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2021 Legislative Summary

A number of INPRS-related legislative changes were approved by the 2021 Indiana General Assembly. Below is a brief summary of the legislation. You may e-mail inquiries to questions@inprs.in.gov or call (844) GO-INPRS for more information. These laws are effective on July 1, 2021, unless otherwise noted.

SB 94: Pension Matters

Updates and clarifies language moving the Governors and Surviving Spouses Pension Plan (GSSP) to INPRS from the State Auditor’s Office.

  • INPRS is now the administrator of the GSSP.
  • PERF is responsible for payment of GSSP benefits and administrative costs, beginning July 1, 2021.
  • GSSP is now a 401(a) plan – part of PERF.
  • The state funding obligation to PERF must include the funding for the GSSP.

Provides that in order to be eligible to receive Retirement Medical Benefits Account Plan (RMBA) benefits, participants no longer have to apply for a retirement benefit on their last day of service from their retirement fund in order to qualify.

Allows participants, effective July 1, 2021, in PERF My Choice who are the normal retirement age on their last day of service to receive RMBA benefits.

Updates and clarifies language in IC 5-10-8.5-9 that requires INPRS to evaluate RMBA without an actuarial report.

Allows volunteer firefighters to participate in PERF My Choice but without earning service credit in PERF My Choice or PERF Hybrid.

Establishes that INPRS may collect an overpayment from members, survivors, or beneficiaries.

  • If an overpayment is being collected from recurring monthly benefits, the board may not require more than 25 percent of the monthly benefit to be used to repay the overpayment.
  • If an overpayment to a member, survivor, or beneficiary began before July 1, 2015, and was caused by no fault of the member, survivor, or beneficiary, in applicable cases the board may only require the member, survivor, or beneficiary to pay the amount received during the 6 years prior to discovering the overpayment and may not collect more than 10 percent of a recurring monthly benefit.

Allows a Judges' Retirement System (JRS) member who previously terminated JRS service before becoming vested in a benefit and took a distribution of their member contribution account to regain the service forfeited upon such withdrawal when the person reenters the JRS fund by repaying the full amount received plus interest at a rate determined by INPRS.

SEA 396: 1977 Pension and Disability Fund

Modifies the definition salary of a first-class patrolman or first-class firefighter (first-class officer salary). Specifies that if a unit has a certified first-class officer salary in effect on 5/14/21 that is higher than the first class officer salary under the amended definition, the unit does not have to decrease their certified salary. The certified salary cannot be increased until the first class officer salary under the amended definition (provide amended definition) is higher than the certified salary. The amended definition of a first class officer’s salary is the highest non-promoted salary of a patrolman or firefighter plus all longevity increases – if provided by the employer – for 20 years or less, or more than 20 years but less for than 25 years if done through the meet-and-confer process.

Employers must maintain the longevity increase for one year after increasing it during the previous year.

Provides that:

  • Employers must provide INPRS any reports or records requested effective July 1, 2021.
  • Employer must submit FCO to INPRS before Jan 1 or upon INPRS request
    • If the employer does not provide the reports or records requested by INPRS, INPRS may fine the employer $100 a day; and INPRS may withhold money payable to the employer through the auditor;
    • The SBOA or INPRS may examine any allegation of an employer failing to make the required payments related to the first-class officer salary.
  • If an employer substantially increases the salary of a first-class officer or firefighter, INPRS may require the employer to at least maintain that salary to avoid a negative fiscal impact

SEA 232

  • Adds any variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), including coronavirus disease (COVID-19), to the list of exposure risk diseases for purposes of emergency and public safety employee death and disability presumed in the line of duty.
  • Applies to an employee who is diagnosed after June 30, 2021, with a health condition caused by any variant of SARS, including COVID-19.
  • If the health condition results in disability or death and the employee wishes to have a presumption of disability or death incurred in the line of duty, the employee shall, by written affidavit executed before death, provide verification that the employee has not, outside the scope of the employee's current employment, been exposed to another individual known to have any variant of SARS, including COVID-19.

HEA 1001

A one percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) will be provided on Jan. 1, 2022:

  • Public Employees' Retirement Fund (PERF); Teachers' Retirement Fund (TRF); Excise, Gaming and Conservation Officers' Retirement Fund (EG&C); and Legislators' Defined Benefit Plan (LE DB) retired members in pay status will receive a one percent COLA regardless of whether or not a retiree receives the minimum benefit;
  • Members of these funds who retire after 1/1/22 but receive retroactive payments back to 1/1/22 will receive the COLA;
  • Survivors who receive retroactive payments back to 1/1/22 will also receive the COLA.

Every attempt has been made to verify that the information in this publication is correct and up-to-date. Published content does not constitute legal advice. If a conflict arises between information contained in this publication and the law, the applicable law shall apply.

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