(a)   Normal Retirement Pension.  Upon retirement at his or her normal retirement date, each participant shall be entitled to receive the benefit provided in Section 286.04 (a) (normal retirement benefit). At such time Council shall take any necessary action so that the participant shall receive such benefit from the Plan or directly from an insurer, as Council shall direct.
   (b)   Late Retirement Pension.  A participant who remains in the employ of the employer beyond his or her normal retirement date shall be entitled to receive, commencing on his or her late retirement date, his or her benefit calculated pursuant to Section 286.04 (a) considering his or her final monthly average salary as of his or her late retirement date and crediting of service rendered through his or her late retirement date.
   (c)   Limited Vested Benefit
      (1)   If a participant terminates his or her employment as a result of lay-off, voluntary quit or disability due to illness, prior to eligibility for retirement pension, and if such participant has, prior to the effective date of such termination, completed not less than ten full years of eligible service, then the participant's pension shall vest as follows:
                                   Percentage of Final
         Years of Service                  Monthly Average Salary
         After 10                            25%
         After 11                           27.5%
         After 12                           30%
         After 13                           32.5%
         After 14                           35%
         After 15                           37.5%
         After 16                           40%
         After 17                           42.5%
         After 18                           45%
         After 19                           47.5%
         After 20                           50%
      (2)   No benefit pursuant to this division (c)  shall be under any circumstances payable prior to the police officer's attaining 55 years of age.
      (3)   Benefits payable pursuant to this division (c) are optional with the participant upon his or her termination. If the participant does not elect to vest pursuant to the provisions of this section, then amounts paid by the participant into the pension fund prior to the date of termination shall be refunded, in whole, to that participant without interest. The election to vest shall be made within 30 days of termination and shall be final and binding upon all parties.
   (d)   Disability Retirement Pension.
      (1)   Service-connected disability. A participant who becomes permanently and totally disabled as a result of a service-connected disability shall be entitled to a lifetime permanent disability pension equal to the normal retirement benefit including service increment.
      (2)   Non-service connected disability. A participant who dies or is totally disabled due to injuries or mental incapacity not in the line of duty who is unable to perform the duties of a police officer may be entitled to the following:
         A.   Less than ten years of service - 25% of final monthly average salary;
         B.   Ten years or more of service - 50% of final monthly average salary.
      (3)   Disability survivor benefit.  Regardless of any contrary provision in Chapters 286 and 287 and in conformance with the bargained for agreement, the disability pension may be payable to the police officer during his lifetime and if he/she shall die, for families a continuation of the disability benefit payment to the spouse until death or remarriage, then to the child or children under age eighteen.
   (e)   Retirement Incentive Window.  See Appendix A for the terms of a retirement incentive window.
   (f)   Increased Pension Allowance/Additional Increases.  This Plan specifically recognizes the increased pension allowance and additional increases that were set forth in division (g) and (h) of the City of Sharon Code, Section 286.10 .
   (g)   Distribution of Benefits.
      (1)   Notwithstanding any provision in this Plan to the contrary, the distribution of a participant's benefits shall be made in accordance with the following requirements and shall otherwise comply with Code Section 401(a)(9) and the Regulations thereunder (including Regulation Section (1.401 (a) (9)-2):
         A.   A participant's benefits shall be distributed to him or her not later than April 1 of the calendar year following the later of:
            1.   The calendar year in which the participant attains age 70½; or
            2.   The calendar year in which the participant retires.
         B.   Alternatively, distributions to a participant must begin no later than the applicable April 1 as determined under the preceding sentence and must be made over a period not exceeding the life of the participant's or the life expectancy of the participant in accordance with Regulations. The above division (g)(1)A. shall not impact the benefit of any survivor or beneficiary.
      (2)   Distributions to a participant and his or her beneficiaries shall only be made in accordance with the incidental death benefit requirements of Code Section 401(a)(9)(G) and the Regulations thereunder.
   (h)   Time of Payment of Benefits.
      (1)   Unless elected otherwise as provided in division (b) of this section, payment of benefits must begin no later than 60 days after the close of the Plan year which the latest of the following events occurs:
         A.   The attainment of normal retirement age;
         B.   The termination of a participant's service with the employer.
      (2)   Payment of benefits shall begin on the date elected by the participant (subject to the restrictions of Subsection 286.06(f)). The election shall be made in writing, signed by the participant and submitted to the Commission, and shall describe the date on which payments are to begin.
   (i)   Minimum Monthly Pension Benefit.  The minimum monthly pension benefit payable to a participant or his or her surviving spouse who is otherwise entitled to a monthly pension benefit under the terms of this Plan, shall be $1,000.00 per month. Upon the death of a surviving spouse or if no spouse survives the death of the participant, 50% of the minimum monthly pension (100% in the case of disability pensions) that would otherwise be payable to the participant or surviving spouse under this subsection, shall be paid to the surviving children of the participant in equal shares until the death or attainment of age 18 by each child. In the event that no spouse or children under the age of 18 survive the participant, no minimum benefit shall be payable under this section. The minimum monthly pension benefit payable under this subsection does not apply where there is a return of participant contributions pursuant to the terms of this Plan. There is no minimum monthly pension benefit payable under this section to a beneficiary who is not the surviving spouse or a child of the participant under the age of 18.
(Ord. 01-04.  Passed 3-25-04; Ord. 01-19.  Passed 3-27-19.)