Current Status Introducing Body:
SenateBill Number: 909Committee Number: 06Type of Legislation: GBSubject: Retirement system for firemen and rescue squad workersResiding Body: SenateComputer Document Number: JIC/5618.HCIntroduced Date: Apr 18, 1991Last History Body: SenateLast History Date: Apr 18, 1991Last History Type: Introduced, read first time, referred to CommitteeScope of Legislation: StatewideType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN ---- ------ ------------ ------------------------------ --- 909 Senate Apr 18, 1991 Introduced, read first time, 06 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND TITLE 9, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE VARIOUS RETIREMENT SYSTEMS, BY ADDING CHAPTER 14 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AND VOLUNTEER RESCUE SQUAD MEMBERS; AND TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTION 38-7-45 SO AS TO IMPOSE A ONE PERCENT FIRE INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX TO PAY A PORTION OF THE COST OF THIS RETIREMENT SYSTEM AND TO PROVIDE FOR REFUNDING THAT PORTION OF THE TAX IN EXCESS OF THE SYSTEM'S ACTUARIAL REQUIREMENTS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Title 9 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 9-14-10. The Retirement System for Volunteer Firefighters and Volunteer Rescue Squad workers is created under the administration of the State Budget and Control Board to provide retirement allowances and other benefits for volunteer firefighters and volunteer rescue squad workers.
Section 9-14-20. As used in this chapter:
(1) `Eligible firefighter' means a volunteer firefighter who belongs to a bona fide fire department, as determined by the system, and which operates fire apparatus and equipment valued at five thousand dollars or more, and holds drills and meetings not less than four hours monthly and volunteer firefighters attend at least thirty-six hours of all drills and meetings in each calendar year. Each department shall determine and report the names of those firefighters meeting the eligibility qualifications to its respective governing body annually, which upon determination of the validity and accuracy of the qualification shall promptly certify the list to the system promptly.
(2) `Eligible rescue squad worker' means a volunteer member of a rescue squad as determined by the system, and who has attended a minimum of thirty hours of training and meetings in the last calendar year.
(3) `Eligible rescue squad worker' does not include `eligible firefighter' as defined in this section nor may an `eligible rescue squad worker' qualify also as an `eligible firefighter' in order to receive double benefits available under this chapter.
(4) `Member' means an eligible firefighter and eligible rescue squad worker who has applied for membership in the system and who is current with his monthly contributions as required by this chapter.
(5) `Monthly contribution' is an amount equal to five dollars which may be increased by the system no more than once a year and by not more than ten percent at one time.
(6) `System' means the Retirement System for Volunteer Firefighters and Volunteer Rescue Squad Workers.
Section 9-14-30. Eligible firefighters and rescue squad workers may apply for membership to the system. Upon becoming a member of the system, each member shall pay the system a monthly contribution for twenty years. The monthly contribution must be credited to the separate account of the member and must be kept by the system so it is available for payment on withdrawal from membership or retirement.
Section 9-14-40. An eligible firefighter or rescue squad worker who previously has not elected to become a member may apply to the system for membership. The person shall make a lump sum payment of the total amount of monthly contributions retroactively to the time he first became eligible, plus interest at an annual rate of eight percent for each year of his retroactive payments. Upon making the lump sum payment, the person must be given credit for all prior service in the same manner as if he had made application for membership at the time he first became eligible.
Section 9-11-50. No later than July 1, 1991, eligible firefighters and eligible rescue squad workers at least thirty-five years of age on July 1, 1990, may establish credit for prior service for years during which they were eligible firefighters and eligible rescue squad workers as defined in this chapter upon payment of a lump sum equal to the total of monthly contributions that would have been paid during the years for which credit is established. For purposes of this calculation, the monthly contribution is five dollars. Upon making the lump sum payment, the person must be given credit for all prior service in the same manner as if he had been a member during these years.
Section 9-14-60. An individual who had been a member of the system and who applies to rejoin the system is not entitled to membership until he has paid an administrative fee of twenty-five dollars which fee is in addition to any other charges or payments required by the system to rejoin the system based upon the system's loss of earnings resulting from the member's withdrawal from the system. The administrative fees collected by the system must be retained by it to defray administrative expenses, including salaries.
Section 9-14-70. (A) A member who has served twenty years as an eligible firefighter or eligible rescue squad worker in this State and who has attained the age of fifty-five years is entitled to be paid a monthly pension from this system of one hundred dollars.
No person is entitled to a pension until his official duties as a volunteer firefighter or volunteer rescue squad worker are terminated and he has retired according to standards fixed by the system.
(B) A member who is totally and permanently disabled while in the discharge of his official duties as a result of bodily injuries sustained or as a result of extreme exercise or extreme activity experienced in the course and scope of his official duties and who leaves the fire or rescue squad service because of this disability is entitled to be paid from the system a monthly benefit in an amount of one hundred dollars beginning the first month after his fifty-fifth birthday. All applications for disability are subject to the approval of the system which may appoint physicians to examine and evaluate the disabled member before approval of his application and annually thereafter. A disabled member is not required to make the monthly payment of five dollars.
(C) A member who is totally and permanently disabled for a cause, other than line of duty, who leaves the fire or rescue squad service because of this disability and who has at least ten years of service with the system may continue making the monthly contribution to the system until he has paid into the system an amount equal to the total of monthly contributions that he would be required to make if he continued in active service for twenty years. The member, upon attaining the age of fifty-five years, is entitled to receive a pension as provided by this section. All applications for disability are subject to the approval of the system which may appoint physicians to examine and evaluate the disabled member before approval of his application and annually thereafter.
(D) The pensions provided pursuant to this section are in addition to all other pensions or benefits under any other statutes of this State or the United States.
Section 9-14-80. The system shall direct payment in lump sums from the system in settlement of all claims against it as follows:
(1) To a member upon attaining the age of fifty-five years, who, for any reason, is not qualified to receive the monthly retirement pension and who was enrolled as a member of the system, an amount equal to the amount paid into the system by him.
(2) If a member dies before attaining the age at which a pension is payable to him under the provisions of this chapter, there must be paid to a beneficiary he nominates an amount equal to the amount he paid into the system.
(3) If a member dies after beginning to receive the pension payable to him by this chapter and before receiving an amount equal to the amount he paid into the system, there must be paid to a beneficiary he nominates an amount equal to the difference between the amount he paid into the system and the amount received by him as a pensioner.
(4) A member withdrawing from the system, upon proper application, must be paid all monies the individual contributed to the system without accumulated earnings on the payments after the time they were made less an administrative fee equal to the lesser of the amount the individual contributed to the system or twenty-five dollars. The administrative fees collected by the system must be retained by the system to defray administrative expenses, including salaries. If any person has made contributions on behalf of a member and that member withdraws from the system, the person is entitled to a refund equal to the amount of contributions made by him after the system has been notified of the contributor's desire to be refunded contributions upon the member's withdrawal. Any refunds to a contributor other than a member also are subject to the twenty-five dollar administrative fee. If a refund is to be shared by a member and another party the administrative fee must be applied to each portion on a pro rata basis.
Section 9-14-90. If, for any reason, the system is unable to pay in full any pension benefits, or other charges, then all benefits or payments must be reduced pro rata, for as long as the deficiency in amount exists. No claim may accrue with respect to any amount by which a pension or benefit payment is reduced.
Section 9-14-100. The pensions granted are subject to future legislative change or revision, and no member of the system, or any person, is considered to have acquired any vested right to a pension or other payment provided by this chapter.
Section 9-14-110. The system shall determine the number of years' credit for service of members.
Section 9-14-120. An eligible fireman's or rescue squad worker's length of service is not affected by the fact that he may have served with more than one department or squad or both and upon transfer from one department or squad to another, notice of the fact must be given to the system.
Section 9-14-130. A member who becomes six months delinquent in making monthly contributions required by this chapter by the tenth of the month with respect to which the payment is due forfeits his membership in the system."
SECTION 2. Chapter 7, Title 38 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 38-7-45. Each fire insurer shall pay to the commission an amount equal to one percent of all premiums written on fire insurance required to be reported under Section 38-7-70 during the preceding year ending December 31, or for the portion the year the insurer has done business in this State. The revenue from the tax must be credited to the State Retirement System for Volunteer Firefighters and Volunteer Rescue Squad Workers and any of the tax in excess of the system's actuarial requirements must be refunded."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect July 1, 1991.