79-934. Formula annuity retirement allowance; eligibility; formula; payment.

(1) In lieu of the school retirement allowance provided by section 79-933, any member who is not an employee of a Class V school district and who becomes eligible to make application for and receive a school retirement allowance under section 79-931 may receive a formula annuity retirement allowance if it is greater than the school retirement allowance provided by section 79-933.

(2) Subject to the other provisions of this section, the monthly formula annuity in the normal form shall be determined by multiplying the number of years of creditable service for which such member would otherwise receive the service annuity provided by section 79-933 by (a) one and one-quarter percent of his or her final average compensation for a member who has acquired the equivalent of one-half year of service or more as a school employee under the retirement system following August 24, 1975, (b) one and one-half percent of his or her final average compensation for a member who has acquired the equivalent of one-half year of service or more as a school employee under the retirement system following July 17, 1982, (c) one and sixty-five hundredths percent of his or her final average compensation for a member who has acquired the equivalent of one-half year of service or more as a school employee under the retirement system following July 1, 1984, (d) one and seventy-three hundredths percent of his or her final average compensation for a member actively employed as a school employee under the retirement system or under contract with an employer on or after June 5, 1993, (e) one and eight-tenths percent of his or her final average compensation for a member who has acquired the equivalent of one-half year of service or more as a school employee under the retirement system following July 1, 1995, and was employed as a school employee under the retirement system or under contract with an employer on or after April 10, 1996, (f) one and nine-tenths percent of his or her final average compensation for a member who has acquired the equivalent of one-half year of service or more as a school employee under the retirement system following July 1, 1998, and was employed as a school employee under the retirement system or under contract with an employer on or after April 29, 1999, (g) two percent of his or her final average compensation for a member who has acquired the equivalent of one-half year of service or more as a school employee under the retirement system following July 1, 2000, who was employed as a school employee under the retirement system or under contract with an employer on or after May 2, 2001, and hired prior to July 1, 2016, and who has not retired prior to May 2, 2001, or (h) two percent of his or her final average compensation for a member initially hired on or after July 1, 2016, or a member who has taken a refund or retirement and is rehired or hired by a separate employer covered by the retirement system on or after July 1, 2016, and has acquired the equivalent of five years of service or more as a school employee under the retirement system or under contract with an employer on or after July 1, 2016. Subdivision (2)(f) of this section shall not apply to a member who is retired prior to April 29, 1999. Subdivision (2)(g) of this section shall not apply to a member who is retired prior to May 2, 2001.

(3) If the annuity begins on or after the member's sixty-fifth birthday, the annuity shall not be reduced.

(4) If the annuity begins prior to the member's sixtieth birthday and the member has completed thirty-five or more years of creditable service, the annuity shall be actuarially reduced on the basis of age sixty-five.

(5)(a) For a member who has acquired the equivalent of one-half year of creditable service or more as a school employee under the retirement system following July 1, 1997, and who was a school employee on or after March 4, 1998, and who was hired prior to July 1, 2016, if the annuity begins at a time when the sum of the member's attained age and creditable service totals eighty-five and the member is at least fifty-five years of age, the annuity shall not be reduced. This subdivision shall not apply to a member who is retired prior to March 4, 1998.

(b) For a member hired on or after July 1, 2016, and prior to July 1, 2018, or for a member who has taken a retirement or refund that relinquished all prior service credit and who has not repaid the full amount of the refund pursuant to section 79-921 and is rehired or hired by any employer covered by the retirement system on or after July 1, 2016, and prior to July 1, 2018, if the annuity begins at a time when the sum of the member's attained age and creditable service totals eighty-five and the member is at least fifty-five years of age, the annuity shall not be reduced.

(c) For a member hired on or after July 1, 2018, or for a member or former member who has taken a retirement or refund that relinquished all prior service credit and who has not repaid the full amount of the refund pursuant to section 79-921 and is rehired or hired by any employer covered by the retirement system on or after July 1, 2018, if the annuity begins at a time when the sum of the member's attained age and creditable service totals eighty-five and the member is at least sixty years of age, the annuity shall not be reduced.

(6) If the annuity begins on or after the member's sixtieth birthday and the member has completed at least a total of five years of creditable service including eligibility and vesting credit but has not yet qualified for an unreduced annuity as specified in this section, the annuity shall be reduced by three percent for each year after the member's sixtieth birthday and prior to his or her sixty-fifth birthday.

(7) Except as provided in section 42-1107, the normal form of the formula annuity shall be an annuity payable monthly during the remainder of the member's life with the provision that in the event of his or her death before sixty monthly payments have been made the monthly payments will be continued to his or her estate or to the beneficiary he or she has designated until sixty monthly payments have been made. Except as provided in section 42-1107, a member may elect to receive in lieu of the normal form of annuity an actuarially equivalent annuity in any optional form provided by section 79-938.

(8) All formula annuities shall be paid from the School Retirement Fund.

(9)(a)(i) For purposes of this section, in the determination of compensation for members on or after July 1, 2005, that part of a member's compensation for the plan year which exceeds the member's compensation with the same employer for the preceding plan year by more than seven percent of the compensation base during the sixty months preceding the member's retirement shall be excluded unless (A) the member experienced a substantial change in employment position, (B) as verified by the school board, the excess compensation above seven percent occurred as the result of a collective-bargaining agreement between the employer and a recognized collective-bargaining unit or category of school employee, and the percentage increase in compensation above seven percent shall not be excluded for employees outside of a collective-bargaining unit or within the same category of school employee, or (C) the excess compensation occurred as the result of a districtwide permanent benefit change made by the employer for a category of school employee in accordance with subdivision (4)(a)(iv) of section 79-902.

(ii) For purposes of subdivision (9)(a) of this section:

(A) Category of school employee means either all employees of the employer who are administrators or certificated teachers, or all employees of the employer who are not administrators or certificated teachers, or both;

(B) Compensation base means (I) for current members, employed with the same employer, the member's compensation for the plan year ending June 30, 2005, or (II) for members newly hired or hired by a separate employer on or after July 1, 2005, the member's compensation for the first full plan year following the member's date of hiring. Thereafter, the member's compensation base shall be increased each plan year by the lesser of seven percent of the member's preceding plan year's compensation base or the member's actual annual compensation increase during the preceding plan year; and

(C) Recognized collective-bargaining unit means a group of employees similarly situated with a similar community of interest appropriate for bargaining recognized as such by a school board.

(b)(i) In the determination of compensation for members whose retirement date is on or after July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013, that part of a member's compensation for the plan year which exceeds the member's compensation with the same employer for the preceding plan year by more than nine percent of the compensation base shall be excluded.

(ii) For purposes of subdivision (9)(b) of this section, compensation base means (A) for current members employed with the same employer, the member's compensation for the plan year ending June 30, 2012, or (B) for members newly hired or hired by a separate employer on or after July 1, 2012, the member's compensation for the first full plan year following the member's date of hiring.

(c)(i) In the determination of compensation for members whose retirement date is on or after July 1, 2013, that part of a member's compensation for the plan year which exceeds the member's compensation for the preceding plan year by more than eight percent during the capping period shall be excluded. Such member's compensation for the first plan year of the capping period shall be compared to the member's compensation received for the plan year immediately preceding the capping period.

(ii) For purposes of subdivision (9)(c) of this section:

(A) Capping period means the five plan years preceding the later of (I) such member's retirement date or (II) such member's final compensation date; and

(B) Final compensation date means the later of (I) the date on which a retiring member's final compensation is actually paid or (II) if a retiring member's final compensation is paid in advance as a lump sum, the date on which such final compensation would have been paid to the member in the absence of such advance payment.

Source:Laws 1967, c. 546, § 7, p. 1804; Laws 1969, c. 736, § 1, p. 2785; Laws 1975, LB 50, § 2; Laws 1981, LB 248, § 2; Laws 1982, LB 609, § 1; Laws 1984, LB 457, § 2; Laws 1986, LB 546, § 2; Laws 1986, LB 325, § 7; Laws 1987, LB 549, § 8; Laws 1988, LB 160, § 1; Laws 1988, LB 1170, § 3; Laws 1991, LB 549, § 36; Laws 1993, LB 292, § 2; Laws 1996, LB 700, § 9; R.S.1943, (1994), § 79-1522.01; Laws 1996, LB 900, § 569; Laws 1996, LB 1050, § 7; Laws 1996, LB 1076, § 21; Laws 1996, LB 1273, § 24; Laws 1998, LB 822, § 2; Laws 1999, LB 674, § 4; Laws 2001, LB 711, § 2; Laws 2002, LB 407, § 32; Laws 2015, LB446, § 3; Laws 2016, LB447, § 10; Laws 2016, LB790, § 6; Laws 2017, LB415, § 30.
Effective Date: May 24, 2017