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      RS 11:1531     


§1531.  Maximum benefits

A.  Notwithstanding any other provision of this pension plan to the contrary, no member shall receive a benefit in any year in excess of the sum of the maximum employer-financed benefit and the member-financed benefit.  The maximum employer-financed benefit is ninety thousand dollars.  The member-financed benefit is the annual benefit that can be provided by annuitizing the member's after-tax accumulated contributions.  Any benefit reduction required by this Section shall, to the extent possible, reduce the monthly pension to which the member would otherwise have been entitled and shall not affect the member's Deferred Retirement Option Plan account.

B.(1)  If the annual benefit begins before the member attains age sixty-two, the ninety thousand dollars limit established in Subsection A of this Section, as adjusted, shall be reduced in a manner prescribed by the secretary of the United States Treasury.  Such adjustment, however, may not reduce the member's annual benefit below seventy-five thousand dollars, if the member's benefit begins at or after age fifty-five, or the actuarial equivalent of seventy-five thousand dollars beginning at age fifty-five if benefits begin before age fifty-five.

(2)  If the annual benefit begins after the member attains age sixty-five, the ninety thousand dollars limit, as adjusted, will be increased so that it is the actuarial equivalent of the ninety thousand dollars limit at age sixty-five.  The ninety thousand dollars limit on annual benefits, but not the seventy-five thousand dollars limit, shall be adjusted annually as provided by Section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, hereinafter referred to in this Section as "the Code", and the regulations prescribed by the secretary of the United States Treasury to reflect cost-of-living adjustments.  The adjusted limit is effective as of January first of each calendar year and is applicable to benefits commencing during that calendar year.  As a result of a cost-of-living increase, a pension that had been limited by the provisions of this Section in a previous year may be increased with respect to future payments to the lesser of the new limit or the amount of pension that would have been payable under this pension plan without regard to the provisions of this Section.

(3)  Annual benefits may not be paid in an amount greater than the accrued benefit under the plan.  The maximum limit shall apply to a single-life pension.  If the benefit is payable in a form other than a single-life annuity, the maximum limit shall apply to the pension that is the actuarial equivalent of such single-life annuity, using an applicable interest rate and mortality table as prescribed by the Internal Revenue Service; however, the limit shall not be reduced for any benefit received as a disability retirement allowance or any payments received by the beneficiaries, survivors, or estate of a member as a result of the death of the member.

C.  This plan may still pay an annual benefit to any member in excess of the limit otherwise allowed under this Section if the annual benefit derived from the employer contributions under this and all other qualified plans subject to the limitations of Section 415(b) of the Code does not in the aggregate exceed ten thousand dollars for the plan year or for any prior year, and the member has not at any time participated in a defined contribution plan maintained by the employer.  For purposes of this Subsection only, a member's own contributions to the pension plan are not considered a separate defined contribution plan maintained by the employer.

D.  If a member is or has been a participant in one or more defined contribution plans maintained by the employer, the sum of the member's contributions under this pension plan and any other qualified defined benefit plans of the employer and the annual additions under the defined contribution plan or plans may not exceed the lesser of twenty-five percent of the member's earned compensation or thirty thousand dollars, as adjusted by the secretary of the United States Treasury.  Further, the sum of the defined benefit plan fraction, as defined in Section 415 of the Code, and the defined contribution plan fraction, as defined in Section 415 of the Code, for any plan year in which Section 415(e) of the Code is in effect, may not exceed one for any calendar year in which the limits of Section 415(d) of the Code are in effect and enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.  If the sum of the defined benefit plan fraction and the defined contribution plan fraction exceeds one in any such year for any member, or if the benefits under this plan and one or more other defined benefit plans would otherwise exceed the maximum employer-financed benefit, and the administrator of the other plan does not reduce the contributions or benefits under the other plan, the employer-financed benefit under this plan shall be reduced to the extent necessary to ensure that the limitations under Section 415 of the Code are met.

E.  If the United States Congress or the Internal Revenue Service later amends laws, regulations, or other guidelines pertaining to Section 415 of the Code in order to permit higher service retirement benefits, then, for any retired member who had previously had a benefit reduced because it exceeded the limits in this Section, the board of trustees shall recalculate the retired member's benefit to be the smaller of the unreduced benefit based on the pension plan's service retirement benefit formula in effect on the date the member retired, or the maximum permissible benefit calculated under the amended laws or regulations.  If a retroactive change is permissible, the board of trustees shall pay the retired member in a single payment an amount equal to the difference between the adjusted higher monthly benefit and the reduced benefit for the number of months the member has received the reduced benefit.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, no member shall receive any benefit under this Section to the extent that he has received a distribution with respect to such benefit from an excess benefit plan.

Acts 1999, No. 34, §1.

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