Summary: S.1037 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (11/02/1979)

(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 96-584)

District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act - =Title I: Financing of Retirement Benefits= - Establishes the District of Columbia Retirement Board to exercise exclusive authority to manage and control the funds established by this Title. Details provisions relating to the Board's composition, the election and terms of office of Board members, the procedures to be followed by the Board, and the financing of the Board's operations.

Establishes the District of Columbia Policemen and Fire Fighters' Retirement Fund into which shall be deposited: (1) amounts withheld from the salaries of, and deposited by, members of the Metropolitan Police and the Fire Department of the District of Columbia, pursuant to the Policemen and Firemen's Retirement and Disability Act; (2) amounts appropriated to the Fund pursuant to this Act; and (3) amounts made as return on investment of the assets of the Fund.

Establishes the District of Columbia Teachers' Retirement Fund into which shall be deposited: (1) amounts withheld from the salaries of, and amounts deposited by, each teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia for such teachers' retirement account; (2) assets transferred from the District of Columbia teachers' retirement and annuity fund; (3) amounts appropriated to the Fund pursuant to this Act; and (4) amounts made as return on investment of the assets of the Fund.

Establishes the District of Columbia Judges' Retirement Fund into which shall be deposited: (1) amounts withheld from the salaries of, and amounts deposited by, judges of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia; (2) assets transferred from the District of Columbia Judicial Retirement and Survivors Annuity Fund; (3) amounts appropriated to the Fund pursuant to this Act; and (4) amounts made as return on investment of the assets of the Fund.

Requires that the assets of each Fund established by this Act be kept separate from other moneys, but not necessarily kept separate from one another if the Board determines that commingling of such assets is advisable for investment purposes.

Requires the Board to maintain a cash reserve for the funds sufficient to meet current annuity and disability benefit outlays.

Prohibits the investment of assets of the funds in obligations issued or guaranteed in whole or in part by the government of the District of Columbia, the government of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the government of the State of Maryland, or the government of any political subdivision thereof, or in obligations secured by real property in the District of Columbia, Virginia, or Maryland.

Directs the Board to engage an enrolled actuary to determine, in accordance with generally accepted actuarial practices, the level percentage of payroll required to be paid into the Fund, considering length of participation in the retirement program and the present value of future benefits.

Sets forth formulae to determine annual Federal payments and annual District of Columbia payments to each Fund. Reduces the Federal share of such Funds from 100 percent to 80 percent.

Provides that the District Government shall not be required to increase its payment to compensate for any failure of the Federal Government to make its full payment, except in the case where the Federal contribution is reduced because of excessive costs of disability retirements.

Authorizes the appropriation of specified sums from the revenues of the United States and from amounts in the United States Treasury credited to the District of Columbia contributions to each Fund, respectively.

Provides for a reduction in Federal contributions to the District of Columbia Policemen and Fire Fighters' Retirement Fund should the costs of police officers and fire fighters' disability retirement prove excessive as determined by a specified formula.

Sets forth the criteria for determining the percentage of disability for current employees who apply for disability retirement.

Requires each member of the Board to submit detailed annual personal financial disclosure statements to Congress and the D.C. government.

Directs the Board to publish annual reports with respect to each retirement program and corresponding Fund to which this Act applies. Requires that each such report include: (1) a financial statement containing a statement of Fund assets and liabilities, a statement of changes in net assets available for benefits under the retirement program, and other specified information; (2) an opinion by an independent public accountant as to whether such financial statement is presented in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles; (3) an actuarial statement containing specified information relating to the Fund and retirement program; (4) information relating to the number of employees covered by the retirement program, persons receiving compensation from the Fund, and specified changes to the Funds' operation; and (5) a report from each insurance company or similar organization from which program benefits are purchased or which guarantees such benefits.

Directs the Board to prepare summary retirement programs descriptions to be supplied to each participant in, and beneficiary under, each retirement program to which this Act applies.

Requires that annual reports and copies of summary retirement program descriptions, including periodic updates containing material modification, be filed with the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Council, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

Empowers the Mayor, the Council, or either House of Congress to reject any filing upon making specified findings. Suspends Federal contributions to any Fund with respect to which a filing is rejected or no timely filing has been made pending an acceptable filing. Requires that copies of such reports and descriptions be made available for public inspection.

Designates the Board and each member of the Board fiduciaries with respect to the Funds. Authorizes the Board to designate one or more persons to exercise fiduciary responsibilities with respect to Funds established by this Act but places with the Board fiduciary responsibility for the oversight of any person so designated. Lists standards and guidelines to be followed by fiduciaries in the discharge of their duties. Specifies circumstances under which a fiduciary shall be liable for a breach of fiduciary duty by another fiduciary. Prohibits a fiduciary from causing the Fund to engage in specified transactions with interested parties or with itself.

Deems void any provision in an agreement instrument which purports to relieve a fiduciary of responsibility or liability. Permits the Board, fiduciaries, and groups of retirement program participants to purchase insurance to cover liability or losses arising from a breach of fiduciary duty.

Prohibits any person convicted of specified crimes from serving as an administrator, fiduciary, counsel, or employee of, or as a consultant to, the Fund established by this Act within five years of any such conviction or release from imprisonment, unless the Board of Parole of the United States determines that such person's service with the Fund would not be contrary to the purposes of this Act except as provided in this Act.

Requires every fiduciary of a Fund established by this Title and every person who handles its funds to be bonded.

Sets forth criminal penalties for violation of fiduciary obligations. Creates civil causes of action for the benefit of specified plaintiffs to enforce the provisions of this Act. Specifies time limits within which civil action grounded on breach of fiduciary duty must be brought.

=Title II: Changes in Retirement Benefits= - Revises the method for determining the salary base period for computation of annuities of participants in the District of Columbia Policemen and Fire Fighters' Retirement Fund.

Permits any member or officer of the Metropolitan Police or Fire Department who is on approved leave without pay to serve as a full-time official of an employee organization to have such service credited towards his retirement upon meeting specific requirements.

Sets forth separate procedures and standards for members of the Metropolitan Police and the Fire Department with respect to: (1) eligibility for optional retirement; (2) eligibility for disability retirement; (3) amount of disability annuities; (4) suspension of disability annuities; (5) physical examination of disability annuitants; (6) amount of survivors annuities; (7) deferred annuities; and (8) interest on refunds and on deposits for prior service credit.

Authorizes cost-of-living adjustments in annuities payable from the District of Columbia Policemen and Fire Fighters' Retirement Fund.

Permits the Mayor to waive collection of any overpayment to an annuitant if such overpayment is less than $100.

Permits the Mayor, in the case of payments due to mental incompetents or minors, to make payment to any person, who in his judgment, is responsible for the care of such claimant.

Directs the Board of Police and Fire Surgeons to submit to the Mayor recommendations for regulations to improve the administration of disability retirements.

Places restrictions on retired police officers and fire fighters receiving an annuity under this Act while employed by the District of Columbia government.

Authorizes cost-of-living adjustments in annuities payable from the District of Columbia Teacher's Retirement Fund and District of Columbia Judges' Retirement Fund.

Revises the means for determining eligibility for each such adjustment.

Revises the amount of benefits due under a teacher's annuity in the event the name beneficiary of such annuity predeceases the annuitant.

Provides the termination of teachers' disability annuities based on excessive outside earned income.

Places restrictions on retired teachers receiving an annuity under this Act while employed by the District of Columbia government.