43.43.270  <<  43.43.271 >>   43.43.274

RCW 43.43.271

Retirement allowances—Members commissioned on or after January 1, 2003—Court-approved property settlement.

(1) A member commissioned on or after January 1, 2003, upon retirement for service as prescribed in RCW 43.43.250 shall elect to have the retirement allowance paid pursuant to the following options, calculated so as to be actuarially equivalent to each other.
(a) Standard allowance. A member electing this option shall receive a retirement allowance payable throughout the member's life. However, if the retiree dies before the total of the retirement allowance paid to the retiree equals the amount of the retiree's accumulated contributions at the time of retirement, then the balance shall be paid to the member's estate, or such person or persons, trust, or organization as the retiree shall have nominated by written designation duly executed and filed with the department; or if there be no such designated person or persons still living at the time of the retiree's death, then to the surviving spouse or domestic partner; or if there be neither such designated person or persons still living at the time of death nor a surviving spouse or domestic partner, then to the retiree's legal representative.
(b) The department shall adopt rules that allow a member to select a retirement option that pays the member a reduced retirement allowance and upon death, such portion of the member's reduced retirement allowance as the department by rule designates shall be continued throughout the life of and paid to a designated person. Such person shall be nominated by the member by written designation duly executed and filed with the department at the time of retirement. The options adopted by the department shall include, but are not limited to, a joint and one hundred percent survivor option and a joint and fifty percent survivor option.
(2)(a) A member, if married or in a domestic partnership, must provide the written consent of his or her spouse or domestic partner to the option selected under this section, except as provided in (b) of this subsection. If a member is married or in a domestic partnership and both the member and member's spouse or domestic partner do not give written consent to an option under this section, the department will pay the member a joint and fifty percent survivor benefit and record the member's spouse or domestic partner as the beneficiary. This benefit shall be calculated to be actuarially equivalent to the benefit options available under subsection (1) of this section unless consent by the spouse or domestic partner is not required as provided in (b) of this subsection.
(b) If a copy of a dissolution order designating a survivor beneficiary under RCW 41.50.790 has been filed with the department at least thirty days prior to a member's retirement:
(i) The department shall honor the designation as if made by the member under subsection (1) of this section; and
(ii) The spouse or domestic partner consent provisions of (a) of this subsection do not apply.
(3) No later than January 1, 2003, the department shall adopt rules that allow a member additional actuarially equivalent survivor benefit options, and shall include, but are not limited to:
(a)(i) A retired member who retired without designating a survivor beneficiary shall have the opportunity to designate their spouse or domestic partner from a postretirement marriage or domestic partnership as a survivor during a one-year period beginning one year after the date of the postretirement marriage or domestic partnership provided the retirement allowance payable to the retiree is not subject to periodic payments pursuant to a property division obligation as provided for in RCW 41.50.670.
(ii) A member who entered into a postretirement marriage or domestic partnership prior to the effective date of the rules adopted pursuant to this subsection and satisfies the conditions of (a)(i) of this subsection shall have one year to designate their spouse or domestic partner as a survivor beneficiary following the adoption of the rules.
(b) A retired member who elected to receive a reduced retirement allowance under this section and designated a nonspouse or a nondomestic partner as survivor beneficiary shall have the opportunity to remove the survivor designation and have their future benefit adjusted.
(c) The department may make an additional charge, if necessary, to ensure that the benefits provided under this subsection remain actuarially equivalent.
(4) No later than July 1, 2003, the department shall adopt rules to permit:
(a) A court-approved property settlement incident to a court decree of dissolution made before retirement to provide that benefits payable to a member who has completed at least five years of service and the member's divorcing spouse or former domestic partner be divided into two separate benefits payable over the life of each spouse or domestic partner.
The member shall have available the benefit options of subsection (1) of this section upon retirement, and if remarried or in a domestic partnership at the time of retirement remains subject to the spouse or domestic partner consent requirements of subsection (2) of this section. Any reductions of the member's benefit subsequent to the division into two separate benefits shall be made solely to the separate benefit of the member.
The nonmember ex spouse or former domestic partner shall be eligible to commence receiving their separate benefit upon reaching the ages provided in RCW 43.43.250(2) and after filing a written application with the department.
(b) A court-approved property settlement incident to a court decree of dissolution made after retirement may only divide the benefit into two separate benefits payable over the life of each spouse or domestic partner if the nonmember ex spouse or former domestic partner was selected as a survivor beneficiary at retirement.
The retired member may later choose the survivor benefit options available in subsection (3) of this section. Any actuarial reductions subsequent to the division into two separate benefits shall be made solely to the separate benefit of the member.
Both the retired member and the nonmember divorced spouse or former domestic partner shall be eligible to commence receiving their separate benefits upon filing a copy of the dissolution order with the department in accordance with RCW 41.50.670.
(c) The department may make an additional charge or adjustment if necessary to ensure that the separate benefits provided under this subsection are actuarially equivalent to the benefits payable prior to the decree of dissolution.
NOTES:
Effective date2001 c 329: See note following RCW 43.43.120.
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