09, § 3, 5-4-10; Ord. No. 2012-12, § 1, 8-21-12)