41.35.005  <<  41.35.010 >>   41.35.015

Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Accumulated contributions" means the sum of all contributions standing to the credit of a member in the member's individual account, including any amount paid under RCW 41.50.165(2), together with the regular interest thereon.
(2) "Actuarial equivalent" means a benefit of equal value when computed upon the basis of such mortality and other tables as may be adopted by the director.
(3) "Adjustment ratio" means the value of index A divided by index B.
(4) "Annuity" means payments for life derived from accumulated contributions of a member. All annuities shall be paid in monthly installments.
(5)(a) "Average final compensation" for plan 2 and plan 3 members means the member's average compensation earnable of the highest consecutive sixty months of service credit months prior to such member's retirement, termination, or death. Periods constituting authorized leaves of absence may not be used in the calculation of average final compensation except under RCW 41.40.710(2).
(b) In calculating average final compensation under (a) of this subsection, the department of retirement systems shall include any compensation forgone by a member during the 2011-2013 fiscal biennium as a result of reduced work hours, mandatory leave without pay, temporary layoffs, or reductions to current pay if the reduced compensation is an integral part of the employer's expenditure reduction efforts, as certified by the employer. Reductions to current pay shall not include elimination of previously agreed upon future salary reductions.
(6) "Beneficiary" for plan 2 and plan 3 members means any person in receipt of a retirement allowance or other benefit provided by this chapter resulting from service rendered to an employer by another person.
(7) "Classified employee" means an employee of a school district or an educational service district who is not eligible for membership in the teachers' retirement system established under chapter 41.32 RCW.
(8)(a) "Compensation earnable" for plan 2 and plan 3 members, means salaries or wages earned by a member during a payroll period for personal services, including overtime payments, and shall include wages and salaries deferred under provisions established pursuant to sections 403(b), 414(h), and 457 of the United States internal revenue code, but shall exclude nonmoney maintenance compensation and lump sum or other payments for deferred annual sick leave, unused accumulated vacation, unused accumulated annual leave, or any form of severance pay.
(b) "Compensation earnable" for plan 2 and plan 3 members also includes the following actual or imputed payments, which are not paid for personal services:
(i) Retroactive payments to an individual by an employer on reinstatement of the employee in a position, or payments by an employer to an individual in lieu of reinstatement, which are awarded or granted as the equivalent of the salary or wage which the individual would have earned during a payroll period shall be considered compensation earnable to the extent provided in this subsection, and the individual shall receive the equivalent service credit;
(ii) In any year in which a member serves in the legislature, the member shall have the option of having such member's compensation earnable be the greater of:
(A) The compensation earnable the member would have received had such member not served in the legislature; or
(B) Such member's actual compensation earnable received for nonlegislative public employment and legislative service combined. Any additional contributions to the retirement system required because compensation earnable under (b)(ii)(A) of this subsection is greater than compensation earnable under this (b)(ii)(B) of this subsection shall be paid by the member for both member and employer contributions;
(iii) Assault pay only as authorized by RCW 27.04.100, 72.01.045, and 72.09.240;
(iv) Compensation that a member would have received but for a disability occurring in the line of duty only as authorized by RCW 41.40.038;
(v) Compensation that a member receives due to participation in the leave sharing program only as authorized by RCW 41.04.650 through 41.04.670; and
(vi) Compensation that a member receives for being in standby status. For the purposes of this section, a member is in standby status when not being paid for time actually worked and the employer requires the member to be prepared to report immediately for work, if the need arises, although the need may not arise.
(9) "Department" means the department of retirement systems created in chapter 41.50 RCW.
(10) "Director" means the director of the department.
(11) "Eligible position" means any position that, as defined by the employer, normally requires five or more months of service a year for which regular compensation for at least seventy hours is earned by the occupant thereof. For purposes of this chapter an employer shall not define "position" in such a manner that an employee's monthly work for that employer is divided into more than one position.
(12) "Employee" or "employed" means a person who is providing services for compensation to an employer, unless the person is free from the employer's direction and control over the performance of work. The department shall adopt rules and interpret this subsection consistent with common law.
(13) "Employer," for plan 2 and plan 3 members, means a school district, an educational service district, or tribal school that has chosen to participate in the retirement system and has satisfied the requirements of RCW 28A.715.010(7). Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, "employer" does not include a government contractor. For purposes of this subsection, a "government contractor" is any entity, including a partnership, limited liability company, for-profit or nonprofit corporation, or person, that provides services pursuant to a contract with an employer. The determination whether an employer-employee relationship has been established is not based on the relationship between a government contractor and an employer, but is based solely on the relationship between a government contractor's employee and an employer under this chapter.
(14) "Final compensation" means the annual rate of compensation earnable by a member at the time of termination of employment.
(15) "Index" means, for any calendar year, that year's annual average consumer price index, Seattle, Washington area, for urban wage earners and clerical workers, all items, compiled by the bureau of labor statistics, United States department of labor.
(16) "Index A" means the index for the year prior to the determination of a postretirement adjustment.
(17) "Index B" means the index for the year prior to index A.
(18) "Ineligible position" means any position which does not conform with the requirements set forth in subsection (22) of this section.
(19) "Leave of absence" means the period of time a member is authorized by the employer to be absent from service without being separated from membership.
(20) "Member" means any employee included in the membership of the retirement system, as provided for in RCW 41.35.030.
(21) "Member account" or "member's account" for purposes of plan 3 means the sum of the contributions and earnings on behalf of the member in the defined contribution portion of plan 3.
(22) "Membership service" means all service rendered as a member.
(23) "Pension" means payments for life derived from contributions made by the employer. All pensions shall be paid in monthly installments.
(24) "Plan 2" means the Washington school employees' retirement system plan 2 providing the benefits and funding provisions covering persons who first became members of the public employees' retirement system on and after October 1, 1977, and transferred to the Washington school employees' retirement system under RCW 41.40.750.
(25) "Plan 3" means the Washington school employees' retirement system plan 3 providing the benefits and funding provisions covering persons who first became members of the system on and after September 1, 2000, or who transfer from plan 2 under RCW 41.35.510.
(26) "Regular interest" means such rate as the director may determine.
(27) "Retiree" means any person who has begun accruing a retirement allowance or other benefit provided by this chapter resulting from service rendered to an employer while a member.
(28) "Retirement" means withdrawal from active service with a retirement allowance as provided by this chapter.
(29) "Retirement allowance" for plan 2 and plan 3 members means monthly payments to a retiree or beneficiary as provided in this chapter.
(30) "Retirement system" means the Washington school employees' retirement system provided for in this chapter.
(31) "Separation from service" occurs when a person has terminated all employment with an employer.
(32) "Service" for plan 2 and plan 3 members means periods of employment by a member in an eligible position or positions for one or more employers for which compensation earnable is paid. Compensation earnable earned for ninety or more hours in any calendar month shall constitute one service credit month except as provided in RCW 41.35.180. Compensation earnable earned for at least seventy hours but less than ninety hours in any calendar month shall constitute one-half service credit month of service. Compensation earnable earned for less than seventy hours in any calendar month shall constitute one-quarter service credit month of service. Time spent in standby status, whether compensated or not, is not service.
Any fraction of a year of service shall be taken into account in the computation of such retirement allowance or benefits.
(a) Service in any state elective position shall be deemed to be full-time service.
(b) A member shall receive a total of not more than twelve service credit months of service for such calendar year. If an individual is employed in an eligible position by one or more employers the individual shall receive no more than one service credit month during any calendar month in which multiple service for ninety or more hours is rendered.
(c) For purposes of plan 2 and 3 "forty-five days" as used in RCW 28A.400.300 is equal to two service credit months. Use of less than forty-five days of sick leave is creditable as allowed under this subsection as follows:
(i) Less than eleven days equals one-quarter service credit month;
(ii) Eleven or more days but less than twenty-two days equals one-half service credit month;
(iii) Twenty-two days equals one service credit month;
(iv) More than twenty-two days but less than thirty-three days equals one and one-quarter service credit month; and
(v) Thirty-three or more days but less than forty-five days equals one and one-half service credit month.
(33) "Service credit month" means a month or an accumulation of months of service credit which is equal to one.
(34) "Service credit year" means an accumulation of months of service credit which is equal to one when divided by twelve.
(35) "State actuary" or "actuary" means the person appointed pursuant to RCW 44.44.010(2).
(36) "State elective position" means any position held by any person elected or appointed to statewide office or elected or appointed as a member of the legislature.
(37) "State treasurer" means the treasurer of the state of Washington.
(38) "Substitute employee" means a classified employee who is employed by an employer exclusively as a substitute for an absent employee.

NOTES:

ContingencyConflict with federal law2018 c 257: See note following RCW 28A.715.010.
PurposeApplication2012 c 236: See note following RCW 41.26.030.
Effective date2011 1st sp.s. c 5: See note following RCW 41.26.030.
Site Contents
Selected content listed in alphabetical order under each group