130th Ohio General Assembly
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(124th General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 158)



AN ACT
To amend sections 145.01, 145.19, 145.191, 145.321, 145.33, 145.35, 145.40, 145.45, 145.49, and 3309.312 of the Revised Code to permit certain Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) members with at least 25 years of law enforcement service credit to retire with full benefits at age 48 and increase the employee contribution rate for those members, to include regional transit authority and highway patrol police officers as law enforcement officers for PERS purposes, and to make survivors of PERS law enforcement officers eligible for benefits regardless of the length of the officer's PERS membership.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1.  That sections 145.01, 145.19, 145.191, 145.321, 145.33, 145.35, 145.40, 145.45, 145.49, and 3309.312 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 145.01.  As used in this chapter:

(A) "Public employee" means:

(1) Any person holding an office, not elective, under the state or any county, township, municipal corporation, park district, conservancy district, sanitary district, health district, metropolitan housing authority, state retirement board, Ohio historical society, public library, county law library, union cemetery, joint hospital, institutional commissary, state university, or board, bureau, commission, council, committee, authority, or administrative body as the same are, or have been, created by action of the general assembly or by the legislative authority of any of the units of local government named in division (A)(1) of this section, or employed and paid in whole or in part by the state or any of the authorities named in division (A)(1) of this section in any capacity not covered by section 742.01, 3307.01, 3309.01, or 5505.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) A person who is a member of the public employees retirement system and who continues to perform the same or similar duties under the direction of a contractor who has contracted to take over what before the date of the contract was a publicly operated function. The governmental unit with which the contract has been made shall be deemed the employer for the purposes of administering this chapter.

(3) Any person who is an employee of a public employer, notwithstanding that the person's compensation for that employment is derived from funds of a person or entity other than the employer. Credit for such service shall be included as total service credit, provided that the employee makes the payments required by this chapter, and the employer makes the payments required by sections 145.48 and 145.51 of the Revised Code.

(4) A person who elects in accordance with section 145.015 of the Revised Code to remain a contributing member of the public employees retirement system.

In all cases of doubt, the public employees retirement board shall determine whether any person is a public employee, and its decision is final.

(B) "Member" means any public employee, other than a public employee excluded or exempted from membership in the retirement system by section 145.03, 145.031, 145.032, 145.033, 145.034, 145.035, or 145.38 of the Revised Code. "Member" includes a PERS retirant who becomes a member under division (C) of section 145.38 of the Revised Code. "Member" also includes a disability benefit recipient.

(C) "Head of the department" means the elective or appointive head of the several executive, judicial, and administrative departments, institutions, boards, and commissions of the state and local government as the same are created and defined by the laws of this state or, in case of a charter government, by that charter.

(D) "Employer" or "public employer" means the state or any county, township, municipal corporation, park district, conservancy district, sanitary district, health district, metropolitan housing authority, state retirement board, Ohio historical society, public library, county law library, union cemetery, joint hospital, institutional commissary, state medical college, state university, or board, bureau, commission, council, committee, authority, or administrative body as the same are, or have been, created by action of the general assembly or by the legislative authority of any of the units of local government named in this division not covered by section 742.01, 3307.01, 3309.01, or 5505.01 of the Revised Code. In addition, "employer" means the employer of any public employee.

(E) "Prior service" means all service as a public employee rendered before January 1, 1935, and all service as an employee of any employer who comes within the state teachers retirement system or of the school employees retirement system or of any other retirement system established under the laws of this state rendered prior to January 1, 1935, provided that if the employee claiming the service was employed in any capacity covered by that other system after that other system was established, credit for the service may be allowed by the public employees retirement system only when the employee has made payment, to be computed on the salary earned from the date of appointment to the date membership was established in the public employees retirement system, at the rate in effect at the time of payment, and the employer has made payment of the corresponding full liability as provided by section 145.44 of the Revised Code. "Prior service" also means all service credited for active duty with the armed forces of the United States as provided in section 145.30 of the Revised Code.

If an employee who has been granted prior service credit by the public employees retirement system for service rendered prior to January 1, 1935, as an employee of a board of education establishes, before retirement, one year or more of contributing service in the state teachers retirement system or school employees retirement system, then the prior service ceases to be the liability of this system.

If the board determines that a position of any member in any calendar year prior to January 1, 1935, was a part-time position, the board shall determine what fractional part of a year's credit shall be allowed by the following formula:

(1) When the member has been either elected or appointed to an office the term of which was two or more years and for which an annual salary is established, the fractional part of the year's credit shall be computed as follows:

First, when the member's annual salary is one thousand dollars or less, the service credit for each such calendar year shall be forty per cent of a year.

Second, for each full one hundred dollars of annual salary above one thousand dollars, the member's service credit for each such calendar year shall be increased by two and one-half per cent.

(2) When the member is paid on a per diem basis, the service credit for any single year of the service shall be determined by using the number of days of service for which the compensation was received in any such year as a numerator and using two hundred fifty days as a denominator.

(3) When the member is paid on an hourly basis, the service credit for any single year of the service shall be determined by using the number of hours of service for which the compensation was received in any such year as a numerator and using two thousand hours as a denominator.

(F) "Contributor" means any person who has an account in the employees' savings fund created by section 145.23 of the Revised Code. When used in the sections listed in division (B) of section 145.82 of the Revised Code, "contributor" includes any person participating in a plan established under section 145.81 of the Revised Code.

(G) "Beneficiary" or "beneficiaries" means the estate or a person or persons who, as the result of the death of a member, contributor, or retirant, qualify for or are receiving some right or benefit under this chapter.

(H)(1) "Total service credit," except as provided in section 145.37 of the Revised Code, means all service credited to a member of the retirement system since last becoming a member, including restored service credit as provided by section 145.31 of the Revised Code; credit purchased under sections 145.293 and 145.299 of the Revised Code; all the member's prior service credit; all the member's military service credit computed as provided in this chapter; all service credit established pursuant to section 145.297 of the Revised Code; and any other service credited under this chapter. In addition, "total service credit" includes any period, not in excess of three years, during which a member was out of service and receiving benefits under Chapters 4121. and 4123. of the Revised Code. For the exclusive purpose of satisfying the service credit requirement and of determining eligibility for benefits under sections 145.32, 145.33, 145.331, 145.35, 145.36, and 145.361 of the Revised Code, "five or more years of total service credit" means sixty or more calendar months of contributing service in this system.

(2) "One and one-half years of contributing service credit," as used in division (B) of section 145.45 of the Revised Code, also means eighteen or more calendar months of employment by a municipal corporation that formerly operated its own retirement plan for its employees or a part of its employees, provided that all employees of that municipal retirement plan who have eighteen or more months of such employment, upon establishing membership in the public employees retirement system, shall make a payment of the contributions they would have paid had they been members of this system for the eighteen months of employment preceding the date membership was established. When that payment has been made by all such employee members, a corresponding payment shall be paid into the employers' accumulation fund by that municipal corporation as the employer of the employees.

(3) Where a member also is a member of the state teachers retirement system or the school employees retirement system, or both, except in cases of retirement on a combined basis pursuant to section 145.37 of the Revised Code or as provided in section 145.383 of the Revised Code, service credit for any period shall be credited on the basis of the ratio that contributions to the public employees retirement system bear to total contributions in all state retirement systems.

(4) Not more than one year of credit may be given for any period of twelve months.

(5) "Ohio service credit" means credit for service that was rendered to the state or any of its political subdivisions or any employer.

(I) "Regular interest" means interest at any rates for the respective funds and accounts as the public employees retirement board may determine from time to time.

(J) "Accumulated contributions" means the sum of all amounts credited to a contributor's individual account in the employees' savings fund together with any interest credited to the contributor's account under section 145.471 or 145.472 of the Revised Code.

(K)(1) "Final average salary" means the quotient obtained by dividing by three the sum of the three full calendar years of contributing service in which the member's earnable salary was highest, except that if the member has a partial year of contributing service in the year the member's employment terminates and the member's earnable salary for the partial year is higher than for any comparable period in the three years, the member's earnable salary for the partial year shall be substituted for the member's earnable salary for the comparable period during the three years in which the member's earnable salary was lowest.

(2) If a member has less than three years of contributing service, the member's final average salary shall be the member's total earnable salary divided by the total number of years, including any fraction of a year, of the member's contributing service.

(3) For the purpose of calculating benefits payable to a member qualifying for service credit under division (Z) of this section, "final average salary" means the total earnable salary on which contributions were made divided by the total number of years during which contributions were made, including any fraction of a year. If contributions were made for less than twelve months, "final average salary" means the member's total earnable salary.

(L) "Annuity" means payments for life derived from contributions made by a contributor and paid from the annuity and pension reserve fund as provided in this chapter. All annuities shall be paid in twelve equal monthly installments.

(M) "Annuity reserve" means the present value, computed upon the basis of the mortality and other tables adopted by the board, of all payments to be made on account of any annuity, or benefit in lieu of any annuity, granted to a retirant as provided in this chapter.

(N)(1) "Disability retirement" means retirement as provided in section 145.36 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Disability allowance" means an allowance paid on account of disability under section 145.361 of the Revised Code.

(3) "Disability benefit" means a benefit paid as disability retirement under section 145.36 of the Revised Code, as a disability allowance under section 145.361 of the Revised Code, or as a disability benefit under section 145.37 of the Revised Code.

(4) "Disability benefit recipient" means a member who is receiving a disability benefit.

(O) "Age and service retirement" means retirement as provided in sections 145.32, 145.33, 145.331, 145.34, 145.37, and 145.46 of the Revised Code.

(P) "Pensions" means annual payments for life derived from contributions made by the employer that at the time of retirement are credited into the annuity and pension reserve fund from the employers' accumulation fund and paid from the annuity and pension reserve fund as provided in this chapter. All pensions shall be paid in twelve equal monthly installments.

(Q) "Retirement allowance" means the pension plus that portion of the benefit derived from contributions made by the member.

(R)(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (R) of this section, "earnable salary" means all salary, wages, and other earnings paid to a contributor by reason of employment in a position covered by the retirement system. The salary, wages, and other earnings shall be determined prior to determination of the amount required to be contributed to the employees' savings fund under section 145.47 of the Revised Code and without regard to whether any of the salary, wages, or other earnings are treated as deferred income for federal income tax purposes. "Earnable salary" includes the following:

(a) Payments made by the employer in lieu of salary, wages, or other earnings for sick leave, personal leave, or vacation used by the contributor;

(b) Payments made by the employer for the conversion of sick leave, personal leave, and vacation leave accrued, but not used if the payment is made during the year in which the leave is accrued, except that payments made pursuant to section 124.383 or 124.386 of the Revised Code are not earnable salary;

(c) Allowances paid by the employer for full maintenance, consisting of housing, laundry, and meals, as certified to the retirement board by the employer or the head of the department that employs the contributor;

(d) Fees and commissions paid under section 507.09 of the Revised Code;

(e) Payments that are made under a disability leave program sponsored by the employer and for which the employer is required by section 145.296 of the Revised Code to make periodic employer and employee contributions;

(f) Amounts included pursuant to divisions (K)(3) and (Y) of this section.

(2) "Earnable salary" does not include any of the following:

(a) Fees and commissions, other than those paid under section 507.09 of the Revised Code, paid as sole compensation for personal services and fees and commissions for special services over and above services for which the contributor receives a salary;

(b) Amounts paid by the employer to provide life insurance, sickness, accident, endowment, health, medical, hospital, dental, or surgical coverage, or other insurance for the contributor or the contributor's family, or amounts paid by the employer to the contributor in lieu of providing the insurance;

(c) Incidental benefits, including lodging, food, laundry, parking, or services furnished by the employer, or use of the employer's property or equipment, or amounts paid by the employer to the contributor in lieu of providing the incidental benefits;

(d) Reimbursement for job-related expenses authorized by the employer, including moving and travel expenses and expenses related to professional development;

(e) Payments for accrued but unused sick leave, personal leave, or vacation that are made at any time other than in the year in which the sick leave, personal leave, or vacation was accrued;

(f) Payments made to or on behalf of a contributor that are in excess of the annual compensation that may be taken into account by the retirement system under division (a)(17) of section 401 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C.A. 401(a)(17), as amended;

(g) Payments made under division (B) or (D) of section 5923.05 of the Revised Code or Section 4 of Substitute Senate Bill No. 3 of the 119th general assembly;

(h) Anything of value received by the contributor that is based on or attributable to retirement or an agreement to retire, except that payments made on or before January 1, 1989, that are based on or attributable to an agreement to retire shall be included in earnable salary if both of the following apply:

(i) The payments are made in accordance with contract provisions that were in effect prior to January 1, 1986;

(ii) The employer pays the retirement system an amount specified by the retirement board equal to the additional liability resulting from the payments.

(3) The retirement board shall determine by rule whether any compensation not enumerated in division (R) of this section is earnable salary, and its decision shall be final.

(S) "Pension reserve" means the present value, computed upon the basis of the mortality and other tables adopted by the board, of all payments to be made on account of any retirement allowance or benefit in lieu of any retirement allowance, granted to a member or beneficiary under this chapter.

(T)(1) "Contributing service" means all service credited to a member of the system since January 1, 1935, for which contributions are made as required by sections 145.47, 145.48, and 145.483 of the Revised Code. In any year subsequent to 1934, credit for any service shall be allowed by the following formula:

(a) For each month for which the member's earnable salary is two hundred fifty dollars or more, allow one month's credit.

(b) For each month for which the member's earnable salary is less than two hundred fifty dollars, allow a fraction of a month's credit. The numerator of this fraction shall be the earnable salary during the month, and the denominator shall be two hundred fifty dollars, except that if the member's annual earnable salary is less than six hundred dollars, the member's credit shall not be reduced below twenty per cent of a year for a calendar year of employment during which the member worked each month. Division (T)(1)(b) of this section shall not reduce any credit earned before January 1, 1985.

(2) Notwithstanding division (T)(1) of this section, an elected official who prior to January 1, 1980, was granted a full year of credit for each year of service as an elected official shall be considered to have earned a full year of credit for each year of service regardless of whether the service was full-time or part-time. The public employees retirement board has no authority to reduce the credit.

(U) "State retirement board" means the public employees retirement board, the school employees retirement board, or the state teachers retirement board.

(V) "Retirant" means any former member who retires and is receiving a monthly allowance as provided in sections 145.32, 145.33, 145.331, 145.34, and 145.46 of the Revised Code.

(W) "Employer contribution" means the amount paid by an employer as determined under section 145.48 of the Revised Code.

(X) "Public service terminates" means the last day for which a public employee is compensated for services performed for an employer or the date of the employee's death, whichever occurs first.

(Y) When a member has been elected or appointed to an office, the term of which is two or more years, for which an annual salary is established, and in the event that the salary of the office is increased and the member is denied the additional salary by reason of any constitutional provision prohibiting an increase in salary during a term of office, the member may elect to have the amount of the member's contributions calculated upon the basis of the increased salary for the office. At the member's request, the board shall compute the total additional amount the member would have contributed, or the amount by which each of the member's contributions would have increased, had the member received the increased salary for the office the member holds. If the member elects to have the amount by which the member's contribution would have increased withheld from the member's salary, the member shall notify the employer, and the employer shall make the withholding and transmit it to the retirement system. A member who has not elected to have that amount withheld may elect at any time to make a payment to the retirement system equal to the additional amount the member's contribution would have increased, plus interest on that contribution, compounded annually at a rate established by the board and computed from the date on which the last contribution would have been withheld from the member's salary to the date of payment. A member may make a payment for part of the period for which the increased contribution was not withheld, in which case the interest shall be computed from the date the last contribution would have been withheld for the period for which the payment is made. Upon the payment of the increased contributions as provided in this division, the increased annual salary as provided by law for the office for the period for which the member paid increased contributions thereon shall be used in determining the member's earnable salary for the purpose of computing the member's final average salary.

(Z) "Five years of service credit," for the exclusive purpose of satisfying the service credit requirements and of determining eligibility for benefits under section 145.33 of the Revised Code, means employment covered under this chapter or under a former retirement plan operated, recognized, or endorsed by the employer prior to coverage under this chapter or under a combination of the coverage.

(AA) "Deputy sheriff" means any person who is commissioned and employed as a full-time peace officer by the sheriff of any county, and has been so employed since on or before December 31, 1965, and whose primary duties are to preserve the peace, to protect life and property, and to enforce the laws of this state; any person who is or has been commissioned and employed as a peace officer by the sheriff of any county since January 1, 1966, and who has received a certificate attesting to the person's satisfactory completion of the peace officer training school as required by section 109.77 of the Revised Code and whose primary duties are to preserve the peace, protect life and property, and enforce the laws of this state; or any person deputized by the sheriff of any county and employed pursuant to section 2301.12 of the Revised Code as a criminal bailiff or court constable who has received a certificate attesting to the person's satisfactory completion of the peace officer training school as required by section 109.77 of the Revised Code and whose primary duties are to preserve the peace, protect life and property, and enforce the laws of this state.

(BB) "Township constable or police officer in a township police department or district" means any person who is commissioned and employed as a full-time peace officer pursuant to Chapter 505. or 509. of the Revised Code, who has received a certificate attesting to the person's satisfactory completion of the peace officer training school as required by section 109.77 of the Revised Code, and whose primary duties are to preserve the peace, protect life and property, and enforce the laws of this state.

(CC) "Drug agent" means any person who is either of the following:

(1) Employed full-time as a narcotics agent by a county narcotics agency created pursuant to section 307.15 of the Revised Code and has received a certificate attesting to the satisfactory completion of the peace officer training school as required by section 109.77 of the Revised Code;

(2) Employed full-time as an undercover drug agent as defined in section 109.79 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(DD) "Department of public safety enforcement agent" means a full-time employee of the department of public safety who is designated under section 5502.14 of the Revised Code as an enforcement agent and who is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(EE) "Natural resources law enforcement staff officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a natural resources law enforcement staff officer under section 1501.013 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(FF) "Park officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a park officer under section 1541.10 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(GG) "Forest officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a forest officer under section 1503.29 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(HH) "Preserve officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a preserve officer under section 1517.10 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(II) "Wildlife officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a wildlife officer under section 1531.13 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(JJ) "State watercraft officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a state watercraft officer under section 1547.521 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(KK) "Park district police officer" means a full-time employee of a park district who is designated pursuant to section 511.232 or 1545.13 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(LL) "Conservancy district officer" means a full-time employee of a conservancy district who is designated pursuant to section 6101.75 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(MM) "Municipal police officer" means a member of the organized police department of a municipal corporation who is employed full-time, is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code, and is not a member of the Ohio police and fire pension fund.

(NN) "Ohio veterans' home police officer" means any person who is employed at the Ohio veterans' home as a police officer pursuant to section 5907.02 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(OO) "Special police officer for a mental health institution" means any person who is designated as such pursuant to section 5119.14 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(PP) "Special police officer for an institution for the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled" means any person who is designated as such pursuant to section 5123.13 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(QQ) "State university law enforcement officer" means any person who is employed full-time as a state university law enforcement officer pursuant to section 3345.04 of the Revised Code and who is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(RR) "Hamilton county municipal court bailiff" means a person appointed by the clerk of courts of the Hamilton county municipal court under division (A)(3) of section 1901.32 of the Revised Code who is employed full-time as a bailiff or deputy bailiff, who has received a certificate attesting to the person's satisfactory completion of the peace officer training school as required by division (C) of section 109.77 of the Revised Code, and whose primary duties are to preserve the peace, to protect life and property, and to enforce the laws of this state.

(SS) "House sergeant at arms" means any person appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives under division (B)(1) of section 101.311 of the Revised Code who has arrest authority under division (E)(1) of that section.

(TT)(SS) "Assistant house sergeant at arms" means any person appointed by the house sergeant at arms under division (C)(1) of section 101.311 of the Revised Code.

(UU)(TT) "Regional transit authority police officer" means a person who is employed full time as a regional transit authority police officer under division (Y) of section 306.35 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(UU) "State highway patrol police officer" means a special police officer employed full time and designated by the superintendent of the state highway patrol pursuant to section 5503.09 of the Revised Code or a person serving full time as a special police officer pursuant to that section on a permanent basis on October 21, 1997, who is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(VV) Notwithstanding section 2901.01 of the Revised Code, "law enforcement officer" means a sheriff, deputy sheriff, township constable or police officer in a township police department or district, drug agent, department of public safety enforcement agent, natural resources law enforcement staff officer, park officer, forest officer, preserve officer, wildlife officer, state watercraft officer, park district police officer, conservancy district officer, Ohio veterans' home police officer, special police officer for a mental health institution, special police officer for an institution for the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled, state university law enforcement officer, Hamilton county municipal court bailiff, municipal police officer, house sergeant at arms, or assistant house sergeant at arms, regional transit authority police officer, or state highway patrol police officer.

(VV)(WW) "Hamilton county municipal court bailiff" means a person appointed by the clerk of courts of the Hamilton county municipal court under division (A)(3) of section 1901.32 of the Revised Code who is employed full time as a bailiff or deputy bailiff, who has received a certificate attesting to the person's satisfactory completion of the peace officer basic training described in division (D)(1) of section 109.77 of the Revised Code, and whose primary duties are to preserve the peace, to protect life and property, and to enforce the laws of this state.

(XX) "Fiduciary" means a person who does any of the following:

(1) Exercises any discretionary authority or control with respect to the management of the system or with respect to the management or disposition of its assets;

(2) Renders investment advice for a fee, direct or indirect, with respect to money or property of the system;

(3) Has any discretionary authority or responsibility in the administration of the system.

(WW)(YY) "Actuary" means an individual who satisfies all of the following requirements:

(1) Is a member of the American academy of actuaries;

(2) Is an associate or fellow of the society of actuaries;

(3) Has a minimum of five years' experience in providing actuarial services to public retirement plans.

Sec. 145.19.  (A) Except as provided in division (D) of this section, an individual who becomes a member of the public employees retirement system on or after the date on which the public employees retirement board establishes a plan under section 145.81 of the Revised Code shall make an election under this section. Not later than one hundred eighty days after the date on which employment begins, the individual shall elect to participate either in the plan described in sections 145.201 to 145.79 of the Revised Code or one of the plans established under section 145.81 of the Revised Code. If a form evidencing an election under this section is not on file with the employer at the end of the one-hundred-eighty-day period, the individual is deemed to have elected to participate in the plan described in sections 145.201 to 145.79 of the Revised Code.

(B) An election under this section shall be made in writing on a form provided by the retirement system and filed with the employer's personnel officer. Not later than ten days after receiving the form evidencing the election, the employer shall transmit to the system a copy that includes a statement certifying that it is a true and accurate copy of the original.

(C) An election under this section shall take effect on the date employment began and is irrevocable on receipt by the employer.

(D) An individual is ineligible to make an election under this section if one of the following applies:

(1) At the time employment begins, the individual is already a member or contributor participating in the plan described in sections 145.201 to 145.79 of the Revised Code or a PERS retirant, as defined in section 145.38 of the Revised Code.

(2) An election to participate in an alternative retirement plan under section 3305.05 of the Revised Code is in effect for employment covered by the system.

(3) The individual is a PERS law enforcement officer.

Sec. 145.191.  (A) A member of the public employees retirement system, other than a member who is a PERS law enforcement officer, who, as of the last day of the month immediately preceding the date on which the system establishes a plan under section 145.81 of the Revised Code, has less than five years of total service credit is eligible to make an election under this section.

Not later than one hundred eighty days after the day the board first establishes one or more plans under section 145.81 of the Revised Code, an eligible member may elect to participate in a plan established under that section. If an election is not made, a member to whom this section applies is deemed to have elected to continue participating in the plan described in sections 145.201 to 145.79 of the Revised Code.

(B) An election under this section shall be made in writing on a form provided by the system and filed with the system.

(C) On receipt of an election under this section, the system shall do both of the following:

(1) Credit to the account of the member in the defined contribution fund the accumulated contributions standing to the member's credit in the employees' savings fund;

(2) Cancel all service credit and eligibility for any payment, benefit, or right under the plan described in sections 145.201 to 145.79 of the Revised Code.

(D) An election under this section shall be irrevocable on receipt by the system.

Sec. 145.321.  On and after October 1, 1957, all persons in receipt of, or who are or become eligible to receive, a monthly allowance, pension, or other benefit effective prior to June 29, 1955, which is payable or becomes payable pursuant to the provisions of sections 145.33 to 145.36 and 145.46 of the Revised Code, or an allowance payable at any time under an option elected by a member and effective prior to that date, shall be paid an increased allowance, pension, or benefit as follows:

(A) An amount determined by increasing the original allowance, pension, or benefit by the following percentages as determined by the calendar year in which the allowance, pension, or benefit became effective:


Calendar Year Per Cent
Effective of Increase
1938-39 100
1940 94
1941 89
1942 77
1943 70
1944 68
1945 66
1946 55
1947 35
1948 23
1949 25
1950 23
1951 8
1952 4
1953 3
1954 2
Prior to June 29, 1955 2

(B) If the amount of any allowance, pension, or other benefit is increased by division (A) of this section to an amount less than one hundred ten per cent of the present amount payable immediately prior to October 1, 1957, the present amount shall be increased by ten per cent.

(C) On and after August 1, 1959 the monthly allowance, pension, or other benefit effective prior to June 29, 1955, (exclusive of any amount receivable monthly by reason of a voluntary deposit made for additional annuity), together with the supplemental allowance payable pursuant to divisions (A) and (B) of this section, shall be increased by twelve per cent.

(D) Effective November 1, 1965, the allowances of each person who retired on or before June 30, 1955 and is receiving age and service or disability benefits under sections 145.32, 145.33, 145.34, and 145.36 of the Revised Code shall be increased by one hundred twenty dollars annually, notwithstanding the final average salary limitations in division (A)(6) of section 145.33 and division (B) of section 145.36 of the Revised Code.

(E) Effective November 1, 1965, the allowances of each person who retired after June 30, 1955 and on or before October 31, 1965 and is receiving age and service or disability benefits under sections 145.32, 145.33, 145.34, and 145.36 of the Revised Code shall be increased by one hundred twenty dollars annually, which when added to the allowance in effect on October 31, 1965, shall not exceed the final average salary limitations found in division (A)(6) of section 145.33 and division (B) of section 145.36 of the Revised Code, except that the increase shall not be less than seventy-two dollars annually.

(F) Beginning November 1, 1965, the monthly benefit payable under section 145.45 of the Revised Code shall be increased six dollars for each survivor beneficiary receiving a benefit on October 31, 1965 and for each successor to such benefit.

For the purposes of this section: (1) The total increase payable per month on or after November 1, 1965 to a retirant or beneficiary from one or more state systems shall not exceed the ten dollar increase as provided in this division, and (2) in all cases involving combined membership and service as provided for under section 145.37 of the Revised Code, only those cases which are being paid by the public employees retirement system shall be calculated under the provisions of this section.

Sec. 145.33.  (A) Except as provided in division (B), or (C), or (D) of this section, a member with at least five years of total service credit who has attained age sixty, or who has thirty years of total Ohio service credit, may apply for age and service retirement, which shall consist of:

(1) An annuity having a reserve equal to the amount of the member's accumulated contributions at that time;

(2) A pension equal to the annuity provided by division (A)(1) of this section;

(3) An additional pension, if the member can qualify for prior service, equal to forty dollars multiplied by the number of years, and fraction thereof, of such prior and military service credit;

(4) A basic annual pension equal to one hundred eighty dollars if the member has ten or more years of total service credit as of October 1, 1956, except that the basic annual pension shall not exceed the sum of the annual benefits provided by divisions (A)(1), (2), and (3) of this section.

(5) When a member retires on age and service retirement, the member's total annual single lifetime allowance, including the allowances provided in divisions (A)(1), (2), (3), and (4) of this section, shall be not less than a base amount adjusted in accordance with division (A)(5) of this section and determined by multiplying the member's total service credit by the greater of the following:

(a) Eighty-six dollars;

(b) Two and two-tenths per cent of the member's final average salary for each of the first thirty years of service plus two and one-half per cent of the member's final average salary for each subsequent year of service.

The allowance shall be adjusted by the factors of attained age or years of service to provide the greater amount as determined by the following schedule:


Years ofPercentage
AttainedorTotal Serviceof
BirthdayCreditBase Amount


582575
592680
602785
6188
2890
6291
6394
2995
6497
6530 or more100

Members shall vest the right to a benefit in accordance with the following schedule, based on the member's attained age by September 1, 1976:


Percentage
Attainedof
BirthdayBase Amount
66102
67104
68106
69108
70 or more110

(6) The total annual single lifetime allowance that a member shall receive under division (A)(5) of this section shall not exceed the lesser of one hundred per cent of the member's final average salary or the limit established by section 415 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C.A. 415, as amended.

(B)(1) For the purposes of divisions (B) to (F)(H) of this section, "total service credit as a PERS law enforcement officer" includes and "total service credit as a Hamilton county municipal court bailiff" include credit for military service to the extent permitted by division (F)(2) of this section and credit for service as a police officer or state highway patrol trooper to the extent permitted by division divisions (F)(3) and (4) of this section.

(2) A member who meets the conditions in division (B)(2)(a), (b), or (c), or (d) of this section may apply for an age and service retirement benefit under this division:

(a) Except as provided in division (B)(2)(b) of this section, The member has attained age forty-eight and has at least twenty-five years of total service credit as a PERS law enforcement officer and has attained age fifty-two whose primary duties were to preserve the peace, protect life and property, and enforce the laws in the member's jurisdiction;

(b) Has The member has attained age fifty-two, and has at least twenty-five years of total service credit as a PERS law enforcement officer while serving as a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or township con stable or police officer in a township police department or district and has attained age forty-eight, but the member's primary duties were other than to preserve the peace, protect life and property, and enforce the laws in the member's jurisdiction;

(c) The member has attained age fifty-two and has at least twenty-five years of total service as a Hamilton county municipal court bailiff;

(c) Has (d) The member has attained age sixty-two and has at least fifteen years of total service credit as a either of the following:

(i) A PERS law enforcement officer and has attained age sixty-two;

(ii) A Hamilton county municipal court bailiff.

(3) A benefit paid under division (B)(2) of this section shall consist of an annual single lifetime allowance equal to the sum of two and one-half per cent of the member's final average salary multiplied by the first twenty-five years of the member's total service plus two and one-tenth per cent of the member's final average salary multiplied by the number of years of the member's total service credit in excess of twenty-five years.

(C)(4) A member with at least fifteen years of total service credit as a PERS law enforcement officer or Hamilton county municipal court bailiff who voluntarily resigns or is discharged for any reason except death, dishonesty, cowardice, intemperate habits, or conviction of a felony may apply for an age and service retirement benefit, which shall consist of an annual single lifetime allowance equal to one and one-half per cent of the member's final average salary multiplied by the number of years of the member's total service credit. The allowance shall commence on the first day of the calendar month following the month in which the application is filed with the public employees retirement board on or after the attainment by the applicant of age fifty-two.

(D)(C)(1) A member with at least twenty-five years of total service credit as a law enforcement officer other than as a law enforcement officer eligible for a benefit under division (B)(2)(b) of this section who would be eligible to retire under division (B)(2)(b) or (c) of this section had the member attained age fifty-two and who voluntarily resigns or is discharged for any reason except death, dishonesty, cowardice, intemperate habits, or conviction of a felony, on or after the date of attaining forty-eight years of age, but before the date of attaining fifty-two years of age, may elect to receive a reduced benefit as determined by the following schedule:


Attained AgeReduced Benefit


4875% of the benefit payable under
division (B)(3) of this section
4980% of the benefit payable under
division (B)(3) of this section
5086% of the benefit payable under
division (B)(3) of this section
5193% of the benefit payable under
division (B)(3) of this section

(2) If a member elects to receive a reduced benefit after attaining age forty-eight the reduced benefit is payable from the later of the date of the member's most recent birthday or the date the member becomes eligible to receive the reduced benefit.

(3) Once a member elects to receive a reduced benefit determined by the schedule in division (D)(C)(1) of this section and has received a payment, the member may not reelect to change that election.

(4) If a member who has resigned or been discharged has left on deposit the member's accumulated contributions in the employees' savings fund and has not elected to receive a reduced benefit determined by the schedule in division (D)(C)(1) of this section, upon attaining fifty-two years of age, the member shall be entitled to receive a benefit computed and paid under division (B)(3) of this section.

(E)(D) A benefit paid under division (B), or (C), or (D) of this section shall not exceed the lesser of ninety per cent of the member's final average salary or the limit established by section 415 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C.A. 415, as amended.

(F)(E)(1) A member with service credit as a PERS law enforcement officer or a Hamilton county municipal court bailiff and other service credit under this chapter may elect one of the following:

(a) To have all the member's service credit under this chapter, including credit for service as a PERS law enforcement officer or Hamilton county municipal court bailiff, used in calculating a retirement allowance under division (A) of this section if the member qualifies for an allowance under that division;

(b) If the member qualifies for an allowance under division (B)(2)(a) or (c), (C), or (D) of this section, to have the member's service credit as a PERS law enforcement officer or Hamilton county municipal court bailiff used in calculating a benefit under that the appropriate division and the member's credit for all service other than PERS law enforcement service or service as a Hamilton county municipal court bailiff under this chapter used in calculating a benefit consisting of a single life annuity having a reserve equal to the amount of the member's accumulated contributions and an equal amount of the employer's contributions;

(c) If the member qualifies for an allowance under division (B)(2)(b) of this section, to have the member's service credit as a law enforcement officer while serving as a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or township constable or police officer in a township police department or district used in calculating a benefit under division (B)(2)(b) of this section and the member's credit for all other service under this chapter used in calculating a benefit consisting of a single life annuity having a reserve equal to the amount of the member's accumulated contributions and an equal amount of the employer's contributions.

(2) Notwithstanding sections 145.01 and 145.30 of the Revised Code, no more than four years of military service credit granted under section 145.30 of the Revised Code and five years of military service credit purchased under section 145.301 or 145.302 of the Revised Code shall be used in calculating service as a PERS law enforcement officer or Hamilton county municipal court bailiff or the total service credit of that person.

(3) Only credit for the member's service as a PERS law enforcement officer or service credit obtained as a police officer or state highway patrol trooper shall be used in computing the benefits benefit of a member who qualifies for a benefit under division (B), (C), (2)(a), (b), or (d)(ii) or (D)(4) or division (C) of this section for the following:

(a) Any person who originally is commissioned and employed as a deputy sheriff by the sheriff of any county, or who originally is elected sheriff, on or after January 1, 1975;

(b) Any deputy sheriff who originally is employed as a criminal bailiff or court constable on or after April 16, 1993;

(c) Any person who originally is appointed as a township constable or police officer in a township police department or district on or after January 1, 1981;

(d) Any person who originally is employed as a county narcotics agent on or after September 26, 1984;

(e) Any person who originally is employed as an undercover drug agent as defined in section 109.79 of the Revised Code, department of public safety enforcement agent who prior to June 30, 1999, was a liquor control investigator, park officer, forest officer, wildlife officer, state watercraft officer, park district police officer, conservancy district officer, Ohio veterans' home police officer, special police officer for a mental health institution, special police officer for an institution for the mentally retarded and developmentally disabled, or municipal police officer on or after December 15, 1988;

(f) Any person who originally is employed as a state university law enforcement officer on or after November 6, 1996;

(g) Any person who originally is employed as a Hamilton county municipal court bailiff on or after November 6, 1996;

(h) Any person who is originally employed as a state university law enforcement officer by the university of Akron on or after September 16, 1998;

(i)(h) Any person who originally is employed as a preserve officer on or after March 18, 1999;

(j)(i) Any person who originally is employed as a natural resources law enforcement staff officer on or after March 18, 1999;

(k)(j) Any person who is originally employed as a department of public safety enforcement agent on or after June 30, 1999;

(l)(k) Any person who is originally employed as a house sergeant at arms or assistant house sergeant at arms on or after the effective date of this amendment September 5, 2001;

(l) Any person who is originally appointed as a regional transit authority police officer or state highway patrol police officer on or after the effective date of this amendment.

(4) Only credit for a member's service as a Hamilton county municipal court bailiff or service credit obtained as a PERS law enforcement officer, police officer, or state highway patrol trooper shall be used in computing the benefit of a member who qualifies for a benefit under division (B)(2)(c) or (d)(ii) or (4) or division (C) of this section for any person who originally is employed as a Hamilton county municipal court bailiff on or after November 6, 1996.

(G) Retirement allowances determined under this section shall be paid as provided in section 145.46 of the Revised Code.

(H) For the purposes of this section, service prior to June 30, 1999, as a food stamp trafficking agent under former section 5502.14 of the Revised Code shall be considered service as a law enforcement officer.

Sec. 145.35.  (A) As used in this section, "on-duty illness or injury" means an illness or injury that occurred during or resulted from performance of duties under the direct supervision of a member's appointing authority.

(B) The public employees retirement system shall provide disability coverage to each member who has at least five years of total service credit and disability coverage for on-duty illness or injury to each member who is a PERS law enforcement officer or Hamilton county municipal court bailiff, regardless of length of service.

Not later than October 16, 1992, the public employees retirement board shall give each person who is a member on July 29, 1992, the opportunity to elect disability coverage either under section 145.36 of the Revised Code or under section 145.361 of the Revised Code. The board shall mail notice of the election, accompanied by an explanation of the coverage under each of the Revised Code sections and a form on which the election is to be made, to each member at the member's last known address. The board shall also provide the explanation and form to any member on request.

Regardless of whether the member actually receives notice of the right to make an election, a member who fails to file a valid election under this section shall be considered to have elected disability coverage under section 145.36 of the Revised Code. To be valid, an election must be made on the form provided by the retirement board, signed by the member, and filed with the board not later than one hundred eighty days after the date the notice was mailed, or, in the case of a form provided at the request of a member, a date specified by rule of the retirement board. Once made, an election is irrevocable, but if the member ceases to be a member of the retirement system, the election is void. If a person who makes an election under this section also makes an election under section 3307.62 or 3309.39 of the Revised Code, the election made for the system that pays a disability benefit to that person shall govern the benefit.

Disability coverage shall be provided under section 145.361 of the Revised Code for persons who become members after July 29, 1992, and for members who elect under this division to be covered under section 145.361 of the Revised Code.

The retirement board may adopt rules governing elections made under this division.

(C) Application for a disability benefit may be made by a member, by a person acting in the member's behalf, or by the member's employer, provided the member has disability coverage under section 145.36 or 145.361 of the Revised Code and is not receiving a disability benefit under any other Ohio state or municipal retirement program. Application must be made within two years from the date the member's contributing service terminated, unless the retirement board determines that the member's medical records demonstrate conclusively that at the time the two-year period expired, the member was physically or mentally incapacitated for duty and unable to make an application. Application may not be made by or for any person receiving age and service retirement benefits under section 145.33, 145.331, 145.34, or 145.37 of the Revised Code or any person who, pursuant to section 145.40 of the Revised Code, has been paid the accumulated contributions standing to the credit of the person's individual account in the employees' savings fund. The application shall be made on a form provided by the retirement board.

(D) The benefit payable to any member who is approved for a disability benefit shall become effective on the first day of the month immediately following the later of the following:

(1) The last day for which compensation was paid;

(2) The attainment of eligibility for a disability benefit.

(E) Medical examination of a member who has applied for a disability benefit shall be conducted by a competent disinterested physician or physicians selected by the board to determine whether the member is mentally or physically incapacitated for the performance of duty by a disabling condition either permanent or presumed to be permanent. The disability must have occurred since last becoming a member or have increased since last becoming a member to such extent as to make the disability permanent or presumed to be permanent. A disability is presumed to be permanent if it is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months following the filing of the application.

If the physician or physicians determine that the member qualifies for a disability benefit, the board concurs with the determination, and the member agrees to medical treatment as specified in division (F) of this section, the member shall receive a disability benefit under section 145.36 or 145.361 of the Revised Code. The action of the board shall be final.

(F) The public employees retirement board shall adopt rules requiring a disability benefit recipient, as a condition of continuing to receive a disability benefit, to agree in writing to obtain any medical treatment recommended by the board's physician and submit medical reports regarding the treatment. If the board determines that a disability benefit recipient is not obtaining the medical treatment or the board does not receive a required medical report, the disability benefit shall be suspended until the treatment is obtained, the report is received by the board, or the board's physician certifies that the treatment is no longer helpful or advisable. Should the recipient's failure to obtain treatment or submit a medical report continue for one year, the recipient's right to the disability benefit shall be terminated as of the effective date of the original suspension.

(G) In the event an employer files an application for a disability benefit as a result of a member having been separated from service because the member is considered to be mentally or physically incapacitated for the performance of the member's present duty, and the physician or physicians selected by the board reports to the board that the member is physically and mentally capable of performing service similar to that from which the member was separated and the board concurs in the report, the board shall so certify to the employer and the employer shall restore the member to the member's previous position and salary or to a similar position and salary.

Sec. 145.40.  (A)(1) Subject to the provisions of section 145.57 of the Revised Code and except as provided in division (B) of this section, if a member elects to become exempt from contribution to the public employees retirement system pursuant to section 145.03 of the Revised Code or ceases to be a public employee for any cause other than death, retirement, receipt of a disability benefit, or current employment in a position in which the member has elected to participate in an alternative retirement plan under section 3305.05 of the Revised Code, upon application the public employees retirement board shall pay the member the member's accumulated contributions, plus any applicable amount calculated under section 145.401 of the Revised Code, provided that all the following apply:

(a) Three months have elapsed since the member's public service, other than service exempted from contribution pursuant to section 145.03 of the Revised Code, was terminated;

(b) The member has not returned to public service, other than service exempted from contribution pursuant to section 145.03 of the Revised Code, during that three-month period;

(c) The member is not a member of the school employees retirement system or the state teachers retirement system.

The payment of such accumulated contributions shall cancel the total service credit of such member in the public employees retirement system.

(2) Notwithstanding division (A)(1) of this section, division (B) of section 145.401 of the Revised Code, and the definition of "accumulated contributions" in division (J) of section 145.01 of the Revised Code, the accumulated contributions paid to a member under this division for service as a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or township constable or police officer in a township police department or district shall not include interest credited to the member's account under section 145.471 or 145.472 of the Revised Code, nor shall the member be paid any amount calculated under section 145.401 of the Revised Code.

(3) A member described in division (A)(1) of this section who is married at the time of application for payment and is eligible for age and service retirement under section 145.32, 145.33, 145.331, or 145.34 of the Revised Code shall submit with the application a written statement by the member's spouse attesting that the spouse consents to the payment of the member's accumulated contributions. Consent shall be valid only if it is signed and witnessed by a notary public.

The board may waive the requirement of consent if the spouse is incapacitated or cannot be located, or for any other reason specified by the board. Consent or waiver is effective only with regard to the spouse who is the subject of the consent or waiver.

(B) This division applies to any member who is employed in a position in which the member has made an election under section 3305.05 of the Revised Code and due to the election ceases to be a public employee for purposes of that position.

Subject to section 145.57 of the Revised Code, the public employees retirement system shall do the following:

(1) On receipt of a certified copy of a form evidencing an election under section 3305.05 of the Revised Code, pay to the appropriate provider, in accordance with section 3305.051 of the Revised Code, the amount described in section 3305.051 of the Revised Code;

(2) If a member has accumulated contributions, in addition to those subject to division (B)(1) of this section, standing to the credit of the member's individual account and is not otherwise employed in a position in which the member is considered a public employee for the purposes of that position, pay, to the provider the member selected pursuant to section 3305.05 of the Revised Code, the member's accumulated contributions. The payment shall be made on the member's application.

(C) Payment of a member's accumulated contributions under division (B) of this section cancels the member's total service credit in the public employees retirement system. A member whose accumulated contributions are paid to a provider pursuant to division (B) of this section is forever barred from claiming or purchasing service credit under the public employees retirement system for the period of employment attributable to those contributions.

Sec. 145.45.  Except as provided in division (C)(1) of this section, in lieu of accepting the payment of the accumulated account of a member who dies before service retirement, a beneficiary, as determined in this section or section 145.43 of the Revised Code, may elect to forfeit the accumulated contributions and to substitute certain other benefits under division (A) or (B) of this section.

(A) If a deceased member was eligible for a service retirement benefit as provided in section 145.33, 145.331, or 145.34 of the Revised Code, a surviving spouse or other sole dependent beneficiary may elect to receive a monthly benefit computed as the joint-survivor benefit designated as "plan D" in section 145.46 of the Revised Code, which the member would have received had the member retired on the last day of the month of death and had the member at that time selected such joint-survivor plan. Payment shall begin with the month subsequent to the member's death, except that a surviving spouse who is less than sixty-five years old may defer receipt of such benefit. Upon receipt, the benefit shall be calculated based upon the spouse's age at the time of first payment, and shall accrue regular interest during the time of deferral.

(B) If a deceased member had, except as provided in division (B)(7) of this section, at least one and one-half years of contributing service credit, with, except as provided in division (B)(7) of this section, at least one-quarter year of contributing service credit within the two and one-half years prior to the date of death, or was receiving at the time of death a disability benefit as provided in section 145.36, 145.361, or 145.37 of the Revised Code, qualified survivors who elect to receive monthly benefits shall receive the greater of the benefits provided in division (B)(1)(a) or (b) and (4) of this section as allocated in accordance with division (B)(5) of this section.


(1)(a) Number
of Qualified Or
survivorsAnnual Benefit as a PerMonthly Benefit
affectingCent of Decedent's Finalshall not be
the benefitAverage Salaryless than
1 25% $250
2 40  400
3 50  500
4 55  500
5 or more 60  500


(b) Years ofAnnual Benefit as a Per Cent
Serviceof Member's Final Average
Salary
2029%
2133
2237
2341
2445
2548
2651
2754
2857
29 or more60

(2) Benefits shall begin as qualified survivors meet eligibility requirements as follows:

(a) A qualified spouse is the surviving spouse of the deceased member, who is age sixty-two, or regardless of age if the deceased member had ten or more years of Ohio service credit, or regardless of age if caring for a qualified child, or regardless of age if adjudged physically or mentally incompetent. A spouse of a member who died prior to August 27, 1970, whose eligibility was determined at the member's death, and who is physically or mentally incompetent on or after August 20, 1976, shall be paid the monthly benefit which that person would otherwise receive when qualified by age.

(b) A qualified child is any child of the deceased member who has never been married and to whom one of the following applies:

(i) Is under age eighteen, or under age twenty-two if the child is attending an institution of learning or training pursuant to a program designed to complete in each school year the equivalent of at least two-thirds of the full-time curriculum requirements of such institution and as further determined by board policy;

(ii) Regardless of age, is adjudged physically or mentally incompetent at the time of the member's death.

(c) A qualified parent is a dependent parent aged sixty-five or older or regardless of age if physically or mentally incompetent, a dependent parent whose eligibility was determined by the member's death prior to August 20, 1976, and who is physically or mentally incompetent on or after August 20, 1976, shall be paid the monthly benefit for which that person would otherwise qualify.

(3) "Physically or mentally incompetent" as used in this section may be determined by a court of jurisdiction, or by a physician appointed by the retirement board. Incapability of making a living because of a physically or mentally disabling condition shall meet the qualifications of this division.

(4) Benefits to a qualified survivor shall terminate upon ceasing to meet eligibility requirements as provided in this division, a first marriage, abandonment, adoption, or during active military service. Benefits to a deceased member's surviving spouse that were terminated under a former version of this section that required termination due to remarriage and were not resumed prior to September 16, 1998, shall resume on the first day of the month immediately following receipt by the board of an application on a form provided by the board.

Upon the death of any subsequent spouse who was a member of the public employees retirement system, state teachers retirement system, or school employees retirement system, the surviving spouse of such member may elect to continue receiving benefits under this division, or to receive survivor's benefits, based upon the subsequent spouse's membership in one or more of the systems, for which such surviving spouse is eligible under this section or section 3307.66 or 3309.45 of the Revised Code. If the surviving spouse elects to continue receiving benefits under this division, such election shall not preclude the payment of benefits under this division to any other qualified survivor.

Benefits shall begin or resume on the first day of the month following the attainment of eligibility and shall terminate on the first day of the month following loss of eligibility.

(5)(a) If a benefit is payable under division (B)(1)(a) of this section, benefits to a qualified spouse shall be paid in the amount determined for the first qualifying survivor in division (B)(1)(a) of this section. All other qualifying survivors shall share equally in the benefit or remaining portion thereof.

(b) All qualifying survivors shall share equally in a benefit payable under division (B)(1)(b) of this section, except that if there is a surviving spouse, the surviving spouse shall receive not less than the amount determined for the first qualifying survivor in division (B)(1)(a) of this section.

(6) The beneficiary of a member who is also a member of the state teachers retirement system or of the school employees retirement system, must forfeit the member's accumulated contributions in those systems and in the public employees retirement system, if the beneficiary takes a survivor benefit. Such benefit shall be exclusively governed by section 145.37 of the Revised Code.

(7) The restriction that the deceased member have at least one and one-half years of contributing service credit, with at least one-quarter year of contributing service within the two and one-half years prior to the date of death, does not apply if the deceased member was contributing toward benefits under division (B) or (C) of section 145.33 of the Revised Code at the time of death.

(C)(1) Regardless of whether the member is survived by a spouse or designated beneficiary, if the public employees retirement system receives notice that a deceased member described in division (A) or (B) of this section has one or more qualified children, all persons who are qualified survivors under division (B) of this section shall receive monthly benefits as provided in division (B) of this section.

If, after determining the monthly benefits to be paid under division (B) of this section, the system receives notice that there is a qualified survivor who was not considered when the determination was made, the system shall, notwithstanding section 145.561 of the Revised Code, recalculate the monthly benefits with that qualified survivor included, even if the benefits to qualified survivors already receiving benefits are reduced as a result. The benefits shall be calculated as if the qualified survivor who is the subject of the notice became eligible on the date the notice was received and shall be paid to qualified survivors effective on the first day of the first month following the system's receipt of the notice.

If the retirement system did not receive notice that a deceased member has one or more qualified children prior to making payment under section 145.43 of the Revised Code to a beneficiary as determined by the retirement system, the payment is a full discharge and release of the system from any future claims under this section or section 145.43 of the Revised Code.

(2) If benefits under division (C)(1) of this section to all persons, or to all persons other than a surviving spouse or other sole beneficiary, terminate, there are no children under the age of twenty-two years, and the surviving spouse or beneficiary qualifies for benefits under division (A) of this section, the surviving spouse or beneficiary may elect to receive benefits under division (A) of this section. The benefits shall be effective on the first day of the month immediately following the termination.

(D) The final average salary used in the calculation of a benefit payable pursuant to division (A) or (B) of this section to a survivor or beneficiary of a disability benefit recipient shall be adjusted for each year between the disability benefit's effective date and the recipient's date of death by the lesser of three per cent or the actual average percentage increase in the consumer price index prepared by the United States bureau of labor statistics (U.S. city average for urban wage earners and clerical workers: "all items 1982-84=100").

(E) If the survivor benefits due and paid under this section are in a total amount less than the member's accumulated account that was transferred from the public employees' savings fund to the survivors' benefit fund, then the difference between the total amount of the benefits paid shall be paid to the beneficiary under section 145.43 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 145.49. (A) Notwithstanding section 145.47 of the Revised Code, the:

(1) The public employees retirment retirement system shall be authorized to calculate the employee contribution rates separately for those public employees contributing toward benefits under division (B), (C), or (D)(2)(b), (c), or (d) of section 145.33 of the Revised Code.

(2) Each public employee contributing toward benefits under division (B)(2)(b)(a) of section 145.33 of the Revised Code shall contribute to the employees' savings fund the sum of one ten and one-tenth per cent of the employee's earnable salary and the employee contribution rate calculated for employees contributing toward benefits under division (B)(2)(a) of section 145.33 of the Revised Code, notwithstanding section 145.47 of the Revised Code.

(B) Notwithstanding section 145.48 of the Revised Code, the public employees retirement system shall be authorized to calculate the employer contribution rates separately for those public employees contributing toward benefits under division (B), (C), or (D)(2)(a) of section 145.33 of the Revised Code or under division (B)(2)(b), (c), or (d) of that section, except that the employer contribution rate shall not exceed eighteen and one-tenth per cent of the earnable salaries of those employees.

Sec. 3309.312.  (A) Not later than ninety days after September 16, 1998, a member who, on September 16, 1998, is employed full-time full time pursuant to section 3345.04 of the Revised Code by the university of Akron as a state university law enforcement officer may elect to transfer to the public employees retirement system in accordance with this section. An election shall be made by giving notice to the school employees retirement system on a form provided by the school employees retirement board and shall be irrevocable.

(B) When a member makes the election described in this section, the school employees retirement system shall notify the public employees retirement system. The school employees retirement system shall transfer all of the member's service credit to the public employees retirement system and shall certify to the public employees retirement system a copy of the member's records of service and contributions. For each year or portion of a year of credit, the school employees retirement system shall transfer to the public employees retirement system all of the following:

(1) An amount equal to the accumulated contributions standing to the member's credit;

(2) An amount equal to the total employer contributions paid on behalf of the member;

(3) Any amount paid by the member or employer to the school employees retirement system for the purchase of service credit.

At the request of the public employees retirement system, the employer of a member who makes an election under this section shall certify to the public employees retirement system the member's salary.

(C) A member who elects to transfer to the public employees retirement system under this section shall make contributions and receive benefits in accordance with divisions (B) to (G)(F) of section 145.33 of the Revised Code.

(D) A member who fails to make an election in accordance with this section shall remain a member of the school employees retirement system.

SECTION 2.  That existing sections 145.01, 145.19, 145.191, 145.321, 145.33, 145.35, 145.40, 145.45, 145.49, and 3309.312 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

SECTION 3.  As used in this section, "regional transit authority police officer" and "state highway patrol police officer" have the same meanings as in section 145.01 of the Revised Code, as amended by this act.

Not later than ninety days after the effective date of this act, each regional transit authority police officer and state highway patrol police officer who is a member of the Public Employees Retirement System shall indicate to the system, on a form supplied by the system, a choice of whether to receive benefits under division (A) of section 145.33 of the Revised Code or under division (B) of that section.

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