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Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

31 CFR Part 29

RIN 1505-AC02

Federal Benefit Payments Under Certain District of Columbia Retirement Plans

AGENCY: Departmental Offices, Treasury.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The Department of the Treasury, Departmental Offices, is issuing final regulations to implement the provisions of Title XI of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, as amended (the Act) related to the split between Federal and District obligations. Pursuant to the Act, with certain exceptions, Treasury has responsibility for payment of benefits based on service accrued as of June 30, 1997, under the retirement plans for District of Columbia teachers, police officers, and firefighters. Benefits for service after that date, and certain other benefits, are funded by the District of Columbia. These regulations amend earlier regulations which implement the provisions of the Act, establishing the methodology for determining the split between the Federal and District obligations. The effective date was delayed pending completion of Treasury's new automated retirement system, "System to Administer Retirement" (STAR), which replaced the District's legacy automated retirement system. While the new system has been completed, the amended regulations establish additional rules and provide additional examples of benefit calculation scenarios, a need identified during systems development. The amendments have minimal financial impact and were introduced to simplify calculations and maintain consistency with the general principles established in the original regulations.
DATES: This final rule is effective November 19, 2012.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Cicchetti, (202) 622-1859, Department of the Treasury, Office of D.C. Pensions, Metropolitan Square Building, Room 6G503, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20220.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On December 12, 2000, the Department of the Treasury (the Department or Treasury) published (at 65 FR 77500) regulations to implement Title XI of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Public Law 105-33, 111 Stat. 251, 712-731, 756-759, as amended by the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1999, Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-530 through 538, 2681-552, and the District of Columbia Retirement Protection Improvement Act of 2004, Public Law 108-489 (the Act). The Act transferred certain unfunded pension liabilities from the District of Columbia (the District) government to the Federal Government. Pursuant to the Act, with certain exceptions, Treasury is responsible for payment of benefits based on service accrued as of June 30, 1997, the date defined in the Act as the “freeze date”. Under the Act, the Department calculates its obligations based on the terms of the retirement plans for District of Columbia teachers, police officers, and firefighters in effect as of June 29, 1997, referred to as the “District Retirement Program.” Benefits for service after June 30, 1997, and other benefits, e.g., certain disability benefits, remain a District responsibility. These regulations addressed the Department's responsibility for retirement benefits in those situations where the benefit responsibility is shared between Treasury and the District. All benefit payments that are the responsibility of the Department under the Act are referred to as Federal Benefit Payments. Any remaining benefit payments to which an individual is entitled under the District's retirement plans are the responsibility of the District and are referred to as “District benefit payments.” Annuities which consist of Federal Benefit Payments and District benefit payments are referred to as “split benefits.”

The Act also established the District of Columbia Judicial Retirement and Survivors Annuity Fund, administered by Treasury's Office of D.C. Pensions (ODCP). Because the D.C. judges' benefits are now entirely a federal responsibility, the proposed split benefit regulations, discussed below, do not apply to the judges' benefit calculations.

Subpart C of the regulations (originally published at 65 FR 77500, 77503), contains the methodology for determining Federal Benefit Payments in situations where a teacher, police officer, or firefighter has service with the District of Columbia both before and after June 30, 1997, i.e., split benefits. On March 29, 2001, 66 FR 17222, the Department announced that it was “postponing indefinitely” the effective date of subpart C of the regulations because “Treasury decided to acquire an upgraded version of the replacement system software. This decision, coupled with the need to accommodate integration of the replacement system with systems implementation schedules of the government of the District of Columbia, protracted the implementation schedule for Treasury's replacement system.” 66 FR 17222.

Treasury's ODCP, the District's Office of Payroll Services (OPRS), and the District of Columbia Retirement Board (DCRB) collaborated on the development of the replacement system, known as “System to Administer Retirement” (STAR). STAR is an automated pension/payroll system which supports the end-to-end business processes for retirement. STAR, which replaced the District's legacy system, calculates retirement and survivor benefits for the District's teachers, police officers and firefighters, regardless of whether their service accrued before or after the “freeze date” for Federal Benefit Payments.

From the earliest stages of this effort, Treasury worked with the District to arrive at key decisions for STAR development. Pursuant to Section 11041 of the Act, the District continues as the benefits administrator during the interim administration period, which is ongoing. Originally, OPRS performed the benefits administration function. DCRB assumed responsibility for benefits administration for both District benefit payments and Federal Benefit Payments on September 26, 2005. As benefits administrator, OPRS, and now DCRB, participated with Treasury to: Develop a proposed system that met theprograms' needs; develop the approach for addressing and resolving issues; make decisions about development; test the system being developed; review the status of projects; evaluate readiness and approve plans for implementation.

As Treasury explained in the preamble to the original proposed regulations in 1999, 64 FR at 69435, unless an exception applies under the Act, the general rule for the calculation of Federal Benefit Payments states that in all cases “in which some service becomes creditable on or before June 30, 1997 and some service becomes creditable after June 30, 1997, Federal Benefit Payments are computed under the rules of the applicable plan as though: (1) The employee was eligible to retire as of June 30, 1997, under the same conditions as the actual retirement (that is, using the annuity computation formula that applies under the plan in effect on June 29, 1997, and the retirement age, including any applicable age reduction, based on the age at actual retirement; (2) the service that became creditable after June 30, 1997 did not exist; and (3) the average salary is the average salary at separation.” The original proposed regulations were largely derived from this general rule.

In the course of developing the STAR system, the development team and the subject matter experts from ODCP and the DCRB determined that additional rules for benefit calculation scenarios were needed to simplify development and to address situations that had not been considered when the original regulations were published in 2000. STAR was programmed with these additional rules.

On November 22, 2010, the Department of the Treasury published (75 FR 71047) proposed regulations that would amend subpart C of the rules promulgated in 2000. The amendments to subpart C were proposed to establish additional rules and provide additional examples of benefit calculation scenarios. These amendments have no significant financial impact and are introduced to simplify calculations and maintain consistency with the general principles established in the original regulations. For the convenience of readers, Treasury is restating subpart C in its entirety. For discussion of subpart C as originally proposed, see 64 FR 69432, 69434-36, December 13, 1999 and the preamble addressing the comments to the final regulations at 65 FR 77500-77501, December 12, 2000. For a discussion of the November 22, 2010, proposed rule, see 75 FR 71047.

This Final Rule; Public Comments and Explanation of Provisions

The initial comment period closed on January 21, 2011. In response to a request to extend the comment period, on February 3, 2011, the Department published in theFederal Registera notice of extension of the comment period until April 21, 2011 (see 76 FR 6112). The Department received comments from the District of Columbia Retirement Board and the D.C. Fire Fighters Association on the proposed regulations. In response, the Department has adopted the proposed rule with some modifications as suggested by the commenters.

Proposed § 29.332 provides the rule for determining when unused sick leave is creditable for the computation of Federal Benefit Payments. Comments objected to § 29.332(b), which provides that for employees separated for retirement after June 30, 1997, no unused sick leave is creditable towards Federal Benefit Payments. One comment argued that the Department's rule regarding unused sick leave ignores its chosen accrual methodology based on the freeze date and the District is forced to bear a financial burden accrued prior to the freeze date, since the allocation of unused sick leave fails to account for accrued service ratios. The suggestion was that allocating unused sick leave based on each annuitant's service ratio was necessary to comply with the intent of the Act. Another comment suggested that an actuarial assumption be used to determine the amount of sick leave accrued prior to June 30, 1997, with the implication being this amount would be creditable towards a Federal Benefit Payment.

The Department's response is that the suggested changes are inconsistent with the general principle in the Act and in 31 CFR 29.331. Section 29.331 provides that all requirements must be satisfied as of June 30, 1997, for service to be creditable towards a Federal Benefit Payment. In turn, the general principle is consistent with section 11012(b) of the Act which states that “(s)ervice after the freeze date shall not be credited for purposes of determining the amount of any Federal benefit payment.” Unused sick leave becomes creditable for retirement only when the employee separates for retirement. Sick leave accrued before retirement is not a retirement benefit, but a benefit to the plan member as an employee. Therefore, for employees who separate after June 30, 1997, unused sick leave becomes creditable after the freeze date and is not creditable towards a Federal Benefit Payment.

Proposed §§ 29.334 and 29.335 provide the rules for determining when purchased service is creditable for the computation of Federal Benefit Payments. One comment objected to the rules that purchases of service must be completed by June 30, 1997, to be creditable towards Federal Benefit Payments. The comment argued that by focusing on the date of the purchase of service transaction, the rules allocate 100% of the benefit cost to the District government regardless of sound accrual or equitable concepts, and ignore the Department's accrual methodology based on the freeze date. Another comment argued that regardless of when payment is made to purchase service, after being hired, employees have an expectation that the prior service will be credited. The suggested change is, in the case where a purchase of service is completed after June 30, 1997, to allocate a portion of the benefit cost of this service to the Department of the Treasury, based on each annuitant's service ratio.

As above, the Department's response is that the suggested change is inconsistent with the general principle in 31 CFR 29.331 and with section 11012(b) of the Act. The Department's interpretation of section 11012(b) of the Act is that service credited after the freeze date shall not be credited for purposes of determining a Federal benefit payment.

The comment also noted that Treasury is liable for refunds of service deposits made on or before the freeze date, regardless of when the underlying purchase was completed, implying an inconsistency with the proposed regulations. In response to the comment and to make the regulations more clear, the Department has modified the rules in §§ 29.334(c) and 29.335(c) to require a transfer to the District of all installment purchase of service payments received by the Department where the purchase was not completed by the freeze date.

Proposed § 29.343 provides the rule for determining the Federal Benefit Payment when an individual retires on disability. One comment argued that given that the disability plan provisions were legislated by Congress, it is unfair to pass on the liability of all post-freeze date disability retirements to the District.

The Department's response is that this section follows directly from section 11012(c) of the Act, which states that “(t)o the extent that any portion of a benefit payment to which an individual is entitled under a District RetirementProgram is based on a determination of disability made by the District Government or the Trustee after the freeze date, the Federal benefit payment determined with respect to the individual shall be an amount equal to the deferred retirement benefit or normal retirement benefit the individual would receive if the individual left service on the day before the commencement of disability retirement benefits.”

Example 3 in Appendix A refers to a maximum annuity of “80 percent of basic salary.” One comment noted that the reference should be to “80 percent of average salary.” The Department agrees and the correction has been made to examples 3A and 3B.

In addition to the suggestions, the Department received one general comment that Treasury's discretion to interpret the Act presents an inherent conflict of interest when Treasury has a financial stake in the determination of Federal Benefit Payments and another general comment that the proposed regulations must equitably allocate costs between the Federal and District governments and be consistent with the intent and terms of the Act.

The Department responds that, as required, the General Principles and associated regulations established in the proposed rule are consistent with the intent and terms of the Act, specifically, section 11002(b), that it is the policy of the Act “for the Federal government to assume the legal responsibility for paying certain pension benefits (including certain unfunded pension liabilities which existed as of the day prior to introduction of this legislation) for the retirement plans of teachers, police, and firefighters.”

Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review

Because this rule is not a significant regulatory action for purposes of Executive Order 12866, a regulatory assessment is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

It is hereby certified that this regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The regulation will only affect the determination of the Federal portion of retirement benefits to certain former employees of the District of Columbia and will not have an effect on small entities. Accordingly, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601et seq.).

List of Subjects in 31 CFR Part 29

Administrative practice and procedure, claims, Disability benefits, Firefighters, Government employees, Intergovernmental relations, Law enforcement officers, Pension, Retirement, Teachers.

Accordingly, the Department of the Treasury amends subtitle A of 31 CFR part 29 as follows:

PART 29—FEDERAL BENEFIT PAYMENTS UNDER CERTAIN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA RETIREMENT PROGRAMS 1. The authority citation for 31 CFR part 29 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

Subtitle A and Chapter 3 of Subtitle H, of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 Stat. 712-731 and 786-787; as amended.

2. Subpart C is revised to read as follows: Subpart C—Split Benefits Sec. 29.301 Purpose and scope. 29.302 Definitions. General Principles for Determining Service Credit To Calculate Federal Benefit Payments 29.311 Credit only for service performed on or before June 30, 1997. 29.312 All requirements for credit must be satisfied by June 30, 1997. 29.313 Federal Benefit Payments are computed based on retirement eligibility as of the separation date and service creditable as of June 30, 1997. Service Performed After June 30, 1997 29.321 General principle. 29.322 Disability benefits. All Requirements for Credit Must Be Satisfied by June 30, 1997 29.331 General principle. 29.332 Unused sick leave. 29.333 Military service. 29.334 Deposit service. 29.335 Refunded service. Calculation of the Amount of Federal Benefit Payments 29.341 General principle. 29.342 Computed annuity exceeds the statutory maximum. 29.343 Disability benefits. 29.344 Survivor benefits. 29.345 Cost-of-living adjustments. 29.346 Reduction for survivor benefits. Calculation of the Split of Refunds of Employee Contributions and Deposits 29.351 General principle. 29.352 Refunded contributions. 29.353 Refunded deposits. Appendix A to Subpart C of Part 29—Examples Subpart C—Split Benefits
§ 29.301 Purpose and scope.

(a) The purpose of this subpart is to addresses the legal and policy issues that affect the calculation of the Federal and District of Columbia portions of benefits under subtitle A of Title XI of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Public Law 105-33, 111 Stat. 251, 712-731, and 786-787 enacted August 5, 1997, as amended.

(1) This subpart states general principles for the calculation of Federal Benefit Payments in cases in which the Department and the District government are both responsible for paying a portion of an employee's total retirement benefits under the Police and Firefighters Plan or the Teachers Plan.

(2) This subpart provides illustrative examples of sample computations to show the application of the general principles to specific problems.

(b)(1) This subpart applies only to benefits under the Police and Firefighters Plan or the Teachers Plan for individuals who have performed service creditable under these programs on or before June 30, 1997.

(2) This subpart addresses only those issues that affect the split of fiscal responsibility for retirement benefits (that is, the calculation of Federal Benefit Payments).

(3) Issues relating to determination and review of eligibility and payments, and financial management, are beyond the scope of this subpart.

(c) This subpart does not apply to benefit calculations under the Judges Plan.

§ 29.302 Definitions.

In this subpart (including appendix A of this subpart)—

Deferred retirementmeans retirement under section 4-623 of the D.C. Code (1997) (under the Police and Firefighters Plan) or section 31-1231(a) of the D.C. Code (1997) (under the Teachers Plan).

Deferred retirement agemeans the age at which a deferred annuity begins to accrue, that is, age 55 under the Police and Firefighters Plan and age 62 under the Teachers Plan.

Department serviceordepartmental servicemeans any period of employment in a position covered by the Police and Firefighters Plan or Teachers Plan. Department service or departmental service may include certain periods of military service that interrupt a period of employment under the Police and Firefighters Plan or the Teachers Plan.

Disability retirementmeans retirement under section 4-615 or section 4-616 of the D.C. Code (1997)(under the Police and Firefighters Plan) or section 31-1225 of the D.C. Code (1997) (under the Teachers Plan), regardless of whether the disability was incurred in the line of duty.

Enter on dutymeans commencement of employment in a position covered by the Police and Firefighters Plan or the Teachers Plan.

Excess leave without payorexcess LWOPmeans a period of time in a non-pay status that in any year is greater than the amount creditable as service under § 29.105(d).

Hire datemeans the date the employee entered on duty.

Military servicemeans-

(1) For the Police and Firefighters Plan, military service as defined in section 4-607 of the D.C. Code (1997) that is creditable as other service under section 4-602 or section 4-610 of the D.C. Code (1997); and

(2) For the Teachers Plan, military service as described in section 31-1230(a)(4) of the D.C. Code (1997).

Optional retirementmeans regular longevity retirement under section 4-618 of the D.C. Code (1997) (under the Police and Firefighters Plan) or section 31-1224(a) of the D.C. Code (1997) (under the Teachers Plan).

Other servicemeans any period of creditable service other than departmental service or unused sick leave. Other service includes service that becomes creditable upon payment of a deposit, such as service in another school system (under section 31-1208 of the D.C. Code (1997)) (under the Teachers Plan) or prior governmental service (under the Teachers Plan and the Police and Firefighters Plan); and service that is creditable without payment of a deposit, such as military service occurring prior to employment (under the Teachers Plan and the Police and Firefighters Plan).

Pre-80 hiremeans an individual whose annuity is computed using the formula under the Police and Firefighters Plan applicable to individuals hired before February 15, 1980.

Pre-96 hiremeans an individual whose annuity is computed using the formula under the Teachers Plan applicable to individuals hired before November 1, 1996.

Sick leavemeans unused sick leave, which is creditable in a retirement computation, as calculated under § 29.105(c).

General Principles for Determining Service Credit To Calculate Federal Benefit Payments
§ 29.311 Credit only for service performed on or before June 30, 1997.

Only service performed on or before June 30, 1997, is credited toward Federal Benefit Payments.

§ 29.312 All requirements for credit must be satisfied by June 30, 1997.

Service is counted toward Federal Benefit Payments only if all requirements for the service to be creditable are satisfied as of June 30, 1997.

§ 29.313 Federal Benefit Payments are computed based on retirement eligibility as of the separation date and service creditable as of June 30, 1997.

Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, the amount of Federal Benefit Payments is computed based on retirement eligibility as of the separation date and service creditable as of June 30, 1997.

Service Performed After June 30, 1997
§ 29.321 General principle.

Any service performed after June 30, 1997, may never be credited toward Federal Benefit Payments.

§ 29.322 Disability benefits.

If an employee separates for disability retirement after June 30, 1997, and, on the date of separation, the employee—

(a) Satisfies the age and service requirements for optional retirement, the Federal Benefit Payment commences immediately, that is, the Federal Benefit Payment is calculated as though the employee retired under optional retirement rules using only service through June 30, 1997 (See examples 7A and 7B of appendix A of this subpart); or

(b) Does not satisfy the age and service requirements for optional retirement, the Federal Benefit Payment begins when the disability retiree reaches deferred retirement age. (See § 29.343.)

All Requirements for Credit Must Be Satisfied by June 30, 1997
§ 29.331 General principle.

To determine whether service is creditable for the computation of Federal Benefit Payments under this subpart, the controlling factor is whether all requirements for the service to be creditable under the Police and Firefighters Plan or the Teachers Plan were satisfied as of June 30, 1997.

§ 29.332 Unused sick leave.

(a) For employees separated for retirement as of June 30, 1997, Federal Benefit Payments include credit for any unused sick leave that is creditable under the applicable plan.

(b) For employees separated for retirement after June 30, 1997, no unused sick leave is creditable toward Federal Benefit Payments.

§ 29.333 Military service.

(a) For employees who entered on duty on or before June 30, 1997, and whose military service was performed prior to that date, credit for military service is included in Federal Benefit Payments under the terms and conditions applicable to each plan.

(b) For employees who enter on duty after June 30, 1997, military service is not creditable toward Federal Benefit Payments, even if performed as of June 30, 1997.

(c) For employees who entered on duty on or before June 30, 1997, but who perform military service after that date, the credit for military service is not included in Federal Benefit Payments.

§ 29.334 Deposit service.

(a)Teachers Plan.(1) Periods of civilian service that were not subject to retirement deductions at the time they were performed are creditable for Federal Benefit Payments under the Teachers Plan if the deposit for the service was paid in full to the Teachers Plan as of June 30, 1997.

(2) No credit is allowed for Federal Benefit Payments under the Teachers Plan for any period of civilian service that was not subject to retirement deductions at the time it was performed if the deposit for the service was not paid in full as of June 30, 1997.

(3) If the deposit for the service was paid in installments, but was not paid in full as of June 30, 1997, Treasury shall transfer to the District an amount equal to the portion of the deposit completed prior to June 30, 1997.

(b)Police and Firefighters Plan.No credit is allowed for Federal Benefit Payments under the Police and Firefighters Plan for any period of civilian service that was not subject to retirement deductions at the time that the service was performed. (See definition of “governmental service” at D.C. Code section 4-607(15) (1997).)

§ 29.335 Refunded service.

(a) Periods of civilian service that were subject to retirement deductions but for which the deductions were refunded to the employee are creditable for Federal Benefit Payments if theredeposit for the service was paid in full to the District government as of June 30, 1997.

(b) No credit is allowed for Federal Benefit Payments for any period of civilian service that was subject to retirement deductions but for which the deductions were refunded to the employee if the redeposit for the service was not paid in full to the District government as of June 30, 1997.

(c) If the redeposit for the service was paid in installments, but was not paid in full as of June 30, 1997, Treasury shall transfer to the District an amount equal to the portion of the redeposit completed prior to June 30, 1997.

Calculation of the Amount of Federal Benefit Payments
§ 29.341 General principle.

(a) Where service is creditable both before and after June 30, 1997, Federal Benefit Payments are computed under the rules of the applicable plan as though—

(1) The employee were eligible to retire effective July 1, 1997, under the same conditions as the actual retirement (that is, using the annuity computation formula that applies under the plan in effect on June 29, 1997, and the retirement age, including any applicable age reduction, based on the age at actual retirement);

(2) The service that became creditable after June 30, 1997, did not exist; and

(3) The average salary is the average salary at separation.

(b) Exceptions to the general principle apply where:

(1) Congress amends the terms of the District Retirement Program in effect on June 29, 1997. For example, see section 11012(e) & (f) of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, as amended by Public Laws 106-554, 107-290, and 108-133 (codified at D.C. Code section 1-803.02(e) and (f));

(2) The retirement is based on disability after June 30, 1997 (see 29.343); or

(3) The benefit is based on the death of an employee after June 30, 1997 and the survivor benefit is not based on years of service (see 29.344).

Note to § 29.341:

See examples 7B, 9, and 13 of appendix A of this subpart.

§ 29.342 Computed annuity exceeds the statutory maximum.

(a) In cases in which the total computed annuity exceeds the statutory maximum:

(1) Federal Benefit Payments may equal total benefits even if the employee had service after June 30, 1997.

(2) If the employee had sufficient service as of June 30, 1997, to qualify for the maximum annuity under the plan, the Federal Benefit Payment is the maximum annuity under the plan. This will be the entire benefit except for any amount in excess of the normal maximum due to unused sick leave, which is the responsibility of the District. (See example 3, of appendix A of this subpart.)

(b) If the employee did not perform sufficient service as of June 30, 1997, to reach the statutory maximum benefit, but has sufficient service at actual retirement to exceed the statutory maximum, the Federal Benefit Payment is the amount earned through June 30, 1997. The District benefit payment is the amount by which the total benefit payable exceeds the Federal Benefit Payment.

§ 29.343 Disability benefits.

(a) The general rule that Federal Benefit Payments are calculated under the applicable retirement plan as though the employee were eligible for optional retirement and separated on June 30, 1997, does not apply to disability benefits prior to optional retirement age.

(b) In cases involving disability benefits prior to optional retirement age, no Federal Benefit Payment is payable until the retiree reaches the age of eligibility to receive a deferred annuity (age 55 under the Police and Firefighters Plan and age 62 under the Teachers Plan). When the age for deferred annuity is reached, the Federal Benefit Payment is paid using creditable service accrued as of June 30, 1997, and average salary (computed under the rules for the applicable plan) as of the date of separation. (See examples 6 and 7 of appendix A of this subpart.)

(c) In no case will the amount of the Federal Benefit Payment exceed the amount of the total disability annuity.

§ 29.344 Survivor benefits.

(a) The general rule that Federal Benefit Payments are calculated under the applicable retirement plan as though the employee were eligible for optional retirement and separated on June 30, 1997, applies to death benefits that are determined by length of service. In these cases, the survivor's Federal Benefit Payment is calculated by multiplying the survivor's total benefit by the ratio of the deceased retiree or employee's Federal Benefit Payment to the deceased retiree or employee's total annuity. (See examples 13A and B of appendix A of this subpart.)

(b) The general rule that Federal Benefit Payments are calculated under the applicable retirement plan as though the employee were eligible for optional retirement and separated on June 30, 1997, does not apply to death benefits that are not determined by length of service. In these cases, the survivor's Federal Benefit Payment is calculated by multiplying the survivor's total benefit by the deceased retiree or employee's number of full months of service through June 30, 1997, and then dividing by the retiree or employee's number of months of total service at retirement. (See examples 13C-F of appendix A of this subpart.)

(c) In cases involving a disability or early voluntary retiree who dies before reaching the age at which a Federal Benefit Payment is payable, the survivor's Federal Benefit Payment is calculated as though the employee had not retired from service, but had separated from service with eligibility to receive a deferred annuity. (See examples 13G and 13H of appendix A of this subpart.)

§ 29.345 Annuity adjustments.

(a) In cases in which the total annuity and the Federal Benefit Payment are equally impacted by a cost-of-living adjustment, the new Federal Benefit Payment is determined by applying the federal percentage of the total annuity to the new total annuity. (See examples 14A-G of appendix A of this subpart.)

(b) In cases in which the total annuity and the Federal Benefit Payment are not equally impacted by a change, such as a new plan provision or service-based adjustment, the Federal Benefit Payment is recalculated where applicable, and the federal percentage of the total annuity used to determine subsequent Federal Benefit Payments is recalculated. (See example 14H of appendix A of this subpart.)

§ 29.346 Reduction for survivor benefits.

If a retiree elects a reduction for a survivor annuity, the ratio of the unreduced Federal Benefit Payment to the unreduced total annuity is multiplied by the reduced total annuity to determine the reduced Federal Benefit Payment. (See example 10 of appendix A of this subpart.)

Calculation of the Split of Refunds of Employee Contributions and Deposits
§ 29.351 General principle.

Treasury will fund refunds of employee contributions and purchase of service deposits paid by or on behalf of a covered employee to the District of Columbia Police Officers' and Firefighters' Retirement Fund or District of Columbia Teachers' Retirement Fund on or before June 30, 1997.

§ 29.352 Refunded contributions.

For any given pay period, employee contributions are considered to have been made before the freeze date if the pay date was on or before June 30, 1997. As a result, for calendar year 1997, Treasury will fund refunds of employee contributions made by teachers through pay period 12 and fund refunds of employee contributions made by police officers and firefighters through pay period 13. If pay period records are unavailable for calendar year 1997, and the participant separated on or before June 30, 1997, Treasury will fund 100 percent of the refund of retirement contributions. If pay period records are unavailable for calendar year 1997, and the participant was hired before January 1, 1997, and separated after December 31, 1997, Treasury will fund 50 percent of the refund of retirement contributions made to teachers in calendar year 1997, and 48 percent of the retirement contributions made to police officers or firefighters in calendar year 1997. Otherwise, if the participant separated after June 30, 1997, the percent of contributions made in calendar year 1997 funded by Treasury is assumed to be the ratio where the numerator is the number of days before July 1 the participant was employed in calendar year 1997 and the denominator is the number of days the participant was employed in calendar year 1997.

§ 29.353 Refunded deposits.

Treasury will fund refunds of purchase of service deposits made by employees by lump sum payment or by installment payments on or before June 30, 1997.

Appendix A to Subpart C of Part 29—Examples

This appendix contains sample calculations of Federal Benefit Payments in a variety of situations.

Optional Retirement Examples Example 1: No Unused Sick Leave

A. In this example, an individual covered by the Police and Firefighters Plan hired before 1980 retires in October 1997. At retirement, he is age 51 with 20 years and 3 days of departmental service plus 3 years, 4 months, and 21 days of military service that preceded the departmental service. The Federal Benefit Payment begins at retirement. It is based on the 19 years, 8 months, and 22 days of departmental service and 3 years, 4 months, and 21 days of military service performed as of June 30, 1997. Thus, the Federal Benefit Payment is based on 23 years and 1 month of service, all at the 2.5 percent accrual rate. The total annuity is based on 23 years and 4 months of service, all at the 2.5 percent accrual rate.

Example 1A—Police Optional [Pre-80 hire] Total Annuity Computation Birth date: 09/10/46 Hire date: 10/09/77 Separation date: 10/11/97 Department service: 20/00/03 Other service: 03/04/21 Sick leave: .025 service: 23.333333 .03 service: Average salary: $45,680.80 Total: $26,647.12 Total/month: $2,221.00 Federal Benefit Payment Computation Birth date: 9/10/46 Hire date: 10/09/77 Freeze date: 06/30/97 Department service: 19/08/22 Other service: 03/04/21 Sick leave: .025 service: 23.083333 .03 service: Average salary: $45,680.80 Total: $26,361.61 Total/month: $2,197.00 Total federal/month ÷ total/month: 0.989194

B. In this example, the individual covered by the Police and Firefighters Plan was hired earlier than in example 1A and thus performed more service as of both June 30, 1997, and retirement in October 1997. At retirement, he is age 51 with 21 years, 11 months and 29 days of departmental service plus 3 years, 4 months, and 21 days of military service that preceded the departmental service. The Federal Benefit Payment begins at retirement. It is based on the 21 years, 8 months, and 18 days of departmental service and 3 years, 4 months, and 21 days of military service performed as of June 30, 1997. Thus, the Federal Benefit Payment is based on 25 years and 1 month of service, 1 year and 8 months at the 3.0 percent accrual rate and 23 years and 5 months at the 2.5 percent accrual rate (including 1 month consisting of 18 days of departmental service and 21 days of other service). The total annuity is based on 25 years and 4 months of service, 1 year and 11 months at the 3.0 percent accrual rate and 23 years and 5 months at the 2.5 percent accrual rate (including 1 month consisting of 29 days of departmental service and 21 days of other service).

Example 1B—Police Optional [Pre-80 hire] Total Annuity Computation Birth date: 09/10/46 Hire date: 10/13/75 Separation date: 10/11/97 Department service: 21/11/29 Other service: 03/04/21 Sick leave: .025 service: 23.416667 .03 service: 1.916667 Average salary: $45,680.80 Total: $29,368.96 Total/month $2,447.00 Federal Benefit Payment Computation Birth date: 09/10/46 Hire date: 10/13/75 Freeze date: 06/30/97 Department service: 21/08/18 Other service: 03/04/21 Sick leave: .025 service: 23.416667 .03 service: 1.666667 Average salary: $45,680.80 Total: $29,026.36 Total/month: $2,419.00 Total federal/month ÷ total/month: 0.988557 Example 2: Unused Sick Leave Credit

In this example, an individual covered by the Police and Firefighters Plan and hired before 1980 retires in March 1998. At retirement, she is age 48 with 24 years, 8 months, and 6 days of departmental service plus 6 months and 4 days of other service (deposit paid before June 30, 1997) and 11 months and 11 days of unused sick leave. For a police officer (or a non-firefighting division firefighter) such an amount of sick leave would be 1968 hours (246 days, based on a 260-day year, times 8 hours per day). For a firefighting division firefighter, such an amount would be 2,069 hours (341 days divided by 360 days per year times 2,184 hours per year). The Federal Benefit Payment begins at retirement. It is based on the 23 years, 11 months, and 23 days of departmental service performed as of June 30, 1997, and 6 months and 4 days of other service. Thus, the Federal Benefit Payment is based on 20 years departmental and 6 months of other service at the 2.5 percent accrual rate and 3 years and 11 months of service at the 3.0 percent accrual rate. The total annuity is based on 20 years and 6 months of service at the 2.5 percent accrual rate and 5 years and 7 months of service at the 3 percent accrual rate.

Example 2—Police Optional [Pre-80 hire] Total Annuity Computation Birth date: 05/01/49 Hire date: 07/08/73 Separation date: 03/13/98 Department service: 24/08/06 Other service: 00/06/04 Sick leave: 00/11/11 .025 service: 20.5 .03 service: 5.583333 Average salary: $61,264.24 Total: $41,659.68 Total/month: $3,472.00 Federal Benefit Payment Computation Birth date: 05/01/49 Hire date: 07/08/73 Freeze date: 06/30/97 Department service: 23/11/23 Other service: 00/06/04 Sick leave: .025 service: 20.5 .03 service: 3.916667 Average salary: $61,264.24 Total: $38,596.47 Total/month: $3,216.00 Total federal/month ÷ total/month: 0.926267 Example 3: Calculated Benefit Exceeds Statutory Maximum

A. In this example, an individual covered by the Police and Firefighters Plan hired before 1980 retires in March 1998. At retirement, he is age 55 with 32 years and 17 days of departmental service. The Federal Benefit Payment begins at retirement. It is based on the 31 years, 3 months, and 17 days of departmental service performed as of June 30, 1997. Thus, the Federal Benefit Payment is based on 20 years of service at the 2.5 percent accrual rate and 11 years and 3 months of service at the 3.0 percent accrual rate. However, the annuity is limited to 80 percent of the average salary at time of retirement. (This limitation does not apply to the unused sick leave credit.) The annuity computed as of June 30, 1997, equals the full benefit payable; therefore, the Federal Benefit Payment is the total benefit.

Example 3A—Police Optional [Pre-80 hire] Total Annuity Computation Birth date: 06/12/42 Hire date: 03/14/66 Separation date: 03/30/98 Department service: 32/00/17 Other service: Sick leave: .025 service: 20 .03 service: 12 Average salary: $75,328.30 Total: $64,782.34 Total/month: $5,399.00 Maximum: $60,262.64 Maximum/month: $5,022.00 Federal Benefit Payment Computation Birth date: 06/12/42 Hire date: 03/14/66 Freeze date: 03/30/97 Department service: 31/03/17 Other service: Sick leave: .025 service: 20 .03 service: 11.25 Average salary: $75,328.30 Total: $63,087.45 Total/month: $5,257.00 Maximum: $60,262.64 Maximum/month: $5,022.00 Total federal/month ÷ total/month: 1.0

B. In this example, the individual in example 3A also has 6 months of unused sick leave at retirement. The sick leave credit is not subject to the 80% limitation and does not become creditable service until the date of separation. For a police officer (or a non-firefighting division firefighter) such an amount of sick leave would be 1040 hours (130 days, based on a 260-day year, times 8 hours per day). For a firefighting division firefighter, such an amount would be 1092 hours (180 days divided by 360 days per year times 2184 hours per year). Six months of unused sick leave increases the annual total benefit by 1.5 percent of the average salary, or in the example by $94 per month. The District is responsible for the portion of the annuity attributable to the unused sick leave because it became creditable at retirement, that is, after June 30, 1997.

Example 3B—Police Optional [Pre-80 hire] Total Annuity Computation Birth date: 06/12/42 Hire date: 03/14/66 Separation date: 03/30/98 Department service: 32/00/17 Other service: Sick leave: 00/06/00 .025 service: 20 .03 service: 12 Average salary: $75,328.30 Total wo/sl credit: $64,782.34 Total/month: $5,399.00 Max wo/sl credit: $60,262.64 Max w/sl credit: $61,392.57 Monthly benefit: $5,116.00 Federal Benefit Payment Computation Birth date: 06/12/42 Hire date: 03/14/66 Freeze date: 06/30/97 Department service: 31/03/17 Other service: Sick leave: none .025 service: 20 .03 service: 11.25 Average salary: $75,328.30 Total: $63,087.45 Total/month: $5,257.00 Maximum: $60,262.64 Monthly benefit: $5,022.00 Total federal/month ÷ total/month: 0.981626 Example 4: Excess Leave Without Pay

In this example, an individual covered by the Teachers Plan hired before 1996 retires in February 1998. At retirement, she is age 64 with 27 years of departmental service and 6 years, 7 months, and 28 days of other service (creditable before June 30, 1997). However, only 6 months of leave in a fiscal year without pay may be credited toward retirement under the Teachers Plan. She had 3 months and 18 days of excess leave without pay as of June 30, 1997. Since the excess leave without pay occurred before June 30, 1997, the time attributable to the excess leave without pay is subtracted from the service used in both the Federal Benefit Payment and the total benefit computations. The Federal Benefit Payment begins at retirement. It is based on the 32 years and 8 months of service (32 years, 11 months, and 28 days minus 3 months and 18 days and the partial month dropped); 5 years of service at the 1.5 percent accrual rate, 5 years of service at the 1.75 percent accrual rate, and 22 years and 8 months of service at the 2 percent accrual rate. The total annuity is based on 33 years and 4 months of service (33 years, 7 months and 28 days minus 3 months and 18 days and the partial month dropped) 5 years of service at the 1.5 percent accrual rate, 5 years of service at the 1.75 percent accrual rate and 23 years and 4 months of service at the 2 percent accrual rate.

Note:For the Teachers Plan, section 1230(a) of title 31 of the D.C. Code (1997) allows for 6 months leave without pay in any fiscal year. For the Police and Firefighters Plan, section 610(d) of title 4 of the D.C. Code (1997) allows for 6 months leave without pay in any calendar year.

Example 4—Teachers Optional [Pre-96 hire] Total Annuity Computation Birth date: 11/04/33 Hire date: 03/01/71 Separation date: 02/28/98 Department service: 27/00/00 Other service: 06/07/28