742.37 Rules for disbursement of benefits and pensions.

The board of trustees of the Ohio police and fire pension fund shall adopt rules for the management of the fund and for the disbursement of benefits and pensions as set forth in this section and section 742.39 of the Revised Code. Any payment of a benefit or pension under this section is subject to the provisions of section 742.461 of the Revised Code. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no pension or benefit paid or determined under division (B) or (C) of this section or section 742.39 of the Revised Code shall exceed the limit established by section 415 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C.A. 415 , as amended.

(A) Persons who were receiving benefit or pension payments from a police relief and pension fund established under former section 741.32 of the Revised Code, or from a firemen's relief and pension fund established under former section 521.02 or 741.02 of the Revised Code, at the time the assets of the fund were transferred to the Ohio police and fire pension fund, known at that time as the police and firemen's disability and pension fund, shall receive benefit and pension payments from the Ohio police and fire pension fund in the same amount and subject to the same conditions as such payments were being made from the former fund on the date of the transfer.

(B) A member of the fund who, pursuant to law, elected to receive benefits and pensions from a police relief and pension fund established under former section 741.32 of the Revised Code, or from a firemen's relief and pension fund established under former section 741.02 of the Revised Code, in accordance with the rules of the fund governing the granting of benefits or pensions therefrom in force on April 1, 1947, shall receive benefits and pensions from the Ohio police and fire pension fund in accordance with such rules; provided, that any member of the fund who is not receiving a benefit or pension from the fund on August 12, 1975, may, upon application for a benefit or pension to be received on or after August 12, 1975, elect to receive a benefit or pension in accordance with division (C) of this section.

(C) Unless the board acts under section 742.161 of the Revised Code, members of the fund who have not elected to receive benefits and pensions from a police relief and pension fund or a firemen's relief and pension fund in accordance with the rules of the fund in force on April 1, 1947, shall receive pensions and benefits in accordance with the following provisions:

(1) A member of the fund who has twenty-five years of service credit and has attained the requisite age may elect to retire . The requisite age is forty-eight for a member whose membership began before July 2, 2013, and fifty-two for a member whose membership began on or after that date.

Upon notifying the board in writing of the election, the member shall receive an annual pension, payable in twelve monthly installments, in an amount equal to a percentage of the member's average annual salary. If, as of July 2, 2013, the member had fifteen or more years of service credit, the average annual salary shall be determined using three years of contributions. If, as of that date, the member had less than fifteen years of service credit, the average annual salary shall be determined using five years of contributions.

The percentage shall be the sum of two and one-half per cent for each of the first twenty years of service credit, plus two per cent for each of the twenty-first to twenty-fifth years of service credit, plus one and one-half per cent for each year in excess of twenty-five years of service credit. The annual pension shall not exceed seventy-two per cent of the member's average annual salary.

A member who has twenty-five years of service credit, has resigned or been discharged, and has left the sum deducted from the member's salary on deposit in the pension fund shall upon attaining the requisite age be entitled to receive a normal service pension benefit computed and paid under division (C)(1) of this section.

While participating in the deferred retirement option plan established under section 742.43 of the Revised Code, a member shall not be considered to have elected retirement under division (C)(1) of this section. On notifying the board under division (B)(1) of section 742.444 of the Revised Code of the member's election to terminate active service, a member described in division (B) of that section shall receive an annual pension under division (C)(1) of this section calculated in accordance with section 742.442 of the Revised Code and rules that shall be adopted by the board of trustees of the Ohio police and fire pension fund.

(2) A member of the fund who has fifteen or more years of service credit and who voluntarily resigns or is discharged from the department for any reason other than dishonesty, cowardice, intemperate habits, or conviction of a felony, shall receive an annual pension, payable in twelve monthly installments, in an amount equal to one and one-half per cent of the member's average annual salary multiplied by the number of full years of the member's service credit. If, as of July 2, 2013, the member had fifteen or more years of service credit, the average annual salary shall be determined using three years of contributions. If, as of that date, the member had less than fifteen years of service credit, the average annual salary shall be determined using five years of contributions.

If a member's membership began before July 2, 2013, the pension payments shall not commence until the member has attained the age of forty-eight years and until twenty-five years have elapsed from the date on which the member became a full-time regular police officer or firefighter . Pension payments shall not commence for a member whose membership began on or after July 2, 2013, until the member has attained the age of fifty-two years and until twenty-five years have elapsed from the date on which the member became a full-time regular police officer or firefighter.

(3) A member of the fund who has fifteen or more years of service credit and who has attained sixty-two years of age, may retire from the department and, upon notifying the board in writing of the election to retire, shall receive an annual pension, payable in twelve monthly installments, in an amount equal to a percentage of the member's average annual salary. If, as of July 2, 2013, the member had fifteen or more years of service credit, the average annual salary shall be determined using three years of contributions. If, as of that date, the member had less than fifteen years of service credit, the average annual salary shall be determined using five years of contributions. The percentage shall be the sum of two and one-half per cent for each of the first twenty years of service credit, plus two per cent for each of the twenty-first to twenty-fifth years of service credit, plus one and one-half per cent for each year in excess of twenty-five years of service credit. The annual pension shall not exceed seventy-two per cent of the member's average annual salary.

(4) A member of the fund whose membership began on or after July 2, 2013, and who has twenty-five years of service credit and has attained forty-eight years of age may elect to retire. Upon notifying the board in writing of the election, the member shall receive an annual pension, payable in twelve monthly installments, in an amount determined under division (C)(1) of this section except that the amount shall be reduced to be the actuarial equivalent, as determined by the fund's actuary, of the amount payable had the member retired at fifty-two years of age.

(5) With the exception of those persons who may make application for benefits as provided in section 742.26 of the Revised Code, no person receiving a pension or other benefit under division (C) of this section on or after July 24, 1986, shall be entitled to apply for any new, changed, or different benefit.

If a member covered by division (C) of this section or section 742.38 of the Revised Code dies prior to the time the member has received a payment and leaves a surviving spouse or dependent child, the surviving spouse or dependent child shall receive a pension under division (D) or (E) of this section.

(D)

(1) Except as provided in division (D)(2) of this section, a surviving spouse of a deceased member of the fund or a surviving spouse described in division (D)(4) of this section shall receive a monthly pension as follows:

(a) For the period beginning July 1, 1999, and ending June 30, 2000, five hundred fifty dollars;

(b) For the period beginning July 1, 2000, and ending June 30, 2002, five hundred fifty dollars plus an amount determined by multiplying five hundred fifty dollars by the average percentage change in the consumer price index, not exceeding three per cent, as was annually determined by the board under section 742.3716 of the Revised Code as that section existed on January 31, 2002;

(c) For the period beginning July 1, 2002, and the period beginning the first day of July of each year thereafter and continuing for the following twelve months, an amount equal to the monthly amount paid during the prior twelve-month period plus sixteen dollars and fifty cents.

(2) A surviving spouse of a deceased member of the fund shall receive a monthly pension of four hundred ten dollars if the surviving spouse is eligible for a benefit under division (B) or (D) of section 742.63 of the Revised Code. If the surviving spouse ceases to be eligible for a benefit under division (B) or (D) of section 742.63 of the Revised Code, the pension shall be increased, effective the first day of the first month following the day on which the surviving spouse ceases to be eligible for the benefit, to the amount it would be under division (D)(1) of this section had the spouse never been eligible for a benefit under division (B) or (D) of section 742.63 of the Revised Code.

(3) A pension paid under this division shall continue during the natural life of the surviving spouse. Benefits to a deceased member's surviving spouse that were terminated under a former version of this section that required termination due to remarriage and were not resumed prior to September 16, 1998, shall resume on the first day of the month immediately following receipt by the board of an application on a form provided by the board.

(4) A surviving spouse of a deceased member of or contributor to a fund established under former Chapter 521. or 741. of the Revised Code whose benefit or pension was terminated or not paid due to remarriage shall receive a monthly pension under division (D)(1) of this section.

The pension shall commence on the first day of the month immediately following receipt by the board of a completed application on a form provided by the board and evidence acceptable to the board that at the time of death the deceased spouse was a member of or contributor to a police or firemen's relief and pension fund established under former Chapter 521. or 741. of the Revised Code and that the surviving spouse's benefits were terminated or not granted due to remarriage.

(E)

(1) Each surviving child of a deceased member of the fund shall receive a monthly pension until the child attains the age of eighteen years, or marries, whichever event occurs first. A pension under this division, however, shall continue to be payable to a child under age twenty-two who is a student in and attending an institution of learning or training pursuant to a program designed to complete in each school year the equivalent of at least two-thirds of the full-time curriculum requirements of the institution, as determined by the board. If any surviving child, regardless of age at the time of the member's death, because of physical or mental disability, is totally dependent upon the deceased member for support at the time of death, the child shall receive a monthly pension under this division during the child's natural life or until the child has recovered from the disability.

(2) An eligible surviving child shall receive a monthly pension as follows:

(a) For the period beginning July 1, 2001, and ending June 30, 2002, a monthly pension of one hundred fifty dollars plus the cost of living increase that was determined under former section 742.3720 of the Revised Code;

(b) For the period beginning July 1, 2002, and ending June 30, 2003, one hundred sixty-three dollars and fifty cents;

(c) For the period beginning July 1, 2003, and the period beginning the first day of each July thereafter and continuing for the following twelve months, an amount equal to the monthly amount paid during the prior twelve-month period plus four dollars and fifty cents.

(F)

(1) If a deceased member of the fund leaves no surviving spouse or surviving children, but leaves one or two parents dependent upon the deceased member for support, each parent shall be paid a monthly pension. The pensions provided for in this division shall be paid during the natural life of the surviving parents, or until dependency ceases, or until remarriage, whichever event occurs first.

(2) Each eligible surviving parent shall be paid a monthly pension as follows:

(a) For the period ending June 30, 2002, one hundred six dollars for each parent or two hundred twelve dollars for a sole dependent parent;

(b) For the period beginning July 1, 2002, and ending June 30, 2003, one hundred nine dollars for each parent or two hundred eighteen dollars for a sole dependent parent;

(c) For the period beginning July 1, 2003, and the first day of each July thereafter and continuing for the following twelve months, an amount equal to the monthly amount paid during the prior twelve-month period plus three dollars for each parent or six dollars for a sole dependent parent.

(G)

(1) Subject to the provisions of section 742.461 of the Revised Code, a member of the fund who voluntarily resigns or is removed from active service in a police or fire department is entitled to receive an amount equal to the sums deducted from the member's salary and credited to the member's account in the fund, except that a member receiving a disability benefit or service pension is not entitled to receive any return of contributions to the fund.

(2) A member described in division (G)(1) of this section who is married at the time of application for payment and would be eligible for age and service retirement under this section or section 742.39 of the Revised Code but for a forfeiture ordered under division (A) or (B) of section 2929.192 of the Revised Code shall submit with the application a written statement by the member's spouse attesting that the spouse consents to the payment of the member's accumulated contributions. Consent shall be valid only if it is signed and witnessed by a notary public. The board may waive the requirement of consent if the spouse is incapacitated or cannot be located, or for any other reason specified by the board. Consent or waiver is effective only with regard to the spouse who is the subject of the consent or waiver.

(H) On and after January 1, 1970, all pensions shall be increased in accordance with the following provisions:

(1) A member of the fund who retired prior to January 1, 1967, has attained age sixty-five on January 1, 1970, and was receiving a pension on December 31, 1969, pursuant to division (B) or (C)(1) of this section or former division (C)(2), (3), (4), or (5) of this section, shall have the pension increased by ten per cent.

(2) The monthly pension payable to eligible surviving spouses under division (D) of this section shall be increased by forty dollars for each surviving spouse receiving a pension on December 31, 1969.

(3) The monthly pension payable to each eligible child under division (E) of this section shall be increased by ten dollars for each child receiving a pension on December 31, 1969.

(4) The monthly pension payable to each eligible dependent parent under division (F) of this section shall be increased by thirty dollars for each parent receiving a pension on December 31, 1969.

(5) A member of the fund, including a survivor of a member, who is receiving a pension in accordance with the rules governing the granting of pensions and benefits in force on April 1, 1947, that provide an increase in the original pension from time to time pursuant to changes in the salaries of active members, shall not be eligible for the benefits provided in this division.

(I) On and after January 1, 1977, a member of the fund who was receiving a pension or benefit on December 31, 1973, under division (A), (B), (C)(1), or former division (C)(2) or (7) of this section shall have the pension or benefit increased as follows:

(1) If the member's annual pension or benefit is less than two thousand seven hundred dollars, it shall be increased to three thousand dollars.

(2) If the member's annual pension or benefit is two thousand seven hundred dollars or more, it shall be increased by three hundred dollars.

The following shall not be eligible to receive increased pensions or benefits as provided in this division:

(a) A member of the fund who is receiving a pension or benefit in accordance with the rules in force on April 1, 1947, governing the granting of pensions and benefits, which provide an increase in the original pension or benefit from time to time pursuant to changes in the salaries of active members;

(b) A member of the fund who is receiving a pension or benefit under division (A) or (B) of this section, based on funded volunteer or funded part-time service, or off-duty disability, or partial on-duty disability, or early vested service;

(c) A member of the fund who is receiving a pension under division (C)(1) of this section, based on funded volunteer or funded part-time service.

(J) On and after July 1, 1977, a member of the fund who was receiving an annual pension or benefit on December 31, 1973, pursuant to division (B) of this section, based upon partial disability, off-duty disability, or early vested service, or pursuant to former division (C)(3), (5), or (6) of this section, shall have such annual pension or benefit increased by three hundred dollars.

The following are not eligible to receive the increase provided by this division:

(1) A member of the fund who is receiving a pension or benefit in accordance with the rules in force on April 1, 1947, governing the granting of pensions and benefits, which provide an increase in the original pension or benefit from time to time pursuant to changes in the salaries of active members;

(2) A member of the fund who is receiving a pension or benefit under division (B) or (C)(2) of this section or former division (C)(3), (5), or (6) of this section based on volunteer or part-time service.

(K)

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who on July 24, 1986, is receiving an age and service or disability pension, allowance, or benefit pursuant to this chapter in an amount less than thirteen thousand dollars a year that is based upon an award made effective prior to February 28, 1984, shall receive an increase of six hundred dollars a year or the amount necessary to increase the pension or benefit to four thousand two hundred dollars after all adjustments required by this section, whichever is greater.

(2) Division (K)(1) of this section does not apply to the following:

(a) A member of the fund who is receiving a pension or benefit in accordance with rules in force on April 1, 1947, that govern the granting of pensions and benefits and that provide an increase in the original pension or benefit from time to time pursuant to changes in the salaries of active members;

(b) A member of the fund who is receiving a pension or benefit based on funded volunteer or funded part-time service.

(L) On and after July 24, 1986:

(1) The pension of each person receiving a pension under division (D) of this section on July 24, 1986, shall be increased to three hundred ten dollars per month.

(2) The pension of each person receiving a pension under division (E) of this section on July 24, 1986, shall be increased to ninety-three dollars per month.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.145, SB 340, §1, eff. 1/7/2013.

Effective Date: 03-24-2003; 2008 SB3 05-13-2008