§ 31.30  DEFINITIONS.
   "ACCUMULATED CONTRIBUTIONS." The sum of a member's contributions to the plan plus interest credited as provided in § 31.34(C).
   "ACTUARIAL EQUIVALENT." A benefit calculated to be of equal value to the standard form of benefit otherwise payable, computed using a 7% interest rate and the 1983 Group annuity mortality table weighted 50% male and 50% female.
   "ANNUITY STARTING DATE."
      (1)   The first day of the first month for which a retirement benefit is paid to a member under the plan, provided that on that date the member must:
         (a)   Be eligible for retirement benefits from this plan and have actually retired; and
         (b)   Have filed a completed application for benefits with the Retirement Board.
      (2)   The annuity starting date shall not be later than the later of:
         (a)   The April 1 following the calendar year in which the member reaches age 70-1/2, or;
         (b)   The April 1 following the calendar year in which the member retires or otherwise terminates employment.
   "APPLICATION FOR BENEFITS." The form provided by the Retirement Board, which shall have been completed by the member or his/her beneficiary or spouse and filed with the Retirement Board in advance of the first month for which benefits are payable. An application for benefits shall contain such information as the Retirement Board shall require to establish the member's rights and benefits under the plan.
   "APPROVED LEAVE OF ABSENCE."
      (1)   Periods of absence during which the member is not receiving pay from the town. An approved leave of absence shall not constitute a termination of employment of a member. However, an approved leave of absence in excess of 90 days shall constitute an interruption in the credited service of such member, unless such member repays the contributions and interest for such period upon his/her return to employment in accordance with § 31.33(E). Periods of absence within the meaning of this definition are:
         (a)   Approved leave, including leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act;
         (b)   Temporary illness or temporary disability;
         (c)   Worker's compensation;
         (d)   Voluntary or involuntary service in the armed forces of the United States while any law requiring military service is in effect.
      (2)   If any member fails to return to work on the date fixed by the Retirement Board or Personnel Department with respect to any leave, his/her credited service shall be determined to have ended on the date next preceding the first day of such absence.
   "AVERAGE ANNUAL COMPENSATION."
      (1)   Service employees. Shall mean the average compensation received by the member for the most recent 24-month period immediately prior to termination or, if greater, the average of the highest two consecutive plan years of annual compensation paid to a member by the town out of the last ten years of credited service. For periods prior to June 1, 1999, average annual compensation means the average of the highest three consecutive plan years out of the last ten years that produce the highest annual compensation.
      (2)   Guardian employees. Shall mean compensation received by the member for the most recent 12-consecutive-month period immediately prior to termination or, if greater, the highest one plan year of annual compensation paid to a member by the town out of the last ten years of credited service.
   "BENEFICIARY."
      (1)   Any individual (other than a pensioner), estate or other recipient designated by an employee to receive a death benefit payable under this plan as set forth in § 31.39(D). Such designation must be filed with the Retirement Board on a form provided by the Retirement Board. Any such designation or change of designation of beneficiary shall take effect as of the date of execution of such notice whether or not the member is living at the time of such filing, provided there has not been an unreasonable delay in the filing of such designation.
      (2)   A member's spouse is automatically designated as the beneficiary as of the date of the marriage, unless a member subsequently files a new designation of beneficiary. However, the designation of a spouse as beneficiary is revoked upon a divorce absolute from such spouse, except as otherwise provided by any valid terms of an outstanding approved Domestic Relations Order received by the plan prior to any payment. The member must expressly notify the plan in writing of such a divorce. The plan shall not be liable for any payments made in accordance with the designation of beneficiary on file if it had no prior written notice of such a divorce.
   "BREAK IN SERVICE." A one-year non-paid period of absence beginning on the date a member leaves employment with the town and no longer contributes to the plan.
   "CODE." The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or replaced from time to time.
   "COMPENSATION."
      (1)   Service employees. Compensation shall mean the regular basic salary paid to an employee for services rendered to the town each year. Compensation shall exclude bonuses, special pay, pay for overtime or premium pay and the town's cost for any public or private employee benefit plan including this plan. Compensation shall include longevity payments and workers' compensation payments. Compensation in respect of any town clerk who elects to receive credited service in accordance with the provisions of § 31.33(D), shall mean the regular basic salary paid to the town clerk.
      (2)   Guardian employees. Shall mean the regular basic salary paid to an employee for services rendered to the town each year. Compensation shall exclude bonuses, special pay, pay for overtime or premium pay and the town's cost for any public or private employee benefit plan including this plan. Compensation shall include longevity payments, worker's compensation payments and holiday pay.
      (3)   Notwithstanding any other provision of law, effective July 1, 1996, the amount of annual compensation used to determine the retirement benefit of an employee who becomes a member in the plan on or after July 1, 1996 shall be limited to $150,000, as indexed, in accordance with Section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code.
   "CREDITED SERVICE." A member's service with the town as an eligible employee for purposes of determining the amount of his/her benefits hereunder and determining eligibility for a pension. The calculation of credited service shall begin on the member's date of hire and shall end on the member's date of termination and shall not include periods during which a member incurs a break in service or does not make the required contributions. Credited service shall also include the purchase of military service as provided in § 31.33(B) and (D), and sick leave buy-out as applicable to police guardian employees in accordance with the provisions of § 31.33(C). Credited service shall also include any credited service which an employee elects to receive for service as town clerk in accordance with the provisions of § 31.33(D).
   "DATE OF ADOPTION." The date upon which this revised plan is adopted by the Legislative Council of the town.
   "DEPENDENT CHILD." A biological or legally adopted child of a member who has survived the member and has not attained the age of 18 years.
   "DISABILITY PENSION." Payments under the plan as provided in § 31.35(D) and (E) or § 31.36(D) and (E).
   "DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDER." Any judgment, decree, order or approval of a property settlement agreement relating to child support, alimony payments or marital property rights to an alternate payee and made pursuant to a state domestic relations law, including a community property law.
   "EARLY RETIREMENT DATE."
      (1)   Service employees. Shall mean the first day of any calendar month elected at the option of the member as his/her annuity starting date, provided that the member has reached age 55 and has at least ten years of credited service. The benefits for which the member is eligible for under this section shall be actuarially reduced to take into account such early retirement.
      (2)   Guardian employees. Shall mean the first day of any calendar month elected at the option of the member as his/her annuity starting date, provided that the member has at least 15 years of credited service and is within five years of his/her normal retirement date. The benefits for which the member otherwise would be eligible under this section shall not be actuarially reduced to take into account such early retirement.
   "EFFECTIVE DATE." The original effective date of this plan is October 3, 1949. The effective date of this amended and restated plan shall be July 1, 2015 except as otherwise specifically provided in §§ 31.30 through 31.47.
   "ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEE OR EMPLOYEE."
      (1)   "Employee" means any person who is employed by the town.
      (2)   "Eligible employee" means any individual who is an employee of the town, also known as either a service employee or a guardian employee, who meets the following requirements:
         (a)   Employee is regularly scheduled to work more than 20 hours per week; and
         (b)   Employee makes the mandatory employee contributions.
      (3)   Eligible employee shall not include the following types of employees:
         (a)   Seasonal or temporary employee;
         (b)   Employees that participate in any other plan that the town is required to contribute to;
         (c)   An employee who participates in the Connecticut State Teacher's Retirement System;
         (d)   An officer of the town elected by popular vote except for an employee who elects to receive for service as town clerk in accordance with the provisions of § 31.33(D).
         (e)   A person receiving a pension or annuity benefit from the town or receiving severance pay, retainer or fee under contract;
         (f)   A guardian employee hired by the town after July 1, 2006 who has been accepted to participate in the Connecticut Municipal Employee Retirement System "CMERS", other that any of the three police guardian employees hired by the town between July 1, 2006 and January 24, 2007 who have elected to participate in the plan prior to April 1, 2007;
         (g)   "Floater" custodians hired by the Board of Education;
         (h)   Part-time employees working more than 20 hours per week on a cumulative basis;
         (i)   Employees who are crossing guards; and
         (j)   Effective July 1, 2007, a service employee hired by the town after July 1, 2007 who has been accepted to participate in the Connecticut Municipal Employee Retirement System ("CMERS").
      (4)   The term "employee" or "eligible employee" shall not include a leased employee of an employer, within the meaning of Section 414(n) of the Internal Revenue Code, who otherwise meets the conditions for participation, vesting and/or benefit accrual under the plan.
   "GUARDIAN EMPLOYEE." Any employee of the town who is duly sworn in, affirmed or otherwise authenticated and employed by the Town of Hamden as a police officer in the Police Department or a firefighter in the Fire Department and the executive officers of both such departments such as the Police and Fire Chiefs and their respective deputies.
   "MEMBER." Any person included in the membership of the plan as provided in § 31.32.
For purposes of the plan, the following definitions shall apply:
      (1)   "ACTIVE MEMBER." A member who is an eligible employee and is participating in the plan;
      (2)   "RETIRED MEMBER." A member who is no longer an eligible employee and has begun receiving a retirement pension from the plan; and
      (3)   "TERMINATED VESTED MEMBER." A member who has a vested interest in the plan but who is no longer an employee of the town.
   "NORMAL RETIREMENT DATE."
      (1)   Service employees. Shall mean age 65, or the completion of 30 years of credited service, or age 55 and the completion of 20 years of credited service, whichever is earlier. A member's annuity starting date shall be the first day of the month following attainment of his/her normal retirement date and completion and receipt of an application for benefits.
      (2)   Guardian employees. Shall mean age 60, or the completion of 20 years of credited service, whichever is earlier. A member's annuity starting date shall be the first day of the month following attainment of his/her normal retirement date and completion and receipt of an application for benefits.
   "PLAN." The employees' retirement plan of the Town of Hamden as described in §§ 31.30 through 31.47 as they may be amended from time to time.
   "PLAN YEAR." A period of 12 consecutive months commencing each July 1 or any anniversary thereof, and the basis on which the records of the plan are kept.
   "RETIREMENT BOARD." The Retirement Board which shall manage and administer the plan, as provided for in § 31.44.
   "RETIREMENT PENSION." Payments under the plan payable as provided in §§ 31.37 or 31.38.
   "SERVICE EMPLOYEE." Any employee of the town that is not a guardian employee.
   "TOWN." The Town of Hamden, Connecticut.
   "TRUST AGREEMENT." The Trust Agreement between the town and the Retirement Board of the employees retirement plan of the town effective July 1, 1997 adopted pursuant to Ord. 399.
   "VESTED STATUS." A member's right to a non-forfeitable benefit under the plan.
   "VESTING SERVICE." Service as an eligible employee that qualifies him/her for a retirement pension under the plan. Vesting service shall be equal to years of credited service earned by the member, plus periods of non-service required to be credited for vesting purposes in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
   "YEAR." A year as used in calculating credited service and vesting service shall mean a period of 12 consecutive calendar months, and shall include a fractional part of a year based upon completed calendar months. A fraction of a month in excess of 15 days is to be counted as a completed month.
(Ord. 435, passed 3-12-01; Am. Ord. 551, passed 6-5-07; Am. Ord. 557, passed 3-3-08; Am. Ord. 575, passed 6-1-09; Am. Ord. 666, passed 12-7- 15; Am. Ord. 692, passed 11-20-17)