WSR 05-21-064

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

RETIREMENT SYSTEMS

[ Filed October 14, 2005, 9:14 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 05-04-011.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 415-111-310 Defined contribution account distribution (withdrawal); and 415-111-320 May I purchase a life annuity with my Plan 3 defined contribution account?

Hearing Location(s): Department of Retirement Systems, 6835 Capitol Boulevard, Conference Room 115, Tumwater, WA, on November 22, 2005, at 9:30 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: November 23, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: Leslie L. Saeger, Rules Coordinator, Department of Retirement Systems, P.O. Box 48380, Olympia, WA 98504-8380, e-mail leslies@drs.wa.gov, fax (360) 753-3166, by 5:00 p.m., November 22, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Leslie Saeger, Rules Coordinator, by November 15, 2005, TDD (360) 664-7291, TTY (360) 586-5450, phone (360) 664-7291.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed rules explain the types of annuities that Plan 3 members may purchase at the time of retirement and the requirements and process for purchasing such annuities.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 41.50.050(5).

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 41.50.088.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Department of Retirement Systems, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Leslie Saeger, P.O. Box 48380, Olympia, WA 98504-8380, (360) 664-7291; Implementation and Enforcement: Dave Nelsen, P.O. Box 48380, Olympia, WA 98504-8380, (360) 664-7291.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These rules have no effect on businesses.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The Department of Retirement Systems is not one of the named departments in RCW 34.05.328.

October 14, 2005

Leslie Saeger

Rules Coordinator

OTS-8001.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 03-19-120, filed 9/17/03, effective 11/1/03)

WAC 415-111-310   Defined contribution account distribution (withdrawal).   (1) How do I request a distribution (withdrawal) of funds from my defined contribution account?

(a) You must separate from all eligible employment;

(b) The department must receive the notice of separation from your employer(s) through the retirement transmittal system; and

(c) You must submit the appropriate, completed form requesting a defined contribution distribution to the department's designated recordkeeper as directed on the form. See WAC 415-111-110.

(2) Can I receive an expedited distribution?

(a) If you are terminally ill and eligible, the department will arrange for payment to you within ten workdays. To be eligible for an expedited payment:

(i) You must separate from all eligible employment;

(ii) The department must receive the notice of separation from your employer(s);

(iii) You or your beneficiaries must submit documentation to the department verifying your terminal illness; and

(iv) You must submit the appropriate, completed form requesting a defined contribution distribution to the department's designated recordkeeper as directed on the form (see WAC 415-111-110).

(b) If you have an emergency, the department will consider your request for expedited payment and arrange for expedited payment to you whenever possible. To be eligible for consideration:

(i) You must separate from all eligible employment;

(ii) The department must receive the notice of separation from your employer(s);

(iii) You must submit the appropriate, completed form requesting a defined contribution distribution to the department's designated recordkeeper as directed on the form (see WAC 415-111-110); and

(iv) You or your beneficiaries must submit documentation to the department verifying and explaining your emergency. The department will consider only unforeseeable emergencies or serious illnesses or death of you or a close family or household member.

(c) If you are invested in a self-directed option, the Plan 3 recordkeeper will distribute your entire self-directed account balance, less any applicable tax withholding.

(d) If you are invested in the Total Asset Portfolio (TAP), the Plan 3 recordkeeper will distribute 80% of your estimated TAP account balance, less any applicable tax withholding. You will be paid the balance of your account after the final valuation has been made.

(3) Can I still receive my defined contribution distribution if I have returned to work before receiving my funds? If you return to work in an eligible position after all the criteria in subsection (1) of this section are met, you may receive distribution from your defined contribution account.

(4) What are my options for distributing my defined contribution funds? You have the following options for distributions from your Plan 3 defined contribution account. Options for both the WSIB and the ((SELF)) self-directed investment programs are combined where applicable.

(a) Lump sum cash distribution. In either program, you may request the entire amount of your funds in a single lump-sum payment.

(b) Direct rollover. In either program, you may have some or all of your funds rolled over to an eligible retirement plan or individual retirement account (IRA). If you choose a partial rollover, the remaining funds that were not rolled over will be distributed to you as a lump sum, unless you create a personal payment schedule under (d) of this subsection.

(c) Scheduled payments. In either program, subject to the distribution requirements of IRC section 401 (a)(9), you may request that your funds be distributed in equal payments over a specified period of time, or that a specific dollar amount be paid on a monthly basis until the account is exhausted. You may also request equal payments over your lifetime or the lifetimes of you and your beneficiary. Scheduled payments for the WSIB program are made monthly only. Scheduled payments for the ((SELF)) self-directed program ((are)) may be made monthly, quarterly, semiannually ((and)) or annually. Both programs have a minimum payment requirement of one hundred dollars per month.

(d) Personalized payment plan. In either program, you may create a personalized payment plan using any part of one or more of the distribution options provided in (a), (b), and (c) of this subsection (see examples below).

(e) Annuity purchase. ((For the SELF-directed program only)) In either program, you may request to have your funds used to purchase an annuity ((from an insurance company which)) that pays a benefit for your lifetime or the lifetimes of you and your ((beneficiary)) joint annuitant. See WAC 415-111-320 for information about purchasing an annuity and descriptions of the various annuity contracts.

(5) Market fluctuations. Your defined contribution account is subject to actual investment earnings (both gains and losses). These gains or losses will be used to adjust the value of your account. The defined contribution payment plans are subject to the same market fluctuations. As a result, the funding of your selected payment plan may last longer than anticipated due to market gains, or end earlier than anticipated due to market losses.

EXAMPLE (WSIB - Partial rollover with payments until account exhausted):

Pat has $10,000 in the WSIB investment program. Pat wants to rollover $2,000 of the total to an IRA, but does not want to receive the remainder of the account in a lump sum payment as provided by the partial direct rollover option. Pat selects the personalized payment schedule option and requests to do a partial rollover of $2,000 and receive the remaining $8,000 in equal monthly payments of $125 until the account is exhausted (approximately 64 months).

EXAMPLE (Self - Partial rollover with payments for fixed period):

Chris has $10,000 in the self-directed investment program. Chris wants to rollover $3,000 of the total to an IRA, but does not want to receive the remainder of the account in a lump sum payment as provided by the partial direct rollover option. Chris selects the personalized payment schedule option and requests to do a partial rollover of $3,000 and receive the remaining $7,000 in quarterly payments of $250 over the next 7 years (28 quarters).


Summary of Distribution Options
SELF WSIB
Lump Sum Cash Distribution or Direct Rollover Lump Sum Cash Distribution or Direct Rollover
entire account entire account
partial amount partial amount
remaining funds can be distributed in a lump-sum payment or by a personalized payment schedule (see below). remaining funds can be distributed in a lump-sum payment or by a personalized payment schedule (see below).
Scheduled Payments Scheduled Payments
equal payments equal payments
monthly, quarterly, semiannual or annual monthly payments only
specified period of time, or specified period of time, or
until the account is exhausted until the account is exhausted
payments can be combined life expectancy of you and a beneficiary. payments can be combined life expectancy of you and a beneficiary.
Annuity Purchase ((Not available for WSIB program)) Annuity Purchase
purchase an annuity from an insurance company purchase an annuity, administered by the state of Washington
set up to pay benefits for set up to pay benefits for
your lifetime, or your lifetime, or
lifetimes of you and your ((beneficiary)) joint annuitant. lifetimes of you and your joint annuitant.
In addition to the above, you may set up: In addition to the above, you may set up:
Personalized Payment Plan Personalized Payment Plan
customized for your needs customized for your needs
available for options above. available for options above.

(6) Minimum required distribution. Beginning on April 1 of the calendar year following the year in which you turn age 70 1/2, you are required to withdraw a minimum amount from your defined contributions annually. If you are still working at age 70 1/2, distribution ((will be)) is required to begin immediately upon retirement.

(7) See RCW 41.34.070 for additional information.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5), 41.34.070(3). 03-19-120, 415-111-310, filed 9/17/03, effective 11/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5) and 41.34.070. 02-03-120, 415-111-310, filed 1/23/02, effective 3/1/02. Statutory Authority: Chapters 41.32, 41.34, 41.35, 41.50 RCW. 01-01-059, 415-111-310, filed 12/12/00, effective 1/12/01.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 415-111-320   May I purchase a life annuity with my Plan 3 defined contribution account?   Any time after you become eligible to withdraw funds from your Plan 3 account, you may use part or all of your funds to purchase a life annuity according to this section. To purchase a Total Allocation Portfolio (TAP) Annuity that is administered by the state of Washington you must use funds that are in the Washington state investment board (WSIB) investment program. To purchase an annuity through an insurance company that is offered by the self-directed investment program, you must use funds that are in the self-directed investment program.

(1) What is a life annuity? A life annuity is a contract that provides a guaranteed income for the rest of your life in exchange for a lump-sum dollar amount you pay up front. The contract specifies the amount you pay to purchase the annuity, the amount you will receive each month, and any other terms and conditions.

(a) A single life annuity is based on your lifetime. It provides guaranteed payments for as long as you live. The payments stop upon your death.

(b) A joint life annuity is based on two lifetimes, yours and another person that you choose (referred to as your joint annuitant). It provides guaranteed payments for as long as you live, and then for as long as your joint annuitant lives. The payments stop when both you and your joint annuitant die.

(c) A term certain -- Single life annuity is based on your lifetime. It provides you with regular payments for as long as you live. It also guarantees the payments for a specific, predetermined period of time (term certain). If you die before the specified period of time, payments will continue to your beneficiary for the balance of the specified period.

(d) A term certain -- Joint life annuity is based on two lifetimes, yours and your joint annuitant's. It provides regular payments for as long as you or your joint annuitant live. It also guarantees those payments for a specific, predetermined period of time (term certain). If you and your joint annuitant should both die before the specified period of time, payments will continue to your beneficiary for the balance of the specified period.

Example (Term certain -- Joint life annuity):

John purchased a 20-year term certain joint life annuity. He received monthly payments until his death 10 years later. Upon John's death, Mary, John's joint annuitant, will receive payments for the duration of her life.

If Mary lives for 5 years after John's death, upon her death the annuity will make payments to John's beneficiary for 5 years, the remainder of the 20-year term.
If Mary lives for 15 years after John's death, upon her death the annuity will cease. The annuity will have paid benefits for 25 years, five years beyond the 20-year guaranteed period.
(2) Are the life annuities offered by each investment program different? The life annuities offered through the WSIB investment program and the self-directed investment program have distinct features and options. Each program may offer some or all of the annuities described in subsection (1) of this section. Minimum purchase price, payment frequency, survivorship percentages, length of term certain annuities, and other optional features differ between programs as well.

(3) How are the annuity payments calculated? Your annuity payment amount is based on:

(a) The original purchase price;

(b) Your age;

(c) The age of your joint annuitant, if any;

(d) Assumptions about life expectancy;

(e) The survivorship percentage you select on a joint annuity;

(f) Anticipated investment returns; and

(g) The specific features of the annuity you select, such as, but not limited to, COLAs or refunds of any undistributed balance upon death.

(4) May I change my mind after I purchase an annuity? Your contract will specify a period of time in which you can rescind your decision to purchase the annuity. Once the rescission period expires, your decision is irrevocable.

(5) May I change the terms of the annuity after the rescission period expires? You may not make any changes after the rescission period unless your annuity contract explicitly states otherwise. Some policies allow you to make changes in specific circumstances. For instance, you may make changes to an annuity purchased through the Washington state investment board investment program only as follows:

(a) If you name someone other than your spouse as the joint annuitant, you may convert to a single life annuity at any time after your payments begin. This option may only be used once and is irrevocable.

(b) If you marry after purchasing a single life annuity, you may convert to a joint life annuity and name your new spouse as survivor, provided that:

(i) Your monthly benefit is not subject to a property settlement agreement from a court decree of dissolution or legal separation;

(ii) The selection is made during a one-year window on or after the date of the first anniversary and before the second anniversary of your marriage; and

(iii) You provide satisfactory proof of your new marriage and your new spouse's birth date. This option may only be used once and is irrevocable.

(6) What are the tax consequences of a life annuity?

(a) You, your joint annuitant or your beneficiary may be liable for federal and/or state taxes on payments from your annuity in the year in which they are received. You will receive an annual statement indicating the taxable portion of your annuity payments.

(b) If you do not submit a tax withholding Form W-4P to the department before your first payment, taxes will be withheld according to Internal Revenue Service requirements, using a filing status of married with three exemptions.

(c) The department does not:

(i) Guarantee that payments should or should not be designated as exempt from federal income tax;

(ii) Guarantee that it was correct in withholding or not withholding taxes from benefit payments to you;

(iii) Represent or guarantee that any particular federal or state income, payroll, personal property or other tax consequence will occur because of its nontaxable determination; or

(iv) Assume any liability for your compliance with the Internal Revenue Code.

(7) How do I purchase a life annuity?

(a) The forms required to purchase an annuity and the applicable directions are available on the department's website or upon request from the department, and include:

(i) Plan 3 Request for Payment of Defined Contributions Funds Form;

(ii) Plan 3 Annuity Payment Request Form;

(iii) Spousal consent form, if married;

(iv) Proof of your birth date;

(v) Proof of your joint annuitant's birth date, if applicable; and

(vi) Tax withholding Form W-4P.

(b) You may transfer funds from one investment program to the other in order to have sufficient funds in the appropriate investment program to cover the cost of the annuity purchase.

(8) What if there is an error in my contract? Carefully examine your contract upon receipt. If there is an error or omission, you must report the error or omission immediately according to the instructions in your contract.

[]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office