Purpose: This amendment is to implement HB 1329, enacted during the 2005 session. The bill provides that, if a portion of a LEOFF Plan 1 member's benefit is subject to a property division obligation, the member may select a benefit option with a survivor feature with the remaining portion of the benefit.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 415-104-202.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 41.50.050(5), 41.26.164.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.
Reasons for this Finding: HB 1329 (chapter 67, Laws of 2005) requires the department to adopt rules by July 1, 2005, to implement the provisions of the bill.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: June 13, 2005.
June 13, 2005
S. J. Matheson
(2) What are flexible survivor benefit options? RCW 41.26.164 allows a retiree to provide a survivor option for a
spouse who does not otherwise qualify ((
as an eligible
surviving spouse)) for survivor benefits under RCW 41.26.160
or 41.26.161. The survivor option will provide a lifetime
benefit for the spouse after the retiree's death.
(3) How will the retiree's benefit be affected by selecting a flexible survivor option? The monthly benefit payment will be actuarially reduced beginning the first month following the month in which the department receives the completed form.
(4) What are the flexible survivor option choices?
(a) Joint and whole allowance option. When the retiree dies, the department pays the surviving spouse a monthly benefit equal to the gross monthly allowance then payable to the retiree.
(b) Joint and one-half allowance option. When the retiree dies, the department pays the surviving spouse a monthly benefit equal to one-half of the amount of the retiree's gross monthly retirement allowance then payable to the retiree.
(c) Joint and two-thirds allowance option. When the retiree dies, the department pays the surviving spouse a monthly benefit equal to two-thirds of the retiree's gross monthly retirement allowance then payable to the retiree.
(5) How does one qualify to add a flexible survivor option? A retiree may qualify to select a flexible survivor option if:
(a) The retiree's spouse does not ((
have a spouse who
qualifies as an eligible surviving spouse (see subsection (2)
of this section))) otherwise qualify for survivor benefits
under RCW 41.26.160 or 41.26.161;
The)) Some portion of the retiree's monthly benefit
is payable to the retiree, after any reduction pursuant to
(( not subject to a property settlement agreement from a court
decree of dissolution or legal separation)))) a property
division obligation under RCW 41.50.670; and
(c) The retiree has not previously selected a flexible survivor option.
(6) What steps must one take to add a flexible survivor option? To add a flexible survivor option, the retiree must:
(a) Make the choice during the one year window, on or after the date of the first anniversary and before the second anniversary of the marriage;
(b) Provide the department with proof of the birth date of the spouse and a copy of a marriage certificate as proof of the marriage; and
(c) Properly and in a timely manner complete and file the correct forms with the department.
(7) What happens if the survivor dies before the retiree? If the spouse dies before the retiree, the retiree's monthly retirement allowance increases, effective the first day of the following month, to the amount that the retiree would have received had the retiree not chosen a flexible survivor option plus any cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) the retiree received prior to the spouse's death.
(8) What happens to the eligible surviving children's share if the retiree selects a flexible survivor option? There is no impact to the benefit provided to surviving children if the retiree selects a flexible survivor option.
(9) Actuarial information. See chapter 415-02 WAC starting with WAC 415-02-300 for the tables, schedules, and factors the department uses for calculating retirement allowances.
Terms used in this section:
(a) Child or children - RCW 41.26.030(7).
(b) Eligible surviving child - RCW 41.26.160 and 41.26.161.
(c) Eligible surviving spouse - RCW 41.25.160, 41.26.161 and 41.26.162.
(d) Surviving spouse - RCW 41.26.030(6).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5), 41.26.162, 41.26.164, chapter 41.45 RCW. 03-12-014, § 415-104-202, filed 5/27/03, effective 7/1/03.]
Reviser's note: The typographical errors in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.