81-2026. Retirement; annuity; officers; surviving spouse; children; benefit; disability or death in line of duty; benefit; maximum benefit; direct transfer to retirement plan; death while performing qualified military service; additional death benefit.

(1)(a) Any officer qualified for an annuity as provided in section 81-2025 for reasons other than disability shall be entitled to receive a monthly annuity for the remainder of the officer's life. The annuity payments shall continue until the end of the calendar month in which the officer dies. The amount of the annuity shall be a percentage of the officer's final average monthly compensation. For retirement on or after the fifty-fifth birthday of the member or on or after the fiftieth birthday of a member who has been in the employ of the state for twenty-five years, as calculated in section 81-2033, the percentage shall be three percent multiplied by the number of years of creditable service, as calculated in section 81-2033, except that the percentage shall never be greater than seventy-five percent.

(b) For retirement pursuant to subsection (2) of section 81-2025 on or after the fiftieth birthday of the member but prior to the fifty-fifth birthday of the member who has been in the employ of the state for less than twenty-five years, as calculated in section 81-2033, the annuity which would apply if the member were age fifty-five at the date of retirement shall be reduced by five-ninths of one percent for each month by which the early retirement date precedes age fifty-five or for each month by which the early retirement date precedes the date upon which the member has served for twenty-five years, whichever is earlier. Any officer who has completed thirty years of creditable service with the Nebraska State Patrol shall have retirement benefits computed as if the officer had reached age fifty-five.

(c) For purposes of this computation:

(i) For an officer who became a member prior to July 1, 2016, final average monthly compensation means the sum of the officer's total compensation during the three twelve-month periods of service as an officer in which compensation was the greatest divided by thirty-six and:

(A) For any officer employed on or before January 4, 1979, the officer's total compensation includes payments received for unused vacation and sick leave accumulated during the final three years of service; or

(B) For any officer employed after January 4, 1979, and prior to July 1, 2016, the officer's total compensation includes payments received for unused holiday compensatory time and unused compensatory time; and

(ii) For an officer who became a member on or after July 1, 2016, final average monthly compensation means the sum of the officer's total compensation during the five twelve-month periods of service as an officer in which compensation was the greatest divided by sixty and does not include payments received for unused sick leave, unused vacation leave, unused holiday compensatory time, unused compensatory time, or any other type of unused leave, compensatory time, or similar benefits, converted to cash payments. The five twelve-month periods used for calculating an officer's final average monthly compensation ends with the month during which the officer's final compensation is paid. In the determination of compensation, that part of an officer's compensation for the plan year which exceeds the officer's compensation for the preceding plan year by more than eight percent during the capping period shall be excluded. Such officer's compensation for the first plan year of the capping period shall be compared to the officer's compensation received for the plan year immediately preceding the capping period. For purposes of this subdivision, capping period means the five plan years preceding the officer's retirement date. The board may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations for the implementation of this section, including rules and regulations related to prorating, annualizing, or recalculating an officer's final average monthly compensation for each plan year in the capping period.

(2) Any officer qualified for an annuity as provided in section 81-2025 for reasons of disability shall be entitled to receive a monthly annuity for the remainder of the period of disablement as provided in sections 81-2028 to 81-2030. The amount of the annuity shall be fifty percent of the officer's monthly compensation at the date of disablement if the officer has completed seventeen or fewer years of creditable service. If the officer has completed more than seventeen years of creditable service, the amount of the annuity shall be three percent of the final monthly compensation at the date of disablement multiplied by the total years of creditable service but not to exceed seventy-five percent of the final average monthly compensation as defined in subsection (1) of this section. The date of disablement shall be the date on which the benefits as provided in section 81-2028 have been exhausted.

(3) Upon the death of an officer after retirement for reasons other than disability, benefits shall be provided as a percentage of the amount of the officer's annuity, calculated as follows:

(a) If there is a surviving spouse but no dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age, the surviving spouse shall receive a benefit equal to seventy-five percent of the amount of the officer's annuity for the remainder of the surviving spouse's life;

(b) If there is a surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has in his or her care a dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age and there is no other dependent child or children of the officer not in the care of the surviving spouse under nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be equal to one hundred percent of the officer's annuity. When there is no remaining dependent child of the officer under nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be seventy-five percent of the amount of the officer's annuity to the surviving spouse for the remainder of the surviving spouse's life;

(c) If there is a surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has in his or her care a dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age or there is another dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age not in the care of the surviving spouse, the benefit shall be twenty-five percent of the amount of the officer's annuity to the surviving spouse and seventy-five percent of the amount of the officer's annuity to the dependent children of the officer under nineteen years of age to be divided equally among such dependent children but in no case shall the benefit received by a surviving spouse and dependent children residing with such spouse be less than fifty percent of the amount of the officer's annuity. At such time as any dependent child of the officer attains nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be divided equally among the remaining dependent children of the officer who have not yet attained nineteen years of age. When there is no remaining dependent child of the officer under nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be seventy-five percent of the amount of the officer's annuity to the surviving spouse for the remainder of the surviving spouse's life;

(d) If there is no surviving spouse and a dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be equal to seventy-five percent of the officer's annuity to the dependent children of the officer under nineteen years of age to be divided equally among such dependent children. At such time as any dependent child of the officer attains nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be divided equally among the remaining dependent children of the officer who have not yet attained nineteen years of age; and

(e) If there is no surviving spouse or no dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age, the amount of benefit such officer has received under the Nebraska State Patrol Retirement Act shall be computed. If such amount is less than the contributions to the State Patrol Retirement Fund made by such officer, plus regular interest, the difference shall be paid to the officer's designated beneficiary or estate.

(4) Upon the death of an officer after retirement for reasons of disability, benefits shall be provided as if the officer had retired for reasons other than disability.

(5) Upon the death of an officer before retirement, benefits shall be provided as if the officer had retired for reasons of disability on the date of such officer's death, calculated as follows:

(a) If there is a surviving spouse but no dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age, the surviving spouse shall receive a benefit equal to seventy-five percent of the amount of the officer's annuity for the remainder of the surviving spouse's life;

(b) If there is a surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has in his or her care a dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age and there is no other dependent child or children of the officer not in the care of the surviving spouse under nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be equal to one hundred percent of the officer's annuity. When there is no remaining dependent child of the officer under nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be seventy-five percent of the amount of the officer's annuity to the surviving spouse for the remainder of the surviving spouse's life;

(c) If there is a surviving spouse and the surviving spouse has in his or her care a dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age or there is another dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age not in the care of the surviving spouse, the benefit shall be twenty-five percent of the amount of the officer's annuity to the surviving spouse and seventy-five percent of the amount of the officer's annuity to the dependent children of the officer under nineteen years of age to be divided equally among such dependent children but in no case shall the benefit received by a surviving spouse and dependent children residing with such spouse be less than fifty percent of the amount of the officer's annuity. At such time as any dependent child of the officer attains nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be divided equally among the remaining dependent children of the officer who have not yet attained nineteen years of age. When there is no remaining dependent child of the officer under nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be seventy-five percent of the amount of the officer's annuity to the surviving spouse for the remainder of the surviving spouse's life;

(d) If there is no surviving spouse and a dependent child or children of the officer under nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be equal to seventy-five percent of the officer's annuity to the dependent children of the officer under nineteen years of age to be divided equally among such dependent children. At such time as any dependent child of the officer attains nineteen years of age, the benefit shall be divided equally among the remaining dependent children of the officer who have not yet attained nineteen years of age; and

(e) If no benefits are paid to a surviving spouse or dependent child or children of the officer, benefits will be paid as described in subsection (1) of section 81-2031.

(6) 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.

(7) 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 the Nebraska State Patrol and such employment had terminated on the date of the member's death.

(8) Any changes made to this section by Laws 2004, LB 1097, shall apply only to retirements, disabilities, and deaths occurring on or after July 16, 2004.

Source:Laws 1953, c. 333, § 2, p. 1093; Laws 1957, c. 276, § 1, p. 1004; Laws 1959, c. 296, § 1, p. 1104; Laws 1961, c. 307, § 6, p. 973; Laws 1965, c. 386, § 2, p. 1241; Laws 1969, c. 510, § 4, p. 2090; Laws 1969, c. 511, § 8, p. 2095; Laws 1974, LB 1004, § 1; Laws 1975, LB 235, § 3; Laws 1976, LB 644, § 1; Laws 1977, LB 347, § 1; Laws 1979, LB 80, § 107; R.S.Supp.,1980, § 60-452.01; Laws 1981, LB 462, § 6; Laws 1986, LB 311, § 26; Laws 1987, LB 493, § 1; Laws 1989, LB 506, § 16; Laws 1990, LB 953, § 2; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 55; Laws 1993, LB 724, § 16; Laws 1994, LB 833, § 41; Laws 1994, LB 1306, § 6; Laws 1996, LB 847, § 37; Laws 1996, LB 1273, § 28; Laws 1997, LB 623, § 36; Laws 1997, LB 624, § 31; Laws 2004, LB 1097, § 30; Laws 2006, LB 1019, § 13; Laws 2011, LB509, § 42; Laws 2012, LB916, § 29; Laws 2016, LB467, § 4; Laws 2018, LB1005, § 38.
Operative Date: July 19, 2018

Annotations