POLICE OFFICERS AND FIRE FIGHTERS
Purchase of Units by a Police Officer or Firefighter to Provide Increased Benefits
(1) For the purposes of this rule:
(a) "Active" means an "active member" as defined in ORS 238.005(1).
(b) "Current" means a member who is currently employed as a police officer or firefighter.
(c) "Firefighter" has the same meaning as set forth in ORS 238.005(10).
(d) "Five years" means five full years ending on the fifth anniversary date of the transfer from a police or fire position.
(e) "Inactive" means an "inactive member" as defined in ORS 238.005(13).
(f) "Police officer" has the same meaning as set forth in ORS 238.005(19).
(2) Eligibility to Purchase Units. An active and current police officer or firefighter may purchase a maximum of eight units to provide increased benefits between the date of retirement and age 65. A member who retires prior to age 60 will receive unit payments over a minimum five-year period.
(3) Lump-Sum Purchase at Retirement. An active and current police officer or firefighter may choose to make a lump-sum purchase of police and fire units within the 60 days prior to the police officer's or firefighter's effective retirement date.
(a) If previous payroll contributions for unit benefits have been made, a lump-sum purchase of any remaining units, for a maximum of eight units, may be made within 60 days prior to the member's retirement date if the member is less than age 65.
(b) If no payroll contributions for unit benefits have been made, a lump-sum purchase of units may be made within the 60 days prior to the member's retirement date only if the member is less than age 60.
(4) Additional Contributions for Police Officers or Firefighters Retiring Prior to Age 60. An active and current police officer or firefighter who retires prior to age 60 may make additional contributions to purchase actuarially reduced unit benefits beginning at any date between the date of early retirement and age 60.
(5) Police Officers or Firefighters Who Work Until the Age of 65. Contributions for unit benefits are not permitted once the member reaches the age of 65. The amount in the unit account of a member who works until age 65 will be refunded to the member in a lump sum.
(6) Cancellation of Police and Fire Unit Contributions. A police officer or firefighter who has elected to make unit contributions may elect, in writing, to cancel the additional contributions at any time. Once canceled, the member will not be permitted to participate in the unit benefit program at a future time.
(7) Refund of Unit Account.
(a) Voluntary Refund. A police officer or firefighter may request a refund of the unit account if the police officer or firefighter is separated from all participating employers and their control groups.
(b) Involuntary Refund. A police officer or firefighter who has elected to make unit contributions and transfers to an inactive position or a non-police or fire job class will:
(A) Retain the unit account for five years immediately following the transfer.
(B) If at the end of the five years, the member has not turned age 50 or returned to a qualifying police or fire position, the member's election will be canceled and the amount in the unit account automatically refunded.
(c) A voluntary or involuntary refund results in a cancellation of the unit account. Once a unit account is canceled, the member may not participate in the unit benefit program at a future time.
(d) A police officer or firefighter who requests a withdrawal of the PERS member account will automatically receive a refund of the unit account.
(8) Disability Retirement. A police officer or firefighter who is approved for a PERS chapter 238 Program disability retirement is eligible to purchase the balance of the police and fire units or make an initial purchase equal to the maximum eight units.
(9) Reemployment under USERRA. An eligible PERS chapter 238 Program police or fire member who leaves a qualifying position to serve in the Uniformed Services is eligible upon initiating reemployment to make up the unit benefit contributions which would have been made to the member's unit account had the member not left to serve in the Uniformed Services.
(a) Contributions made under this section must be remitted to PERS by:
(A) Payroll deduction; or
(B) Monthly payment of no less than one month of contributions; or
(C) Lump-sum payment.
(b) Any individual, agency, or organization may pay the employee contributions specified in subsection (a) of this section on behalf of the employee under the payment provisions set forth in paragraph (B) or (C) of this section.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.440
Hist.: PER 8, f. 12-15-55; PERS 1-1996, f. & cert. ef. 3-26-96; Renumbered from 459-010-0200; PERS 18-2006, f. & cert. ef. 11-24-06