The 2020 Legislative Session is scheduled to run Monday, January 13 through Thursday, March 12. A summary of each bill impacting LEOFF 2 will appear below as information becomes available. Links provide detail.

LEOFF 2 Board Bills

Month of Death Payments (HB 1414 | SB 5335)

HB 1414 | SB 5335

In the month a retiree passes away, the benefit payment is prorated based on the number of days the person was alive in the month. If the retiree had already received their pension, the Department of Retirement Systems must collect the partial overpayment from the retiree’s beneficiary or estate.  This bill provides a retiree’s beneficiary or estate a full month’s benefit for the month a retiree or survivor passes away.

Status: No Movement on either bill.

Survivor Option Reelection (HB 2678 | SB 6417)

HB 2678 | SB 6417

LEOFF 2 members must make an irrevocable decision to leave a survivor benefit prior to knowing exactly what their pension benefit will be. This bill allows all LEOFF 2 retirees to have a 90 day window after the receipt of their first retirement payment to change their survivor election.

Status HB 2678: No movement at this time.

Status SB 6417: Passed by the House March 5 and awaiting signatures.

Definition of Period of War (HB 2655 | SB 6418)

HB 2655 | SB 6418

The state law defining “veteran” for purposes of awarding no-cost interruptive military service credit, and other LEOFF 2 benefits, must be updated each time there is a new armed conflict that qualifies for a Campaign Badge. This bill prevents the continual need for updates to the statute, by moving definition of “veteran” under the LEOFF 2 statutes and rewriting it to so all armed conflicts where Campaign Badges are awarded qualify for no-cost interruptive military service credit, and other LEOFF 2 benefits.

Status: No movement on either bill at this time.

Bills Impacting LEOFF 2

Concerning the Definition of Veteran (SHB 2544)

SHB 2544

The state law defining “veteran” for purposes of awarding no-cost interruptive military service credit, and other LEOFF 2 benefits, must be updated each time there is a new armed conflict that qualifies for a Campaign Badge.  This bill prevents the continual need for updates to the statute, by changing the definition of “veteran” so that all armed conflicts where Campaign Badges are awarded qualify for no-cost interruptive military service credit. 

It also requires the Select Committee on Pension Policy and the Law Enforcement Officers’ and Firefighters’ Plan 2 Retirement Board, with the assistance of the Office of the State Actuary, Department of Retirement Systems, Washington State Military Department, and the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs, to study the provision of military service credit to members of the retirement systems, in particular the cost of expanding free military service credit to members who received an expeditionary medal, but not a campaign medal.  The report is due to the Legislature on January 2, 2021.

Status SHB 2544: Passed by the Senate March 6.

Confidentiality of DRS Records (HB 2716 | SB 6499)

HB 2716 | SSB 6499

Exempts from disclosure under the Public Records Act medical information in files and records of members of retirement plans administered by the Department of Retirement Systems. Provides exceptions for authorized representatives of an applicant, health care providers regarding applicants for disability benefits, and persons assisting the Department of Retirement Systems.  Medical information in files and records maintained by the LEOFF Plan 2 retirement board is confidential and exempt from the PRA’s disclosure requirements.

Status HB 2716: First reading, referred to State Government & Tribal Relations.

Status SSB 6499: Executive action taken in the House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations on February 21. (Committee Materials) SGOV – Majority; do pass.