Information regarding Legislation having an impact on LEOFF Plan 2 is posted as it becomes available. For general legislative information and bills not listed on this site, visit the Washington State Legislature.
Please contact our staff for additional information by calling (360) 586-2320.
Making 2011-2013 fiscal biennium supplemental operating appropriations.
This bill (HB 2127/SB 5967) is the Governor’s supplemental operating budget for 2011- 13 Biennium. Section 704 temporarily lowers contribution rates for LEOFF Plan 2 below the current levels set by the LEOFF Plan 2 Retirement Board which support the Board’s goals of stable rates and full funding.
Section 704 of the bill sets new contribution rates for LEOFF 2 effective February
An act relating to fiscal matters. Making 2011-2013 supplemental operating appropriations.
This bill is the House of Representatives supplemental operating budget for 2011- 13 Biennium. This bill does not include the underfunding provisions that were included in the Governor’s proposed budget (HB 2127/ SB 5967).
HB 2058 passed and was signed by the Governor on 12/20/11.
Duty-Related Death Benefits – L&I Remarriage Prohibition for Surviving Spouses
Surviving spouses of LEOFF Plan 2 members who are killed in the line of duty are entitled to receive a monthly benefit of at least 60% of member’s wages from the state worker’s compensation program. This benefit is terminated if the survivor remarries.
This legislation allows the surviving spouse of a LEOFF Plan 2 or WSPRS member killed in the course of employment to remarry and continue receiving worker’s compensation survivor benefits. Surviving spouses who have already had their benefits suspended due to remarriage would have their benefits resume.
Duty-Related Presumption for Heart Attack & Stroke
There are currently no occupational illnesses/injuries in Washington that are presumptively duty-related for law enforcement officers. Many other states have occupational illness/injury presumptions for law enforcement officers covering a wide range of conditions including cardiovascular problems, cancer, and infectious diseases.
The Board legislation is modeled after a presumption in federal law that certain heart attacks and strokes are duty-related if they occur within 24 hours of non-routine stressful or strenuous physical law enforcement activities. The proposal is retroactive to January 1, 2010.
Note: EHB 2123 Addressing the Workers’ Compensation System requires the Department of Labor and Industries to contract with an independent entity with research experience in workers’ compensation issues to study occupational disease claims in the Washington workers’ compensation system.
The proposed budget bills contained provisions that would reduce the LEOFF Plan 2 contribution rate (see HB 2068) and modify the LEOFF Plan 2 Alternate Revenue stream decreasing the amount that would be available for future benefit improvements (See HB 2071).Neither of these provisions, nor the enacting bills, were passed in the final version of the operating budget.
The operating budget bill as passed did contain a provision (Section 105) which requires the Office of the State Actuary with assistance from Department of Retirement Systems to study the merger of LEOFF Plan 1 and LEOFF Plan 2. A report is due to Legislature in December 2011.
Contribution rates for the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System Plan 2 (LEOFF 2) would be reduced from the rates set by the LEOFF Plan 2 Retirement Board (8.46 percent for members; 5.08 percent for employers; and 3.38 for the state) to the rates calculated according to the actuarial funding method by the State Actuary (7.40 percent for members; 4.44 percent for employers; and 2.96 for the state).
Under legislation enacted in 2008 (Alternate Revenue), the state treasurer must transfer money to the Local Public Safety Enhancement Account (LPSEA) starting in calendar year 2011, and every two years thereafter, if the prior fiscal biennium’s general state revenues exceed the previous fiscal biennium’s revenues by more than 5 percent, subject to appropriation. Funds in the LPSEA may be used for public safety programs and retirement benefit increases for law enforcement officers and fire fighters. Under the proposed bill, no transfer ($5 million) would be made in 2011.
Members employed by a local government employer may have their retirement benefit adversely affected because of salary reductions as a result of the current economic condition if it occurs during their final average salary (FAS) period.
This legislation provides that FAS will include any compensation forgone by a member employed by a local government employer during the 2011-2013 fiscal biennium as a result of reduced work hours, mandatory or voluntary leave without pay, temporary layoffs, or reductions to current pay if the reduced compensation is an integral part of the employer’s expenditure reduction efforts, as certified by the employer. Reductions to current pay do not include elimination of previously agreed upon future salary increases.
This legislation provides that FAS will include any compensation forgone by a member employed by the state or a local government employer during the 2011-2013 fiscal biennium as a result of reduced work hours, mandatory leave without pay, temporary layoffs, or reductions to current pay if the reduced compensation is an integral part of the employer’s expenditure reduction efforts, as certified by the employer. Reductions to current pay shall not include elimination of previously agreed upon future salary increases.
Financially combines the LEOFF Plan 1 and LEOFF Plan 2 retirement funds. The benefits do not change for either plan but the combined fund would be responsible for the liabilities of both plans.
· reduces the state contribution rate for the 2011-13 biennium by $15 million but does not change the LEOFF Plan 1 member rates already at 0.00%.
· moves LEOFF Plan 1 governance under the LEOFF Board including adopting all actuarial assumptions and setting rates in the future.
· specifies that contribution rates and actuarial assumptions adopted by the Board would not be subject to legislative revision.
· provides that all expenses of the LEOFF Board will be paid out of the LEOFF retirement fund. The Board is also authorized to use the retirement fund for any legal expenses related to protecting the fund.
Note: The operating budget bill (HB 1087) as passed did contain a provision (Section 105) which requires the Office of the State Actuary with assistance from Department of Retirement Systems to study the merger of LEOFF Plan 1 and LEOFF Plan 2.Â A report is due to Legislature in December 2011.