§ 3-2-1. Definitions  


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  • For the purposes of this Article, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this Section:

    (a)

    (1)

    For employees whose county or school board employment commenced by reporting for work before January 1, 2013 (members of Plans A or B), accrued sick leave credit shall mean the credit allowed a member with more than five years of service for purposes of determining retirement eligibility. Credit shall be allowed at the rate of one month for every 172 hours of accrued unused sick leave, and pro rata credit shall be allowed for each fraction thereof.

    (2) For employees whose county or school board employment commenced by reporting for work on or after January 1, 2013 (members of Plans C or D), accrued sick leave credit shall mean the credit allowed a member with more than five years of service for purposes of determining retirement eligibility. Credit shall be allowed at the rate of one month for every 172 hours of accrued unused sick leave, and pro rata credit shall be allowed for each fraction thereof; however, for employees whose county or school board employment commenced by reporting to work on or after January 1, 2013, notwithstanding the amount of the employee's accrued sick leave balance, the maximum amount of accrued sick leave credit that may be used for determining retirement eligibility and for computing the member's retirement benefits and allowances shall be the employee's accrued sick leave balance or 2,080 hours, whichever is less.

    (b) Accumulated contributions shall mean the sum of all amounts deducted or picked up from the compensation of a member and credited to his individual account in the members' contribution account, any amounts transferred from another retirement plan pursuant to Section 3-2-24.1, together with interest credited on such amounts and any other amounts he shall have contributed, or transferred thereto, as provided in Section 3-2-28(c).

    (c) Actuarial equivalent shall mean a benefit of equal value when computed upon the basis of the 1971 Group Annuity Mortality Table for Females and an interest rate of five percent.

    (d) Average final compensation shall mean the average annual creditable compensation of a member during the 36 consecutive months (78 consecutive pay periods for members who are paid on a biweekly basis) in which the member received his highest creditable compensation. In the event that a member's creditable service is less than 36 months (78 pay periods), his average final compensation shall be his average monthly creditable compensation received during the entire period of creditable service multiplied by 12 (average biweekly creditable compensation multiplied by 26 for biweekly paid members). In determining average final compensation for members who retire after July 1, 1988, the member's accrued unused sick leave at the time of retirement may, at the option of the member, be substituted for an equivalent period of creditable service as if the member had continued to work at his final salary during the period of his accrued unused sick leave; provided, however, that in determining the average final compensation for members who became members of this System on or after January 1, 2013 (i.e., members of Plans C or D), no more than 2,080 hours of the member's accrued unused sick leave may be used for this purpose. For purposes of computing a service-connected disability retirement allowance under Section 3-2-36, a member's average final compensation shall be computed as if the member had received compensation (including salary increases which the Board determines would have been awarded to the member) for any period prior to retirement during which the member ceased employment on account of a disability for which he received compensation under the Virginia Worker's Compensation Act.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, whenever the Human Resources Director, at the request of the Board, the member, or the member's beneficiary, determines that the member's receipt of a merit increment was delayed as a result of either or both of the amendments to Section 4.3-2 of the Personnel Regulations, effective July 13, 1991, and July 11, 1992, and that the member would otherwise have been entitled to such merit increment under the Personnel Regulations, based upon his or her review of the member's personnel and payroll records, the Board shall calculate the member's average final compensation in a manner which approximates the average final compensation the member would have if the member had received the merit increment at the time he or she would have been entitled to receive such merit increment but for the aforesaid amendments to Section 4.3-2 of the Personnel Regulations. In performing such calculation, the Board shall utilize the following assumptions and procedures:

    (1) If the employee was scheduled to receive a merit increment in Fiscal years 1992 and 1993, it is assumed that it was delayed.

    (2) The employee received no promotions, demotions, reclassifications or regrades from the date of the delayed merit increment(s).

    (3) The employee moved through the steps as quickly as possible according to his or her respective pay plan.

    (4) The delayed merit increments and all future merit increments occurred on the day and the month which is the same day and month when the employee retires.

    (5) The employee is assumed to be in full employment each year if in full employment at the time of the delayed merit increment and also at the time of retirement.

    (6) A factor shall be derived utilizing assumptions (1) through (5) and said factor shall be used to calculate the increase if any in a member's final average compensation. If at the time of retirement, the employee has service credit for three years or more at the longevity step, then there shall be no adjustment to the member's average final compensation.

    This amendment shall apply to all applications for allowances and benefits filed with the respective Boards of Trustees on or after July 13, 1991. The respective Boards of Trustees are hereby authorized and directed to make any necessary retroactive adjustments to allowances and benefits.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the case of any SESRP member, creditable compensation for each year after the effective date of the agreement referenced in Section 3-2-1(u) shall equal 1.05634 times the SESRP member's unadjusted compensation.

    (1) Periods of leave without pay under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 shall be disregarded in determining periods of consecutive months or payroll periods in calculating average final compensation.

    (e) Beneficiary shall mean any person, other than a member, entitled to receive benefits as provided by the System.

    (f) Board shall mean the Board of Trustees of the System, as provided for in this Article

    (g) Creditable compensation shall mean the full compensation, including pickup contributions, holiday hours worked, administrative emergency leave worked, shift differential paid and civilian roll call hours paid, but excluding all overtime pay except roll call hours paid, earned on or after July 1, 1993, and excluding performance bonuses, and amounts paid upon separation from employment which represent the unused portion of an employee's accrued annual leave. In cases where the compensation includes maintenance and other prerequisites, the Board shall fix the value of that portion of the compensation not paid in money. Effective for plan years after December 31, 1988, compensation in excess of $200,000.00 (as indexed under Section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code) shall be disregarded. Notwithstanding the foregoing, effective for members whose county or school board employment commenced by reporting for work on or after July 1, 1996, compensation in excess of the limit set forth in Section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code shall be disregarded. In determining the compensation of an employee under this plan section, the rules of Section 415(c)(3) shall apply. Effective for plan years on or after January 1, 2001 an employee's compensation shall include amounts not includible in gross income by reason of Section 132(f)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.

    (h) Creditable service shall mean the sum of membership service credit, plus prior service credit, plus portability credit purchased pursuant to Section 3-2-24.1, plus accrued sick leave service credit.

    (i) Employee shall mean any person regularly employed in rendering service to the County whose compensation is fully or partially paid directly or indirectly by the County. The term "employee" shall also include all officers and other persons regularly employed by the School Board who are not eligible for membership in the Virginia Retirement System.

    (j) Employer shall mean the County School Board or an authority in the general County having the power to appoint an employee to office or employment paid directly or indirectly by the County and/or the Board of Trustees of the System.

    (k) Medical Examining Board shall mean the physician or physicians provided for by Section 3-2-9.

    (l) Member shall mean any person included in the membership of the System as provided in Section 3-2-19.

    (m) Membership service credit shall mean credit for service rendered while a member of this System, or as otherwise provided in Section 3-2-23. Service rendered while a member of SESRP shall be treated without duplication as service rendered while a member of this System.

    (n)

    (1)

    For employees whose county or school board employment commenced by reporting for work before January 1, 2013 (members of Plans A and B), normal retirement date shall mean

    (A) The date on which a member in service attains the age of 50, provided said member's age while in service, combined with the years of his creditable service, equals at least the sum of 80 years; or

    (B) The date on which a member attains the age of 65.

    (2) For employees whose county or school board employment commenced by reporting for work on or after January 1, 2013 (members of Plans C and D), normal retirement date shall mean

    (A) The date on which a member in service attains the age of 55, provided said member's age while in service, combined with the years of his creditable service, equals at least the sum of 85 years; or

    (B) The date on which a member attains the age of 65.

    (o) Pickup contributions shall mean regular member's contributions which are picked up, through a salary reduction, by the County from active members for service rendered on or after December 22, 1984.

    (p) Plan A shall mean the option effective July 1, 1981, available to employees whose county or school board employment commenced by reporting for work on or before December 31, 2012, providing for current and new members to:

    (1) Contribute four percent of compensation up to the taxable wage base and five and one-third percent of compensation in excess of the taxable wage base; and

    (2) Receive normal (and early) retirement benefits based on one and eight-tenths percent of average final compensation up to his Social Security breakpoint plus two percent of his average final compensation in excess of his Social Security breakpoint times years of service.

    (q) Plan B shall mean the option effective July 1, 1981, available to employees whose county or school board employment commenced by reporting for work on or before December 31, 2012, providing for current and new members to:

    (1) Contribute five and one-third percent of all compensation; and

    (2) Receive normal (and early) retirement benefits based on two percent of the average final compensation times years of service.

    (r) Plan C shall mean the option effective beginning on January 1, 2013, providing for current and new members to:

    (1) Contribute four percent of compensation up to the taxable wage base and five and one-third percent of compensation in excess of the taxable wage base; and

    (2) Receive normal (and early) retirement benefits based on one and eight-tenths percent of average final compensation up to his Social Security breakpoint plus two percent of his average final compensation in excess of his Social Security breakpoint times years of service;

    subject to the definitions, terms and conditions applicable to Plan C set forth herein.

    (s) Plan D shall mean the option effective beginning on January 1, 2013, providing for current and new members to:

    (1) Contribute five and one-third percent of all compensation; and

    (2) Receive normal (and early) retirement benefits based on two percent of the average final compensation times years of service;

    subject to the definitions, terms and conditions applicable to Plan D set forth herein.

    (t) Prior service credit shall mean credit for service rendered prior to the establishment of this System on July 1, 1955, as provided in Section 3-2-24.

    (u) Retirement allowance shall mean the retirement payments to which a member is entitled as provided in this Article.

    (v) SESRP shall mean the former Fairfax County Senior Executive Service Retirement Plan.

    (w) SESRP member shall mean an individual who entered into an agreement with the County to participate in SESRP in lieu of further participation in the System and who was either still an active participant in SESRP or still receiving benefits under SESRP on January 1, 1996.

    (x) Service shall mean service as an employee for which compensation is paid by the employer, but shall not include time spent on leave without pay.

    (y) Social Security breakpoint shall mean the average of the taxable wage base for the 35 calendar years ending with the year in which the member attains Social Security normal retirement age. In determining a member's Social Security breakpoint during any particular plan year, it is assumed that the taxable wage in effect at the beginning of the plan year will remain the same for all future years.

    (z) System shall mean the Fairfax County Employees' Retirement System provided for in Section 3-2-2.

    (aa) Taxable wage base shall mean the maximum amount of wages received during the calendar year on which Social Security taxes are payable by the member and by the employer, as such amount is defined in Section 3121(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, or as that Section may be amended or superseded from time to time in the future.

    (bb) Executive Director shall mean the Executive Director of the Fairfax County Retirement Administration Agency.

    (cc) Internal Revenue Code shall mean the federal income tax statutes. (20-81-3; 5-85-3; 28-89-3; 27-90-3, § 1; 15-93-3; 22-93-3; 37-94-3; 25-95-3; 27-97-3; 14-00-3; 10-01-3; 18-01-3; 8-03-3; 8-04-3; 26-12-3.)