|Passed by the House March 6, 2010|
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Passed by the Senate March 4, 2010
President of the Senate
I, Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1679 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.
Governor of the State of Washington
Secretary of State
State of Washington
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2010 Regular Session|
READ FIRST TIME 02/02/10.
AN ACT Relating to access to catastrophic disability medical insurance under plan 2 of the law enforcement officers' and firefighters' retirement system; amending RCW 43.43.040; reenacting and amending RCW 41.26.470; and creating a new section.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 This act may be known as the Jason McKissack
Sec. 2 RCW 41.26.470 and 2009 c 523 s 6 and 2009 c 95 s 1 are
each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
(1) A member of the retirement system who becomes totally incapacitated for continued employment by an employer as determined by the director shall be eligible to receive an allowance under the provisions of RCW 41.26.410 through 41.26.550. Such member shall receive a monthly disability allowance computed as provided for in RCW 41.26.420 and shall have such allowance actuarially reduced to reflect the difference in the number of years between age at disability and the attainment of age fifty-three, except under subsection (7) of this section.
(2) Any member who receives an allowance under the provisions of this section shall be subject to such comprehensive medical examinations as required by the department. If such medical examinations reveal that such a member has recovered from the incapacitating disability and the member is no longer entitled to benefits under Title 51 RCW, the retirement allowance shall be canceled and the member shall be restored to duty in the same civil service rank, if any, held by the member at the time of retirement or, if unable to perform the duties of the rank, then, at the member's request, in such other like or lesser rank as may be or become open and available, the duties of which the member is then able to perform. In no event shall a member previously drawing a disability allowance be returned or be restored to duty at a salary or rate of pay less than the current salary attached to the rank or position held by the member at the date of the retirement for disability. If the department determines that the member is able to return to service, the member is entitled to notice and a hearing. Both the notice and the hearing shall comply with the requirements of chapter 34.05 RCW, the administrative procedure act.
(3) Those members subject to this chapter who became disabled in the line of duty on or after July 23, 1989, and who receive benefits under RCW 41.04.500 through 41.04.530 or similar benefits under RCW 41.04.535 shall receive or continue to receive service credit subject to the following:
(a) No member may receive more than one month's service credit in a calendar month.
(b) No service credit under this section may be allowed after a member separates or is separated without leave of absence.
(c) Employer contributions shall be paid by the employer at the rate in effect for the period of the service credited.
(d) Employee contributions shall be collected by the employer and paid to the department at the rate in effect for the period of service credited.
(e) State contributions shall be as provided in RCW 41.45.060 and 41.45.067.
(f) Contributions shall be based on the regular compensation which the member would have received had the disability not occurred.
(g) The service and compensation credit under this section shall be granted for a period not to exceed six consecutive months.
(h) Should the legislature revoke the service credit authorized under this section or repeal this section, no affected employee is entitled to receive the credit as a matter of contractual right.
(4)(a) If the recipient of a monthly retirement allowance under this section dies before the total of the retirement allowance paid to the recipient equals the amount of the accumulated contributions at the date of retirement, then the balance shall be paid to the member's estate, or such person or persons, trust, or organization as the recipient has nominated by written designation duly executed and filed with the director, or, if there is no such designated person or persons still living at the time of the recipient's death, then to the surviving spouse or domestic partner, or, if there is neither such designated person or persons still living at the time of his or her death nor a surviving spouse or domestic partner, then to his or her legal representative.
(b) If a recipient of a monthly retirement allowance under this section died before April 27, 1989, and before the total of the retirement allowance paid to the recipient equaled the amount of his or her accumulated contributions at the date of retirement, then the department shall pay the balance of the accumulated contributions to the member's surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, then in equal shares to the member's children. If there is no surviving spouse or children, the department shall retain the contributions.
(5) Should the disability retirement allowance of any disability beneficiary be canceled for any cause other than reentrance into service or retirement for service, he or she shall be paid the excess, if any, of the accumulated contributions at the time of retirement over all payments made on his or her behalf under this chapter.
(6) A member who becomes disabled in the line of duty, and who ceases to be an employee of an employer except by service or disability retirement, may request a refund of one hundred fifty percent of the member's accumulated contributions. Any accumulated contributions attributable to restorations made under RCW 41.50.165(2) shall be refunded at one hundred percent. A person in receipt of this benefit is a retiree.
(7) A member who becomes disabled in the line of duty shall be entitled to receive a minimum retirement allowance equal to ten percent of such member's final average salary. The member shall additionally receive a retirement allowance equal to two percent of such member's average final salary for each year of service beyond five.
(8) A member who became disabled in the line of duty before January 1, 2001, and is receiving an allowance under RCW 41.26.430 or subsection (1) of this section shall be entitled to receive a minimum retirement allowance equal to ten percent of such member's final average salary. The member shall additionally receive a retirement allowance equal to two percent of such member's average final salary for each year of service beyond five, and shall have the allowance actuarially reduced to reflect the difference in the number of years between age at disability and the attainment of age fifty-three. An additional benefit shall not result in a total monthly benefit greater than that provided in subsection (1) of this section.
(9) A member who is totally disabled in the line of duty is entitled to receive a retirement allowance equal to seventy percent of the member's final average salary. The allowance provided under this subsection shall be offset by:
(a) Temporary disability wage-replacement benefits or permanent total disability benefits provided to the member under Title 51 RCW; and
(b) Federal social security disability benefits, if any;
so that such an allowance does not result in the member receiving combined benefits that exceed one hundred percent of the member's final average salary. However, the offsets shall not in any case reduce the allowance provided under this subsection below the member's accrued retirement allowance.
A member is considered totally disabled if he or she is unable to perform any substantial gainful activity due to a physical or mental condition that may be expected to result in death or that has lasted or is expected to last at least twelve months. Substantial gainful activity is defined as average earnings in excess of eight hundred sixty dollars a month in 2006 adjusted annually as determined by the director based on federal social security disability standards. The department may require a person in receipt of an allowance under this subsection to provide any financial records that are necessary to determine continued eligibility for such an allowance. A person in receipt of an allowance under this subsection whose earnings exceed the threshold for substantial gainful activity shall have their benefit converted to a line-of-duty disability retirement allowance as provided in subsection (7) of this section.
Any person in receipt of an allowance under the provisions of this section is subject to comprehensive medical examinations as may be required by the department under subsection (2) of this section in order to determine continued eligibility for such an allowance.
(10) In addition to the retirement allowance provided in subsection (9) of this section, the retirement allowance of a member who is totally disabled in the line of duty shall include reimbursement for any payments made by the member after the effective date of this section for premiums on employer-provided medical insurance, insurance authorized by the consolidated omnibus budget reconciliation act of 1985 (COBRA), medicare part A (hospital insurance), and medicare part B (medical insurance). A member who is entitled to medicare must enroll and maintain enrollment in both medicare part A and medicare part B in order to remain eligible for the reimbursement provided in this subsection. The legislature reserves the right to amend or repeal the benefits provided in this subsection in the future and no member or beneficiary has a contractual right to receive any distribution not granted prior to that time.
Sec. 3 RCW 43.43.040 and 2009 c 549 s 5122 are each amended to
read as follows:
(1) The chief of the Washington state patrol shall relieve from active duty Washington state patrol officers who, while in the performance of their official duties, or while on standby or available for duty, have been or hereafter may be injured or incapacitated to such an extent as to be mentally or physically incapable of active service: PROVIDED, That:
(a) Any officer disabled while performing line duty who is found by the chief to be physically incapacitated shall be placed on disability leave for a period not to exceed six months from the date of injury or the date incapacitated. During this period, the officer shall be entitled to all pay, benefits, insurance, leave, and retirement contributions awarded to an officer on active status, less any compensation received through the department of labor and industries. No such disability leave shall be approved until an officer has been unavailable for duty for more than forty consecutive work hours. Prior to the end of the six-month period, the chief shall either place the officer on disability status or return the officer to active status.
For the purposes of this section, "line duty" is active service which encompasses the traffic law enforcement duties and/or other law enforcement responsibilities of the state patrol. These activities encompass all enforcement practices of the laws, accident and criminal investigations, or actions requiring physical exertion or exposure to hazardous elements.
The chief shall define by rule the situations where a disability has occurred during line duty;
(b) Benefits under this section for a disability that is incurred while in other employment will be reduced by any amount the officer receives or is entitled to receive from workers' compensation, social security, group insurance, other pension plan, or any other similar source provided by another employer on account of the same disability;
(c) An officer injured while engaged in willfully tortious or criminal conduct shall not be entitled to disability benefits under this section; and
(d) Should a disability beneficiary whose disability was not incurred in line of duty, prior to attaining age fifty, engage in a gainful occupation, the chief shall reduce the amount of his or her retirement allowance to an amount which when added to the compensation earned by him or her in such occupation shall not exceed the basic salary currently being paid for the rank the retired officer held at the time he or she was disabled. All such disability beneficiaries under age fifty shall file with the chief every six months a signed and sworn statement of earnings and any person who shall knowingly swear falsely on such statement shall be subject to prosecution for perjury. Should the earning capacity of such beneficiary be further altered, the chief may further alter his or her disability retirement allowance as indicated above. The failure of any officer to file the required statement of earnings shall be cause for cancellation of retirement benefits.
(2)(a) Officers on disability status shall receive one-half of their compensation at the existing wage, during the time the disability continues in effect, less any compensation received through the department of labor and industries. They shall be subject to mental or physical examination at any state institution or otherwise under the direction of the chief of the patrol at any time during such relief from duty to ascertain whether or not they are able to resume active duty.
(b) In addition to the compensation provided in (a) of this subsection, the compensation of an officer who is totally disabled during line duty shall include reimbursement for any payments of premiums made after the effective date of this section for employer-provided medical insurance. An officer is considered totally disabled if he or she is unable to perform any substantial gainful activity due to a physical or mental condition that may be expected to result in death or that has lasted or is expected to last at least twelve months. Substantial gainful activity is defined as average earnings in excess of eight hundred sixty dollars a month in 2006 adjusted annually as determined by the department of retirement systems based on federal social security disability standards. An officer in receipt of reimbursement for any payments of premium rates for employer-provided medical insurance under this subsection is required to file with the chief any financial records that are necessary to determine continued eligibility for such reimbursement. The failure of any officer to file the required financial records is cause for cancellation of the reimbursement. The legislature reserves the right to amend or repeal the benefits provided in this subsection (2)(b) in the future and no member or beneficiary has a contractual right to receive any distribution not granted prior to that time.