35-1312. Service award benefit payments; when; section; how construed.

(1) Except as provided in section 35-1313, service award benefits provided under a service award benefit program shall be paid to a participant only upon the date he or she reaches the age of sixty-five or upon the first day of the first year of service after the first year of service in which such participant was not on the certification list of his or her volunteer department, whichever is later, if the participant has been an active emergency responder, active rescue squad member, or active volunteer firefighter for the number of years of service specified by the city, village, or fire protection district administering the service award benefit program.

(2) Upon the completion of the specified years of service as determined by the city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district, the participant shall have a nonforfeitable interest in the annual accounts of all years of service in which such participant is listed on the certification list. Such interest is equivalent to a proportionate equal share with all other participants listed on the certification list for a year of service in (a) the principal amount of all contributions deposited into the annual account for such year of service and (b) all income derived therefrom.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing a city, village, or rural or suburban fire protection district from establishing a vesting schedule under which a stated proportion of a participant's interest in his or her annual accounts becomes nonforfeitable upon completion of a specified number of years of service, subject to sections 35-1313, 35-1323, and 35-1329.

Source:Laws 1999, LB 849, § 12; Laws 2001, LB 808, § 11; Laws 2005, LB 268, § 2.