§ 31.38  GUARDIAN EMPLOYEES; AMOUNT OF BENEFITS.
   (A)   Amount of regular pension.
      (1)   The monthly regular pension for guardian employee members employed by the town as an eligible employee on and after July 1, 1998 shall, except as otherwise provided in division (A)(4), be equal to the following:
         (a)   One-twelfth (1/12) of 2.5% of a guardian employee member's average annual compensation multiplied by the guardian employee member's years of credited service to a maximum of 20 years; plus
         (b)   One-twelfth (1/12) of 3% of a guardian employee member's average annual compensation multiplied by the guardian employee member's years of credited service from 21 to 25 years; plus
         (c)   One-twelfth (1/12) of 2% of a guardian employee member's average annual compensation multiplied by the guardian employee member's years of credited service in excess of 25, to a maximum of 35 years.
         (d)   A guardian employee member's retirement pension shall not exceed 80% of his/her average annual compensation, subject to the provisions of division (A)(2), below.
      (2)   The maximum retirement pension for guardian employee members hired on or after July 1, 1981 shall be limited to 80% of his/her average annual compensation. For guardian employee members hired before July 1, 1981, the maximum retirement pension payable may exceed 80% of average annual compensation, provided that a guardian employee member with more than 80% of average annual compensation as of June 30, 2006 who continues to work shall have his/her benefit frozen as of June 30, 2006, based on the guardian employee member's average annual compensation on such date and benefit accrued as of such date.
      (3)   The monthly regular pension for a guardian employee member who terminated service or retired prior to July 1, 1998 shall be equal to the following, unless the provisions of the plan in effect when the guardian employee member terminated set forth a different pension benefit:
         (a)   One-twelfth (1/12) of 2% of a guardian employee member's average annual compensation multiplied by the number of years of credited service up to a maximum of 25 years; plus
         (b)   An additional one-twelfth (1/12) of 3% of a guardian employee member's average annual compensation multiplied by the number of years of credited service rendered in excess of 25.
         (c)   For guardian employees first hired after July 1, 1981, not more than a total of 35 years of credited service shall be counted.
      (4)   In the event a guardian employee member has service as both a guardian employee and a service employee, his/her regular pension attributable to his/her service as a service employee shall be calculated separately, in accordance with the provisions of § 31.37, and based upon his/her compensation and years of credited service accrued while as a service employee.
   (B)   Minimum retirement benefit.
      (1)   For guardian employee members who terminate employment on or after July 1, 1985, the monthly regular pension benefit under division (A) of this section shall not be less than sixty-hundredths (60/100) of 1% of the guardian employee member's average annual compensation, divided by 12, for each year of credited service, or $3.25, whichever is greater.
      (2)   For guardian employee members who terminated with a vested benefit before July 1, 1985, their minimum benefit shall be calculated using the applicable provisions of the plan in effect prior to July 1, 2000.
   (C)   Amount of disability pension.
      (1)   Service related disability pension. A guardian employee member retiring on a service related disability pension as defined in § 31.36(D) shall receive a monthly benefit equal to the greater of:
         (a)   50% of the guardian employee member's average annual compensation; or
         (b)   The guardian employee member's monthly regular pension calculated in accordance with division (A) of this section as of his/her date of disability.
      (2)   Non-service related disability pension. A guardian employee member retiring on a non-service related disability pension as defined in § 31.36(E) shall receive a non-service related disability pension equal to the greater of:
         (a)   For guardian employee employees hired on and after July 1, 1981, 30% of the guardian employee member's average annual compensation determined as of the date of disability. For guardian employee members hired on or after July 1, 1987, 25% of the guardian employee member's average annual compensation determined as of the date of disability; or
         (b)   The guardian employee member's monthly regular pension calculated in accordance with division (A) of this section as of his/her date of disability.
   (D)   Amount of early retirement pension benefit. The amount of the early retirement pension benefit shall be calculated in the same manner as the monthly regular pension in division (A) of this section. The early retirement pension shall not be actuarially reduced to take into account such early retirement.
   (E)   Vested pension.
      (1)   A guardian employee member shall be entitled to a vested pension after completion of at least ten years of credited service or ten years of vesting service. The amount of the vested pension shall be calculated in the same manner as a regular pension, in accordance with the provisions of the plan and benefit formula in effect on the date the guardian employee member terminated employment. The amount of a vested pension shall then be multiplied by the following percentages if the guardian employee member has less than 15 years of credited service or vesting service:
Years of Credited Service   Percent of Vested Pension
   1-9            0%
   10            50%
   11            60%
   12            70%
   13            80%
   14            90%
   15            100%
      (2)   Entitlement to a vested pension provided by this division (E) shall be in lieu of all other benefits provided by the plan for such guardian employee member, his/her spouse and his/her dependent children, except for the return of the guardian employee member's accumulated contributions.
   (F)   Maximum benefit limitation.
      (1)   (a)   Notwithstanding any provision of the plan to the contrary, for plan years beginning prior to July 1, 2007, the annual benefit of a guardian employee member hereunder (adjusted to an actuarially equivalent straight life annuity based upon the interest rate as determined by the PBGC on January 1 each year) shall not at any time within the limitation year exceed the lesser of $140,000 (the "dollar limitation") or 100% of the guardian employee member's average compensation for his/her high three years.
         (b)   For plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2007, notwithstanding any provision of the plan to the contrary, in no event shall the maximum annual retirement benefit attributable to town contributions and payable to a guardian employee member who has not yet retired under the terms of the plan, exceed $160,000 (the "defined benefit dollar limitation").
      (2)   The annual retirement benefit payable to a guardian employee member under the plan shall be deemed not to exceed the applicable maximum limitation of division (F)(l) if:
         (a)   The annual retirement benefit payable with respect to such guardian employee member under the plan and under all defined benefit plans of the town does not exceed $10,000 for the limitation year, or for any prior limitation year; and
         (b)   The town has not at any time maintained a defined contribution plan in which the guardian employee member participated.
      (3)   In the event that a guardian employee member has been a member in the plan less than ten years, the dollar limitation and the defined benefit dollar limitation, as applicable, shall be multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is his years of participation in the plan (or part thereof) and the denominator of which is ten. In the event that a member has less than ten years of vesting service, the $10,000 benefit above, shall be reduced by multiplication by a fraction, the numerator of which is his years of service (or part thereof) and the denominator of which is ten.
   (G)   Maximum benefit limitation definitions. For purposes of divisions (F) through (K) of this section:
      (1)   The term "ANNUAL BENEFIT" shall mean the benefit the guardian employee member would be entitled to at his/her or her normal retirement date, assuming he or she continues employment until such date, and that all other relevant facts used to determine benefits under the plan remain constant as of the current limitation year for all future limitation years.
      (2)   "ANNUAL RETIREMENT BENEFIT" means a benefit payable annually in the form of a straight life annuity (with no ancillary benefits) under a plan to which employees do not contribute and under which no rollover contributions (as defined in Sections 402(a)(5), 403(a)(4), and 408(d)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) are made. A benefit payable in any other form shall be converted to the actuarial equivalent of a straight life annuity for purposes of applying these limits, based on a 5% interest assumption. Other required adjustments are provided for in this division. In the event that a guardian employee member's annual retirement benefit is payable in a form other than a straight life annuity, or if the member's contribute to the plan or make rollover contributions (as defined in Sections 402(a)(5), 403(a)(4), and 408(d)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code), the determinations as to whether the limitation described in division (F)(1) has been satisfied shall be made, in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Secretary, by adjusting such benefit so that it is the actuarial equivalent of a straight life annuity (with no ancillary benefits). For purposes of this division (G)(2), any ancillary benefit which is not directly related to retirement income benefits shall not be taken into account; and that portion of any joint and survivor annuity which constitutes a qualified joint and survivor annuity (as defined in Code Section 417) shall not be taken into account. For purposes of adjusting any benefit, the interest rate assumption shall not be less than the greater of 5% or the rate specified for an actuarial equivalent benefit.
      (3)   "COMPENSATION" for purposes of the maximum benefit limitations under Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, shall mean any and all earnings reported on W-2 forms completed by the town in respect to the plan year specified. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, for plan years commencing after December 31, 1997, "Compensation" for this section shall include (1) any elective deferral (as defined in Section 402(g)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code), (2) any amount which is contributed or deferred by the town at the election of the member and which is not includable in the gross income of the member by reason of Sections 125 (cafeteria plan) or 457 (nonqualified deferred compensation plan) of the Internal Revenue Code. For plan years commencing on and after January 1, 2001, "Compensation" shall also include elective amounts that are not includable in the gross income of the participant by reason of Section 132(f)(4) (qualified transportation fringes) of the Internal Revenue Code. Effective for plan years commencing on or after July 1, 2007, "Compensation" under this code section for any plan year shall not be greater than the limit under Section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code that applies for that year.
      (4)   "LIMITATION YEAR" shall mean a plan year.
   (H)   Adjustment for early or late commencement of benefits.
      (1)   (a)   For plan years commencing on or after July 1, 2002 and prior to July 1, 2007, if the annual pension benefit of a member begins before age 62, as described in Section 415(b)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code, the $140,000 limitation set forth in division (F)(1)(a) of this section shall be reduced so that it is equivalent to such benefit beginning at the Social Security retirement age as described in Section 415(b)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code, the $140,000 limitation set forth in division (F)(1)(a) of this section shall be reduced so that it is equivalent to such a benefit beginning at the Social Security retirement age as described in Section 415(b)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code. The reduction of this division shall not reduce the limitation of division (F) of this section below $75,000 if the benefit begins at or after age 55, or, if the benefit begins before age 55, the equivalent of the $75,000 limitation for age 55. Notwithstanding the foregoing, effective for plan years commencing on July 1, 1997 any guardian employee member who has been a full time employee of the Town Police or Fire Department for at least 15 years shall not have his or her retirement benefit adjusted under this division (H)(1)(a).
         (b)   Effective for plan years commencing after June 30, 2007, if the annual benefit of a guardian employee member begins prior to age 62, the defined benefit dollar limitation applicable to the guardian employee member at such earlier age is an annual benefit payable in the form of a straight life annuity beginning at the earlier age that is the actuarial equivalent of the defined benefit dollar limitation applicable to the guardian employee member at age 62 (adjusted under division (H)(3) below, if required). The defined benefit dollar limitation applicable at an age prior to age 62 is determined as the lesser of (i) the actuarial equivalent (at such age) of the defined benefit dollar limitation computed using a 5% interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table and expressing the guardian employee member's age based on completed calendar months as of the annuity starting date; or (ii) the product of the defined benefit dollar limitation multiplied by the ratio of the annual amount of the immediately commencing straight life annuity under the plan at the guardian employee member's annuity starting date to the annual amount of the immediately commencing straight life annuity under the plan at age 62, both determined without applying the limitations of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code. Notwithstanding the foregoing, any guardian employee member with at least 15 years of Guardian as a full time employee of the Police or Fire Department shall not have their retirement benefit adjusted under this division (H)(1)(b).
      (2)   In the event that a guardian employee member's annual benefit commences after age 65, the dollar limitation and defined benefit dollar limitation, as applicable, shall be increased for the guardian employee member's age such that it is the actuarial equivalent of defined benefit dollar limitation commencing at age 65. For purposes of adjusting the defined benefit dollar Limitation (adjusted under division (H)(3) below, if required), the interest rate assumption shall not be greater than the lesser of 5% or the rate specified for an actuarial equivalent benefit.
      (3)   Actuarial equivalence under this division (H) shall be determined using a 5% interest assumption. The defined benefit dollar Limitation shall be adjusted annually as provided in Section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code pursuant to the regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. The adjusted limitation is effective as of January 1st of each calendar year and is applicable to "limitation years" ending with or within that calendar year. The dollar limitation shall not be adjusted except as provided in this division (H).
      (4)   In the case of disability or survivor benefits provided under the plan, the limitations of division (F)(3) and (H)(1)(a) and (b) of this section shall not apply to:
         (a)   Income received from the plan as a pension, annuity, or similar pension as the result of the recipient becoming disabled by reason of personal injuries or sickness; or
         (b)   Amounts received from a governmental plan by the beneficiaries, survivors or the estate of a guardian employee member as the result of the death of the guardian employee Member.
      (5)   For purposes of adjusting any benefit or limitation no adjustment for cost of living increases shall be taken into account before the year for which such adjustment first takes place.
   (I)   Protection of prior benefits. For any year before 1986, the limitations prescribed by Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code as in effect before enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and all subsequent legislation shall apply, and no pension earned under this plan prior to 1986 shall be reduced on account of the provisions of divisions (F) through (K) of this section if it would have satisfied those limitations under that prior law.
   (J)   Application of maximum limitations.
      (1)   The benefit paid under this plan shall not exceed the limitations set forth in division (F) of this section.
      (2)   If a member on the annuity starting date is not eligible for full monthly benefits under this plan because of the operation of division (F) of this section, the monthly benefit shall thereafter be recalculated annually until the member is receiving a full monthly benefit under the plan's terms without the operation of this division (J). Each such recalculation shall be based on this division, with any applicable adjustment to reflect cost of living increases as permitted by the Treasury Regulations.
   (K)   For plan benefits subject to Section 417(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the actuarial equivalent of the annual retirement benefit is equal to the greater of actuarial equivalent for the particular form of benefit payable and the equivalent annual benefit computed using the applicable interest rate and applicable mortality table described below, determined in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.
      (1)   The applicable mortality table means the table prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. Such table shall be based on the prevailing Commissioner's standard table (described in Section 807(d)(5)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code) used to determine reserves for group annuity contracts issued on the date as of which present value is being determined (without regard to any other subparagraph of Section 807(d)(5)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code). The prevailing Commissioner's standard table for these purposes currently is the GAM '83 mortality table, blended equally between male and female mortality rates. Effective for distributions occurring after December 31, 2002 the applicable mortality table shall be the table prescribed in Rev. Rul. 2001-62. Effective for plan years commencing on or after January 1, 2008, the applicable mortality table shall mean the applicable Section 417(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code mortality table as adjusted in accordance with the provisions of Rev. Rul. 2007-67.
      (2)   The applicable interest rate is the rate of interest set forth in § 31.38(H)((3).
   (L)   For purposes of applying the foregoing limitations of divisions (F) through (K):
      (1)   All defined benefit plans of the town, whether or not terminated, are to be treated as one defined benefit plan and all defined contribution plans of the town, whether or not terminated, are to be treated as one defined contribution plan;
      (2)   For purposes of divisions (F) through (K), the term "town" shall include all departments and agencies of the Town of Hamden, Connecticut.
(Ord. 435, passed 3-12-01; Am. Ord. 571, passed 3-2-09; Am. Ord. 666, passed 12-7-15)