TITLE 16
Education

CHAPTER 16-16
Teachers' Retirement [See Title 16 Chapter 97 – The Rhode Island Board of Education Act]

SECTION 16-16-12


§ 16-16-12 Procedure for service retirement.

Retirement of a member on a service retirement allowance shall be made by the retirement board as follows:

(a)(i) Any member may retire upon his or her 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 filing the application, and further provided however, that if separation from service occurs during the month in which the application is filed, the effective date shall be the first day following the separation from service, and provided further that the member on retirement date has attained the age of sixty (60) years and has completed at least ten (10) years of contributory service on or before July 1, 2005, or regardless of age has completed twenty-eight (28) years of total service and has completed at least ten (10) years of contributory service on or before July 1, 2005, and who retire before October 1, 2009, or are eligible to retire as of September 30, 2009.

(ii) For teachers who become eligible to retire on or after October 1, 2009, and prior to July 1, 2012, benefits are available to teachers who have attained the age of sixty-two (62) and completed at least ten (10) years of contributory service. For teachers in service as of October 1, 2009, who were not eligible to retire as of September 30, 2009, but became eligible to retire prior to July 1, 2012, the minimum retirement age of sixty-two (62) will be adjusted downward in proportion to the amount of service the member has earned as of September 30, 2009. The proportional formula shall work as follows:

(A) The formula shall determine the first age of retirement eligibility under the laws in effect on September 30, 2009, which shall then be subtracted from the minimum retirement age of sixty-two (62).

(B) The formula shall then take the teacher's total service credit as of September 30, 2009, as the numerator and the years of service credit determined under (A) as the denominator.

(C) The fraction determined in (B) shall then be multiplied by the age difference in (1) to apply a reduction in years from age sixty-two (62).

(b)(i) Any member, who has not completed at least ten (10) years of contributory service on or before July 1, 2005, may retire upon his or her 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 thereto; and further provided, however, that if separation from service occurs during the month in which application is filed, the effective date shall be the first day following that separation from service; provided, the member on his or her retirement date had attained the age of fifty-nine (59) and had completed at least twenty-nine (29) years of total service; or provided, that the member on his or her retirement date had attained the age of sixty-five (65) and had completed at least ten (10) years of contributory service; or provided, that the member on his or her retirement date had attained the age of fifty-five (55) and had completed twenty (20) years of total service and provided, that the retirement allowance, as determined according to the formula in § 16-16-13 is reduced actuarially for each month that the age of the member is less than sixty-five (65) years and who retire before October 1, 2009, or are eligible to retire as of September 30, 2009.

(ii) For teachers who become eligible to retire on or after October 1, 2009, and prior to July 1, 2012, benefits are available to teachers who have attained the age of sixty-two (62) and have completed at least twenty-nine (29) years of total service or have attained the age of sixty-five (65) and completed at least ten (10) years of contributory service. For teachers in service as of October 1, 2009, who were not eligible to retire as of September 30, 2009, but become eligible to retire prior to July 1, 2012, who have a minimum retirement age of sixty-two (62), the retirement age will be adjusted downward in proportion to the amount of service the member has earned as of September 30, 2009. The proportional formula shall work as follows:

(A) The formula shall determine the first age of retirement eligibility under the laws in effect on September 30, 2009, which shall then be subtracted from the minimum retirement age of sixty-two (62).

(B) The formula shall then take the teacher's total service credit as of September 30, 2009, as the numerator and the years of service credit determined under (A) as the denominator.

(C) The fraction determined in (B) shall then be multiplied by the age difference determined in (A) to apply a reduction in years from age sixty-two (62).

(c) Effective July 1, 2012, the following shall apply to all teachers not eligible to retire prior to July 1, 2012:

(i) A teacher with contributory service on or after July 1, 2012, shall be eligible to retire upon the completion of at least five (5) years of contributory service and attainment of the teacher's Social Security retirement age.

(ii) For teachers with five (5) or more years of contributory service as of June 30, 2012, with contributory service on and after July 1, 2012, who have a retirement age of Social Security Retirement Age, the retirement age will be adjusted downward in proportion to the amount of service the teacher has earned as of June 30, 2012, but in no event shall a teacher's retirement age under this subparagraph (ii) be prior to the attainment of age fifty-nine (59) or prior to the teacher's retirement age determined under the laws in effect on June 30, 2012. The proportional formula shall work as follows:

(1) The formula shall determine the first age of retirement eligibility under the laws in effect on June 30, 2012, which shall then be subtracted from Social Security retirement age;

(2) The formula shall then take the teacher's total service credit as of June 30, 2012, as the numerator and the projected service at retirement age in effect on June 30, 2012, as the denominator;

(3) The fraction determined in (2) shall then be multiplied by the age difference determined in (1) to apply a reduction in years from Social Security retirement age.

(iii) Effective July 1, 2015, a teacher who has completed twenty (20) or more years of total service and who has attained an age within five (5) years of the eligible retirement age under subdivisions (c)(i) or (c)(ii) above or subsection (d) below, may elect to retire provided that the retirement allowance shall be reduced actuarially for each month that the age of the teacher is less than the eligible retirement age under subdivisions (c)(i) or (c)(ii) above or subsection (d) below in accordance with the following table:

Year Preceding Retirement Cumulative Annual Reduction Cumulative Monthly Reduction
For Year 1 9% .75%
For Year 2 8% .667%
For Year 3 7% .583%
For Year 4 7% .583%
For Year 5 7% .583%

(iv) Notwithstanding any other provisions of section § 16-16-12(c), a teacher who has completed ten (10) or more years of contributory service as of June 30, 2012, may elect to retire at his or her eligible retirement date as determined under subsections (a) and (b) above provided that a teacher making an election under this paragraph shall receive the teacher's retirement benefit determined and calculated based on the teacher's service and average compensation as of June 30, 2012. This provision shall be interpreted and administered in a manner to protect a teacher's accrued benefit on June 30, 2012.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provisions of subsection (c) above, effective July 1, 2015, teachers in active service shall be eligible to retire upon the earlier of:

(A) The attainment of at least age sixty-five (65) and the completion of at least thirty (30) years of total service, or the attainment of at least age sixty-four (64) and the completion of at least thirty-one (31) years of total service, or the attainment of at least age sixty-three (63) and the completion of at least thirty-two (32) years of total service, or the attainment of at least age sixty-two (62) and the completion of at least thirty-three (33) years of total service; or

(B) The teacher's retirement eligibility date under subsections (c)(i) or (c)(ii) above.

(e) Except as specifically provided in §§ 36-10-9.1, 36-10-12 through 36-10-15, and 45-21-19 through 45-21-22, no member shall be eligible for pension benefits under this chapter unless

(i) The member shall have been a contributing member of the employees' retirement system for at least ten (10) years; or

(ii) For teachers in active contributory service on or after July 1, 2012, the teacher shall have been a contributing member of the employees' retirement system for at least five (5) years.

(2) Provided, however, a person who has ten (10) years service credit shall be vested; provided that for teachers in active contributory service on or after July 1, 2012, a teacher who has five (5) years of contributory service shall be vested.

(3) Furthermore, any past service credits purchased in accordance with § 36-9-38 shall be counted towards vesting.

(4) Any person who becomes a member of the employees' retirement system pursuant to § 45-21-8 shall be considered a contributing member for the purpose of chapter 21 of title 45 and this chapter.

(5) 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 shall not apply to any purchases made prior to January 1, 1995. A member who has purchased more than five (5) years of service credit before January 1, 1995, shall be permitted to apply the purchases towards the member's service retirement. However, no further purchase will be permitted.

(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, effective July 1, 2012, except for purchases under §§ 16-16-7.1, 36-5-3, 36-9-31, 36-10-10.4, and 45-21-53:

(i) For service purchases for time periods prior to a teacher's initial date of hire, the purchase must be made within three (3) years of the teacher's initial date of hire; and

(ii) For service purchases for time periods for official periods of leave as authorized by law, the purchase must be made within three (3) years of the time the official leave was concluded by the teacher. Notwithstanding paragraphs (i) and (ii) above, service purchases from time periods prior to June 30, 2012, may be made on or prior to June 30, 2015.

(f) No member of the teachers' retirement system shall be permitted to purchase service credits for casual or seasonal employment, for employment as a temporary or emergency employee, a page in the general assembly, or for employment at any state college or university while the employee is a student or graduate of the college or university.

(g) Except as specifically provided in §§ 16-16-6.2 and 16-16-6.4, a member shall 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 shall not apply to any payments received pursuant to the federal Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.

(h) A member who seeks to purchase or receive service credit in this retirement system shall have 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 shall have the right to investigate as to 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 that is protected by any privacy act.

(i) A member who fails to cooperate with the retirement board shall not have the time of service credit counted toward total service credit until the time the member cooperates with the retirement board and until the time the retirement board determines the validity of the service credit.

(j) A member who knowingly makes a false statement to the retirement board regarding service time or credit shall not be entitled to a retirement allowance and is entitled only to the return of his or her contributions without interest.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1948, ch. 2101, § 4; P.L. 1951, ch. 2830, § 7; P.L. 1955, ch. 3609, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 16-16-12; P.L. 1962, ch. 141, § 1; P.L. 1962, ch. 143, § 3; P.L. 1963, ch. 65, § 1; P.L. 1970, ch. 112, art. 2, § 2; P.L. 1970, ch. 112, art. 4, § 2; P.L. 1972, ch. 81, § 1; P.L. 1973, ch. 145, § 2; P.L. 1982, ch. 457, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 331, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 520, § 1; P.L. 1989, ch. 126, art. 55, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 306, art. 2, § 3; P.L. 1993, ch. 231, § 3; P.L. 1994, ch. 139, § 3; P.L. 2005, ch. 117, art. 7, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 68, art. 7, § 4; P.L. 2010, ch. 239, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 408, § 10; P.L. 2011, ch. 409, § 10; P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 21, § 11.)