YOUR PLAN MEMBERSHIP
TIER I COVERS MOST STATE EMPLOYEES HIRED
ON OR BEFORE JULY 1, 1984
Eligibility For Tier I
For the most part, this booklet addresses employees hired on or before July 1, 1984. Generally, state employees first hired from July 2, 1984 through June 30, 1997 are covered under the System's retirement plan called the Tier II Plan, unless they are eligible for and elect membership in another Connecticut retirement system. Generally, state employees first hired on or after July 1, 1997 participate in the Tier IIA Plan, unless they are eligible for and elect membership in another Connecticut retirement system. If you are uncertain which plan you participate in, please contact your agency's Personnel/Payroll Office.
Most state employees hired on or before July 1, 1984 are participating in the Tier I Plan except employees who:
If you worked for the state as a Tier I member, left your job, then were rehired on or after July 2, 1984 but before July 1, 1997, Tier II Plan membership was mandatory as of the date you were rehired unless:
In these exceptions, you resumed membership in the Tier I Plan.
If you worked for the state as a Tier II member, left your job, then were rehired before July 1, 1997, you automatically returned to Tier II Plan membership as of the date you were rehired.
If you worked for the state as a Tier I or Tier II member, left your job, then were rehired on or after July 1, 1997, Tier IIA Plan membership was mandatory as of the date you were rehired unless:
In these exceptions, you resumed membership in the Tier I or Tier II Plan based upon your original membership.
Teachers and Professional Staff
If you are a state teacher or a professional staff member in higher education as defined by the Connecticut General Statutes, and you were first employed by the state on or before July 1, 1984, you are covered under the Tier I Plan. However, you may have been eligible to elect membership in either the Connecticut Teachers Retirement System or, if you are in higher education, the alternate retirement program. You can be an active member of only one state retirement system.
Judges appointed to the Connecticut Supreme Court, Appellate Court or Superior Court become members of the Judges, Family Support Magistrates, and Compensation Commissioners Retirement System.
If you were covered by Tier I before your appointment to the Supreme Court, ppellate Court or Superior Court and had accrued at least 10 years of service credit under Tier I, you may elect to remain a member of the Tier I Plan. Or, if you had withdrawn from Tier I, you may elect to be reinstated as a Tier I Plan member. You may make either such election any time within 12 years after your initial appointment as a judge. In determining your Tier I benefit, you will receive credit for your years of service as a judge.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PLAN
YOU AND THE STATE SHARE THE COST OF YOUR RETIREMENT BENEFITS
There are three plans within Tier I - Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. Contributions for membership in Plans A, B, or C in Tier I are based on your annual salary. Salary includes all pay you receive from the state as a Tier I member, including longevity payments and payments for earned vacation time.
Generally, if you are employed by more than one state agency at the same time, all the monies you receive from both state agencies are considered to be salary. The exception to this was the period October 1, 1980 through December 31, 1982, during which time only the salary you received from your primary position was included.
If you are a member of Plan B, your contributions equal:
If you transferred from Plan A to Plan B without Social Security, your contributions to Tier I will be the same as a Plan B member contributing to Social Security.
If you are a member of either Plan A or Plan C, you contribute 5% of your total annual salary. The benefits from Plan A are equal to Plan C benefits.
However, Plan A members are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits based on their service with the state.
In addition, if you are a Tier I hazardous duty member, effective January 12, 1990 you were required to contribute 4% of your salary on which Social Security taxes are withheld, and 5% of your salary on which Social Security taxes are not withheld. If you are a hazardous duty member without Social Security coverage, your contributions will be the same as a hazardous duty member with such coverage. Prior to January 12, 1990 you were required to contribute the appropriate percentage of your salary in accordance with your plan membership as explained above.
Since July 1, 1997 your contributions are made on a pre-tax basis.
By the State
Your contributions pay only part of the cost of your retirement benefits. The State of Connecticut pays the remaining cost.
It is important for you to name a retirement beneficiary or beneficiaries to receive any monies that may be due if you should die while you are an active state employee. This designation may be changed any time you wish. To name or change your retirement beneficiary, contact your agency's Personnel Office for the proper forms.
SERVICE AND BENEFIT INFORMATION
SERVICE DETERMINES YOUR ELIGIBILITY FOR BENEFITS
Service For Retirement Purposes
Service includes all the years and months of state service for which you have contributed. Also counted are all periods of time when you received temporary Workers' Compensation (excluding specific indemnity awards) or Disability Compensation under Connecticut General Statutes, Section 5-142 and any unpaid leave on and after June 9, 1994 consisting of individual prescheduled days or partial days off as provided by the Voluntary Schedule Reduction Program pursuant to Section 5-248c of the Connecticut General Statutes. Not counted are periods of absence without pay for other reasons.
If you are a teacher and work a full academic year, equivalent to at least ten months of service, you will receive credit for the full calendar year.
Credit For Purchased Service
You may also be eligible to purchase retirement credit for miscellaneous types of service. Purchased retirement credit may then be utilized in accordance with the plan provision requirements. Many purchase opportunities had an October 1, 1985 application deadline associated with them. Examples of the types of service you might have purchased for retirement credit by applying prior to the October 1, 1985 deadline include:
There are other purchase opportunities that remain available so long as you apply before retirement. Examples of these open purchases include:
Finally, as explained in the section of this booklet entitled "Reemployment Before Your Retirement Benefits Commence", Tier I members have a limited opportunity to restore retirement credit for a period or periods of prior contributory service for which retirement contributions were refunded.
You may request a purchase of retirement credit or a restoration of retirement credit on a Form CO-896 provided by your employing agency's personnel or payroll office. After submission of the completed request form with all required documentation to the Retirement Services Division, you will either be sent an invoice to complete the purchase or a letter explaining why you do not qualify.
Please contact your agency Personnel or Payroll Office regarding any questions you may have about obtaining additional retirement credit.
If you have had part-time service, you should know that:
Benefit Calculation Factors
Your basic benefit is calculated by using a formula that takes into account your service credit, your average salary, your age and your plan membership.
To determine your average salary, use your three highest paid years of service. Any 12 consecutive month period equals one year. For example, May 1st through the following April 30th equals one year. Add together your earnings from your three highest paid years, then divide this total by three.
When calculating your average salary, no one year's earnings, commencing January 1, 1986, can be greater than 130% of the average of the preceding two years. Mandatory overtime earnings are not subject to this limitation. You may be eligible for a refund of contributions made on salaries you earned during the three highest paid years which are not used in calculating your benefit.
If you retire with 25 or more years of service, the Plan provides a minimum benefit; your basic monthly benefit will equal the result of the formula calculation or $833.34, whichever is greater. This benefit will be pro-rated for members with 25 or more years of service which includes at least some part-time service.
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