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OREGON PUBLIC EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM

 

DIVISION 40

JUDGE MEMBER PROGRAM

459-040-0001

Definitions

The words and phrases used in this Division have the same meaning given them in ORS Chapter 238, particularly as defined in ORS 238.500 to 238.585. Additional terms are defined as follows unless context requires otherwise:

(1) Former spouse" means a person whose spousal relationship with the judge member terminated before the date of the judge member's death.

(2) "Life pension" means an allowance paid monthly for:

(a) The life of a retired judge member as either a service or disability retirement allowance, as described in ORS 238.535 and 238.555;

(b) The life of a surviving spouse of a deceased judge member or a deceased retired judge member as described in ORS 238.565; or

(c) The life of a former spouse of a deceased judge member or a deceased retired judge member as described in ORS 238.565.

(3) "Plan A" means the service retirement allowance payable under ORS 238.535(1)(a).

(4) "Plan B" means the service retirement allowance payable under ORS 238.535(1)(b).

(5) "Pro tem judge" means a retired judge member performing temporary service as a judge without pay as a condition of retirement under the Plan B retirement option.

(6) "Surviving spouse" means the spouse of the judge member at the date of the judge member's death.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.500 - 238.585
Hist.: PERS 11-2007, f. & cert. ef. 7-26-07

459-040-0010

General Administration

(1) A person younger than age 72 becomes a judge member on the date that the person takes office as a judge. A judge member does not serve a waiting period.

(2) A judge member may retire under:

(a) Plan A, as provided in OAR 459-040-0030; or

(b) Plan B, as provided in OAR 459-040-0040.

(3) Before attaining age 60, a judge member must elect in writing, on forms furnished by the Judicial Department, whether to retire under Plan A or Plan B. A judge member who fails to make the election must retire under Plan A.

(4) A judge member who has service as other than a judge member must elect a retirement option available for service in other classifications for that portion of the benefit.

(5) Lump sum options are not available for judge member retirement benefits.

(6) For purchases of creditable service, a judge member is subject to the same requirements as a general service member.

(7) A judge member's contributions to PERS must cease at the end of the calendar year that the judge member attains age 75. The judge member shall be retired from judicial office and receive a service retirement allowance effective January 1 of the following calendar year.

(8) A person age 72 or older who becomes a judge is not eligible to become a judge member. The judge may establish membership in PERS as a general service member; see generally OAR chapter 459, divisions 10, 75, and 80 for membership eligibility guidelines for the PERS Plan.

Stat. Auth: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.500 - 238.585
Hist.: PERS 11-2007, f. & cert. ef. 7-26-07

459-040-0020

Judge Member Disability Retirement

A judge member who meets the requirements of ORS 238.555 may apply for disability retirement. The provisions of OAR Chapter 459, Division 15 apply to judge member disability retirement with the following exceptions:

(1) The terms “member” and “employee member” in Division 15 mean a judge member as defined in ORS 238.500.

(2) “Normal retirement age” means the age at which a judge member may retire without a reduced benefit as set forth under ORS 238.535.

(3) A judge member must have six years of service as a judge member to be eligible for non-duty disability retirement.

(4) If a judge member meets the eligibility criteria for disability retirement, the member’s disability retirement allowance shall be based on creditable service time as though the member had continuously worked as a judge pursuant to ORS 238.555(1) or (2).

(5) Former PERS judge members who have terminated membership through a withdrawal under ORS 238.545 are not eligible to receive PERS disability retirement allowances.

Stat. Auth: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.555
Hist.: PERS 11-2007, f. & cert. ef. 7-26-07; PERS 12-2012, f. & cert. ef. 10-4-12

459-040-0030

Plan A Service Retirement Allowance

(1) The Plan A service retirement allowance is a life pension calculated in accordance with ORS 238.535(1)(a).

(2) A judge member is not eligible to receive a service retirement allowance under Plan A before the judge member turns age 60.

(3) A judge member may retire under Plan A upon written application on a form furnished by PERS:

(a) At age 65 or thereafter with an unreduced service retirement allowance.

(b) At or after age 60 but before age 65, with an actuarially reduced service retirement allowance. The service retirement allowance shall be reduced by 8% for each full year and 8% prorated for each partial year the effective retirement date precedes the date the judge member attains age 65.

(4) If a judge member, retiring at age 70 or thereafter, was formerly contributing to the Judges' Retirement Fund and established membership in PERS pursuant to ORS 237.215(3) (1989 Edition), the judge member shall be entitled to a service retirement allowance as provided for in ORS 238.535(4).

Stat. Auth: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.535
Hist.: PERS 11-2007, f. & cert. ef. 7-26-07

459-040-0040

Plan B Service Retirement Allowance

(1) The Plan B service retirement allowance is a life pension calculated in accordance with ORS 238.535(1)(b).

(2) A judge member is not eligible to receive a service retirement allowance under Plan B before age 60.

(3) A judge member may retire under Plan B at age 60 or thereafter upon written application on forms furnished by PERS.

(4) A judge member who retires under Plan B must serve as a pro-tem judge for 35 days per calendar year for five years following the judge member's retirement date. Days of service in excess of 35 days in a calendar year may be carried over and applied to the pro tem service obligation in future years. Appointment and service as a pro-tem judge is administered by the Office of the State Court Administrator under rules adopted by order of the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.

(5) If a judge member, retiring at age 70 or thereafter, was formerly contributing to the Judges' Retirement Fund and established membership in PERS pursuant to ORS 237.215(3) (1989 Edition), the judge member shall be entitled to a service retirement allowance as provided for in ORS 238.535(4).

Stat. Auth: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.535
Hist.: PERS 11-2007, f. & cert. ef. 7-26-07

459-040-0050

Variable Annuity Adjustments for Judge Members

(1) A judge member may have elected to have a portion of the judge member's contributions paid into the Variable Annuity Account in the Fund as provided in ORS 238.260(3) before June 30, 2003. A judge member who was participating in the Variable Annuity Account on that date may continue to make contributions to the Variable Annuity Account for service as a judge member performed on or after January 1, 2004.

(2) The retirement allowance of a judge member with a variable account, whether receiving a service or disability retirement, shall be adjusted in accordance with ORS 238.260(12). The adjustment may result in a benefit greater than 75% of final average salary.

(3) A retiring judge member participating in the Variable Annuity Account must elect at retirement to transfer the variable account balance to the judge member's regular account in the fund, as of the effective date of retirement under the provisions of ORS 238.260(9), or to maintain an account in the Variable Annuity Account under the provisions of ORS 238.260(10) and (11).

(4) A judge member who meets the criteria of ORS 238.260(14)(a) may elect at any time before retirement to make a one-time transfer of the balance of the judge member's variable account to the judge member's regular account in accordance with ORS 238.260(14).

Stat. Auth: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.260 & OL 2003 Ch. 625, Sec.19
Hist.: PERS 11-2007, f. & cert. ef. 7-26-07

459-040-0060

Judge Member Death Before Retirement

If a judge member dies before retiring, benefits shall be distributed and calculated as follows:

(1) For a surviving spouse:

(a) If the judge member has six or more years of service as a judge and the judge member is not an inactive judge member performing pro tem service under the provisions of ORS 238.545(4), the surviving spouse shall receive a life pension equal to two-thirds of the retirement allowance the judge member would have received under Plan A, had the judge member retired on the date of death.

(b) If the judge member has six or more years of service as a judge and the judge member is an inactive judge member performing pro tem service under the provisions of ORS 238.545(4) at the time of death, the surviving spouse shall receive a life pension equal to two-thirds of the service retirement allowance the judge member would have received under Plan B, had the judge member retired on the date of death.

(c) If the judge member has less than six years of service as a judge, the surviving spouse shall receive a lump sum payment equal to the amount credited to the judge member account in the Fund on the first of the month following the date of death.

(d) If a surviving spouse receiving a life pension under this section dies and the total amount of pension payments received by the surviving spouse is less than the amount that had been credited to the deceased judge member’s account as of the date of death of the judge member, the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries of the judge member shall receive a lump sum payment equal to the remainder.

(2) For purposes of computing a surviving spouse’s life pension in section (1) of this rule, a judge member who dies before age 60 is deemed to have died at age 60.

(3) If the judge member has six or more years of service as a judge and the judge member has no surviving spouse, the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries shall receive a lump sum payment equal to the amount credited to the judge member account in the Fund on the first of the month following the date of death.

(4) If the judge member has no surviving spouse and designated a beneficiary or beneficiaries at death, a lump sum payment equal to the amount credited to the judge member’s account on the date of death shall be paid to the judge member’s beneficiary or beneficiaries.

(5) If the judge member has no surviving spouse and no designated beneficiary or beneficiaries at death, a lump sum payment equal to the amount credited to the judge member’s account on the date of death shall be paid to the judge member’s estate.

(6) If the judge member, under the provisions of ORS 238.565(8), elects to have a portion of the pension payable to a surviving spouse paid to a former spouse, the designated portion shall be paid to the former spouse as a life pension. The portion of the pension not paid to the former spouse shall be paid to the surviving spouse, if any.

(a) The life of the first former spouse designated to receive a pension under ORS 238.565(8) will be the measuring life of the pensions payable to the surviving spouse and to any other former spouse.

(b) Upon the death of the first designated former spouse, the pensions payable to the surviving spouse and to any other former spouse shall cease.

(c) If, at the death of the first designated former spouse, the total amount of the payments received by the surviving spouse and former spouse(s) is less than the amount that had been credited to the deceased judge member’s account as of the date of the judge member’s death, the judge member’s designated beneficiary or beneficiaries shall receive a lump sum payment equal to the remainder.

Stat. Auth: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.565
Hist.: PERS 11-2007, f. & cert. ef. 7-26-07; PERS 12-2013, f. & cert. ef. 11-22-13

459-040-0070

Judge Member Death After Retirement

If a judge member dies after the effective retirement date, benefits shall be distributed and calculated as follows:

(1) Surviving Spouse Standard Two-thirds Benefit. The surviving spouse of a judge member shall receive a life pension equal to two-thirds of the service retirement allowance the judge member is receiving or is entitled to receive on the date of death.

(2) Additional benefit for surviving spouse. The surviving spouse may be entitled to an addition to the pension described in section (1) of this rule if:

(a) The judge member selected a reduced retirement allowance under ORS 238.565(4); and

(b) The surviving spouse is the spouse of record on the effective date of retirement.

(3) No surviving spouse. If the judge member has no surviving spouse and the total amount of retirement allowance received by the retired judge member is less than the amount credited to the judge member account on the judge member’s effective retirement date, the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries shall receive a lump sum payment equal to the remainder.

(4) Death of surviving spouse. If a surviving spouse receiving a pension under section (1) of this rule dies and the total amount received as retirement allowance by the retired judge member and as pension by the surviving spouse is less than the amount credited to the judge member account on the effective date of retirement of the judge member, the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries of the judge member shall receive a lump sum payment equal to the remainder.

(5) Default beneficiary. If the judge member has no valid written designation of beneficiary form filed with the PERS Board before the judge member’s death, the beneficiary of the judge member shall be the personal representative of the judge member’s estate.

(6) Unpaid accrued retirement allowance. Any accrued retirement allowance due a retired judge member that is unpaid at the time of death of the judge member shall be paid as follows:

(a) To the surviving spouse of the judge member;

(b) If there is no surviving spouse of the judge member, to the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the judge member; or

(c) If there is no surviving spouse or beneficiary of the judge member, in the manner provided for payments under ORS 238.390(2).

(7) If the judge member, under the provisions of ORS 238.565(8), elects to have a portion of the pension payable to a surviving spouse paid to a former spouse, the designated portion shall be paid to the former spouse as a life pension. The portion of the pension not paid to the former spouse shall be paid to the surviving spouse, if any.

(a) The life of the first former spouse designated to receive a pension under ORS 238.565(8) will be the measuring life of the pensions payable to the surviving spouse and to any other former spouse.

(b) Upon the death of the first designated former spouse, the pensions payable to the surviving spouse and to any other former spouse shall cease.

(c) If, at the death of the first designated former spouse, the total amount of the payments received by the retired judge member and the payments received by the surviving spouse and former spouse(s) is less than the amount credited to the deceased judge member’s account on the judge member’s effective retirement date, the judge member’s designated beneficiary or beneficiaries shall receive a lump sum payment equal to the remainder.

Stat. Auth: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.565
Hist.: PERS 11-2007, f. & cert. ef. 7-26-07; PERS 12-2013, f. & cert. ef. 11-22-13

459-040-0080

Required Minimum Distribution of Judge Member Death Benefits

(1) Upon the death of a judge member, the required minimum distribution(s) to a surviving spouse and/or to a beneficiary of the deceased judge member shall be made in accordance with OAR 459-005-0560. For the purposes of this rule, a former spouse is a non-spouse beneficiary of the deceased judge member.

(2) A lump sum distribution of death benefits of a deceased judge member may be eligible for a rollover in accordance with OAR 459-005-0590 to 459-005-0599.

Stat. Auth: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.565
Hist.: PERS 11-2007, f. & cert. ef. 7-26-07; PERS 12-2012, f. & cert. ef. 10-4-12

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