State of Washington
64th Legislature
2016 Regular Session
By Senate Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Pearson, Hasegawa, and Conway)
AN ACT Relating to service credit for pension purposes for certain emergency medical services employees; adding a new section to chapter 41.40 RCW; and creating a new section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. (1) Local governments formed intergovernmental consortiums, also known as provider groups, to provide emergency medical services over their shared geographic area. Funds collected through an emergency services levy under RCW 84.52.069 were used to fund the consortium. Employees funded by the consortium provided services to the citizens of all the consortium members.
(2) The attorney general has ruled that where such a consortium is formed pursuant to an interlocal agreement, the consortium members retain their legal responsibilities as employers under the law enforcement officers' and firefighters' retirement system and public employees' retirement system. That is, the employees providing services to the consortium are entitled to retirement system membership if they otherwise meet membership eligibility requirements (AGO 2007 No. 6).
(3) This act is intended to provide those public employees with an opportunity to establish service credit in the public employees' retirement system for emergency medical services they provided to the public on behalf of a consortium or provider group.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 41.40 RCW under the subchapter heading "provisions applicable to plan 1, plan 2, and plan 3" to read as follows:
(1) An employee providing emergency medical services for a consortium of local governments, where some of those local governments qualified as public employees' retirement system employers at the time the service was rendered, may make an election to establish credit for service performed prior to July 27, 2003, as a full-time emergency medical technician serving the consortium to the public employees' retirement system. This option is only available to employees who:
(a) Performed services for a consortium of local governments fully contained within the boundaries of a county whose population on the effective date of this section exceeds seven hundred thousand residents but is less than eight hundred thousand residents; and
(b) File a written election to establish service credit under this section with the department of retirement systems no later than June 30, 2026.
(2)(a) The department of retirement systems shall treat the consortium member with the largest current population among consortium members who qualified as a public employees' retirement system employer at the time the service was rendered as the employer for purposes of this section. This employer classification:
(i) Is solely for the purpose of streamlining reporting service and compensation credit and paying contributions for periods of service covered by this section; and
(ii) Does not mean that the consortium member is the employee's employer for any other purpose.
(b) All contributions, including interest, required for past periods of service established under this section shall be by the employees electing to establish service credit under this section.
(i) Employee contributions shall be calculated by the department equal to the contributions that would have been paid by the employee had the employee been a member of public employees' retirement system.
(ii) Employer contributions shall be calculated by the department equal to the contributions that would have been paid by the employer had the employee been reported in public employees' retirement system.
(iii) All contributions must be submitted by the employer under (a) of this subsection within five years of electing to establish service credit under this section.
(3) If a member who elected to establish service credit under this section dies or retires for disability prior to payment of contributions under subsection (2)(b) of this section, the member, or in the case of death the surviving spouse or eligible minor children, may:
(a) Pay the bill in full;
(b) If a continuing monthly benefit is chosen, have the benefit actuarially reduced to reflect the amount of the unpaid obligation under subsection (2)(b) of this section; or
(c) Continue to make payment against the obligation under subsection (2)(b) of this section, provided that payment in full is made no later than five years from the member's original election date.
--- END ---