City of Meriden, CT
New Haven County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Meriden 1-7-1991.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Administration of government — See Ch. 3.
Municipal Pension Board — See Ch. 6, Art. XIII.
Personnel classification and compensation system — See Ch. 38.
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Establishment of system — See C.G.S. § 7-450 et seq.
Actuarial evaluation — See C.G.S. § 7-450a.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance repealed former Ch. 35, adopted 8-7-1972 and amended 3-4-1974 and 7-16-1984.
The following terms as used in this chapter, unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context, shall have the meanings indicated:
PAY
The salary or wages of an employee for his services with the City, including all grants and allowances for maintenance at such figures as may be determined by the Pension Board,[1] but regardless of any general temporary increase or reduction thereof.
PENSION
A payment made to an employee according to the provisions of this chapter, other than a return of contributions.
PENSION BOARD or THE BOARD
The Board created for the administration of the retirement system.[2]
REGULAR INTEREST
Interest at the rate determined from time to time by the Pension Board.
RETIREMENT FUND
The fund derived from contributions made as herein provided for the payment of pensions to City employees retired under this chapter.
RETIREMENT SYSTEM
The plan for retirement of City employees as established by this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: Throughout this chapter, references to the "Retirement Board" were amended to "Pension Board" at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 6, Art. XIII, Municipal Pension Board.
A. 
There shall be a retirement system for the City of Meriden, the management of which shall be vested in a Pension Board as established in Chapter 6, Boards, Commissions and Appointed Positions, Article XIII.
B. 
Said Pension Board shall be trustee of the retirement fund and shall have full control and management of all its securities and assets, with power to invest and reinvest the same in accordance with the provisions of the General Statutes governing the investment of trust funds; or the Pension Board may provide, by trust agency, custodian or other agreement with a corporate fiduciary or any insurance company, for the custody, safekeeping, handling, investment and reinvestment of the fund's assets. The Pension Board shall submit annually, to the City Council of the City of Meriden, a schedule of estimated appropriations of money necessary for the administration of this chapter, and it shall receive, control, manage and expend all of said funds according to the provisions of this chapter, including any moneys contributed by employees, with the same powers of investment and reinvestment as herein provided. Said Pension Board shall determine the eligibility of an employee and his rights, and the rights of the City under this chapter; shall make bylaws and regulations not inconsistent with the law for administration of this chapter; and shall do all things necessary and proper toward carrying out the purposes for which the retirement system is created. It shall hire and dismiss any employees of the Pension Board necessary for the proper administration of this chapter and fix their compensation and shall engage expert actuarial auditing and medical service when, in the judgment of the Pension Board, it is advisable.
The terms of this chapter shall apply to all regular full-time employees, including elected or appointed officials, of the City of Meriden and all employees of the school, provided that said terms shall not apply to members of the State Teachers' Retirement Association nor to teachers who were at any time eligible for membership therein, nor shall the terms of this chapter apply to regular firemen or policemen. Regular full-time employees shall be deemed to be those whose principal employment is by the City of Meriden and whose employment required continuous service to the City of Meriden for at least 30 hours per week for at least nine months of a year or for at least 20 hours per week for 12 months of a year during the City's usual business hours. Completed months' service shall be considered as fractional parts of a year.
A. 
Each eligible employee in the service of the City on July 1, 1972, shall be required to participate in the retirement system, unless within the three months next following he shall notify the Pension Board in writing of his intention not to participate in the system. If such employee gives notice of his intention not to participate, he shall not thereafter be admitted to the retirement system unless he makes a new application to participate within two years after July 1, 1972, and he shall then be admitted only with the unanimous consent of the Pension Board after having passed a prescribed physical examination and upon payment of an amount equal to the contributions he would have been required to make, with regular interest compounded annually.
B. 
Each eligible employee not over 55 years of age who shall enter the service of the City at any time after July 1, 1972, shall, at the beginning of his employment, be required to participate in the retirement system, and such participation shall be a condition of his continued employment, provided that an elected or appointed official shall not be required to participate in the retirement system if, within three months following the effective date of his election or appointment, he notifies the Pension Board in writing of his intention not to participate.
C. 
Participation in the retirement system shall not be a condition of the continued employment of an employee over 55 years of age entering the service of the City at any time after July 1, 1972, but such employee may elect, upon the beginning of his employment, to participate in the retirement system, and, failing to elect at that time, he shall not thereafter be admitted to the retirement system unless he makes a new application to participate within the two years next following, and then only with the unanimous consent of the Pension Board after having passed a prescribed physical examination and upon payment of the amount he would have been required to contribute to the retirement system during the interim, with regular interest thereon compounded annually.
D. 
All pensions payable to former employees who have been retired shall be assumed by the retirement system and paid thereafter from its funds.
E. 
Eligible employees not now participating in the retirement system in accordance with the aforementioned or previous conditions shall be given the opportunity as of July 1, 1989, to become members of the plan and buy back up to 50% of their past service or 10 years, whichever is greater. The Board shall have the authority to establish a reasonable period of time during which such buyback payments may be made. It shall establish a schedule of payments based on the amounts involved and the pay schedule of the employee, as it may deem appropriate.
The City of Meriden shall be liable to the Pension Board for such an amount on account of future pensions representing service of employees covered by this chapter rendered prior to the inception of the retirement system as shall be determined by the Board on sound actuarial principles. In lieu of full payment initially of such an amount, the City shall pay periodically such amounts as the Pension Board determines are necessary to discharge such liability over a definite period not exceeding 40 years. The City shall also pay annually to the Pension Board such amounts as are determined by the Pension Board on sound actuarial principles to be necessary, in addition to contributions of the employees, to provide future pensions on account of service rendered by employees subsequent to the date upon which each shall begin participation in the retirement system.
[Amended 3-4-2002]
A. 
Contributions to be made by all employees participating in the retirement system shall be at the uniform rate of 6%. Two percent of each employee contribution shall be contributed to the Retiree Health Insurance Fund administered by the City. Such contributions shall be collectible from employees as deductions from pay and transmitted immediately to the Pension Board and the Retiree Health Insurance Fund. In the event of the discontinuance of a member's employment by the City or in the event of his death prior to the date of his eligibility for retirement, the Pension Board shall pay to him or to his legal representatives or to a beneficiary to be named by him or to his legal representatives or to a beneficiary to be named by him an amount equal to his contributions under this section, plus regular interest thereon compounded annually. In the event of the death of any employee after retirement, the payment shall be the amount of any excess of his accumulated contributions at his date of retirement over pension benefits made to him.
B. 
Where an employee is eligible for normal or early retirement benefit but has chosen to remain in active employment and dies during this period, his spouse may elect either to receive an amount equal to the employee's contributions under this section, plus regular interest thereon compounded annually, in a lump sum, or a benefit equal to 50% of the benefit the employee would have received had he retired the day before his death and elected the fifty-five-percent optional form of payment under § 35-7A(5)(b).
Any member of the retirement system who has completed 10 years of service as an employee of the City of Meriden and who has attained the age of 65 years or who has any combination of years of service and age equaling 80 (Rule of 80) with a minimum of 10 years of service shall be eligible for normal retirement under the provisions of this chapter. Any such member may retire from service by filing with the Pension Board a written statement, duly attested, setting forth at what time subsequent to the date of filing thereof, but not less than 60 days subsequent to such date, he desires to be retired, or the Pension Board may, at its option, upon a showing of just cause, retire any such eligible member, other than an elected official or employee in the employ of the City of Meriden on September 1, 1957, by furnishing him written notice thereof at least 60 days in advance of the specified date of retirement. Any member not retiring when he is first eligible shall continue to be a participant, shall continue to make contributions and shall accrue additional benefits subject to the maximum pension determined in accordance with § 35-7 hereof.
A. 
Any member of the retirement system who, after 10 years of continuous service as an employee of the City of Meriden, shall be totally and permanently disabled, except as a result of his own willful misconduct, from earning compensation at any substantially gainful employment, as such employment shall be determined by the Board in its discretion, may be retired for disability in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, whether or not such disability resulted from injuries arising out of and in the course of his employment with said City, provided that proof of total disability is submitted to the Pension Board, which shall cause examinations to be made by at least two impartial medical examiners, and provided that such total disability, if shown to the satisfaction of the Pension Board to have been sustained during the performance of essential duties pertaining to his employment by the City of Meriden, shall entitle such member to retirement for disability irrespective of the duration of his employment, and, in computing his pension, credit for 10 years' service shall be used if employed less than that number of years.
B. 
"Continuous service," for the purpose of this section, shall mean uninterrupted employment, but absence from employment for any reason followed by reinstatement within one year thereafter shall not be considered as breaking the continuity of the employee's service. In the case of absence from employment for more than one year, the Pension Board shall determine the period within which the employee may return without breaking the continuity of his service. Reinstatement of an employee in the retirement system shall be conditioned upon such medical examination as the Pension Board may prescribe and upon payment to the retirement fund of contributions previously withdrawn, together with such an amount as will establish the proper actuarial reserve for that portion of the annuity reinstated which was represented by the contributions previously withdrawn.
C. 
In computing years of service to determine eligibility for retirement, no year shall be included in which the employee has not been in actual service. Time spent as a member of any of the various boards or in any capacity rendering incidental service to the City of Meriden shall not be included. Time spent under leave of absence in the military or naval forces of the United States in time of war or for compulsory service in the military or naval forces of the United States in time of peace shall be included, provided that the employee has received an honorable discharge or certificate of satisfactory completion of service and has been reemployed by the City of Meriden within 90 days after such discharge or completion of service.
D. 
No employee who has been eligible for benefits under, but has made no contributions to, any other retirement system of the City of Meriden shall receive credit hereunder for the period of service represented by employment during the time such other system was in effect, unless he pays to the Pension Board an amount equal to the contributions required by such other retirement system, subject to such rules and regulations as the Board shall prescribe.
A. 
The Pension Board shall pay, on a monthly basis, to each member who has been retired under this chapter, a pension for life according to the following schedule:
(1) 
Effective January 1, 1984, and only for those employees retiring after January 1, 1984, the annual amount of the normal-age retirement benefit shall equal 1 1/2% of the average annual pay of the highest three consecutive years in the last 10 years prior to retirement multiplied by years of continuous service in the plan. This rate of 1 1/2% shall be effective until January 1, 1985, at which time it shall increase to 1.60% of said computation. This rate of 1.60% shall be effective until July 1, 1986, at which time it shall increase and shall thereafter remain at 1.75% of said computation. All those employees retiring after January 1, 1984, but before July 1, 1989, shall be entitled to each of the above rate percentage increases as they become effective. Effective July 1, 1991, and only for those employees retiring after July 1, 1989, the annual amount of the normal-age retirement benefit shall be equal to 2% of the average annual pay of the highest three consecutive years in the last 10 years prior to retirement multiplied by years of continuous service in the plan.
(2) 
Early retirement. Employees may retire when they have attained age 55 with a minimum of 10 years of service and receive a retirement benefit as determined in Subsection A(1) above based on their continuous service to date of retirement, actuarially reduced to reflect such earlier retirement.
(3) 
At termination of employment before the completion of 10 years of service, an employee shall receive a refund of his/her own contributions plus regular interest.
(4) 
At termination of employment after the completion of 10 years of service, if an employee does not withdraw his/her own contributions plus regular interest, he/she shall be entitled to a retirement benefit as determined in Subsection A(1) and (2) above commencing at normal retirement date based on his/her continuous service.
(5) 
Form of retirement benefit. Normal form is a life benefit payable for the lifetime of the participant only. (See § 35-5 for death benefit, if any.) Optional forms can be elected by the participant in lieu of the normal form:
(a) 
Ten years certain and continuous option provides a member with an actuarially reduced pension during his lifetime dependent upon his age; but upon his death, provided that it occurs before the expiration of the period certain, the same payment shall be made for the remainder of the selected period to a recognized beneficiary.
(b) 
One hundred percent joint and survivor option provides a member with an actuarially reduced pension during his lifetime dependent upon his age and the age of his designated joint and survivor; but upon his death, provided that it occurs before his designated joint and survivor, the same payment shall be made to the designated joint and survivor for such survivor's remaining lifetime. The member may name as his designated joint and survivor his spouse, dependent parent, brother, sister or friend.
(6) 
Cost of living adjustment (COLA). Effective July 1, 1993, and only for those employees retiring after July 1, 1989, such retiring members shall receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA) at retirement. The cost of living adjustment (COLA) shall be equal to 2% compounded every year beginning the later of age 62 or two years from the date of retirement with a lifetime cap. In no event shall a COLA over a lifetime amount to more than 50% of the original pension amount.
[Amended 3-4-2002]
B. 
Notwithstanding any provision of this plan to the contrary, any option will not be effective unless the beneficiary or joint annuitant is the spouse of the participant or unless the actuarial value of the income expected to be paid to the participant during his lifetime is at least 50% of the full value of the benefits.
C. 
The Pension Board shall pay to each member who has been retired for disability according to the provisions of this chapter a pension during the continuance of such disability as follows: prior to the completion of 10 years of service, for a disability arising out of and in the course of his employment, an amount determined in the same manner as for a member completing 10 or more years of service, provided that no pension payable to an employee on account of total and permanent disability sustained during the performance of essential duties pertaining to employment by the City of Meriden, as provided herein, shall be less than 1/2 (50%) the annual rate of regular pay received by the employee at the time of disability. After 10 years of service, for a disability arising from whatever cause, a monthly amount shall be determined at 1 1/2% of the average annual pay of the highest three consecutive years in the last 10 years prior to retirement multiplied by years of continuous service in the plan.
(1) 
The above rate established for disability pension for injuries incurred after 10 years of service shall be effective until January 1, 1985, at which time it shall increase to 1.60% of said computation. This rate of 1.60% shall be effective until January 1, 1986, at which time it shall increase to and thereafter remain at 1.75% of said computation. All those employees retired for disability after January 1, 1984, shall be entitled to each of the above rate percentage increases, as they become effective. Effective July 1, 1991, and only for those employees retiring after July 1, 1989, the annual amount of the disability pension shall be equal to 2% of the average annual pay of the highest three consecutive years in the last 10 years prior to retirement multiplied by years of continuous service in the plan.
(2) 
The Pension Board may, from time to time, call for medical evidence that the employee continues to be totally disabled. If the Pension Board, upon medical evidence, concludes that the disability for which the employee is receiving a pension no longer exists or if the Board, in its discretion, determines that such employee is engaged in gainful employment, the Pension Board shall thereupon order a discontinuance of the pension payable to such employee.
D. 
All pension payments shall represent completed months of retirement and shall become due and payable to the persons entitled thereto on the last day of each calendar month, provided that the initial pension payment to a retired member shall be computed as the pro rata amount of his regular monthly pension corresponding to the fraction of the month elapsed since the effective date of his retirement.
E. 
No pension payable under this section shall exceed 60% of the average annual pay of the highest three consecutive years in the last 10 years prior to retirement.
All moneys received by any member as an award under the Workers' Compensation Act, except as provided in Section 8 of Number 532 of the Special Acts of 1957, as amended in § 35-3, shall be deducted from any concurrent payments provided under this chapter.
No action for amounts due under the provisions of this chapter shall be brought except within three years after the right of action accrues. Persons legally incapable of bringing an action when the right accrues may sue at any time within the three years next after becoming legally capable of instituting suit. All amounts not claimed within said period shall remain absolutely a part of the retirement fund.
The right of any person to a pension or to the return of contributions, any benefit or right accruing to any person under the provisions of this chapter, and the cash and securities held under this chapter shall be exempt from any state or municipal tax and exempt from levy and sale, garnishment, attachment or any other process and shall be unassignable.
The Pension Board shall, on or before April 1 of each year, file with the City Council an annual report showing the financial condition of the retirement system as of the end of the last completed fiscal year, including an actuarial valuation of assets and liabilities and setting forth such other facts, recommendations and data as may be of value to the members of the Pension Board and the City of Meriden.
This chapter shall take effect July 1, 1972. Benefits paid under this plan shall be effective as to all employees who have retired from the City of Meriden during and after the calendar year of 1972 and who were members of the pension plan in effect at the time of their retirement.
Any person employed by the City of Meriden on the effective date of this chapter and covered by the retirement system established under Number 532 of the Special Acts of 1957, as revised by the State Legislature June 1961, may, within six months of said effective date, elect to accept the benefits of said Act as it existed prior to said date or as amended by the provisions of this chapter.
A. 
Amendment right. The provisions of this plan may be amended at any time and from time to time by the City Council; provided, however, that no amendment shall cause or permit, prior to the satisfaction of all liabilities of the plan, any part of the fund to revert to or become the property of the City or to be diverted to purposes other than for exclusive benefit of members, retired members, terminated members with a vested interest, coparticipants or beneficiaries of deceased retired members hereunder, nor shall any amendment effect adversely in any way any vested rights theretofore acquired by such members, coparticipants or beneficiaries, except as may otherwise be necessary to meet the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service or other governmental authority.
B. 
Termination right. Although the City hopes to continue the retirement system and the contributions to the Board indefinitely, the City may, by action of the City Council, terminate the retirement system and all further contributions thereunder for any reason and at any time. If the City temporarily discontinues its contributions or suspends them in whole or in part, and if such temporary discontinuance becomes a permanent discontinuance, such permanent discontinuance shall be deemed to constitute termination of the retirement system as of the date the contributions were first discontinued.
C. 
Allocation of assets upon termination. In the event of termination of the retirement system, the Board shall first allocate an amount of the retirement fund to each member, retired member, terminated member with a vested interest, coparticipant, beneficiary of a deceased member or beneficiary of a deceased retired member equal to the amount of the contributions, accumulated at regular interest, standing to the credit of each member as of the retirement system's termination date, each terminated member with a vested interest as of his termination date, each retired member as of his retirement date, the beneficiary of a deceased member as of the date of such member's decease and the beneficiary or coparticipant of a deceased retired member as of such member's retirement date, less all amounts received from the retirement fund by such member, terminated member, retired member, deceased retired member, beneficiary and/or coparticipant. Such amounts so allocated shall be paid to the respective members, retired members, terminated members with a vested interest, coparticipants or beneficiaries unless a written election is made by such person to have the amount to which he is so entitled held in the retirement fund and added to the amount, if any, which shall be set aside for his benefit under their terms of the following sentence. The remaining net assets in the retirement fund after deduction of all termination expenses shall then be allocated by the Board in an equitable manner among the members, retired members, terminated members with vested interest, coparticipants and beneficiaries in the following order of precedence to provide for accrued benefits, which shall be 100% vested as of the date of discontinuance, and such allocation shall be final:
Order of Precedence
Classification at Date of Termination
Class I
Retired members; coparticipants; beneficiaries of deceased members or retired members; members eligible for normal retirement under § 35-6
Class II
Members eligible for early retirement under § 35-7; terminated members with a vested interest
Class III
All other members
D. 
Disposition of assets after allocation. Such allocation shall be accomplished through either continuance of the retirement fund or a new retirement fund or purchase of insurance or annuity contracts (either group or individual) as the Board shall determine.
E. 
Exclusive benefits. This plan has been adopted for the exclusive benefit of certain employees of the City and their beneficiaries. The City shall have no beneficial interest in the retirement fund or any part thereof, and no part of the retirement fund shall ever revert or be repaid to the City, either directly or indirectly, except for such part of the retirement fund, if any, which remains in the fund after satisfaction of all liabilities to persons entitled to benefits under the plan.
A. 
For the purpose of this section the term "plan date" means the effective date of the retirement system and each later date as of which the retirement system is amended so as to increase the benefits to be provided for highly compensated employees by the City's contributions.
B. 
With respect to each plan date of the City, the term "restricted employee" means any of the 25 highest paid employees of the City on such date whose anticipated yearly amount of pension provided by City contributions exceeds $1,500.
C. 
If at any time during the ten-year period beginning on a plan date the retirement system is terminated, the City contributions which may be used for the benefit of a restricted employee shall not exceed the greatest of the following amounts:
(1) 
Twenty thousand dollars.
(2) 
An amount computed by multiplying 20% of the first $50,000 of the employee's average regular annual compensation during his last five years of service by the number of years for which the full current costs of the retirement system have been met since the plan date, plus, if the plan date is after the effective date, the City contributions, or funds attributable thereto, which would have been applied to provide benefits for the employee if the retirement system had terminated on the day before the plan date.
(3) 
If the plan date is after the effective date, the contributions, or funds attributable thereto, which would have been applied to provide benefits for the employee if the retirement system as in effect on the day before the plan date and have been continued without charge.
D. 
If at any time during the ten-year period beginning on a plan date the full current costs of the retirement system have not been met, then, until the full current costs are funded for the first time thereafter, the benefits payable on the coverage of a restricted employee shall not exceed the benefits that would have been payable on his coverage had the retirement system been terminated when such costs were not met.
E. 
When the limitation on contributions is being terminated for more than one plan date, the applicable limitation will be the smallest of the amounts determined for each plan date.
F. 
The foregoing conditions shall not restrict the current payment of the full benefits called for by the retirement system for an employee while the retirement system remains in effect and the full current costs have been met.
G. 
The foregoing conditions shall not restrict the full payment of any benefits called for by the retirement system for the coparticipant of an employee who dies while the plan remains in effect and the full current costs have been met.
H. 
The terms of this section shall prevail over any other terms of the retirement system that may be inconsistent herewith.
I. 
Notwithstanding anything in the retirement system to the contrary, in the event that the Internal Revenue Service shall issue an adverse determination letter as to the initial qualifications of the retirement system under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, then the City shall direct the Board to return to the City all contributions made to the fund prior to the date of receipt of such determination letter, whereupon such contributions shall be so returned.