23-2301. Terms, defined.

For purposes of the County Employees Retirement Act, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1)(a) Actuarial equivalent means the equality in value of the aggregate amounts expected to be received under different forms of an annuity payment.

(b) For a member hired prior to January 1, 2018, the mortality assumption used for purposes of converting the member cash balance account shall be the 1994 Group Annuity Mortality Table using a unisex rate that is fifty percent male and fifty percent female. For purposes of converting the member cash balance account attributable to contributions made prior to January 1, 1984, that were transferred pursuant to the act, the 1994 Group Annuity Mortality Table for males shall be used.

(c) For a member hired on or after January 1, 2018, or rehired on or after January 1, 2018, after termination of employment and being paid a retirement benefit or taking a refund of contributions, the mortality assumption used for purposes of converting the member cash balance account shall be a unisex mortality table 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 mortality table and actuarial factors in effect on the member's retirement date will be used to calculate the actuarial equivalency of any retirement benefit;

(2) Annuity means equal monthly payments provided by the retirement system to a member or beneficiary under forms determined by the board beginning the first day of the month after an annuity election is received in the office of the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems or the first day of the month after the employee's termination of employment, whichever is later. The last payment shall be at the end of the calendar month in which the member dies or in accordance with the payment option chosen by the member;

(3) Annuity start date means the date upon which a member's annuity is first effective and shall be the first day of the month following the member's termination or following the date the application is received by the board, whichever is later;

(4) Cash balance benefit means a member's retirement benefit that is equal to an amount based on annual employee contribution credits plus interest credits and, if vested, employer contribution credits plus interest credits and dividend amounts credited in accordance with subdivision (4)(c) of section 23-2317;

(5)(a) Compensation means gross wages or salaries payable to the member for personal services performed during the plan year. Compensation does not include insurance premiums converted into cash payments, reimbursement for expenses incurred, fringe benefits, per diems, or bonuses for services not actually rendered, including, but not limited to, early retirement inducements, cash awards, and severance pay, except for retroactive salary payments paid pursuant to court order, arbitration, or litigation and grievance settlements. Compensation includes overtime pay, member retirement contributions, and amounts contributed by the member to plans under sections 125, 403(b), and 457 of the Internal Revenue Code or any other section of the code which defers or excludes such amounts from income.

(b) Compensation in excess of the limitations set forth in section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code shall be disregarded. For an employee who was a member of the retirement system before the first plan year beginning after December 31, 1995, the limitation on compensation shall not be less than the amount which was allowed to be taken into account under the retirement system as in effect on July 1, 1993;

(6) Date of adoption of the retirement system by each county means the first day of the month next following the date of approval of the retirement system by the county board or January 1, 1987, whichever is earlier;

(7) Date of disability means the date on which a member is determined by the board to be disabled;

(8) Defined contribution benefit means a member's retirement benefit from a money purchase plan in which member benefits equal annual contributions and earnings pursuant to section 23-2309 and, if vested, employer contributions and earnings pursuant to section 23-2310;

(9) Disability means an inability to engage in any substantially gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which was initially diagnosed or became disabling while the member was an active participant in the plan and which can be expected to result in death or be of a long-continued and indefinite duration;

(10) Employee means all persons or officers who are employed by a county of the State of Nebraska on a permanent basis, persons or officers employed by or serving in a municipal county formed by at least one county participating in the retirement system, persons employed as provided in section 2-1608, all elected officers of a county, and such other persons or officers as are classified from time to time as permanent employees by the county board of the county by which they are employed, except that employee does not include judges, employees or officers of any county having a population in excess of two hundred fifty thousand inhabitants as determined by the most recent federal decennial census, or, except as provided in section 23-2306, persons making contributions to the School Employees Retirement System of the State of Nebraska;

(11) Employee contribution credit means an amount equal to the member contribution amount required by section 23-2307;

(12) Employer contribution credit means an amount equal to the employer contribution amount required by section 23-2308;

(13) Final account value means the value of a member's account on the date the account is either distributed to the member or used to purchase an annuity from the plan, which date shall occur as soon as administratively practicable after receipt of a valid application for benefits, but no sooner than forty-five days after the member's termination;

(14) Five-year break in service means a period of five consecutive one-year breaks in service;

(15) Full-time employee means an employee who is employed to work one-half or more of the regularly scheduled hours during each pay period;

(16) Future service means service following the date of adoption of the retirement system;

(17) Guaranteed investment contract means an investment contract or account offering a return of principal invested plus interest at a specified rate. For investments made after July 19, 1996, guaranteed investment contract does not include direct obligations of the United States or its instrumentalities, bonds, participation certificates or other obligations of the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or the Government National Mortgage Association, or collateralized mortgage obligations and other derivative securities. This subdivision shall not be construed to require the liquidation of investment contracts or accounts entered into prior to July 19, 1996;

(18) Hire date or date of hire means the first day of compensated service subject to retirement contributions;

(19) Interest credit rate means the greater of (a) five percent or (b) the applicable federal mid-term rate, as published by the Internal Revenue Service as of the first day of the calendar quarter for which interest credits are credited, plus one and one-half percent, such rate to be compounded annually;

(20) Interest credits means the amounts credited to the employee cash balance account and the employer cash balance account at the end of each day. Such interest credit for each account shall be determined by applying the daily portion of the interest credit rate to the account balance at the end of the previous day. Such interest credits shall continue to be credited to the employee cash balance account and the employer cash balance account after a member ceases to be an employee, except that no such credit shall be made with respect to the employee cash balance account and the employer cash balance account for any day beginning on or after the member's date of final account value. If benefits payable to the member's surviving spouse or beneficiary are delayed after the member's death, interest credits shall continue to be credited to the employee cash balance account and the employer cash balance account until such surviving spouse or beneficiary commences receipt of a distribution from the plan;

(21) Member cash balance account means an account equal to the sum of the employee cash balance account and, if vested, the employer cash balance account and dividend amounts credited in accordance with subdivision (4)(c) of section 23-2317;

(22) One-year break in service means a plan year during which the member has not completed more than five hundred hours of service;

(23) Participation means qualifying for and making the required deposits to the retirement system during the course of a plan year;

(24) Part-time employee means an employee who is employed to work less than one-half of the regularly scheduled hours during each pay period;

(25) Plan year means the twelve-month period beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31;

(26) Prior service means service prior to the date of adoption of the retirement system;

(27) Regular interest means the rate of interest earned each calendar year as determined by the retirement board in conformity with actual and expected earnings on the investments through December 31, 1985;

(28) Required contribution means the deduction to be made from the compensation of employees as provided in the act;

(29) Retirement means qualifying for and accepting the retirement benefit granted under the act after terminating employment;

(30) Retirement application means the form approved and provided by the retirement system for acceptance of a member's request for either regular or disability retirement;

(31) Retirement board or board means the Public Employees Retirement Board;

(32) Retirement date means (a) the first day of the month following the date upon which a member's request for retirement is received on a retirement application if the member is eligible for retirement and has terminated employment or (b) the first day of the month following termination of employment if the member is eligible for retirement and has filed an application but has not yet terminated employment;

(33) Retirement system means the Retirement System for Nebraska Counties;

(34) Service means the actual total length of employment as an employee and is not deemed to be interrupted by (a) temporary or seasonal suspension of service that does not terminate the employee's employment, (b) leave of absence authorized by the employer for a period not exceeding twelve months, (c) leave of absence because of disability, or (d) military service, when properly authorized by the retirement board. Service does not include any period of disability for which disability retirement benefits are received under section 23-2315;

(35) Surviving spouse means (a) the spouse married to the member on the date of the member's death or (b) the spouse or former spouse of the member if survivorship rights are provided under a qualified domestic relations order filed with the board pursuant to the Spousal Pension Rights Act. The spouse or former spouse shall supersede the spouse married to the member on the date of the member's death as provided under a qualified domestic relations order. If the benefits payable to the spouse or former spouse under a qualified domestic relations order are less than the value of benefits entitled to the surviving spouse, the spouse married to the member on the date of the member's death shall be the surviving spouse for the balance of the benefits;

(36) Termination of employment occurs on the date on which a county which is a member of the retirement system determines that its employer-employee relationship with an employee is dissolved. The county shall notify the board of the date on which such a termination has occurred. Termination of employment does not occur if an employee whose employer-employee relationship with a county is dissolved enters into an employer-employee relationship with the same or another county which participates in the Retirement System for Nebraska Counties and there are less than one hundred twenty days between the date when the employee's employer-employee relationship ceased with the county and the date when the employer-employee relationship commenced with the same or another county which qualifies the employee for participation in the plan. It is the responsibility of the employer that is involved in the termination of employment to notify the board of such change in employment and provide the board with such information as the board deems necessary. If the board determines that termination of employment has not occurred and a retirement benefit has been paid to a member of the retirement system pursuant to section 23-2319, the board shall require the member who has received such benefit to repay the benefit to the retirement system; and

(37) Vesting credit means credit for years, or a fraction of a year, of participation in another Nebraska governmental plan for purposes of determining vesting of the employer account.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 1, p. 402; Laws 1969, c. 172, § 1, p. 750; Laws 1973, LB 216, § 1; Laws 1974, LB 905, § 1; Laws 1975, LB 47, § 1; Laws 1975, LB 45, § 1; Laws 1984, LB 216, § 2; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 1; Laws 1985, LB 432, § 1; Laws 1986, LB 311, § 2; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 1; Laws 1993, LB 417, § 1; Laws 1994, LB 833, § 1; Laws 1995, LB 369, § 2; Laws 1996, LB 847, § 2; Laws 1996, LB 1076, § 1; Laws 1996, LB 1273, § 14; Laws 1997, LB 624, § 1; Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 23; Laws 1999, LB 703, § 1; Laws 2000, LB 1192, § 1; Laws 2001, LB 142, § 32; Laws 2002, LB 407, § 1; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 3; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 2; Laws 2004, LB 1097, § 2; Laws 2006, LB 366, § 2; Laws 2006, LB 1019, § 1; Laws 2011, LB509, § 2; Laws 2012, LB916, § 4; Laws 2013, LB263, § 2; Laws 2015, LB41, § 2; Laws 2017, LB415, § 11.

Cross References

23-2302. Retirement System for Nebraska Counties; establish; purpose; acceptance of contributions.

(1) A county employees retirement system shall be established for the purpose of providing a retirement annuity or other benefits for employees as provided by the County Employees Retirement Act. It shall be known as the Retirement System for Nebraska Counties, and by such name shall transact all business and hold all cash and other property as provided in the County Employees Retirement Act.

(2) The retirement system shall not accept as contributions any money from members or participating counties except the following:

(a) Mandatory contributions and fees established by sections 23-2307 and 23-2308;

(b) Payments on behalf of transferred employees made pursuant to section 23-2306.02 or 23-2306.03;

(c) Money that is a repayment of refunded contributions made pursuant to section 23-2320;

(d) Contributions for military service credit made pursuant to section 23-2323.01;

(e) Actuarially required contributions pursuant to subdivision (4)(b) of section 23-2317;

(f) Trustee-to-trustee transfers pursuant to section 23-2323.04;

(g) Corrections ordered by the board pursuant to section 23-2305.01; or

(h) Payments made pursuant to subsection (4) of section 23-2306.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 2, p. 403; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 2; Laws 1985, LB 432, § 2; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 3; Laws 2011, LB509, § 3; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 1.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018
23-2303. Repealed. Laws 1973, LB 216, § 4.
23-2304. Repealed. Laws 1973, LB 216, § 4.
23-2305. Public Employees Retirement Board; duties; rules and regulations.

It shall be the duty of the board to administer the County Employees Retirement Act as provided in section 84-1503. The board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out the act.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 5, p. 404; Laws 1969, c. 172, § 2, p. 752; Laws 1979, LB 416, § 1; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 3; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 2; Laws 1995, LB 369, § 3; Laws 1996, LB 847, § 3; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 2.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018
23-2305.01. Board; power to adjust contributions and benefits; overpayment of benefits; investigatory powers; subpoenas.

(1)(a) If the board determines that the retirement system has previously received contributions or distributed benefits which for any reason are not in accordance with the statutory provisions of the County Employees Retirement Act, the board shall refund contributions, require additional contributions, adjust benefits, credit dividend amounts, or require repayment of benefits paid. In the event of an overpayment of a benefit, the board may, in addition to other remedies, offset future benefit payments by the amount of the prior overpayment, together with regular interest or interest credits, whichever is appropriate, thereon. In the event of an underpayment of a benefit, the board shall immediately make payment equal to the deficit amount plus regular interest or interest credits, whichever is appropriate.

(b) The board shall have the power, through the director of the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems or the director's designee, to make a thorough investigation of any overpayment of a benefit, when in the judgment of the retirement system such investigation is necessary, including, but not limited to, circumstances in which benefit payments are made after the death of a member or beneficiary and the retirement system is not made aware of such member's or beneficiary's death. In connection with any such investigation, the board, through the director or the director's designee, shall have the power to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, records, and documents, whether in hardcopy, electronic form, or otherwise, and issue subpoenas for such purposes. Such subpoenas shall be served in the same manner and have the same effect as subpoenas from district courts.

(2) The board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations implementing this section, which may include, but not be limited to, the following: (a) The procedures for refunding contributions, adjusting future contributions or benefit payments, and requiring additional contributions or repayment of benefits; (b) the process for a member, member's beneficiary, employee, or employer to dispute an adjustment of contributions or benefits; and (c) notice provided to all affected persons. All notices shall be sent prior to an adjustment and shall describe the process for disputing an adjustment of contributions or benefits.

Source:Laws 1996, LB 1076, § 5; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 4; Laws 2006, LB 1019, § 2; Laws 2015, LB40, § 4; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 3.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018
23-2306. Retirement system; members; employees; elected officials; certain contemplated business transactions regarding retirement system participation; procedures; costs; new employee; participation in another governmental plan; how treated; separate employment; effect.

(1) The membership of the retirement system shall be composed of all persons who are or were employed by member counties and who maintain an account balance with the retirement system.

(2) The following employees of member counties are authorized to participate in the retirement system: (a) All permanent full-time employees shall begin participation in the retirement system upon employment and full-time elected officials shall begin participation in the retirement system upon taking office, (b) all permanent part-time employees who have attained the age of eighteen years may exercise the option to begin participation in the retirement system within the first thirty days of employment, and (c) all part-time elected officials may exercise the option to begin participation in the retirement system within thirty days after taking office. An employee who exercises the option to begin participation in the retirement system shall remain in the system until termination or retirement, regardless of any change of status as a permanent or temporary employee.

(3) On and after July 1, 2010, no employee of a member county shall be authorized to participate in the retirement system provided for in the County Employees Retirement Act unless the employee (a) is a United States citizen or (b) is a qualified alien under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., as such act existed on January 1, 2009, and is lawfully present in the United States.

(4)(a) The board may determine that a governmental entity currently participating in the retirement system no longer qualifies, in whole or in part, under section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code as a participating employer in a governmental plan.

(b)(i) To aid governmental entities in their business decisionmaking process, any governmental entity currently participating in the retirement system contemplating a business transaction that may result in such entity no longer qualifying, in whole or in part, under section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code may notify the board in writing as soon as reasonably practicable, but no later than one hundred eighty days before the transaction is to occur.

(ii) The board when timely notified shall, as soon as is reasonably practicable, obtain from its contracted actuary the cost of any actuarial study necessary to determine the potential funding obligation. The board shall notify the entity of such cost.

(iii) If such entity pays the board's contracted actuary pursuant to subdivision (4)(c)(vi) of this section for any actuarial study necessary to determine the potential funding obligation, the board shall, as soon as reasonably practicable following its receipt of the actuarial study, (A) determine whether the entity's contemplated business transaction will cause the entity to no longer qualify under section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, (B) determine whether the contemplated business transaction constitutes a plan termination by the entity, (C) determine the potential funding obligation, (D) determine the administrative costs that will be incurred by the board or the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems in connection with the entity's removal from the retirement system, and (E) notify the entity of such determinations.

(iv) Failure to timely notify the board pursuant to subdivision (4)(b)(i) of this section may result in the entity being treated as though the board made a decision pursuant to subdivision (4)(a) of this section.

(c) If the board makes a determination pursuant to subdivision (4)(a) of this section, or if the entity engages in the contemplated business transaction reviewed under subdivision (4)(b) of this section that results in the entity no longer qualifying under section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code:

(i) The board shall notify the entity that it no longer qualifies under section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code within ten business days after the determination;

(ii) The affected plan members shall be immediately considered fully vested;

(iii) The affected plan members shall become inactive within ninety days after the board's determination;

(iv) The entity shall pay to the County Employees Retirement Fund an amount equal to any funding obligation;

(v) The entity shall pay to the County Employees Cash Balance Retirement Expense Fund an amount equal to any administrative costs incurred by the board or the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems in connection with the entity's removal from the retirement system; and

(vi) The entity shall pay directly to the board's contracted actuary an amount equal to the cost of any actuarial study necessary to aid the board in determining the amount of such funding obligation, if not previously paid.

(d) For purposes of this subsection:

(i) Business transaction means a merger; consolidation; sale of assets, equipment, or facilities; termination of a division, department, section, or subgroup of the entity; or any other business transaction that results in termination of some or all of the entity's workforce; and

(ii) Funding obligation means the financial liability of the retirement system to provide benefits for the affected plan members incurred by the retirement system due to the entity's business transaction calculated using the methodology and assumptions recommended by the board's contracted actuary and approved by the board. The methodology and assumptions used must be structured in a way that ensures the entity is financially liable for all the costs of the entity's business transaction, and the retirement system is not financially liable for any of the cost of the entity's business transaction.

(e) The board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out this subsection including, but not limited to, the methods of notifying the board of pending business transactions, the acceptable methods of payment, and the timing of such payment.

(5) Within the first one hundred eighty days of employment, a full-time employee may apply to the board for vesting credit for years of participation in another Nebraska governmental plan, as defined by section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. During the years of participation in the other Nebraska governmental plan, the employee must have been a full-time employee, as defined in the Nebraska governmental plan in which the credit was earned. The board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations governing the assessment and granting of vesting credit.

(6) Any employee who qualifies for membership in the retirement system pursuant to this section may not be disqualified from membership in the retirement system solely because such employee also maintains separate employment which qualifies the employee for membership in another public retirement system, nor may membership in this retirement system disqualify such an employee from membership in another public retirement system solely by reason of separate employment which qualifies such employee for membership in this retirement system.

(7) A full-time or part-time employee of a city, village, or township who becomes a county employee pursuant to a merger of services shall receive vesting credit for his or her years of participation in a Nebraska governmental plan, as defined by section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, of the city, village, or township.

(8) A full-time or part-time employee of a city, village, fire protection district, or township who becomes a municipal county employee shall receive credit for his or her years of employment with the city, village, fire protection district, or township for purposes of the vesting provisions of this section.

(9) A full-time or part-time employee of the state who becomes a county employee pursuant to transfer of assessment function to a county shall not be deemed to have experienced a termination of employment and shall receive vesting credit for his or her years of participation in the State Employees Retirement System of the State of Nebraska.

(10) Counties shall ensure that employees authorized to participate in the retirement system pursuant to this section shall enroll and make required contributions to the retirement system immediately upon becoming an employee. Information necessary to determine membership in the retirement system shall be provided by the employer.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 6, p. 405; Laws 1975, LB 32, § 1; Laws 1984, LB 216, § 3; Laws 1985, LB 349, § 1; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 3; Laws 1995, LB 501, § 1; Laws 1996, LB 1076, § 2; Laws 1997, LB 250, § 5; Laws 1997, LB 624, § 2; Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 24; Laws 2000, LB 1192, § 2; Laws 2001, LB 142, § 33; Laws 2002, LB 407, § 2; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 5; Laws 2004, LB 1097, § 3; Laws 2006, LB 366, § 3; Laws 2008, LB1147, § 1; Laws 2009, LB188, § 1; Laws 2010, LB950, § 1; Laws 2011, LB509, § 4; Laws 2013, LB263, § 3; Laws 2015, LB261, § 3; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 4.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018

Annotations

23-2306.01. Repealed. Laws 2006, LB 366, § 14.
23-2306.02. Retirement system; transferred employee; payment to system.

Under such rules and regulations as the retirement board may adopt and promulgate, a full-time or part-time employee of a city, village, or township who becomes a county employee pursuant to a merger of services may pay to the retirement system an amount equal to the sum of all deductions which were made from the employee's compensation, plus earnings, during such period of employment with the city, village, or township. Payment shall be made within five years after the merger or prior to retirement, whichever comes first, and may be made through direct payment, installment payments, or an irrevocable payroll authorization.

Source:Laws 1997, LB 250, § 6; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 5.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018
23-2306.03. Retirement system; municipal county employee; participation in another governmental plan; how treated.

Under such rules and regulations as the retirement board may adopt and promulgate, a full-time or part-time employee of a city, village, fire protection district, or township who becomes a municipal county employee shall transfer all of his or her funds in the retirement system of the city, village, fire protection district, or township by paying to the Retirement System for Nebraska Counties from funds held by the retirement system of the city, village, fire protection district, or township an amount equal to one of the following: (1) If the retirement system of the city, village, fire protection district, or township maintains a defined benefit plan, an amount not to exceed the initial benefit transfer value as provided in section 13-2401, leaving no funds attributable to the transferred employee within the retirement system of the city, village, fire protection district, or township; or (2) if the retirement system of the city, village, fire protection district, or township maintains a defined contribution plan, an amount not to exceed the employee and employer accounts of the transferring employee plus earnings during the period of employment with the city, village, fire protection district, or township. The employee shall receive vesting credit for his or her years of service in a governmental plan, as defined in section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, maintained by the city, village, fire protection district, or township. Payment shall be made within five years after employment begins with the receiving entity or prior to retirement, whichever comes first, and may be made through direct payment, installment payments, or an irrevocable payroll deduction authorization.

Source:Laws 2001, LB 142, § 34; Laws 2006, LB 366, § 4; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 6.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018
23-2307. Retirement system; members; contribution; amount; county pay.

Each employee who is a member of the retirement system shall pay to the county or have picked up by the county a sum equal to four and one-half percent of his or her compensation for each pay period. The contributions, although designated as employee contributions, shall be paid by the county in lieu of employee contributions. The county shall pick up the employee contributions required by this section for all compensation paid on or after January 1, 1985, and the contributions so picked up shall be treated as employer contributions pursuant to section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code in determining federal tax treatment under the code and shall not be included as gross income of the employee until such time as they are distributed or made available. The county shall pay these employee contributions from the same source of funds which is used in paying earnings to the employee. The county shall pick up these contributions by a compensation deduction through a reduction in the cash compensation of the employee. Employee contributions picked up shall be treated for all purposes of the County Employees Retirement Act in the same manner and to the extent as employee contributions made prior to the date picked up.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 7, p. 405; Laws 1981, LB 459, § 1; Laws 1984, LB 218, § 1; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 4; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 4; Laws 1992, LB 1057, § 1; Laws 1995, LB 574, § 31; Laws 2001, LB 186, § 1; Laws 2001, LB 408, § 1; Laws 2013, LB263, § 4.
23-2308. County Employees Retirement Fund; created; investment; system; county clerk; payment; fees; accounting of funds.

(1) The County Employees Retirement Fund is created. The fund shall be administered by the board and shall consist of contributions and other such sums as provided in section 23-2302. Any money in the fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act.

(2) The county clerk shall pay to the board or an entity designated by the board an amount equal to two hundred fifty percent of the amounts deducted from the compensation of employees in accordance with the provisions of section 23-2307, which two hundred fifty percent equals the employees' contributions plus the county's contributions of one hundred fifty percent of the employees' contributions.

(3) The board may charge the county an administrative processing fee of twenty-five dollars if the reports of necessary information or payments made pursuant to this section are received later than the date on which the board requires that such information or money should be received. In addition, the board may charge the county a late fee of thirty-eight thousandths of one percent of the amount required to be submitted pursuant to this section for each day such amount has not been received or in an amount equal to the amount of any costs incurred by the member due to the late receipt of contributions, whichever is greater. The late fee may be used to make a member's account whole for any costs that may have been incurred by the member due to the late receipt of contributions.

(4) The Department of Administrative Services may, for accounting purposes, create subfunds of the County Employees Retirement Fund to separately account for defined contribution plan assets and cash balance plan assets.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 8, p. 405; Laws 1981, LB 459, § 2; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 5; Laws 1992, LB 1057, § 2; Laws 1993, LB 417, § 2; Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 25; Laws 2002, LB 407, § 3; Laws 2005, LB 364, § 1; Laws 2011, LB509, § 5; Laws 2012, LB916, § 5.

Cross References

23-2308.01. Cash balance benefit; election; effect; administrative services agreements; authorized.

(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that, in order to improve the competitiveness of the retirement plan for county employees, a cash balance benefit shall be added to the County Employees Retirement Act on and after January 1, 2003. Each member who is employed and participating in the retirement system prior to January 1, 2003, may either elect to continue participation in the defined contribution benefit as provided in the act prior to January 1, 2003, or elect to participate in the cash balance benefit as set forth in this section. An active member shall make a one-time election beginning September 1, 2012, through October 31, 2012, in order to participate in the cash balance benefit. If no such election is made, the member shall be treated as though he or she elected to continue participating in the defined contribution benefit as provided in the act prior to January 1, 2003. Members who elect to participate in the cash balance benefit beginning September 1, 2012, through October 31, 2012, shall commence participation in the cash balance benefit on January 2, 2013. Any member who made the election prior to April 7, 2012, does not have to make another election of the cash balance benefit beginning September 1, 2012, through October 31, 2012.

(2) For a member employed and participating in the retirement system beginning on and after January 1, 2003, or a member employed and participating in the retirement system on January 1, 2003, who, prior to April 7, 2012, or beginning September 1, 2012, through October 31, 2012, elects to convert his or her employee and employer accounts to the cash balance benefit:

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (2)(b) of section 23-2319.01, the employee cash balance account within the County Employees Retirement Fund shall, at any time, be equal to the following:

(i) The initial employee account balance, if any, transferred from the defined contribution plan account described in section 23-2309; plus

(ii) Employee contribution credits deposited in accordance with section 23-2307; plus

(iii) Interest credits credited in accordance with subdivision (20) of section 23-2301; plus

(iv) Dividend amounts credited in accordance with subdivision (4)(c) of section 23-2317; and

(b) The employer cash balance account shall, at any time, be equal to the following:

(i) The initial employer account balance, if any, transferred from the defined contribution plan account described in section 23-2310; plus

(ii) Employer contribution credits deposited in accordance with section 23-2308; plus

(iii) Interest credits credited in accordance with subdivision (20) of section 23-2301; plus

(iv) Dividend amounts credited in accordance with subdivision (4)(c) of section 23-2317.

(3) In order to carry out the provisions of this section, the board may enter into administrative services agreements for accounting or record-keeping services. No agreement shall be entered into unless the board determines that it will result in administrative economy and will be in the best interests of the counties and their participating employees. The board may develop a schedule for the allocation of the administrative services agreements costs for accounting or record-keeping services and may assess the costs so that each member pays a reasonable fee as determined by the board.

Source:Laws 2002, LB 687, § 6; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 4; Laws 2005, LB 364, § 2; Laws 2006, LB 366, § 5; Laws 2006, LB 1019, § 3; Laws 2007, LB328, § 1; Laws 2009, LB188, § 2; Laws 2010, LB950, § 2; Laws 2011, LB509, § 6; Laws 2012, LB916, § 6; Laws 2017, LB415, § 12.
23-2309. Defined contribution benefit; employee account, defined; interest credited to account.

For a member employed and participating in the retirement system prior to January 1, 2003, who has elected not to participate in the cash balance benefit, a member's share of the fund arising from the compensation deductions made in accordance with section 23-2307 shall be known as his or her employee account. Each year, commencing January 1, 1975, and ending December 31, 1985, regular interest shall be credited to the employee account. As of January 1 of each such year, a member's employee account shall be equal to one hundred percent of his or her employee account as of the next preceding January 1, increased by any regular interest earned and any amounts deducted from the member's compensation since the next preceding January 1 in accordance with section 23-2307.

On and after January 1, 1986, the employee account shall be equal to the sum of the employee's stable return account, equities account, and any assets of additional accounts created pursuant to section 23-2309.01.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 9, p. 405; Laws 1974, LB 905, § 2; Laws 1983, LB 313, § 1; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 5; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 6; Laws 1994, LB 833, § 2; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 7.
23-2309.01. Defined contribution benefit; employee account; investment options; procedures; administration.

(1) Each member employed and participating in the retirement system prior to January 1, 2003, who has elected not to participate in the cash balance benefit, shall be allowed to allocate all contributions to his or her employee account to various investment options. The investment options shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) An investor select account which shall be invested under the direction of the state investment officer with an asset allocation and investment strategy substantially similar to the investment allocations made by the state investment officer for the defined benefit plans under the retirement systems described in subdivision (1)(a) of section 84-1503. Investments shall most likely include domestic and international equities, fixed income investments, and real estate, as well as potentially additional asset classes;

(b) A stable return account which shall be invested by or under the direction of the state investment officer in a stable value strategy that provides capital preservation and consistent, steady returns;

(c) An equities account which shall be invested by or under the direction of the state investment officer in equities;

(d) A balanced account which shall be invested by or under the direction of the state investment officer in equities and fixed income instruments;

(e) An index fund account which shall be invested by or under the direction of the state investment officer in a portfolio of common stocks designed to closely duplicate the total return of the Standard and Poor's division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 500 Index;

(f) A fixed income account which shall be invested by or under the direction of the state investment officer in fixed income instruments;

(g) A money market account which shall be invested by or under the direction of the state investment officer in short-term fixed income securities; and

(h) Beginning July 1, 2006, an age-based account which shall be invested under the direction of the state investment officer with an asset allocation and investment strategy that changes based upon the age of the member. The board shall develop an account mechanism that changes the investments as the employee nears retirement age. The asset allocation and asset classes utilized in the investments shall move from aggressive, to moderate, and then to conservative as retirement age approaches.

If a member fails to select an option or combination of options, all of his or her funds shall be placed in the option described in subdivision (b) of this subsection. Each member shall be given a detailed current description of each investment option prior to making or revising his or her allocation.

(2) Members of the retirement system may allocate their contributions to the investment options in percentage increments as set by the board in any proportion, including full allocation to any one option. A member under subdivision (1)(a) of section 23-2321 or his or her beneficiary may transfer any portion of his or her funds among the options, except for restrictions on transfers to or from the stable return account pursuant to rule or regulation. The board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for changes of a member's allocation of contributions to his or her accounts after his or her most recent allocation and for transfers from one investment account to another.

(3) The board shall develop a schedule for the allocation of administrative costs of maintaining the various investment options and shall assess the costs so that each member pays a reasonable fee as determined by the board.

(4) In order to carry out this section, the board may enter into administrative services agreements for accounting or record-keeping services. No agreement shall be entered into unless the board determines that it will result in administrative economy and will be in the best interests of the county and its participating employees.

(5) The state, the board, the state investment officer, the members of the Nebraska Investment Council, or the county shall not be liable for any investment results resulting from the member's exercise of control over the assets in the employee account.

Source:Laws 1985, LB 347, § 11; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 7; Laws 1994, LB 833, § 3; Laws 1996, LB 847, § 4; Laws 1999, LB 703, § 2; Laws 2000, LB 1200, § 1; Laws 2001, LB 408, § 2; Laws 2002, LB 407, § 4; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 8; Laws 2005, LB 503, § 1; Laws 2008, LB1147, § 2; Laws 2010, LB950, § 3; Laws 2012, LB916, § 7; Laws 2014, LB759, § 16; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 7.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018
23-2310. Defined contribution benefit; employer account, defined; state investment officer; duties.

(1) For a member employed and participating in the retirement system prior to January 1, 2003, who has elected not to participate in the cash balance benefit, a member's share of the fund arising from the county contributions shall be known as his or her employer account. Prior to January 1, 1981, as of any January 1 a member's employer account shall be equal to his or her account as of the next preceding January 1, increased by one hundred percent of any amounts deducted from the member's compensation since the next preceding January 1 in accordance with section 23-2307. As of January 1, 1982, a member's employer account shall be equal to the account as of January 1, 1981, increased by one hundred percent of the amounts deducted from the member's compensation for the first nine months of the year and one hundred fifty percent for the final three months of the year in accordance with section 23-2307. As of January 1, 1983, and each year thereafter, the member's employer account shall be equal to the account as of the next preceding January 1 increased by one hundred fifty percent of the amounts deducted from the member's compensation since the next preceding January 1 in accordance with section 23-2307. The member's employer account shall be increased by any interest allocated under the provisions of the guaranteed investment contract and any gains on investments and reduced by any losses on investments, any expense charges under the guaranteed investment contract or other investments, and any expense charges incurred in connection with administering the retirement system in excess of those provided for in section 23-2319.01, except that a member who ceased being an employee since the next preceding January 1 may have his or her employer account reduced in accordance with such section. On and after July 1, 1999, the employer account shall be equal to the sum of the assets of the accounts created by the board pursuant to section 23-2310.05.

(2) On and after January 1, 1997, and until July 1, 1999, the state investment officer shall invest the employer account, and, after July 1, 1999, upon maturity, the state investment officer shall invest the employer account funds which have been invested in guaranteed investment contracts prior to January 1, 1997. On and after July 1, 1999, the employer account shall be invested pursuant to section 23-2310.05. The state investment officer shall invest or reinvest the funds in securities and investments the nature of which individuals of prudence, discretion, and intelligence acquire or retain in dealing with the property of another, and if the state investment officer has special skills or is appointed on the basis of representations of special skills or expertise, he or she is under a duty to use such skills.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 10, p. 406; Laws 1981, LB 462, § 1; Laws 1983, LB 313, § 2; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 6; Laws 1986, LB 311, § 3; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 8; Laws 1992, LB 1057, § 3; Laws 1994, LB 833, § 4; Laws 1996, LB 847, § 5; Laws 1997, LB 624, § 3; Laws 1999, LB 687, § 2; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 9.

Annotations

23-2310.01. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 85.
23-2310.02. Repealed. Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 85.
23-2310.03. State Treasurer; duties.

The State Treasurer shall be the custodian of the funds and securities of the retirement system and may deposit the funds and securities in any financial institution approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. All disbursements therefrom shall be paid by him or her only upon vouchers signed by a person authorized by the retirement board. The State Treasurer shall transmit monthly to the board a detailed statement showing all credits to and disbursements from the funds in his or her custody belonging to the retirement system.

Source:Laws 1997, LB 623, § 1.
23-2310.04. County Employees Defined Contribution Retirement Expense Fund; County Employees Cash Balance Retirement Expense Fund; created; use; investment; forfeiture funds; use.

(1) The County Employees Defined Contribution Retirement Expense Fund is created. The fund shall be credited with money from the retirement system assets and income sufficient to pay the pro rata share of administrative expenses incurred as directed by the board for the proper administration of the County Employees Retirement Act and necessary in connection with the administration and operation of the retirement system, except as provided in sections 23-2308.01, 23-2309.01, and 23-2310.05. Any money in the fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act.

(2) The County Employees Cash Balance Retirement Expense Fund is created. The fund shall be credited with money forfeited pursuant to section 23-2319.01 and with money from the retirement system assets and income sufficient to pay the pro rata share of administrative expenses incurred as directed by the board for the proper administration of the County Employees Retirement Act and necessary in connection with the administration and operation of the retirement system, except as provided in sections 23-2308.01, 23-2309.01, and 23-2310.05. Any money in the fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act.

(3) Forfeiture funds collected from members participating in the defined contribution benefit shall be used to either pay expenses or reduce employer contributions related to the defined contribution benefit. Any unused funds shall be allocated as earnings of and transferred to the accounts of the remaining members within twelve months after receipt of the funds by the board.

Source:Laws 1997, LB 623, § 2; Laws 2000, LB 1200, § 2; Laws 2001, LB 408, § 3; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 5; Laws 2005, LB 364, § 3; Laws 2007, LB328, § 2; Laws 2010, LB950, § 4; Laws 2013, LB263, § 5.

Cross References

23-2310.05. Defined contribution benefit; employer account; investment options; procedures; administration.

(1) Each member employed and participating in the retirement system prior to January 1, 2003, who has elected not to participate in the cash balance benefit, shall be allowed to allocate all contributions to his or her employer account to various investment options. Such investment options shall be the same as the investment options of the employee account as provided in subsection (1) of section 23-2309.01. If a member fails to select an option or combination of options, all of his or her funds in the employer account shall be placed in the balanced account option described in subdivision (1)(d) of section 23-2309.01. Each member shall be given a detailed current description of each investment option prior to making or revising his or her allocation.

(2) Each member of the retirement system may allocate contributions to his or her employer account to the investment options in percentage increments as set by the board in any proportion, including full allocation to any one option. A member under subdivision (1)(a) of section 23-2321 or his or her beneficiary may transfer any portion of his or her funds among the options. The board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for changes of a member's allocation of contributions to his or her accounts after his or her most recent allocation and for transfers from one investment account to another.

(3) The board shall develop a schedule for the allocation of administrative costs of maintaining the various investment options and shall assess the costs so that each member pays a reasonable fee as determined by the board.

(4) In order to carry out the provisions of this section, the board may enter into administrative services agreements for accounting or record-keeping services. No agreement shall be entered into unless the board determines that it will result in administrative economy and will be in the best interests of the state and participating employees.

(5) The state, the board, the state investment officer, the members of the Nebraska Investment Council, or the county shall not be liable for any investment results resulting from the member's exercise of control over the assets in the employer account.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 687, § 1; Laws 2000, LB 1200, § 3; Laws 2001, LB 408, § 4; Laws 2002, LB 407, § 5; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 10; Laws 2004, LB 1097, § 4; Laws 2005, LB 364, § 4; Laws 2005, LB 503, § 2; Laws 2008, LB1147, § 3; Laws 2010, LB950, § 5; Laws 2012, LB916, § 8; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 8.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018
23-2311. Transferred to section 23-2333.
23-2312. Retirement system; records; contents; employer education program.

(1) The director of the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems shall keep a complete record of all members with respect to names, current addresses, ages, contributions, and any other facts as may be necessary in the administration of the County Employees Retirement Act. The information in the records shall be provided by the employer in an accurate and verifiable form, as specified by the director. The director shall, from time to time, carry out testing procedures pursuant to section 84-1512 to verify the accuracy of such information. For the purpose of obtaining such facts and information, the director shall have access to the records of the various counties and state departments and agencies and the holder of the records shall comply with a request by the director for access by providing such facts and information to the director in a timely manner. A certified copy of a birth certificate or delayed birth certificate shall be prima facie evidence of the age of the person named in the certificate.

(2) The director shall develop and implement an employer education program using principles generally accepted by public employee retirement systems so that all employers have the knowledge and information necessary to prepare and file reports as the board requires.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 12, p. 406; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 7; Laws 1986, LB 311, § 4; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 9; Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 26; Laws 2000, LB 1192, § 3; Laws 2005, LB 503, § 3.
23-2313. Retirement system; Auditor of Public Accounts; audit; report.

It shall be the duty of the Auditor of Public Accounts to make an annual audit of the retirement system and an annual report to the retirement board and to the Clerk of the Legislature of the condition of the retirement system. The report submitted to the Clerk of the Legislature shall be submitted electronically. Each member of the Legislature shall receive an electronic copy of the report required by this section by making a request for such report to either the Auditor of Public Accounts or the retirement board.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 13, p. 407; Laws 1973, LB 214, § 2; Laws 1979, LB 322, § 5; Laws 1988, LB 1169, § 1; Laws 2012, LB782, § 23.
23-2314. Retirement system; powers.

The retirement system may sue or be sued in the name of the system, and in all actions brought by or against it, the system shall be represented by the Attorney General.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 14, p. 407; Laws 1996, LB 847, § 6.
23-2315. Retirement system; retirement; when; conditions; application for benefits; deferment of payment; board; duties; certain required minimum distributions; election authorized.

(1) Upon filing an application for benefits with the board, an employee may elect to retire at any time after attaining the age of fifty-five or an employee may retire as a result of disability at any age.

(2) The member shall specify in the application for benefits the manner in which he or she wishes to receive the retirement benefit under the options provided by the County Employees Retirement Act. Payment under the application for benefits shall be made (a) for annuities, no sooner than the annuity start date, and (b) for other distributions, no sooner than the date of final account value.

(3) Payment of any benefit provided under the retirement system may not be deferred later than April 1 of the year following the year in which the employee has both attained at least age seventy and one-half years and terminated his or her employment with the county.

(4) The board shall make reasonable efforts to locate the member or the member's beneficiary and distribute benefits by the required beginning date as specified by section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations issued thereunder. If the board is unable to make such a distribution, the benefit shall be distributed pursuant to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act and no amounts may be applied to increase the benefits any member would otherwise receive under the County Employees Retirement Act.

(5) 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, § 15, p. 407; Laws 1975, LB 47, § 2; Laws 1979, LB 391, § 1; Laws 1982, LB 287, § 1; Laws 1986, LB 311, § 5; Laws 1987, LB 60, § 1; Laws 1987, LB 296, § 1; Laws 1994, LB 833, § 7; Laws 1996, LB 1076, § 3; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 6; Laws 2009, LB188, § 3; Laws 2013, LB263, § 6.

Cross References

23-2315.01. Retirement for disability; application; when; medical examination; waiver.

(1) Any member, disregarding the length of service, may be retired as a result of disability either upon his or her own application or upon the application of his or her employer or any person acting in his or her behalf. Before any member may be so retired, a medical examination shall be made at the expense of the retirement system, which examination shall be conducted by a disinterested physician legally authorized to practice medicine under the laws of the state in which he or she practices, such physician to be selected by the retirement board, and the physician shall certify to the board that the member should be retired because he or she suffers from an inability to engage in any substantially gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which was initially diagnosed or became disabling while the member was an active participant in the plan and which can be expected to result in death or to be of long-continued and indefinite duration. The medical examination may be waived if, in the judgment of the retirement board, extraordinary circumstances exist which preclude substantial gainful activity by the member. Such circumstances shall include hospice placement or similar confinement for a terminal illness or injury. The application for disability retirement shall be made within one year of termination of employment.

(2) The retirement board may require any disability beneficiary who has not attained the age of fifty-five years to undergo a medical examination at the expense of the board once each year. Should any disability beneficiary refuse to undergo such an examination, his or her disability retirement benefit may be discontinued by the board.

(3) The retirement board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations and prescribe the necessary forms to carry out this section.

Source:Laws 1975, LB 47, § 3; Laws 1997, LB 623, § 5; Laws 2001, LB 408, § 5; Laws 2010, LB950, § 6; Laws 2017, LB415, § 13.
23-2316. Retirement system; retirement value for employee.

The retirement value for any employee who retires under the provisions of section 23-2315 shall be (1) for participants in the defined contribution benefit, the sum of the employee's employee account and employer account as of the date of final account value and (2) for participants in the cash balance benefit, the benefit provided in section 23-2308.01 as of the date of final account value.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 16, p. 407; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 11; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 7.
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.
23-2317.01. County Equal Retirement Benefit Fund; created; use.

There is hereby created the County Equal Retirement Benefit Fund to be administered by the board. Each county participating in the retirement system on January 1, 1984, pursuant to the County Employees Retirement Act shall make a contribution at least once a year to the fund, in addition to any other retirement contributions. Such contribution shall be in an amount determined by the board to provide all similarly situated male and female members of the retirement system with equal benefits pursuant to subsection (2) of section 23-2317 and to provide for direct expenses incurred in administering the fund. The board shall keep a record of the contributions made by each county.

Source:Laws 1983, LB 210, § 4; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 10; Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 27.
23-2318. Transferred to section 23-2334.
23-2319. Termination of employment; termination benefit; vesting; certain required minimum distributions; election authorized.

(1) Except as provided in section 42-1107, upon termination of employment, except for retirement or disability, and after filing an application with the board, a member may receive:

(a) If not vested, a termination benefit equal to the amount of his or her employee account or member cash balance account as of the date of final account value payable in a lump sum or an annuity with the lump-sum or first annuity payment made at any time after termination but no later than April 1 of the year following the year in which the member attains the age of seventy and one-half years; or

(b) If vested, a termination benefit equal to (i) the amount of his or her member cash balance account as of the date of final account value payable in a lump sum or an annuity with the lump-sum or first annuity payment made at any time after termination but no later than April 1 of the year following the year in which the member attains the age of seventy and one-half years or (ii)(A) the amount of his or her employee account as of the date of final account value payable in a lump sum or an annuity with the lump-sum or first annuity payment made at any time after termination but no later than April 1 of the year following the year in which the member attains the age of seventy and one-half years plus (B) the amount of his or her employer account as of the date of final account value payable in a lump sum or an annuity with the lump-sum or first annuity payment made at any time after termination but no later than April 1 of the year following the year in which the member attains the age of seventy and one-half years.

The member cash balance account or employer and employee accounts of a terminating member shall be retained by the board, and the termination benefit shall be deferred until a valid application for benefits has been received.

(2) At the option of the terminating member, any lump sum of the employer account or member cash balance account or any annuity payment provided under subsection (1) of this section shall commence as of the first of the month at any time after such member has terminated his or her employment with the county and no later than April 1 of the year following the year in which the member attains the age of seventy and one-half years. Such election by the terminating member shall be made at any time prior to the commencement of the lump-sum or annuity payments.

(3) Members of the retirement system shall be vested after a total of three years of participation in the system as a member pursuant to section 23-2306, including vesting credit. If an employee retires pursuant to section 23-2315, such employee shall be fully vested in the retirement system.

(4) 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, § 19, p. 408; Laws 1975, LB 32, § 3; Laws 1975, LB 47, § 4; Laws 1984, LB 216, § 4; Laws 1986, LB 311, § 7; Laws 1987, LB 60, § 3; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 11; Laws 1993, LB 417, § 4; Laws 1994, LB 1306, § 1; Laws 1996, LB 1076, § 4; Laws 1996, LB 1273, § 16; Laws 1997, LB 624, § 4; Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 28; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 13; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 9; Laws 2006, LB 366, § 6; Laws 2009, LB188, § 5; Laws 2013, LB263, § 8.
23-2319.01. Termination of employment; account forfeited; when; County Employer Retirement Expense Fund; created; use; investment.

(1) For a member who has terminated employment and is not vested, the balance of the member's employer account or employer cash balance account shall be forfeited. The forfeited account shall be credited to the County Employees Retirement Fund and shall first be used to meet the expense charges incurred by the retirement board in connection with administering the retirement system, which charges shall be credited to the County Employees Defined Contribution Retirement Expense Fund, if the member participated in the defined contribution option, or to the County Employees Cash Balance Retirement Expense Fund, if the member participated in the cash balance option, and the remainder, if any, shall then be used to restore employer accounts or employer cash balance accounts. Except as provided in subsection (3) of section 23-2310.04 and subdivision (4)(c) of section 23-2317, no forfeited amounts shall be applied to increase the benefits any member would otherwise receive under the County Employees Retirement Act.

(2)(a) If a member ceases to be an employee due to the termination of his or her employment by the county and a grievance or other appeal of the termination is filed, transactions involving forfeiture of his or her employer account or employer cash balance account and, except as provided in subdivision (b) of this subsection, transactions for payment of benefits under sections 23-2315 and 23-2319 shall be suspended pending the final outcome of the grievance or other appeal.

(b) If a member elects to receive benefits payable under sections 23-2315 and 23-2319 after a grievance or appeal is filed, the member may receive an amount up to the balance of his or her employee account or member cash balance account or twenty-five thousand dollars payable from the employee account or member cash balance account, whichever is less.

(3) The County Employer Retirement Expense Fund is created. The fund shall be administered by the Public Employees Retirement Board. Prior to July 1, 2012, the County Employer Retirement Expense Fund shall be used to meet expenses of the retirement system whether such expenses are incurred in administering the member's employer account or in administering the member's employer cash balance account when the funds available in the County Employees Defined Contribution Retirement Expense Fund or County Employees Cash Balance Retirement Expense Fund make such use reasonably necessary. The County Employer Retirement Expense Fund shall consist of any reduction in a county contribution which would otherwise be required to fund future service retirement benefits or to restore employer accounts or employer cash balance accounts referred to in subsection (1) of this section. On July 1, 2012, or as soon as practicable thereafter, any money in the County Employer Retirement Expense Fund shall be transferred by the State Treasurer to the County Employees Retirement Fund and credited to the cash balance benefit established in section 23-2308.01.

(4) Prior to July 1, 2012, expenses incurred as a result of a county depositing amounts into the County Employer Retirement Expense Fund shall be deducted prior to any additional expenses being allocated. Any remaining amount shall be allocated in accordance with subsection (3) of this section. Any money in the County Employer Retirement Expense Fund available for investment shall be invested by the state investment officer pursuant to the Nebraska Capital Expansion Act and the Nebraska State Funds Investment Act.

Source:Laws 1997, LB 624, § 5; Laws 2000, LB 1200, § 4; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 14; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 10; Laws 2005, LB 364, § 5; Laws 2007, LB328, § 4; Laws 2011, LB509, § 7; Laws 2012, LB916, § 10; Laws 2013, LB263, § 9.

Cross References

23-2319.02. Repealed. Laws 2012, LB 916, § 47.
23-2320. Employee; reemployment; status; how treated; reinstatement; repay amount received.

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a member of the retirement system who has a five-year break in service shall upon reemployment be considered a new employee with respect to the County Employees Retirement Act and shall not receive credit for service prior to his or her reemployment date.

(2)(a) A member who ceases to be an employee before becoming eligible for retirement under section 23-2315 and again becomes a permanent full-time or permanent part-time county employee prior to having a five-year break in service shall immediately be reenrolled in the retirement system and resume making contributions. For purposes of vesting employer contributions made prior to and after the reentry into the retirement system under subsection (3) of section 23-2319, years of participation include years of participation prior to such employee's original termination. For a member who is not vested and has received a termination benefit pursuant to section 23-2319, the years of participation prior to such employee's original termination shall be limited in a ratio equal to the amount that the member repays divided by the termination benefit withdrawn pursuant to section 23-2319.

(b) The reemployed member may repay the value of, or a portion of the value of, the termination benefit withdrawn pursuant to section 23-2319. A reemployed member who elects to repay all or a portion of the value of the termination benefit withdrawn pursuant to section 23-2319 shall repay the actual earnings on such value. Repayment of the termination benefit shall commence within three years of reemployment and shall be completed within five years of reemployment or prior to termination of employment, whichever occurs first, through (i) direct payments to the retirement system, (ii) installment payments made pursuant to a binding irrevocable payroll deduction authorization made by the member, (iii) an eligible rollover distribution as provided under the Internal Revenue Code, or (iv) a direct rollover distribution made in accordance with section 401(a)(31) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(c) The value of the member's forfeited employer account or employer cash balance account, as of the date of forfeiture, shall be restored in a ratio equal to the amount of the benefit that the member has repaid divided by the termination benefit received. The employer account or employer cash balance account shall be restored first out of the current forfeiture amounts and then by additional employer contributions.

(3) For a member who retired pursuant to section 23-2315 and becomes a permanent full-time employee or permanent part-time employee with a county under the County Employees Retirement Act more than one hundred twenty days after his or her retirement date, the member shall continue receiving retirement benefits. Such a retired member or a retired member who received a lump-sum distribution of his or her benefit shall be considered a new employee as of the date of reemployment and shall not receive credit for any service prior to the member's retirement for purposes of the act.

(4) A member who is reinstated as an employee pursuant to a grievance or appeal of his or her termination by the county shall be a member upon reemployment and shall not be considered to have a break in service for such period of time that the grievance or appeal was pending. Following reinstatement, the member shall repay the value of the amount received from his or her employee account or member cash balance account under subdivision (2)(b) of section 23-2319.01.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 20, p. 409; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 9; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 12; Laws 1993, LB 417, § 5; Laws 1997, LB 624, § 6; Laws 1999, LB 703, § 3; Laws 2002, LB 407, § 6; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 15; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 11; Laws 2004, LB 1097, § 5; Laws 2007, LB328, § 6; Laws 2008, LB1147, § 4; Laws 2011, LB509, § 8.
23-2321. Retirement system; employee; death before retirement; death benefit; death while performing qualified military service; additional death benefit.

(1) In the event of the death before his or her retirement date of any employee who is a member of the system, the death benefit shall be equal to (a) for participants in the defined contribution benefit, the total of the employee account and the employer account and (b) for participants in the cash balance benefit, the benefit provided in section 23-2308.01. The death benefit shall be paid to the member's beneficiary, to an alternate payee pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order as provided in section 42-1107, or to the member's estate if there are no designated beneficiaries. If the beneficiary is not the member's surviving spouse, the death benefit shall be paid as a lump-sum payment or payments, except that the entire account must be distributed by the fifth anniversary of the member's death. If the sole primary beneficiary is the member's surviving spouse, the surviving spouse may elect to receive an annuity calculated as if the member retired and selected a one-hundred-percent joint and survivor annuity effective on the annuity purchase date. If the surviving spouse does not elect the annuity option within one hundred eighty days after the death of the member, the surviving spouse shall receive a lump-sum payment or payments, except that the entire account must be distributed by the fifth anniversary of the member's death.

(2) A lump-sum death benefit paid to the member's beneficiary, other than the member's estate, that is an eligible distribution may be distributed in the form of a direct transfer to a retirement plan eligible to receive such transfer under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

(3) For any member whose death occurs on or after January 1, 2007, while performing qualified military service as defined in section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code, the member's beneficiary shall be entitled to any additional death benefit that would have been provided, other than the accrual of any benefit relating to the period of qualified military service. The additional death benefit shall be determined as if the member had returned to employment with a participating county and such employment had terminated on the date of the member's death.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 21, p. 409; Laws 1975, LB 47, § 5; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 10; Laws 1994, LB 1306, § 2; Laws 1996, LB 1273, § 17; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 16; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 12; Laws 2004, LB 1097, § 6; Laws 2009, LB188, § 6; Laws 2012, LB916, § 11.
23-2322. Retirement system; retirement benefits; exemption from legal process; exception.

Annuities or benefits which any person shall be entitled to receive under the County Employees Retirement Act shall not be subject to garnishment, attachment, levy, the operation of bankruptcy or insolvency laws, or any other process of law whatsoever and shall not be assignable except to the extent that such annuities or benefits are subject to a qualified domestic relations order under the Spousal Pension Rights Act.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 22, p. 409; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 12; Laws 1986, LB 311, § 8; Laws 1989, LB 506, § 1; Laws 1996, LB 1273, § 18; Laws 2012, LB916, § 12; Laws 2015, LB40, § 5.

Cross References

23-2323. Transferred to section 23-2335.
23-2323.01. Reemployment; military service; contributions; effect.

(1)(a) For military service beginning on or after December 12, 1994, but before January 1, 2018, any employee who, while an employee, entered into and served in the armed forces of the United States and who within ninety days after honorable discharge or honorable separation from active duty again became an employee shall be credited, for the purposes of section 23-2315, with all the time actually served in the armed forces as if such person had been an employee throughout such service in the armed forces pursuant to the terms and conditions of subdivision (b) of this subsection.

(b) Under such rules and regulations as the retirement board may adopt and promulgate, an employee who is reemployed on or after December 12, 1994, pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq., may pay to the retirement system an amount equal to the sum of all deductions which would have been made from the employee's compensation during such period of military service. Payment shall be made within the period required by law, not to exceed five years. To the extent that payment is made, (i) the employee shall be treated as not having incurred a break in service by reason of the employee's period of military service, (ii) the period of military service shall be credited for the purposes of determining the nonforfeitability of the employee's accrued benefits and the accrual of benefits under the plan, and (iii) the employer shall allocate the amount of employer contributions to the employee's employer account in the same manner and to the same extent the allocation occurs for other employees during the period of service. For purposes of employee and employer contributions under this section, the employee's compensation during the period of military service shall be the rate the employee would have received but for the military service or, if not reasonably determinable, the average rate the employee received during the twelve-month period immediately preceding military service.

(c) The employer shall pick up the employee contributions made through irrevocable payroll deduction authorizations pursuant to this subsection, and the contributions so picked up shall be treated as employer contributions in the same manner as contributions picked up under section 23-2307.

(2)(a) For military service beginning on or after January 1, 2018, any employee who is reemployed pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq., shall be treated as not having incurred a break in service by reason of the employee's period of military service. Such military service shall be credited for purposes of determining the nonforfeitability of the employee's accrued benefits and the accrual of benefits under the plan.

(b) The county employing the employee shall be liable for funding any obligation of the plan to provide benefits based upon such period of military service. To satisfy the liability, the county employing the employee shall pay to the retirement system an amount equal to:

(i) The sum of the employee and employer contributions that would have been paid during such period of military service; and

(ii) Any actuarial costs necessary to fund the obligation of the plan to provide benefits based upon such period of military service. For the purposes of determining the amount of such liability and obligation of the plan, earnings and forfeitures, gains and losses, regular interest, interest credits, or dividends that would have accrued on the employee and employer contributions that are paid by the employer pursuant to this section shall not be included.

(c) The amount required pursuant to subdivision (b) of this subsection shall be paid to the retirement system as soon as reasonably practicable following the date of reemployment but must be paid within eighteen months of the date the board notifies the employer of the amount due. If the employer fails to pay the required amount within such eighteen-month period, then the employer is also responsible for any actuarial costs and interest on actuarial costs that accrue from eighteen months after the date the employer is notified by the board until the date the amount is paid.

(d) The retirement board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out this subsection, including, but not limited to, rules and regulations on:

(i) How and when the employee and employer must notify the retirement system of a period of military service;

(ii) The acceptable methods of payment;

(iii) Determining the service and compensation upon which the contributions must be made;

(iv) Accelerating the payment from the employer due to unforeseen circumstances that occur before payment is made pursuant to this section, including, but not limited to, the employee's termination or retirement or the employer's reorganization, consolidation, merger, or closing; and

(v) The documentation required to substantiate that the employee was reemployed pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq.

(3) This section only applies to military service that falls within the definition of uniformed service under 38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq. Military service does not include service provided pursuant to sections 55-101 to 55-181.

Source:Laws 1996, LB 847, § 7; Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 29; Laws 1999, LB 703, § 4; Laws 2017, LB415, § 15; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 9.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018
23-2323.02. Direct rollover; terms, defined; distributee; powers; board; powers.

(1) For purposes of this section and section 23-2323.03:

(a) Direct rollover means a payment by the retirement system to the eligible retirement plan or plans specified by the distributee;

(b) Distributee means the member, the member's surviving spouse, or the member's former spouse who is an alternate payee under a qualified domestic relations order as defined in section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code;

(c) Eligible retirement plan means (i) an individual retirement account described in section 408(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, (ii) an individual retirement annuity described in section 408(b) of the code, except for an endowment contract, (iii) a qualified plan described in section 401(a) of the code, (iv) an annuity plan described in section 403(a) or 403(b) of the code, (v) except for purposes of section 23-2323.03, an individual retirement plan described in section 408A of the code, and (vi) a plan described in section 457(b) of the code and maintained by a governmental employer. For eligible rollover distributions to a surviving spouse, an eligible retirement plan means subdivisions (1)(c)(i) through (vi) of this section; and

(d) Eligible rollover distribution means any distribution to a distributee of all or any portion of the balance to the credit of the distributee in the plan, except such term shall not include any distribution which is one of a series of substantially equal periodic payments, not less frequently than annually, made for the life of the distributee or joint lives of the distributee and the distributee's beneficiary or for the specified period of ten years or more and shall not include any distribution to the extent such distribution is required under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(2) For distributions made to a distributee on or after January 1, 1993, a distributee may elect to have any portion of an eligible rollover distribution paid directly to an eligible retirement plan specified by the distributee.

(3) A member's surviving spouse or former spouse who is an alternate payee under a qualified domestic relations order and, on or after January 1, 2010, any designated beneficiary of a member who is not a surviving spouse or former spouse who is entitled to receive an eligible rollover distribution from the retirement system may, in accordance with such rules, regulations, and limitations as may be established by the board, elect to have such distribution made in the form of a direct transfer to a retirement plan eligible to receive such transfer under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

(4) An eligible rollover distribution on behalf of a designated beneficiary of a member who is not a surviving spouse or former spouse of the member may be transferred to an individual retirement account or annuity described in section 408(a) or section 408(b) of the Internal Revenue Code that is established for the purpose of receiving the distribution on behalf of the designated beneficiary and that will be treated as an inherited individual retirement account or individual retirement annuity described in section 408(d)(3)(C) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(5) The board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for direct rollover procedures which are consistent with section 401(a)(31) of the Internal Revenue Code and which include, but are not limited to, the form and time of direct rollover distributions.

Source:Laws 1996, LB 847, § 8; Laws 2002, LB 407, § 7; Laws 2012, LB916, § 13; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 10.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018
23-2323.03. Retirement system; accept payments and rollovers; limitations; board; powers.

(1) The retirement system may accept cash rollover contributions from a member who is making payment pursuant to section 23-2306.02, 23-2306.03, 23-2320, or 23-2323.01 if the contributions do not exceed the amount authorized to be paid by the member pursuant to section 23-2306.02, 23-2306.03, 23-2320, or 23-2323.01, and the contributions represent (a) all or any portion of the balance of the member's interest in a qualified plan under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code or (b) the interest of the member from an individual retirement account or an individual retirement annuity, the entire amount of which is attributable to a qualified total distribution, as defined in the Internal Revenue Code, from a qualified plan under section 401(a) of the code and qualified as a tax-free rollover amount. The member's interest under subdivision (a) or (b) of this subsection must be transferred to the retirement system within sixty days from the date of the distribution from the qualified plan, individual retirement account, or individual retirement annuity.

(2) Cash transferred to the retirement system as a rollover contribution shall be deposited as other payments made under section 23-2306.02, 23-2306.03, 23-2320, or 23-2323.01.

(3) Under the same conditions as provided in subsection (1) of this section, the retirement system may accept eligible rollover distributions from (a) an annuity contract described in section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, (b) a plan described in section 457(b) of the code which is maintained by a state, a political subdivision of a state, or any agency or instrumentality of a state or political subdivision of a state, or (c) the portion of a distribution from an individual retirement account or annuity described in section 408(a) or 408(b) of the code that is eligible to be rolled over and would otherwise be includable in gross income. Amounts accepted pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited as all other payments under this section.

(4) The retirement system may accept direct rollover distributions made from a qualified plan pursuant to section 401(a)(31) of the Internal Revenue Code. The direct rollover distribution shall be deposited as all other payments under this section.

(5) The board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations defining procedures for acceptance of rollovers which are consistent with sections 401(a)(31) and 402 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Source:Laws 1996, LB 847, § 9; Laws 1997, LB 250, § 7; Laws 1997, LB 624, § 7; Laws 2001, LB 142, § 35; Laws 2002, LB 407, § 8; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 11.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018
23-2323.04. Retirement system; accept transfers; limitations; how treated.

The retirement system may accept as payment for withdrawn amounts made pursuant to the County Employees Retirement Act a direct trustee-to-trustee transfer from (1) an eligible tax-sheltered annuity plan as described in section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code or (2) an eligible deferred compensation plan as described in section 457(b) of the code on behalf of a member who is making payments for such amounts. The amount transferred shall not exceed the amount withdrawn and such transferred amount shall qualify as a purchase of permissive service credit by the member as defined in section 415 of the code.

Source:Laws 2002, LB 407, § 9.
23-2324. Retirement system; membership status; not lost while employment continues.

Persons who have become members of the retirement system shall not thereafter lose their status as members while they remain employees.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 24, p. 409.
23-2325. Retirement system; false or fraudulent actions; prohibited acts; penalty; denial of benefits.

Any person who, knowing it to be false or fraudulent, presents or causes to be presented a false or fraudulent claim or benefit application, any false or fraudulent proof in support of such a claim or benefit, or false or fraudulent information which would affect a future claim or benefit application to be paid under the retirement system for the purpose of defrauding or attempting to defraud the retirement system shall be guilty of a Class II misdemeanor. The retirement board shall deny any benefits that it determines are based on false or fraudulent information and shall have a cause of action against the member to recover any benefits already paid on the basis of such information.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 25, p. 410; Laws 1977, LB 40, § 98; Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 32.
23-2326. Retirement benefits; declared additional to benefits under federal Social Security Act.

The retirement allowances and benefits provided for by the County Employees Retirement Act shall be in addition to benefits and allowances payable under the provisions of the federal Social Security Act.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 26, p. 410; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 13.
23-2327. Repealed. Laws 2002, LB 687, § 34.
23-2328. Retirement system; elected officials and employees having regular term; when act operative.

The provisions of the County Employees Retirement Act pertaining to elected officials or other employees having a regular term of office shall be so interpreted as to effectuate its general purpose and to take effect as soon as the same may become operative under the Constitution of the State of Nebraska.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 28, p. 410; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 15.
23-2329. Retirement system; when effective.

The County Employees Retirement Act shall become effective for each county upon its adoption by the county board or on January 1, 1987, whichever is earlier.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 29, p. 410; Laws 1975, LB 45, § 2; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 16; Laws 1985, LB 432, § 3.

Cross References

23-2330. Retirement system; adoption; certification; list of eligible employees to retirement board.

Upon the adoption of the retirement system by the county board, the county clerk shall certify such action to the retirement board. Upon the adoption of the retirement system by the county board or by January 1, 1987, whichever is earlier, the county clerk shall submit to the board a list of all employees then eligible for participation in the plan, which list shall state the name and address of the employee and his or her gross monthly wage.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 30, p. 410; Laws 1967, c. 133, § 1, p. 418; Laws 1973, LB 216, § 2; Laws 1975, LB 45, § 3; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 17; Laws 1985, LB 432, § 4.
23-2330.01. Limitation of actions.

Every claim and demand under the County Employees Retirement Act and against the retirement system or the retirement board shall be forever barred unless the action is brought within two years of the time at which the claim accrued.

Source:Laws 1996, LB 1076, § 6.
23-2330.02. Retirement system contributions, property, and rights; how treated.

All contributions to the retirement system, all property and rights purchased with the contributions, and all investment income attributable to the contributions, property, or rights shall be held in trust by the State of Nebraska for the exclusive benefit of members and their beneficiaries and shall only be used to pay benefits to such persons and to pay administrative expenses according to the provisions of the County Employees Retirement Act.

Source:Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 30.
23-2330.03. Termination of system or contributions; effect.

Upon termination or partial termination of the retirement system or upon complete discontinuance of contributions under the retirement system, the rights of all affected members to the amounts credited to the members' accounts shall be nonforfeitable.

Source:Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 31.
23-2330.04. Municipal county; duties.

The municipal county shall be responsible for making contributions and performing other duties and shall exercise the powers of a county under the County Employees Retirement Act with respect to the employees of the municipal county.

Source:Laws 2001, LB 142, § 36.
23-2331. Act, how cited.

Sections 23-2301 to 23-2332.01 shall be known and may be cited as the County Employees Retirement Act.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 31, p. 411; Laws 1985, LB 347, § 18; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 13; Laws 1994, LB 833, § 8; Laws 1995, LB 501, § 3; Laws 1996, LB 847, § 10; Laws 1996, LB 1076, § 7; Laws 1997, LB 250, § 8; Laws 1997, LB 623, § 6; Laws 1997, LB 624, § 8; Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 33; Laws 1999, LB 687, § 3; Laws 2001, LB 142, § 37; Laws 2001, LB 186, § 2; Laws 2002, LB 407, § 10; Laws 2002, LB 687, § 17.
23-2332. County in excess of 85,000; commissioned law enforcement personnel; supplemental retirement plan.

Any county with a population in excess of eighty-five thousand inhabitants which participates in the Retirement System for Nebraska Counties established by the County Employees Retirement Act shall establish and fund a supplemental retirement plan for the benefit of all present and future commissioned law enforcement personnel employed by such county. The auxiliary benefit plan shall be funded by additional contributions to the county employees retirement plan in excess of the amounts established by sections 23-2307 and 23-2308. The additional contributions made by employees shall be credited to the employee account, and contributions paid by the county shall be credited to the employer account, with each amount to be established at a rate of two percent of compensation. All contributions made pursuant to this section shall be invested and administered according to the County Employees Retirement Act.

Source:Laws 1985, LB 432, § 5; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 14.
23-2332.01. County of 85,000 or less; commissioned law enforcement personnel; supplemental retirement plan.

Any county with a population of eighty-five thousand inhabitants or less which participates in the Retirement System for Nebraska Counties established by the County Employees Retirement Act shall establish and fund a supplemental retirement plan for the benefit of all present and future commissioned law enforcement personnel employed by such county who possess a valid law enforcement officer certificate or diploma, as established by the Nebraska Police Standards Advisory Council. The auxiliary benefit plan shall be funded by additional contributions to the county employees retirement plan in excess of the amounts established by sections 23-2307 and 23-2308. The additional contributions made by employees shall be credited to the employee account, and contributions paid by the county shall be credited to the employer account, with each amount to be established at a rate of one percent of compensation. All contributions made pursuant to this section shall be invested and administered according to the County Employees Retirement Act.

Source:Laws 2001, LB 186, § 3.
23-2333. Retirement; prior service annuity; how computed.

For purposes of sections 23-2333 and 23-2334, the definitions found in section 23-2301 shall apply.

As of the date of adoption of the retirement system, a prior service annuity shall be computed for all employees who have been employees continuously for one year prior to the date of the adoption of the retirement system and who are at least twenty-five years of age. Such prior service annuity shall be equal to the number of years of creditable prior service multiplied by the prior service annuity factor.

The number of years of creditable prior service shall be the number of completed years of prior service less all years during which the employee was participating in or for which he or she received a benefit from a public retirement plan, but not more than twenty-five.

The prior service annuity factor shall be the smaller of (1) one dollar or (2) the employee's compensation for the last completed twelve months of prior service divided by two thousand four hundred.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 11, p. 406; Laws 1969, c. 172, § 3, p. 753; R.S.1943, (1991), § 23-2311; Laws 1994, LB 833, § 9; Laws 1998, LB 1191, § 34.
23-2334. Retirement; prior service retirement benefit; how determined.

The prior service retirement benefit shall be a straight life annuity, payable monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually with the first payment made as of the annuity start date, in an amount determined in accordance with section 23-2333. No prior service retirement benefit shall be paid to any person who terminates his or her employment unless such person has been continuously employed by the county for ten or more years immediately prior to termination. An employee meeting such requirement and who terminates his or her employment shall not receive a prior service benefit determined in accordance with section 23-2333 prior to attaining age sixty-five.

Prior service retirement benefits shall be paid directly by the county to the retired employee.

Source:Laws 1965, c. 94, § 18, p. 408; Laws 1973, LB 352, § 1; Laws 1975, LB 32, § 2; R.S.1943, (1991), § 23-2318; Laws 1994, LB 833, § 10; Laws 2003, LB 451, § 13; Laws 2017, LB415, § 16.