City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

Title 03
Chapter 03.05
Section 03.05.275

Title 03 Administration and Personnel

Chapter 03.05 Spokane Employees' Retirement System

Section 03.05.275 Portability of Benefits
  1. The board is authorized to contract with the board of administration of the Tacoma employees’ retirement system and/or board of administration of the Seattle employees’ retirement system (each called a “participating system”) for the portability of retirement benefits of employees who are also members of the retirement systems of the cities of Tacoma and Seattle, respectively. The following terms and conditions shall apply in addition to such other requirements as may be established by rule of the board or the agreement with participating systems:

    1. The member must be in the active service of a participating system on or after the effective date of the board’s agreement for portability; a member retired from any of the three systems on the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter is not eligible.

    2. Creditable service may accrue in only one participating system at a time. A member who leaves City employment to enter military service may only receive creditable service for their military service in one of the participating systems according to its rules.

    3. A member may combine service credit in two or more participating systems for the sole purpose of determining the member’s eligibility to receive a service retirement allowance, but the member may not aggregate service credit in two or more retirement systems for the purpose of determining the percentage factor to be used in calculating a service retirement allowance.

    4. A member of two or more participating systems who is eligible to retire under any system may elect to retire from all the member’s systems and to receive a service retirement allowance. Each participating system shall calculate the allowance using its own criteria except that the member shall be allowed to use the member’s base salary from any participating system as the compensation used in calculating the allowance. “Base salary” means the salary or wages used by the participating system during a payroll period for making contributions to the system by its members generally. It includes salary or wages paid for personal services and wages and salary deferred under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. It excludes overtime payments (except as to service for the City of Spokane), non-money maintenance compensation and lump-sum payments for deferred annual leave, unused accumulated vacation, unused accumulated annual leave, any form of severance pay, any bonus for voluntary retirement, any other form of leave, or any similar lump-sum payment.

    5. The retirement allowances shall be paid separately by each participating system. Post-retirement adjustments, if any, shall be based upon the payments made by each participating system to the member.

    6. The total retirement allowances provided through portability of benefits shall not be less than the benefits payable by each participating system were there no portability.

    7. A participating system may pay a member of two or more systems a lump sum in lieu of a monthly benefit if the initial monthly benefit would be less than fifty dollars.

    8. If a member of two or more participating systems dies in service in any system, the surviving spouse shall receive the same benefit from each system that would have been received if the member were active in the system at the time of their death based upon service actually established in that system.

    9. The terms and conditions of the board’s agreement with the board of a participating system both establishes and limits the portability of benefits provided. The board’s agreements may be amended from time to time or supplemented by an agreement with the State of Washington for portability with state retirement systems. If the board amends its agreement with the board of a participating system or makes modifications to provide portability with state systems, the rights, terms and conditions for portability are subject to amendment or abolition at any time before a member retires.

    10. A member who:

      1. earned retirement credit for service in a participating system,

      2. withdrew their contributions from that system,

      3. lost service credit by making the withdrawal, and

      4. is now an active member of another participating system may restore their prior service credit in the participating system of their former municipal employer by redepositing an amount determined by the system board within one year after January 1, 1991. Any individual hired after January 1, 1992, shall be provided with a one-year period under portability to repay contributions. This does not extend the time period for those individuals in the system who have not taken advantage of the one-year “windowed” period from January 1, 1991, to December 31, 1991. The amount shall be measured by the accumulated contributions withdrawn, plus compound regular interest which would have accumulated on the withdrawn contributions from the date of withdrawal until the date of redeposit.

  2. As authorized by RCW 41.54.061 the City irrevocably elects to participate in the portability of public retirement systems as contemplated by chapter 41.54 RCW, and to pay for the additional cost it may incur as a result of the benefits provided. The eligibility of members for the portability of public retirement systems, the benefits available thereunder, the limitations (including RCW 41.54.080), and the procedures shall be as set out in chapter 41.54 RCW.

The benefit formula for any member who was covered by an earlier benefit formula, and takes a withdrawal of their accumulated contributions after termination pursuant to SMC 3.05.120(A) or (B), and who is subsequently rehired, will have benefits determined based on their participation date, regardless of whether the member restores their prior service under the prior benefit formula pursuant to portability rights under this SMC 3.05.275.

Date Passed: Monday, January 8, 2018

Effective Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

ORD C35574 Section 21