145.01 Public employees retirement system definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Public employee" means:

(1) Any person holding an office, not elective, under the state or any county, township, municipal corporation, park district, conservancy district, sanitary district, health district, metropolitan housing authority, state retirement board, Ohio historical society, public library, county law library, union cemetery, joint hospital, institutional commissary, state university, or board, bureau, commission, council, committee, authority, or administrative body as the same are, or have been, created by action of the general assembly or by the legislative authority of any of the units of local government named in division (A)(1) of this section, or employed and paid in whole or in part by the state or any of the authorities named in division (A)(1) of this section in any capacity not covered by section 742.01, 3307.01, 3309.01, or 5505.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) A person who is a member of the public employees retirement system and who continues to perform the same or similar duties under the direction of a contractor who has contracted to take over what before the date of the contract was a publicly operated function. The governmental unit with which the contract has been made shall be deemed the employer for the purposes of administering this chapter.

(3) Any person who is an employee of a public employer, notwithstanding that the person's compensation for that employment is derived from funds of a person or entity other than the employer. Credit for such service shall be included as total service credit, provided that the employee makes the payments required by this chapter, and the employer makes the payments required by sections 145.48 and 145.51 of the Revised Code.

(4) A person who elects in accordance with section 145.015 of the Revised Code to remain a contributing member of the public employees retirement system.

(5) A person who is an employee of the legal rights service on September 30, 2012, and continues to be employed by the nonprofit entity established under Section 319.20 of Am. Sub. H.B. 153 of the 129th general assembly. The nonprofit entity is the employer for the purpose of this chapter.

In all cases of doubt, the public employees retirement board shall determine under section 145.036, 145.037, or 145.038 of the Revised Code whether any person is a public employee, and its decision is final.

(B) "Member" means any public employee, other than a public employee excluded or exempted from membership in the retirement system by section 145.03, 145.031, 145.032, 145.033, 145.034, 145.035, or 145.38 of the Revised Code. "Member" includes a PERS retirant who becomes a member under division (C) of section 145.38 of the Revised Code. "Member" also includes a disability benefit recipient.

(C) "Head of the department" means the elective or appointive head of the several executive, judicial, and administrative departments, institutions, boards, and commissions of the state and local government as the same are created and defined by the laws of this state or, in case of a charter government, by that charter.

(D) "Employer" or "public employer" means the state or any county, township, municipal corporation, park district, conservancy district, sanitary district, health district, metropolitan housing authority, state retirement board, Ohio historical society, public library, county law library, union cemetery, joint hospital, institutional commissary, state medical university, state university, or board, bureau, commission, council, committee, authority, or administrative body as the same are, or have been, created by action of the general assembly or by the legislative authority of any of the units of local government named in this division not covered by section 742.01, 3307.01, 3309.01, or 5505.01 of the Revised Code. In addition, "employer" means the employer of any public employee.

(E) "Prior military service" also means all service credited for active duty with the armed forces of the United States as provided in section 145.30 of the Revised Code.

(F) "Contributor" means any person who has an account in the employees' savings fund created by section 145.23 of the Revised Code. When used in the sections listed in division (B) of section 145.82 of the Revised Code, "contributor" includes any person participating in a PERS defined contribution plan.

(G) "Beneficiary" or "beneficiaries" means the estate or a person or persons who, as the result of the death of a member, contributor, or retirant, qualify for or are receiving some right or benefit under this chapter.

(H)

(1) "Total service credit," except as provided in section 145.37 of the Revised Code, means all service credited to a member of the retirement system since last becoming a member, including restored service credit as provided by section 145.31 of the Revised Code; credit purchased under sections 145.293 and 145.299 of the Revised Code; all the member's military service credit computed as provided in this chapter; all service credit established pursuant to section 145.297 of the Revised Code; and any other service credited under this chapter. For the exclusive purpose of satisfying the service credit requirement and of determining eligibility for benefits under sections 145.32, 145.33, 145.331, 145.332, 145.35, 145.36, and 145.361 of the Revised Code, "five or more years of total service credit" means sixty or more calendar months of contributing service in this system.

(2) "One and one-half years of contributing service credit," as used in division (B) of section 145.45 of the Revised Code, also means eighteen or more calendar months of employment by a municipal corporation that formerly operated its own retirement plan for its employees or a part of its employees, provided that all employees of that municipal retirement plan who have eighteen or more months of such employment, upon establishing membership in the public employees retirement system, shall make a payment of the contributions they would have paid had they been members of this system for the eighteen months of employment preceding the date membership was established. When that payment has been made by all such employee members, a corresponding payment shall be paid into the employers' accumulation fund by that municipal corporation as the employer of the employees.

(3) Where a member also is a member of the state teachers retirement system or the school employees retirement system, or both, except in cases of retirement on a combined basis pursuant to section 145.37 of the Revised Code or as provided in section 145.383 of the Revised Code, service credit for any period shall be credited on the basis of the ratio that contributions to the public employees retirement system bear to total contributions in all state retirement systems.

(4) Not more than one year of credit may be given for any period of twelve months.

(5) "Ohio service credit" means credit for service that was rendered to the state or any of its political subdivisions or any employer.

(I) "Regular interest" means interest at any rates for the respective funds and accounts as the public employees retirement board may determine from time to time.

(J) "Accumulated contributions" means the sum of all amounts credited to a contributor's individual account in the employees' savings fund together with any interest credited to the contributor's account under section 145.471 or 145.472 of the Revised Code.

(K)

(1) "Final average salary" means the greater of the following:

(a) The sum of the member's earnable salaries for the appropriate number of calendar years of contributing service, determined under section 145.017 of the Revised Code, in which the member's earnable salary was highest, divided by the same number of calendar years or, if the member has fewer than the appropriate number of calendar years of contributing service, the total of the member's earnable salary for all years of contributing service divided by the number of calendar years of the member's contributing service;

(b) The sum of a member's earnable salaries for the appropriate number of consecutive months, determined under section 145.017 of the Revised Code, that were the member's last months of service, up to and including the last month, divided by the appropriate number of years or, if the time between the first and final months of service is less than the appropriate number of consecutive months, the total of the member's earnable salary for all months of contributing service divided by the number of years between the first and final months of contributing service, including any fraction of a year, except that the member's final average salary shall not exceed the member's highest earnable salary for any twelve consecutive months.

(2) If contributions were made in only one calendar year, "final average salary" means the member's total earnable salary.

(L) "Annuity" means payments for life derived from contributions made by a contributor and paid from the annuity and pension reserve fund as provided in this chapter. All annuities shall be paid in twelve equal monthly installments.

(M) "Annuity reserve" means the present value, computed upon the basis of the mortality and other tables adopted by the board, of all payments to be made on account of any annuity, or benefit in lieu of any annuity, granted to a retirant as provided in this chapter.

(N)

(1) "Disability retirement" means retirement as provided in section 145.36 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Disability allowance" means an allowance paid on account of disability under section 145.361 of the Revised Code.

(3) "Disability benefit" means a benefit paid as disability retirement under section 145.36 of the Revised Code, as a disability allowance under section 145.361 of the Revised Code, or as a disability benefit under section 145.37 of the Revised Code.

(4) "Disability benefit recipient" means a member who is receiving a disability benefit.

(O) "Age and service retirement" means retirement as provided in sections 145.32, 145.33, 145.331, 145.332, 145.37, and 145.46 and former section 145.34 of the Revised Code.

(P) "Pensions" means annual payments for life derived from contributions made by the employer that at the time of retirement are credited into the annuity and pension reserve fund from the employers' accumulation fund and paid from the annuity and pension reserve fund as provided in this chapter. All pensions shall be paid in twelve equal monthly installments.

(Q) "Retirement allowance" means the pension plus that portion of the benefit derived from contributions made by the member.

(R)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (R) of this section, "earnable salary" means all salary, wages, and other earnings paid to a contributor by reason of employment in a position covered by the retirement system. The salary, wages, and other earnings shall be determined prior to determination of the amount required to be contributed to the employees' savings fund under section 145.47 of the Revised Code and without regard to whether any of the salary, wages, or other earnings are treated as deferred income for federal income tax purposes. "Earnable salary" includes the following:

(a) Payments made by the employer in lieu of salary, wages, or other earnings for sick leave, personal leave, or vacation used by the contributor;

(b) Payments made by the employer for the conversion of sick leave, personal leave, and vacation leave accrued, but not used if the payment is made during the year in which the leave is accrued, except that payments made pursuant to section 124.383 or 124.386 of the Revised Code are not earnable salary;

(c) Allowances paid by the employer for maintenance, consisting of housing, laundry, and meals, as certified to the retirement board by the employer or the head of the department that employs the contributor;

(d) Fees and commissions paid under section 507.09 of the Revised Code;

(e) Payments that are made under a disability leave program sponsored by the employer and for which the employer is required by section 145.296 of the Revised Code to make periodic employer and employee contributions;

(f) Amounts included pursuant to former division (K)(3) and former division (Y) of this section and section 145.2916 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Earnable salary" does not include any of the following:

(a) Fees and commissions, other than those paid under section 507.09 of the Revised Code, paid as sole compensation for personal services and fees and commissions for special services over and above services for which the contributor receives a salary;

(b) Amounts paid by the employer to provide life insurance, sickness, accident, endowment, health, medical, hospital, dental, or surgical coverage, or other insurance for the contributor or the contributor's family, or amounts paid by the employer to the contributor in lieu of providing the insurance;

(c) Incidental benefits, including lodging, food, laundry, parking, or services furnished by the employer, or use of the employer's property or equipment, or amounts paid by the employer to the contributor in lieu of providing the incidental benefits;

(d) Reimbursement for job-related expenses authorized by the employer, including moving and travel expenses and expenses related to professional development;

(e) Payments for accrued but unused sick leave, personal leave, or vacation that are made at any time other than in the year in which the sick leave, personal leave, or vacation was accrued;

(f) Payments made to or on behalf of a contributor that are in excess of the annual compensation that may be taken into account by the retirement system under division (a)(17) of section 401 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C.A. 401(a)(17), as amended;

(g) Payments made under division (B), (C), or (E) of section 5923.05 of the Revised Code, Section 4 of Substitute Senate Bill No. 3 of the 119th general assembly, Section 3 of Amended Substitute Senate Bill No. 164 of the 124th general assembly, or Amended Substitute House Bill No. 405 of the 124th general assembly;

(h) Anything of value received by the contributor that is based on or attributable to retirement or an agreement to retire, except that payments made on or before January 1, 1989, that are based on or attributable to an agreement to retire shall be included in earnable salary if both of the following apply:

(i) The payments are made in accordance with contract provisions that were in effect prior to January 1, 1986;

(ii) The employer pays the retirement system an amount specified by the retirement board equal to the additional liability resulting from the payments.

(i) The portion of any amount included in section 145.2916 of the Revised Code that represents employer contributions.

(3) The retirement board shall determine by rule whether any compensation not enumerated in division (R) of this section is earnable salary, and its decision shall be final.

(S) "Pension reserve" means the present value, computed upon the basis of the mortality and other tables adopted by the board, of all payments to be made on account of any retirement allowance or benefit in lieu of any retirement allowance, granted to a member or beneficiary under this chapter.

(T) "Contributing service" means both of the following:

(1) All service credited to a member of the system since January 1, 1935, for which contributions are made as required by sections 145.47, 145.48, and 145.483 of the Revised Code. In any year subsequent to 1934, credit for any service shall be allowed in accordance with section 145.016 of the Revised Code.

(2) Service credit received by election of the member under section 145.814 of the Revised Code.

(U) "State retirement board" means the public employees retirement board, the school employees retirement board, or the state teachers retirement board.

(V) "Retirant" means any former member who retires and is receiving a monthly allowance as provided in sections 145.32, 145.33, 145.331, 145.332, and 145.46 and former section 145.34 of the Revised Code.

(W) "Employer contribution" means the amount paid by an employer as determined under section 145.48 of the Revised Code.

(X) "Public service terminates" means the last day for which a public employee is compensated for services performed for an employer or the date of the employee's death, whichever occurs first.

(Y) "Five years of service credit," for the exclusive purpose of satisfying the service credit requirements and of determining eligibility under section 145.33 or 145.332 of the Revised Code, means employment covered under this chapter or under a former retirement plan operated, recognized, or endorsed by the employer prior to coverage under this chapter or under a combination of the coverage.

(Z) "Deputy sheriff" means any person who is commissioned and employed as a full-time peace officer by the sheriff of any county, and has been so employed since on or before December 31, 1965; any person who is or has been commissioned and employed as a peace officer by the sheriff of any county since January 1, 1966, and who has received a certificate attesting to the person's satisfactory completion of the peace officer training school as required by section 109.77 of the Revised Code; or any person deputized by the sheriff of any county and employed pursuant to section 2301.12 of the Revised Code as a criminal bailiff or court constable who has received a certificate attesting to the person's satisfactory completion of the peace officer training school as required by section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(AA) "Township constable or police officer in a township police department or district" means any person who is commissioned and employed as a full-time peace officer pursuant to Chapter 505. or 509. of the Revised Code, who has received a certificate attesting to the person's satisfactory completion of the peace officer training school as required by section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(BB) "Drug agent" means any person who is either of the following:

(1) Employed full time as a narcotics agent by a county narcotics agency created pursuant to section 307.15 of the Revised Code and has received a certificate attesting to the satisfactory completion of the peace officer training school as required by section 109.77 of the Revised Code;

(2) Employed full time as an undercover drug agent as defined in section 109.79 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(CC) "Department of public safety enforcement agent" means a full-time employee of the department of public safety who is designated under section 5502.14 of the Revised Code as an enforcement agent and who is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(DD) "Natural resources law enforcement staff officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a natural resources law enforcement staff officer under section 1501.013 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(EE) "Park officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a park officer under section 1541.10 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(FF) "Forest officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a forest officer under section 1503.29 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(GG) "Preserve officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a preserve officer under section 1517.10 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(HH) "Wildlife officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a wildlife officer under section 1531.13 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(II) "State watercraft officer" means a full-time employee of the department of natural resources who is designated a state watercraft officer under section 1547.521 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(JJ) "Park district police officer" means a full-time employee of a park district who is designated pursuant to section 511.232 or 1545.13 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(KK) "Conservancy district officer" means a full-time employee of a conservancy district who is designated pursuant to section 6101.75 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(LL) "Municipal police officer" means a member of the organized police department of a municipal corporation who is employed full time, is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code, and is not a member of the Ohio police and fire pension fund.

(MM) "Veterans' home police officer" means any person who is employed at a veterans' home as a police officer pursuant to section 5907.02 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(NN) "Special police officer for a mental health institution" means any person who is designated as such pursuant to section 5119.08 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(OO) "Special police officer for an institution for the developmentally disabled" means any person who is designated as such pursuant to section 5123.13 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(PP) "State university law enforcement officer" means any person who is employed full time as a state university law enforcement officer pursuant to section 3345.04 of the Revised Code and who is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(QQ) "House sergeant at arms" means any person appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives under division (B)(1) of section 101.311 of the Revised Code who has arrest authority under division (E)(1) of that section.

(RR) "Assistant house sergeant at arms" means any person appointed by the house sergeant at arms under division (C)(1) of section 101.311 of the Revised Code.

(SS) "Regional transit authority police officer" means a person who is employed full time as a regional transit authority police officer under division (Y) of section 306.35 of the Revised Code and is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(TT) "State highway patrol police officer" means a special police officer employed full time and designated by the superintendent of the state highway patrol pursuant to section 5503.09 of the Revised Code or a person serving full time as a special police officer pursuant to that section on a permanent basis on October 21, 1997, who is in compliance with section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(UU) "Municipal public safety director" means a person who serves full time as the public safety director of a municipal corporation with the duty of directing the activities of the municipal corporation's police department and fire department.

(VV) Notwithstanding section 2901.01 of the Revised Code, "PERS law enforcement officer" means a sheriff or any of the following whose primary duties are to preserve the peace, protect life and property, and enforce the laws of this state: a deputy sheriff, township constable or police officer in a township police department or district, drug agent, department of public safety enforcement agent, natural resources law enforcement staff officer, park officer, forest officer, preserve officer, wildlife officer, state watercraft officer, park district police officer, conservancy district officer, veterans' home police officer, special police officer for a mental health institution, special police officer for an institution for the developmentally disabled, state university law enforcement officer, municipal police officer, house sergeant at arms, assistant house sergeant at arms, regional transit authority police officer, or state highway patrol police officer. "PERS law enforcement officer" also includes a person serving as a municipal public safety director at any time during the period from September 29, 2005, to March 24, 2009, if the duties of that service were to preserve the peace, protect life and property, and enforce the laws of this state.

(WW) "Hamilton county municipal court bailiff" means a person appointed by the clerk of courts of the Hamilton county municipal court under division (A)(3) of section 1901.32 of the Revised Code who is employed full time as a bailiff or deputy bailiff, who has received a certificate attesting to the person's satisfactory completion of the peace officer basic training described in division (D)(1) of section 109.77 of the Revised Code.

(XX) "PERS public safety officer" means a Hamilton county municipal court bailiff, or any of the following whose primary duties are other than to preserve the peace, protect life and property, and enforce the laws of this state: a deputy sheriff, township constable or police officer in a township police department or district, drug agent, department of public safety enforcement agent, natural resources law enforcement staff officer, park officer, forest officer, preserve officer, wildlife officer, state watercraft officer, park district police officer, conservancy district officer, veterans' home police officer, special police officer for a mental health institution, special police officer for an institution for the developmentally disabled, state university law enforcement officer, municipal police officer, house sergeant at arms, assistant house sergeant at arms, regional transit authority police officer, or state highway patrol police officer. "PERS public safety officer" also includes a person serving as a municipal public safety director at any time during the period from September 29, 2005, to March 24, 2009, if the duties of that service were other than to preserve the peace, protect life and property, and enforce the laws of this state.

(YY) "Fiduciary" means a person who does any of the following:

(1) Exercises any discretionary authority or control with respect to the management of the system or with respect to the management or disposition of its assets;

(2) Renders investment advice for a fee, direct or indirect, with respect to money or property of the system;

(3) Has any discretionary authority or responsibility in the administration of the system.

(ZZ) "Actuary" means an individual who satisfies all of the following requirements:

(1) Is a member of the American academy of actuaries;

(2) Is an associate or fellow of the society of actuaries;

(3) Has a minimum of five years' experience in providing actuarial services to public retirement plans.

(AAA) "PERS defined benefit plan" means the plan described in sections 145.201 to 145.79 of the Revised Code.

(BBB) "PERS defined contribution plans" means the plan or plans established under section 145.81 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 145.01

History. Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 25, HB 59, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.148, SB 343, §1, eff. 1/7/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 6/11/2012.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.18, HB 139, §1, eff. 4/29/2011.

Effective Date: 03-14-2003; 09-29-2005; 2008 SB267 03-24-2009