Chapter 302

Chapter 302

2003 -- S 0524

Enacted 07/17/03





     Introduced By: Senators DaPonte, and Ruggerio

     Date Introduced: February 13, 2003 



It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Section 45-21-16 of the General Laws in Chapter 45-21 entitled

"Retirement of Municipal Employees" is hereby amended to read as follows:

     45-21-16. Retirement on service allowance. -- Retirement of a member on a service

retirement allowance shall be made by the retirement board as follows:

      (1) Any member may retire upon the member's written application to the retirement

board as of the first day of the calendar month in which the application was filed, provided the

member was separated from service prior to the application, and provided, further, that if

separation from service occurs during the month in which application is filed, the effective date is

the first day following the separation from service, provided that the member at the time so

specified for the member's retirement has attained the applicable minimum retirement age and has

completed at least ten (10) years of total service or who, regardless of age, completed thirty (30)

years of total service, and notwithstanding that during the period of notification the member has

separated from service. The minimum ages for service retirement (except for employees

completing thirty (30) years of service) is fifty-eight (58) years.

      (2) Except as specifically provided in sections 45-21-19 through 45-21-22, no member is

eligible for pension benefits under this chapter unless the member has been a contributing

member of the employees' retirement system for at least ten (10) years.

      (i) Provided, however, a person who has ten (10) years service credit on or before June

16, 1991 is vested.

      (ii) Furthermore, any past service credits purchased in accordance with section 45-21-62

are counted towards vesting.

      (iii) Any person who becomes a member of the employees' retirement system pursuant to

section 45-21-4 shall be considered a contributing member for the purpose of this chapter.

      (iv) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no more than five (5) years of service

credit may be purchased by a member of the System. The five (5)-year limit does not apply to any

purchases made prior to the effective date of this provision. A member who has purchased more

than five (5) years of service credit maximum, before January 1, 1995, shall be permitted to apply

the purchases towards the member's service retirement. However, no further purchase will be

permitted. Repayment, in accordance with applicable law and regulation, of any contribution

previously withdrawn from the System is not deemed a purchase of service credit.

      (3) No member of the municipal employees' retirement system is permitted to purchase

service credits for casual or seasonal employment, for employment as a page in the general

assembly, or for employment at any state college or university while the employee is a student or

graduate assistant of the college or university.

      (4) A member does not receive service credit in this retirement system for any year or

portion of a year, which counts as service credit in any other retirement system in which the

member is vested or from which the member is receiving a pension and/or any annual payment

for life. This subsection does not apply to any payments received pursuant to the Federal Social

Security Act or to payments from a military pension earned prior to participation in state or

municipal employment, or to military service credits earned prior to participation in state or

municipal employment.

      (5) A member who seeks to purchase or receive service credit in this retirement system

has the affirmative duty to disclose to the retirement board whether or not he or she is a vested

member in any other retirement system and/or is receiving a pension retirement allowance or any

annual payment for life. The retirement board has the right to investigate whether or not the

member has utilized the same time of service for credit in any other retirement system. The

member has an affirmative duty to cooperate with the retirement board including, by way of

illustration and not by way of limitation, the duty to furnish or have furnished to the retirement

board any relevant information which is protected by any privacy act.

      (6) A member who fails to cooperate with the retirement board shall not have the time of

service counted toward total service credit until a time that the member cooperates with the

retirement board and until a time that the retirement board determines the validity of the service


      (7) A member who knowingly makes a false statement to the retirement board regarding

service time or credit is not entitled to a retirement allowance and is entitled only to the return of

his or her contributions without interest.

     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.