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Chapter 26C DC Retirement Benefit Program, Electronic-District Personnel Manual

Chapter Summary

Defined Contribution Pension Plan for District employees first hired after September 30, 1987.

This publication includes the Chapter.

 

2601 Purpose of the Plan 1

2602 Participation in the Plan 1

2603 Creditable Service 3

2604 Plan Administration 4

2605 District Contributions to the Trust 5

2606 Distribution and Forfeiture of Benefits 7

2607 Miscellaneous Provisions 8

2699 Definitions 8

Index 11

DC Personnel Regulations

2601 Purpose of the Plan 

2601.1 This Pension Plan shall be known as the District of Columbia Defined Contribution Pension Plan (the "Plan") and is designed to comply with the requirements of '' 401(a) and 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978 Employee Benefits Amendment Act of 1987 (the "Act") (DC Law 7-27, DC Code ' 1-627.2 et seq. (1988 Supplement)).

2601.2 The purpose of this Plan is to provide a retirement benefit to employees first employed after September 30, 1987, who would otherwise have been covered under the Civil Service Retirement System, whereby the District, as the employer, shall contribute to a trust which meets the requirements of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) '' 401(a) and 501(a), a designated amount equal to not less than seven percent (7 percent) of the base salary of each employee who is a participant in the Plan (except for detention officers for whom the District shall contribute not less than seven and one-half percent (72 percent) of base salary) until one (1) of three (3) specified events occurs which permits all or part of the contributions, together with any income earned thereon, and less any administrative expenses, to be paid to the participant, former participant, or beneficiary, as the case may be.

2601.3 This Plan also shall constitute the defined contribution pension plan for the District of Columbia Courts or any other independent agency, if the courts or any agency duly accepts the Plan, with the approval of the Mayor.

 

2602 Participation in the Plan 

2602.1 Any employee serving in covered employment shall be eligible to become a participant in the Plan upon the completion of one (1) year of creditable service.

2602.2 The Administrator shall enroll each eligible employee into the Plan as a participant at the beginning of the first pay period immediately following the employee's completion of one (1) year of creditable service, subject to the employee completing Plan enrollment forms provided by the Administrator.

2602.3 A participant shall have a vested interest in his or her benefits in the Plan when the participant does any of the following:

(a) Attains five (5) years of creditable service in covered employment pursuant to ' 2603;

(b) Becomes disabled; or

(c) Dies.

2602.4 The Administrator shall suspend the participation in the Plan of any participant who separates from service in excess of three (3) business days in accordance with the Plan Document, which is described in ' 2604.1. The participant shall resume participation in the Plan if reemployed by the District in accordance with the requirements of ' 2602.6, 2602.7, or 2602.8. If a participant is not reemployed with the District within one (1) year except as provided in '' 2602.6 and 2602.8 he or she shall be terminated from participation in the Plan pursuant to ' 2602.5, and his or her inactive account shall be forfeited and disposed of pursuant to ' 2605.10.

2602.5 The Administrator shall terminate the participation in the Plan of all of the following:

(a) Each participant who does not have a vested interest in his or her benefits in accordance with ' 2602.3 and who is separated from service in excess of one (1) year unless the participant is reemployed by the District pursuant to ' 2602.6 or 2602.8; and

(b) Each participant or former participant who has a vested interest in his or her benefits in accordance with ' 2602.3, or his or her beneficiary, upon receipt of all benefits in his or her active or inactive account.

2602.6 A former participant who is reemployed by the District within one (1) year of the date of separation shall resume participation in the Plan immediately, without a loss of prior creditable service or forfeiture of any contributions and income allocated to his or her active account, or income allocated to an inactive account, during that period of separation from service. If a vested participant receives any or all of his or her benefits during the separation from service, then he or she shall be vested only as to the following amounts upon reemployment:

(a) Any remaining benefits in his or her inactive account;

(b) Any income allocated to his or her inactive account during the period of separation; and

(c) Any contributions and income allocated to his or her active account after the reemployment.

2602.7 Except as provided in ' 2602.8, a participant, whether or not his or her interest in benefits has vested, who is reemployed by the District after a separation from service in excess of one (1) year, must satisfy anew the requirements of '' 2602.1 and 2602.2 to become eligible to participate in the Plan, and must also satisfy anew the requirements of ' 2602.3 to become vested in the Plan with respect to any contributions and income allocated to his or her active account after such reemployment. If a participant has attained five (5) years of creditable service prior to the separation from service, then he or she shall remain vested as to any remaining benefits, and income thereon, in his or her inactive account at the time of such reemployment.

2602.8 An employee or a participant who is removed or suspended from service without pay, but is later reinstated or restored to service on the grounds that the removal or suspension was unwarranted or unjustified, shall be entitled to resume accruing creditable service towards becoming a participant in the Plan, or to resume participation in the Plan, whichever is applicable, and to receive any creditable service which otherwise would have been credited pursuant to '' 2603.1, 2603.2, and 2603.3, and any contributions which otherwise would have been allocated to his or her active account pursuant to ' 2605.1.

2602.9 Service by an employee or a participant in any of the following shall be deemed to be "non-covered employment" for purposes of participation in the Plan:

(a) Any position where the employee or participant serves under an appointment of one (1) year or less, except when appointment to such a position follows service in a covered position by a break in service of three (3) days or less;

(b) Any position where the employee or participant serves without an assigned tour of duty;

(c) Any position held by a summer youth employee;

(d) Any position which is not paid according to a District of Columbia pay schedule and which is held by a patient or a resident in a hospital, home, or penal or mental institution of the District;

(e) Any position where the employee or participant is paid on a contract or fee basis;

(f) Any student-employee who receives a stipend and is assigned or attached primarily for training purposes to a hospital, clinic, or laboratory operated by the District of Columbia government;

(g) A police officer or firefighter, as specified in DC Code ' 4-607(1), who is subject to the DC Police Officers and Fire Fighters' Retirement Fund;

(h) A teacher, school officer, or educational employee, as specified in D.C. Code ' 31-1235, who is subject to the DC Teachers' Retirement Fund;

(i) An educational employee of the University of the District of Columbia who is subject to an IRC ' 403(b) pension plan;

(j) A substitute or evening school teacher, pursuant to DC Code ' 31-1235;

(k) A judge, as specified in DC Code ' 11-1561, and the Executive Officer, as specified in DC Code ' 11-1703, who are subject to the DC Judges' Retirement Fund; or

(l) Any other service performed in a position deemed to be non-covered employment pursuant to the Act, this chapter, or the Plan Document.

 

2603 Creditable Service 

2603.1 Creditable service shall be measured for a participant from the date of the participant's commencement of service in covered employment until the date of separation from service or commencement of non-covered employment.

2603.2 Creditable service shall accrue in full year and calendar months, including any fractional parts thereof. With respect to any fractional parts of a month, thirty (30) calendar days shall equal one (1) calendar month.

2603.3 Service in any covered employment for less than twelve (12) months shall be counted as creditable service towards satisfying the one (1) year of creditable service requirement for participation in the Plan if the employee is placed in another position of covered employment within three (3) work days of terminating service in the previous covered position.

2603.4 A participant shall accrue creditable service for all of the following purposes:

(a) To qualify for Plan participation, in accordance with '' 2602.1 and 2602.2;

(b) To determine when the interest of a participant in his or her account shall vest in accordance with ' 2602.3 and ' 2603; and

(c) To determine when contributions are to be paid to the Trust on behalf of a participant, in accordance with '' 2602.1 and 2605.1.

2603.5 Creditable service shall not include any of the following:

(a) The time that a participant is removed or suspended from service without pay which exceeds thirty (30) work days in a calendar year, except as specified in ' 2602.8.

(b) Any portion of an authorized leave of absence without pay which exceeds two (2) years, except for military leave or furlough as authorized under applicable law or regulations;

(c) Any service performed in non-covered employment;

(d) Any prior service of an employee employed less than one (1) year if the employee is separated from service in excess of three (3) work days;

(e) Any prior service of a participant reemployed by the District after a separation from service in excess of one (1) year, except as provided for in '' 2602.6 and 2602.8;

(f) Any annual or sick leave accrued by an employee or a participant at the time of separation from service; or

(g) Any service otherwise excluded from creditable service by the Act, this chapter, or the Plan Document.

 

2604 Plan Administration

2604.1 The Plan Document, as adopted pursuant to authority delegated by the Mayor, shall contain the official summary description of the Plan and shall include all of the following terms, conditions, and provisions:

(a) Purpose of the Plan;

(b) Definitions;

(c) Administration of the Plan;

(d) Participation in the Plan;

(e) District's contribution;

(f) Allocation and limitation of contributions;

(g) Benefits;

(h) Miscellaneous provisions;

(i) Amendment or termination of the Plan; and

(j) Applicable law.

 

2605 District Contributions to the Trust 

2605.1 The District shall make contributions not less frequently than quarterly to the Trust in an amount equal to the sum of the amounts calculated pursuant to '' 2605.2 and 2605.3, which shall be allocated to the active account of each participant subject to the limitations on contributions as established by IRC ' 415.

2605.2 For each participant other than a detention officer, the District shall contribute an amount equal to the level of contribution designated in the budget of the District, subject to the limitation on contributions as established by IRC ' 415; however, in no event shall the amount be less than seven percent (7 percent) of the base salary of each participant.

2605.3 For each participant who is employed as a detention officer, the District shall contribute an amount equal to the level of contribution designated in the budget of the District, subject to the limitation on contributions as established by IRC ' 415; however, in no event shall the amount be less than seven and one-half percent (72 percent) of the base salary of each participant.

2605.4 The District shall only make contributions which are consistent with the Act, this chapter, and the Plan Document. The District shall not make contributions for any of the following:

(a) Any employee who has not attained one (1) year of creditable service;

(b) Any participant during the time that the participant performs service in non-covered employment;

(c) The period of time during which a participant is in a non-pay status;

(d) The period of time during which a participant has been removed or suspended from service without pay, except as provided for in ' 2602.8;

(e) The time period during which any participant is separated from service in excess of three (3) work days, except as provided in '' 2602.6 and 2602.8; and

(f) Any participant whose participation in the Plan is not in compliance with the Act, this chapter, or the Plan Document.

2605.5 A participant is neither required nor permitted to make payments to the Trust.

2605.6 Contributions shall be made in accordance with the Act and shall not be made in any manner so as to discriminate in favor of any participant or group of participants.

2605.7 A participant shall have no right to any contributions or income allocated to his or her active account until the participant becomes vested in accordance with ' 2602.3.

2605.8 If a participant separates from service prior to attaining five (5) years of creditable service, no contributions shall be allocated to his or her active account during the period of separation, and all contributions and income previously allocated to his or her active account shall be transferred to an inactive account during the period of separation.

2605.9 If a former participant is reemployed with the District in accordance with ' 2602.6 or 2602.8, all contributions and income transferred to an inactive account shall be reinstated to the participant, and transferred back to an active account.

2605.10 If a participant separates from service prior to attaining five (5) years of creditable service, and is not reemployed with the District in accordance with ' 2602.6 or 2602.8, then his or her contributions and income which have been transferred to an inactive account shall be forfeited.

2605.11 The Trustee shall return to the District contributions which are made to the Trust, and any income thereon, in the event that any of the following are true:

(a) The Plan does not qualify under IRC '' 401(a) and 501(a);

(b) The contributions or income have been allocated to any active or inactive account under a mistake of fact; or

(c) Any funds remain in the Trust after the Plan has terminated and all liabilities of the Trust have been satisfied.

2605.12 No contributions to the Trust, nor any income earned thereon, shall be used for or diverted to purposes other than the exclusive benefit of the participants, former participants, and their beneficiaries, prior to the satisfaction of all liabilities to the participants, former participants, and beneficiaries.

 

2606 Distribution and Forfeiture of Benefits 

2606.1 The Administrator shall not direct any distribution of benefits to be made to, or on behalf of, a participant who has not accrued a minimum of five (5) years of creditable service, unless the participant becomes disabled or dies prior to that time.

2606.2 The Administrator shall direct the Trustee to distribute benefits in lump sum to a vested participant, former participant, or beneficiary, as the case may be, who separates from service, becomes disabled, or dies, as soon as administratively feasible, but in no event longer than ninety (90) days after the end of the quarter in which separation from service, disability, or death occurs, unless a distribution option is elected pursuant to ' 2606.3; however, benefits of less than $3,500.00 may only be distributed in lump sum payment.

2606.3 A vested participant, former participant, or beneficiary, as the case may be, may elect to have benefits distributed in substantially equal amounts on a monthly or annual basis over a period of either three (3), five (5), or ten (10) years, or distributed in lump sum at a specified time in the future, as provided in the Plan Document, and pursuant to the limitations set forth in IRC ' 401(a)(9); however, this election must be made within sixty (60) days after separation from service, or benefits shall be distributed only in lump sum.

2606.4 In no event shall the distribution of benefits to a participant, former participant, or beneficiary, as the case may be, commence later than April 1 of the calendar year following the year in which the participant, former participant, or beneficiary attains the age of seventy and one-half (70-2), or by such other age, if any, that the Internal Revenue Service may establish which is applicable to qualified plans under IRC ' 401(a).

2606.5 Prior to any distribution of benefits from the Plan to a former participant, the former participant must attest to his or her marital status and, if married, submit written consent, witnessed by a notary public, from his or her spouse, to any distribution of benefits, unless it is established to the satisfaction of the Administrator that this consent cannot be obtained due to incompetence, incapacitation, or unavailability of the spouse.

2606.6 If a participant, former participant, or beneficiary, as the case may be, elects to have benefits distributed in accordance with ' 2606.3, his or her active account shall be transferred to an inactive account during the period for which benefits are to be distributed.

2606.7 If a participant dies prior to the commencement of a distribution of benefits, the Administrator shall direct the Trustee to distribute benefits to the beneficiary in accordance with the Plan Document.

2606.8 If a former participant dies after the commencement of a distribution of benefits, the Administrator shall direct the Trustee to distribute any remaining benefits to the beneficiary of the former participant in accordance with the Plan Document.

2606.9 If a participant becomes disabled prior to a separation from service, the Administrator shall direct the Trustee to distribute benefits to the participant in accordance with the Plan Document.

2606.10 If a participant or former participant dies without designating a beneficiary, the Administrator shall direct the Trustee to distribute any remaining benefits in accordance with the Plan Document.

2606.11 A married participant or former participant may only designate a beneficiary other than his or her spouse upon the written attested consent of the spouse, unless it is established to the satisfaction of the Administrator that this consent can not be obtained due to incompetence, incapacitation, or unavailability of the spouse.

 

2607 Miscellaneous Provisions 

2607.1 Any payment of, or right to, benefits shall be non-assignable and non-alienable, except as provided in the Plan Document.

2607.2 The payment of, or right to, benefits under the Plan may be assigned to a non-participant pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order as provided in applicable law and regulation or in the Plan Document.

2607.3 The liability of the Plan to any participant, former participant, or beneficiary with respect to the distribution of benefits shall be limited to his or her active or inactive account balance, as the case may be, as recorded on the books of the Administrator on the date of separation from service, disability, or death, and shall include any income earned thereafter.

2607.4 The District may amend or terminate this Plan, provided that any amendment or termination shall not impair the rights of a vested participant or former participant, or his or her beneficiary, to receive any contributions, and income earned thereon, allocated to his or her active or inactive account, as the case may be, prior to the date of the termination or amendment of the Plan.

2607.5 Prior to any material amendment to the Plan, the Administrator shall notify all participants, former participants, and beneficiaries in writing setting forth the nature of the amendment, the purpose of the amendment, and its likely impact on participants, former participants, and beneficiaries.

2607.6 No vested benefits of participants, former participants, or beneficiaries shall be forfeited upon the termination of the Plan.

 

2699 Definitions

2699.1 As used in '' 2601 through 2607 of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed:

Active account - the bookkeeping account maintained for each participant to record his or her allocable share of contributions, related income earned thereon, and administrative expenses, unless the account is otherwise designated as an inactive account.

Act - the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978 Employee Benefits Amendment Act of 1987 (DC Law 7-27, DC Code ' 1-627.2 et seq. (1988 Supplement)).

Administrative expenses - the costs of administering the Plan, including but not limited to any Trust expenses.

Administrator - one (1) or more persons or independent contractors selected by the Director of Personnel to administer the Plan.

Base salary - the base rate of pay paid to a participant, as established by a District of Columbia salary schedule, excluding overtime, holiday, Sunday, environmental, or night-shift differential pay, upon which contributions to the Plan shall be determined.

Beneficiary - the person(s) or legal entity designated by the participant or former participant to receive any undistributed benefits which become payable in the event of the death of the participant or former participant.

Benefits - the amount in the active or inactive account of a vested participant or former participant, or his or her beneficiary, which is available for distribution upon separation from service, disability, or death.

Contribution - the amount which the District deposits into the Trust in accordance with '' 2605.1, 2605.2, and 2605.3

Covered employment - service by any employee in any position, not specifically excluded as "non-covered employment," pursuant to ' 2602.9, that:

(a) Is under the personnel authority of the Mayor;

(b) Includes the District of Columbia Courts, but only if the courts duly accept the Plan with the approval of the Mayor; or

(c) Is an independent agency as defined in DC Code ' 1-603.1, but only if the agency duly accepts the Plan with the approval of the Mayor.

Creditable service - shall have the meaning ascribed in DC Code ' 1-627.4(1) (1988 Supplement) and ' 2603 of this chapter.

DC Code - the District of Columbia Code (1981 edition), as amended from time to time, unless otherwise designated.

Detention officer - shall have the meaning ascribed in DC Code ' 1-627.4(2) (1988 Supplement).

Disabled - a condition which results in a participant being entitled to disability benefits within the meaning of the Social Security Act (42 USC '' 416(i) and 423(d)).

District - the District of Columbia, including (a) the District of Columbia Courts and (b) any independent agency, if the courts or any agency duly accept the Plan, with the approval of the Mayor.

Employee - a natural person, whether elected, appointed, or salaried, who begins original service with the District after September 30, 1987, and who receives compensation for personal services performed for the District, or would have received the compensation but for an unpaid, authorized leave of absence.

Former participant - a participant who has separated from service with the District, but who has vested benefits in the Plan that have not been paid in full.

Inactive account - the bookkeeping account maintained for each former participant for whom contributions are no longer being made pursuant to ' 2605.8, and for each former participant or beneficiary who receives benefits under a distribution option pursuant to ' 2606.6, to record his or her allocable share of income and administrative expenses.

Income - the net increase or decrease of the Trust, as of each valuation date, resulting from realized and unrealized gains or losses, interest, dividends, and other investment earnings.

Internal Revenue Code or "IRC" - the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time.

One (1) year of creditable service - shall have the meaning specified in ' 2603.1 et seq.

Participant - shall have the meaning given in '' 2602.1 and 2602.2.

Separation from service - severance of an employee's employment with the District which is deemed to occur when the employment relationship is considered to have actually terminated in accordance with the established practices of the District.

Trust - a trust which qualifies under IRC '' 401(a) and 501(a), into which the District's contributions are deposited.

 

Index

Chapter 26C

DC Retirement Benefit Program  

account 2-10

Act 1, 3-6, 9

active 2, 3, 5-9

active account 2, 3, 5-8

Administrator 1, 2, 7-9

amend 8

base salary 1, 5, 9

beneficiary(ies) 1, 2, 6-10

benefits 1, 2, 5, 7-10

break in service 3

contribution(s) 1-6, 8-10

Courts 1, 9, 10

creditable service 1-7, 9, 10

DC Code 1, 3, 9

detention officer 5, 9

disabled 1, 7-9

distribution 7-10

District of Columbia Courts 1, 9, 10

forfeiture 2, 7

former participant(s) 1, 2, 6-10

inactive 2, 6-10

inactive account 2, 6-10

income 1, 2, 6, 8, 10

Internal Revenue Code 1, 10

Mayor 1, 4, 9, 10

non-covered employment 3-5, 9

participant(s) 1-10

payment(s) 6-8

Pension Plan 1, 3

Plan 1-10

Plan Document 2-8

separation from service 2-4, 7-10

terminate 2, 8

termination 5, 8

Trust 1, 4-6, 9, 10

Trustee 6-8

vested interest 1, 2

vested participant 2, 7-9