23-2317. Retirement system; future service retirement benefit; when payable; how computed; selection of annuity; board; certain required minimum distributions; election authorized.

(1) The future service retirement benefit shall be an annuity, payable monthly with the first payment made no earlier than the annuity start date, which shall be the actuarial equivalent of the retirement value as specified in section 23-2316 based on factors determined by the board, except that gender shall not be a factor when determining the amount of such payments pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.

Except as provided in section 42-1107, at any time before the annuity start date, the retiring employee may choose to receive his or her annuity either in the form of an annuity as provided under subsection (4) of this section or any optional form that is determined by the board.

Except as provided in section 42-1107, in lieu of the future service retirement annuity, a retiring employee may receive a benefit not to exceed the amount in his or her employer and employee accounts as of the date of final account value payable in a lump sum and, if the employee chooses not to receive the entire amount in such accounts, an annuity equal to the actuarial equivalent of the remainder of the retirement value, and the employee may choose any form of such annuity as provided for by the board.

In any case, the amount of the monthly payment shall be such that the annuity chosen shall be the actuarial equivalent of the retirement value as specified in section 23-2316 except as provided in this section.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the monthly income payable to a member retiring on or after January 1, 1984, shall be as follows:

He or she shall receive at retirement the amount which may be purchased by the accumulated contributions based on annuity rates in effect on the annuity start date which do not utilize gender as a factor, except that such amounts shall not be less than the retirement income which can be provided by the sum of the amounts derived pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) of this subsection as follows:

(a) The income provided by the accumulated contributions made prior to January 1, 1984, based on male annuity purchase rates in effect on the date of purchase; and

(b) The income provided by the accumulated contributions made on and after January 1, 1984, based on the annuity purchase rates in effect on the date of purchase which do not use gender as a factor.

(3) Any amount, in excess of contributions, which may be required in order to purchase the retirement income specified in subsection (2) of this section shall be withdrawn from the County Equal Retirement Benefit Fund.

(4)(a) The normal form of payment shall be a single life annuity with five-year certain, which is an annuity payable monthly during the remainder of the member's life with the provision that, in the event of his or her death before sixty monthly payments have been made, the monthly payments will be continued to his or her estate or to the beneficiary he or she has designated until sixty monthly payments have been made in total. Such annuity shall be equal to the actuarial equivalent of the member cash balance account or the sum of the employee and employer accounts, whichever is applicable, as of the date of final account value. As a part of the annuity, the normal form of payment may include a two and one-half percent cost-of-living adjustment purchased by the member, if the member elects such a payment option.

Except as provided in section 42-1107, a member may elect a lump-sum distribution of his or her member cash balance account as of the date of final account value upon termination of service or retirement.

For a member employed and participating in the retirement system prior to January 1, 2003, who has elected to participate in the cash balance benefit pursuant to section 23-2308.01, or for a member employed and participating in the retirement system beginning on and after January 1, 2003, the balance of his or her member cash balance account as of the date of final account value shall be converted to an annuity using an interest rate that is recommended by the actuary and approved by the board following an actuarial experience study, a benefit adequacy study, or a plan valuation. The interest rate and actuarial factors in effect on the member's retirement date will be used to calculate actuarial equivalency of any retirement benefit. Such interest rate may be, but is not required to be, equal to the assumed rate of return.

For an employee who is a member prior to January 1, 2003, who has elected not to participate in the cash balance benefit pursuant to section 23-2308.01, and who, at the time of retirement, chooses the annuity option rather than the lump-sum option, his or her employee and employer accounts as of the date of final account value shall be converted to an annuity using an interest rate that is equal to the lesser of (i) the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation initial interest rate for valuing annuities for terminating plans as of the beginning of the year during which payment begins plus three-fourths of one percent or (ii) the interest rate used to calculate the retirement benefits for cash balance plan members.

(b) For the calendar year beginning January 1, 2003, and each calendar year thereafter, the actuary for the board shall perform an actuarial valuation of the system using the entry age actuarial cost method. Under this method, the actuarially required funding rate is equal to the normal cost rate plus the contribution rate necessary to amortize the unfunded actuarial accrued liability on a level-payment basis. The normal cost under this method shall be determined for each individual member on a level percentage of salary basis. The normal cost amount is then summed for all members. The initial unfunded actual accrued liability as of January 1, 2003, if any, shall be amortized over a twenty-five-year period. During each subsequent actuarial valuation, changes in the unfunded actuarial accrued liability due to changes in benefits, actuarial assumptions, the asset valuation method, or actuarial gains or losses shall be measured and amortized over a twenty-five-year period beginning on the valuation date of such change. If the unfunded actuarial accrued liability under the entry age actuarial cost method is zero or less than zero on an actuarial valuation date, then all prior unfunded actuarial accrued liabilities shall be considered fully funded and the unfunded actuarial accrued liability shall be reinitialized and amortized over a twenty-five-year period as of the actuarial valuation date. If the actuarially required contribution rate exceeds the rate of all contributions required pursuant to the County Employees Retirement Act, there shall be a supplemental appropriation sufficient to pay for the difference between the actuarially required contribution rate and the rate of all contributions required pursuant to the act.

(c) If the unfunded accrued actuarial liability under the entry age actuarial cost method is less than zero on an actuarial valuation date, and on the basis of all data in the possession of the retirement board, including such mortality and other tables as are recommended by the actuary engaged by the retirement board and adopted by the retirement board, the retirement board may elect to pay a dividend to all members participating in the cash balance option in an amount that would not increase the actuarial contribution rate above ninety percent of the actual contribution rate. Dividends shall be credited to the employee cash balance account and the employer cash balance account based on the account balances on the actuarial valuation date. In the event a dividend is granted and paid after the actuarial valuation date, interest for the period from the actuarial valuation date until the dividend is actually paid shall be paid on the dividend amount. The interest rate shall be the interest credit rate earned on regular contributions.

(5) At the option of the retiring member, any lump sum or annuity provided under this section or section 23-2334 may be deferred to commence at any time, except that no benefit shall be deferred later than April 1 of the year following the year in which the employee has both attained at least seventy and one-half years of age and has terminated his or her employment with the county. Such election by the retiring member may be made at any time prior to the commencement of the lump-sum or annuity payments.

(6) A participant or beneficiary who would have been required to receive required minimum distributions for 2009 but for the enactment of section 401(a)(9)(H) of the Internal Revenue Code, and who would have satisfied that requirement by receiving distributions that are either equal to the 2009 required minimum distributions or one or more payments in a series of substantially equal distributions, including the 2009 required minimum distribution, made at least annually and expected to last for the life or life expectancy of the participant, the joint lives or joint life expectancy of the participant and the participant's designated beneficiary, or for a period of at least ten years, shall receive those distributions for 2009 unless the participant or beneficiary chooses not to receive such distributions. Participants and beneficiaries shall be given the opportunity to elect to stop receiving the distributions described in this subsection.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 17, p. 407; Laws 1979, LB 416, § 2; Laws 1981, LB 462, § 2; Laws 1983, LB 210, § 1; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 8; Laws 1986, LB 311, § 6; Laws 1987, LB 60, § 2; Laws 1992, LB 543, § 1; Laws 1993, LB 417, § 3; Laws 1996, LB 1273, § 15; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 12; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 8; Laws 2006, LB 1019, § 4; Laws 2007, LB328, § 3; Laws 2009, LB188, § 4; Laws 2012, LB916, § 9; Laws 2013, LB263, § 7; Laws 2017, LB415, § 14.
Effective Date: May 24, 2017