|55 ELM STREET
TELEPHONE: (860) 702-3480
|MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD
for DISABILITY RETIREMENT
|HEALTH CARE COST
|STATE OF CONNECTICUT
RETIREMENT AND BENEFIT SERVICES DIVISION
OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
RETIREMENT & BENEFIT SERVICES DIVISION MEMORANDUM
TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES
|ATTENTION:||Agency Heads and Agency Personnel Administrators|
|SUBJECT:||Procedures While Pending Determination of Disability Retirement|
|DATE:||December 8, 2005|
The purpose of this memorandum is to follow-up information provided in the Department of Administrative Services' General Letter No. 301 with respect to accrued leave utilization while pending a disability retirement determination.
BACKGROUND: In the past, the policy and procedure for employees who were entitled to and elected to use accrued leave has been for the employee to utilize all sick leave prior to submitting an application for disability retirement benefits, and therefore avoid any situation where the employee is both actively employed and retired simultaneously. As there exists a disability determination backlog, the policy of requiring employees to utilize their sick leave first, and then separate before applying for disability retirement caused employees to lose their state employee health insurance coverage pending the decision on their application. General Letter No. 301 addresses two policy changes for employees who apply for disability retirement benefits: (1) allows employees on an approved leave of absence to continue with state employee health coverage for a period up to twelve months pending the disability decision; and (2) allows employees with sick (and other) leave balances to apply for disability retirement, without separating service, and utilize their balances while a decision on their applications is pending. This memorandum serves to specifically address the disability retirement application procedure for employees with sick (and other) leave balances.
PROCEDURES: The Retirement & Benefit Services Division (Division) is currently making every effort to reduce the disability retirement backlog. However, while there continues to exist a lengthy backlog, employees making application for disability retirement who are otherwise entitled to use accrued leave, may submit disability retirement applications in the same manner as if they had separated from state service. To the extent the employee is paid accrued leave on and/or after the date of retirement named in the application, there will be no retroactivity of retirement benefits should the Medical Examining Board approve the application. Instead, the Division will adjust the retirement date to a future date. In no instance may an employee receive salary for both accrued leave and be retired simultaneously.
For example, an employee with accrued leave balance who submits a disability retirement application with a December 1, 2005 date of retirement which is not acted on by the Medical Examining Board until February 2006 may utilize the accrued leave through the month of February and the date of retirement will be adjusted to March 1, 2006. If the employee utilized accrued leave during the months of December and January but had either terminated or exhausted the accrued leave prior to February 1st, the date of retirement would be adjusted to February 1, 2006. Agencies will be notified of the decision of the Medical Examining Board. For employees who have utilized accrued leave pending the decision, the dates of retirement will be adjusted regardless of whether the disability retirement was approved or denied. Agencies will be responsible for ensuring that no accrued leave payments are made to cover time past the adjusted retirement date, and for providing any additional information regarding salary and service credit relative to the adjusted retirement date.
As part of this revised procedure, applicants who intend to use accrued leave pending a decision on the disability retirement application are required to sign the enclosed form certifying the fact that their retirement date may be adjusted and agreeing to such adjustment. Agencies are also required to complete and sign the form where indicated.
This revised procedure of allowing employees to utilize accrued leave pending the decision on a disability retirement application is meant to bridge the backlog period; applications will be presented to the Medical Examining Board as soon as feasibly possible. Given the nature of certain disabilities there may be instances where an employee should submit an application for the earliest possible date of retirement and utilization of accrued leave may not in the employee's best interest; agencies should handle these matters as appropriate.
Questions generated by the content of this memorandum should be directed to the Division's Disability Retirement Unit at (860) 702-3497.
Very truly yours,
STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION
NANCY WYMAN, SECRETARY EX OFFICIO
Thomas Woodruff, Ph.D., Director
Retirement & Benefit Services Division
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