Public Employees Retirement System
Optional purchase of benefit units by police and firefighters
(1)A police officer or firefighter who is a member of the system may elect to make additional contributions to the fund to purchase increased benefits between the date of retirement and age 65. The rate of additional contribution shall be determined by the actuary, dependent upon the age of the police officer or firefighter at the date of election, so as to provide monthly payments on the basis of $10 per unit of benefits purchased. No police officer or firefighter may elect to purchase more than eight units. For each $10 unit purchased by the police officer or firefighter, the employer shall purchase an equal $10 unit. A police officer or firefighter who is retained until age 65 shall receive a lump sum refund of the additional contributions made toward units purchased, plus interest thereon, but shall receive no benefits from the additional contributions by the employer for such units. If a police officer or firefighter retires after age 60 but prior to age 65, the units purchased by additional contributions shall provide increased monthly benefits based on life expectancy, but the matching units purchased by the employer shall not, regardless of age, exceed $10 per month per unit purchased by the police officer or firefighter. If a police officer or firefighter is absent from the employment of a participating employer for any reason and because of such absence is unable to make monthly additional contributions, the benefits provided under this section shall be actuarially reduced upon the retirement of the police officer or firefighter. The Public Employees Retirement Board shall establish an account for each member who elects to make additional contributions under this section and shall credit all contributions made by that member and interest on those contributions to the account.
(2)Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a police officer or firefighter who retires prior to age 60 may apply for and receive an actuarially reduced unit income commencing at any date between the date of early retirement and age 60, with monthly benefits payable for at least 60 months or any other monthly formula in excess of 60 months but always terminating by age 65. Such a police officer or firefighter may elect to pay in a lump sum within the 60 days immediately preceding early retirement the contribution that the police officer or firefighter would have made to the account had the police officer or firefighter worked to age 60.
(3)Any police officer or firefighter who elects to make additional contributions to purchase increased benefits may elect at any time before termination to cancel such election. Having once canceled such election, no police officer or firefighter shall be again permitted to make additional contributions.
(4)A member may withdraw the amounts credited to the account established for the member under this section if:
(a)The member is separated from all service with participating public employers; and
(b)The member is separated from all service with employers who are treated as part of a participating public employer’s controlled group under the federal laws and rules governing the status of the system and the fund as a qualified governmental retirement plan and trust.
(5)A member who withdraws the amounts credited to the account established for the member pursuant to subsection (4) of this section may not thereafter make additional contributions under this section.
(6)A police officer or firefighter who has elected to make additional contributions under this section and who transfers to employment in which not entitled to make such additional contributions may retain the account established under subsection (1) of this section for five years immediately following such transfer by not requesting a withdrawal. If, at the end of the five-year period, the police officer or firefighter has not reached age 50, or has not returned to employment in which entitled to make additional contributions under this section, the election shall be canceled and the amount of the account established under subsection (1) of this section shall be refunded to the police officer or firefighter.
(7)Any election to make additional contributions under this section and any cancellation of such election shall be submitted to the employer and to the board in writing. [Formerly 237.071 (4); 1999 c.317 §5a; 2007 c.52 §6]
Law Review Citations
96 OLR 249 (2017)