Integration of other retirement systems
(1) Employees whose membership in a previously established retirement system excludes them from membership in the system established by this chapter may apply to the Public Employees Retirement Board in writing for the former system to be integrated into the latter and for them to be allowed to become members of the latter. Whenever two-thirds of them and their employer, through its governing body, so apply, the board:
(a) May cause a financial and actuarial investigation of the proposed integration to be made, the cost of which shall be borne by the previously established system; and
(b) May upon such terms as are set forth in a contract between the board and the employer, integrate the previously established system into the system established by this chapter.
(2) Nothing in this chapter nor any action taken pursuant thereto shall reduce or impair the benefits which employees who are receiving benefits from a retirement system integrated with the system provided by this chapter would have received had the integration not been effected.
(3) A retirement plan which has been adopted by an association organized pursuant to the provisions of ORS chapter 239 (1997 Edition), prior to April 8, 1953, and which exists on April 8, 1953, may be integrated into the retirement system established by this chapter in the manner prescribed in this subsection and not otherwise:
(a) A proposed form of contract setting forth all the terms, conditions and provisions of the integration shall be prepared by, and adopted by a majority vote of, the board of trustees of the association and approved by the board of directors of the school district in which the association is organized.
(b) The proposed contract so adopted and approved shall be submitted to a vote of the active members of the association. In submitting a proposed contract, an association shall follow the procedure provided in its bylaws for the promulgation and adoption of bylaws.
(c) Adoption by the membership of an association of a proposed contract of integration shall be by an affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of the active members of the association at the time of the election.
(d) The proposed contract so formulated, approved and adopted shall be submitted to the retirement board created by ORS 238.630 (Board generally) for acceptance or rejection. In the event that the proposed contract is accepted by the board, then the integration shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of the contract.
(e) No contract of integration shall in any way alter, impair or adversely affect any rights, benefits or privileges which have vested under the provisions of law in a member of an association by virtue of retirement, either on account of disability or on account of having attained the retirement age, prior to the effective date of the contract of integration.
(f) A contract of integration formulated, approved and adopted as provided in this subsection shall contain provisions whereby there will be provided to each active member of the association who becomes a member of the retirement system created by this chapter pursuant to a contract of integration, retirement benefits, in addition to the retirement benefits accruing for subsequent service under the Public Employes’ Retirement Act of 1953, determined in compliance with sound actuarial practice and with the findings of an accredited actuary on the basis of the reserves of the members at the time of the integration.
(g) A contract of integration shall likewise provide that any active member of an association which integrates with the retirement system may elect at the time of the integration as to whether the member shall obtain a refund of the amount standing to the credit of the member on the books of the association at the time of the integration. In the event that a member so elects, then the amount standing to the credit of the member shall be refunded and the additional benefits provided under paragraph (f) of this subsection shall not be available to the member to whom the refund is made.
(4) If a public employer applies for inclusion of a class of employees under ORS 238.035 (Membership of part but not all employees of a public employer), application for integration under subsection (1) of this section shall be made by the employer and by two-thirds of the class of employees who are to become members of the system, or if the class designated under ORS 238.035 (Membership of part but not all employees of a public employer) is covered by a collective bargaining agreement, application for the class shall be approved under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
(5) If a public employer entering into an integration contract under the provisions of this section continues to maintain the public employer’s previously established system for the purpose of providing benefits to some or all of the employer’s employees who become members of the system under the integration contract, the board may allow an employee or alternate payee to waive the right to receive all other benefits that would otherwise be paid under this chapter if:
(a) The employee or alternate payee elects to receive a refund of accumulated member contributions along with interest credited to those contributions at the time of refund; and
(b) The employer certifies to the board that the waiver of benefits other than the refund of member contributions is required as a condition of the employee’s or alternate payee’s receipt of benefits under the previously established system.
(6) A waiver under subsection (5) of this section must be made before an employee’s effective date of retirement or the effective date of an alternative payee’s election to commence receiving payments. The waiver is irrevocable as to the benefits waived and applies to all future payment of those benefits that would otherwise be made to the employee, the alternate payee or the beneficiaries of the employee or alternate payee. The provisions of subsection (5) of this section apply only to:
(a) Employees of the public employer who become members of the system under the provisions of the integration contract and who are participants in the previously established system of the public employer at the time the integration contract goes into effect; and
(b) Alternate payees of employees described in paragraph (a) of this subsection. [Formerly 237.051; 1997 c.551 §1; 1999 c.130 §6]
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