(1) Members of the school employees retirement board and staff members of the school employees retirement system shall be reimbursed by the retirement system for actual, proper and reasonable expenses incurred for attendance at appropriate meetings, sessions, seminars and conferences.
(2) "Actual, proper and reasonable expenses" means that the particular service or accommodation was in fact used by, or provided to, the board or staff member, was appropriate under the circumstances and within the bounds of prudent judgment.
(3) "Appropriate meetings, sessions, seminars and conferences" include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Meetings of the retirement board or its committees;
(b) Meetings sponsored by the retirement board or the retirement system;
(c) Member or retiree related meetings;
(d) Other educational meetings, sessions, seminars and conferences that serve to make the board or staff member more knowledgeable and are related to the general purposes of the retirement system and in the interest of the system's participants.
(e) Other meetings which involve the retirement system's business operations.
(B) Reimbursable expenses include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) Air fare will be reimbursed at coach or economy class rates when such was available and efforts will be made to use other cost-saving plans offered by carriers. In accordance with Ohio ethics commission advisory opinion No. 91-010, airline frequent flyer miles shall not be used for personal travel or benefit.
(b) In-state travel by personal automobile will be reimbursed at the reimbursable rate established by the system. Out-of-state personal automobile or other surface vehicle travel will be reimbursed at the lesser of "portal-to-portal" or "air travel cost".
(i) "Portal-to-portal" reimbursable expenses include the actual cost of lodging, meals, parking at place of lodging and mileage at the reimbursable rate established by the retirement system or the actual cost of coach or economy class fare or the cost of a rental vehicle.
(ii) "Air travel cost" reimbursable expenses include the actual cost of coach or economy air fare, airport parking, transportation from the airport to destination lodging, and mileage between the board or staff member's home and the local airport at the reimbursable rate established by the retirement system.
(c) The cost of a rental vehicle where it is a reasonable alternative means of transportation under the circumstances.
(d) The cost of parking for a personal or rental vehicle.
(e) The cost of taxi cabs or other public transportation where reasonable under the circumstances.
(2) Lodging at the single occupancy rate.
(3) Meals and beverages, excluding alcohol, in reasonable amounts not to exceed limits as set by the retirement board.
(4) Tips as customary and reasonable.
(5) Telephone calls or other electronic transmissions for retirement system business; or personal telephone calls to home and/or family not to exceed limits set by the retirement board.
(6) Registration fees for appropriate meetings, sessions, seminars and conferences.
(C) Reimbursable expenses do not include the following:
(1) Expenditures of a personal nature except as provided in this rule.
(2) Expenditures for travel other than for retirement system business.
(3) Except in the case of an emergency, expenditures by a board member for out-of-state travel not approved by the retirement board.
(D) Requests for approval of out-of-state travel by a board member shall be submitted by the board member to the executive director of the retirement system who shall present the request to the board at its next regular meeting.
(E) Requests for reimbursement for authorized travel shall be submitted on a form provided by the retirement system and in accordance with the retirement system's reimbursement procedures.