Temporary absence is not a termination of employment. A covered employee's employment will not be deemed to have terminated though it is interrupted by a temporary absence from active service, extending for not more than 24 months, under conditions which are not treated by the City as a termination of employment. The performance of an hour of service after a leave of absence has commenced will constitute an expiration of the leave of absence.
Basis for computing compensation and/or average compensation. If, during a leave of absence, a participant is unpaid or the participant's rate of basic pay is reduced, then, for purposes of computing plan benefits, the participant's compensation and/or average compensation will be computed as if he or she were being paid at a rate equivalent to that in effect as of the July 1 immediately preceding the beginning of the leave of absence.
Expiration of leave of absence. If any participant on leave of absence fails to answer an inquiry by the City as to the status of the leave of absence, or if the City is not notified of the death or disability of such participant, and the City has no actual knowledge thereof, the City may determine that the leave of absence had or has expired.
Crediting of service during paid leaves of absence. Service with respect to a leave of absence will be credited pursuant to the following:
Paid leaves of absence will constitute continuation of employment.
Service will be credited for the customary period of work during a paid leave of absence, and § 38-26 contributions will continue to be made.
An individual on a leave of absence for reasons of illness will be deemed to be on a paid leave of absence so long as the individual's rate of pay is not reduced and so long as he or she is paid directly by the City or through City-financed wage continuation insurance; but the individual will not be considered to be on a paid leave of absence under circumstances where payments are made solely for the purpose of complying with workers' compensation, unemployment insurance or disability insurance laws.
Crediting of service during unpaid leave of absence. A leave of absence where the participant's rate of pay is reduced shall constitute an unpaid leave of absence. Service credit shall not be granted for an unpaid leave of absence (other than for military service, as described below).
If a participant takes an unpaid leave of absence on account of military service, the participant shall receive credit for years of eligibility service and years of creditable service for the period of such unpaid leave of absence to the extent required by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 or any other law (but without any requirement for such a participant to make participant contributions upon his or her reemployment for the period of his or her military service and only with respect to reemployment initiated on or after December 12, 1994).
[Amended 8-27-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-22]
An individual shall receive partial or full credit for years of credited service and years of eligibility service, as follows:
Vesting. For purposes of determining the extent to which a participant is vested in his or her accrued benefit, and eligibility for early or normal retirement benefits, or for any other purpose under the plan except benefit accrual, the participant shall receive credit on the basis of the number of whole years of eligibility service.
Benefit accrual. Except as otherwise provided in §§ 38-14 and 38-28, for purposes of determining the extent to which a participant shall accrue benefits, the participant shall receive fractional credit equal to 1/12 of a year of credited service for each calendar month during which he or she was a covered employee for the entire month, but shall receive no fractional credit with respect to any calendar month during which he or she was not a covered employee for the entire month.
Any covered employee as of June 1, 1998, has the right to elect to receive credit for years of credited service and years of eligibility service for service recognized and performed under the Maryland State Retirement System. Such election is irrevocable and must be made prior to June 5, 1998. If such service is transferred and recognized under the plan, the participant shall receive full credit under the plan for all such service.
A participant may receive credit for periods of employment with another government employer under the circumstances described in this § 38-17, provided that such service has not been transferred and recognized under § 38-16 above. If such service is transferred and recognized under the plan, either:
Adjustment of retirement date. The participant's early retirement date and normal retirement date shall be adjusted in accordance with Subsection C below; and/or
Adjustment of early retirement date and normal retirement date. For the sole purpose of calculating whether a participant has reached his or her early retirement date or normal retirement date under the plan, a participant's years of eligibility service include the following:
Years of eligibility service of up to five years will be provided for periods of full-time employment with another government employer provided that such periods of full-time employment are in a position classification which is comparable to one or more of the position classifications of covered employees.
The total years of eligibility service provided under this subsection shall not exceed five years.
Adjustment of the amount of benefit payable. For the sole purpose of calculating a participant's accrued benefit and his or her retirement benefits payable under § 38-28, any participant may irrevocably elect, at any time after performing his or her first hour of service as a covered employee and prior to reaching a termination date, to transfer to the plan the amount of any participant contributions made to another government employer retirement plan under which the participant was covered, together with interest previously credited by such plan, provided that such plan permits transfer of contributions to this plan. If a participant so elects, the amount of his or her accrued benefit and the amount of retirement benefit as calculated under § 38-28 shall include an actuarial adjustment for the participant contributions which are transferred, subject to the limit under § 38-17E.
[Amended 5-16-2017 by Ord. No. O-17-06]
Adjustment limit. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in § 38-17D, if a participant retires within five years after transferring into the plan, the benefits payable with respect to the transferred service credit may not be greater than the benefits that would have been payable by the previous government employer with respect to that service if the participant had remained with the previous government employer, or any other amount permitted under § 37-203(f)(3) of the State Personnel and Pensions Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
[Added 5-16-2017 by Ord. No. O-17-06]
General. Any participant may elect, at any time after becoming a participant and prior to reaching a termination date, to receive credit for service performed with another government employer, provided that such service has not been previously recognized under § 38-16 or 38-17. The maximum number of years of eligibility service and years of credited service which may be purchased pursuant to this section shall be five.
Cost of purchase.
It is the intent of the City that a participant who elects to purchase credit for service hereunder pay the full actuarial cost of the credit for service.
The participant's election to purchase service shall include an election by the participant of an assumed retirement date (the "assumed retirement date") upon which the cost to purchase service will be based.
The cost of the purchase equals the present value of the participant's projected accrued benefit including the credit for the service purchased hereunder and calculated on the basis of the participant's assumed retirement date, less the present value of the participant's projected accrued benefit without the service credit purchased hereunder.
Present value will be determined using the interest, post-retirement mortality, post-retirement benefit increase and pay increase assumptions used by the enrolled actuary to perform the most recent actuarial examination of the plan.
Methods of payment for purchased service. The participant's election to purchase credit for service shall also include an election of the method by which the participant will purchase the credit for service.
[Amended 8-27-2002 by Ord. 2002-22]
The participant may pay over to the plan the amounts calculated pursuant to Subsection B(2) hereof by either:
A lump sum cash payment to the plan;
A rollover from another employer's qualified retirement plan;
A rollover from an eligible deferred compensation plan established pursuant to Section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code;
A rollover from a tax-deferred annuity established pursuant to Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code;
Periodic installment payments by payroll deduction; or
If the participant chooses to purchase the credit in whole or in part by periodic installment payments, such a purchase shall be pursuant to a binding, irrevocable payroll deduction authorization between the City and the participant which provides for the number of deductions and the dollar amount of each deduction.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the participant's election of the method of payment for purchased service may be modified by the City to the extent necessary to conform to Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Retirement before or after assumed retirement date.
If a participant reaches a termination date on a date other than the participant's assumed retirement date, but after the participant's early retirement date, the credit for service purchased by the participant will be adjusted so that the amount of credit purchased equals the amount that would have been purchased (based on the participant's actual contributions) if the actual termination date had been used (rather than the assumed retirement date) for purposes of calculating the cost of the service.
If the adjustment reduces the amount of credit purchased, the participant may pay over to the plan, in one lump sum, an amount necessary to purchase the credit for the service which would have been awarded if the participant terminated employment on the assumed retirement date.
If the adjustment increases the amount of credit purchased over the credit which would have been awarded if the participant terminated employment on the assumed retirement date, the excess will be used to provide an additional monthly benefit to the participant.
Participant elects return of payments. If a participant reaches a termination date prior to his early retirement date or normal retirement date, the participant, or the participant's beneficiary, may elect to receive a return of the payments made pursuant to this § 38-18 plus interest at the rate specified in Subsection B hereof, in the form of either:
[Amended 11-28-2006 by Ord. No. O-06-30; 9-25-2012 by Ord. No. O-12-13]
A participant may apply for and receive credit for years of credited service for service in the armed forces of the United States which precedes the participant’s employment commencement date if the participant:
Is not entitled to a military pension from the United States government or any other foreign government, other than a disability pension;
Has years of credited service totaling at least 10 years (determined without regard to his or her military service);
Was actively employed by the City on or before June 30, 1998, or on or after October 26, 2012; and
In the case of a participant who was actively employed by the City on or before June 30, 1998, the total pre-employment military service credited under this § 38-19 shall not exceed five years and shall also be credited as years of eligibility service. In the case of a participant who was not actively employed by the City on or before June 30, 1998, but was actively employed by the City on or after October 26, 2012, the total pre-employment military service credited under this § 38-19 shall not exceed three years and shall not be credited as years of eligibility service. If a participant receives credit for years of eligibility service and/or years of credited service under both this § 38-19 and § 38-14F, the total service credited shall not exceed the greater of five years or the amount of such service credited pursuant to § 38-14F.
If a participant terminates employment for the City as a covered employee, but either remains an employee of the City, or ceases to be an employee, but becomes an employee of a government employer, and becomes eligible to participate in a retirement plan sponsored by the government employer, the participant may elect to transfer service earned under this plan to the retirement plan sponsored by such other government employer to the extent allowed by such other retirement plan.