(1) "Employee" as used in this section and RCW 41.50.780
includes all full-time, part-time, and career seasonal employees of the state, a county, a municipality, or other political subdivision of the state, whether or not covered by civil service; elected and appointed officials of the executive branch of the government, including full-time members of boards, commissions, or committees; justices of the supreme court and judges of the court of appeals and of the superior and district courts; and members of the state legislature or of the legislative authority of any county, city, or town.
(2) The state, through the department, and any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state acting through its principal supervising official or governing body is authorized to contract with an employee to defer a portion of that employee's income, which deferred portion shall in no event exceed the amount allowable under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 401(a) or 457, and deposit or invest such deferred portion in a credit union, savings and loan association, bank, or mutual savings bank or purchase life insurance, shares of an investment company, individual securities, or fixed and/or variable annuity contracts from any insurance company or any investment company licensed to contract business in this state.
(3) Beginning no later than January 1, 2017, all persons newly employed by the state on a full-time basis who are eligible to participate in a deferred compensation plan under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 457 shall be enrolled in the state deferred compensation plan unless the employee affirmatively elects to waive participation in the plan. Persons who participate in the plan without having selected a deferral amount or investment option shall contribute three percent of taxable compensation to their plan account which shall be invested in a default option selected by the state investment board in consultation with the director. This subsection does not apply to higher education undergraduate and graduate student employees and shall be administered consistent with the requirements of the federal internal revenue code.
(4) Beginning no later than January 1, 2017, any county, municipality, or other political subdivision offering the state deferred compensation plan authorized under this section, may choose to administer the plan with an opt-out feature for new employees as described in subsection (3) of this section.
(5) Employees participating in the state deferred compensation plan under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 457 or money-purchase retirement savings plan under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 401(a) administered by the department shall self-direct the investment of the deferred portion of their income through the selection of investment options as set forth in subsection (6) of this section.
(6) The department can provide such plans as it deems are in the interests of state employees. In addition to the types of investments described in this section, the state investment board, with respect to the state deferred compensation plan under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 457 or money-purchase retirement savings plan under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 401(a), shall invest the deferred portion of an employee's income, without limitation as to amount, in accordance with RCW 43.84.150
, and 41.50.780
, and pursuant to investment policy established by the state investment board for the state deferred compensation plan under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 457 or money-purchase retirement savings plan under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 401(a). The state investment board, after consultation with the director regarding any recommendations made pursuant to RCW 41.50.088
(2), shall provide a set of options for participants to choose from for investment of the deferred portion of their income. Any income deferred under these plans shall continue to be included as regular compensation, for the purpose of computing the state or local retirement and pension benefits earned by any employee.
(7) Coverage of an employee under optional salary deferral programs under this section shall not render such employee ineligible for simultaneous membership and participation in any pension system for public employees.