Employee and Elected Official Eligibility

To determine who is eligible to participate under your employer’s plan please see Section 9 of the Adoption Agreement. Subsection A discusses which eligible regular employees are eligible to participate in the plan subject to the minimum hour and minimum month per year requirements. Subsection B indicates whether elected officials participate under the plan and subsection C says whether municipal legal officers (e.g., city attorneys and municipal court judges) participate under the plan.

Please note that the Master Plan includes elected officials in the definition of employee. Any employees, including elected officials and municipal legal officers, who participate in your plan are considered “eligible employees” under the plan.

A “regular employee” is typically an employee who works full-time or part-time for the city and receives a W-2. To be an “eligible regular employee” under the retirement plan, a regular employee must satisfy certain eligibility requirements. The first requirement is the minimum hour per week requirement. This requirement is in Section 10(A) of the Adoption Agreement. It is important to check this section as you may be surprised by the minimum hour requirement. Some plans allow participation in the plan by part time employees. Failing to include employees who are eligible is a compliance error under federal law. In addition, your plan may have a minimum number of months per year that a regular employee must be employed in order to be eligible to participate in the plan. This requirement is in Section 10(B) of the Adoption Agreement. The default rule is that participation in the plan is mandatory for all regular employees who are eligible unless otherwise specified in Section 12 of the Adoption Agreement.

Section 17 in the Adoption Agreement provides the vesting requirements for regular employees as well as elected officials. The vesting requirements apply to participants who terminate employment before retirement. If a participant is vested upon termination, he or she will be eligible to receive a retirement benefit upon reaching the retirement age (and service) requirement. Please note that vesting is not the same as the service requirements to receive an early or normal retirement benefit.

Written Employment Contract

Per Section 4.03(e) of the Master Plan if a department head enters into a written agreement or employment contract with the employer agreeing that he or she will not participate in the Plan, the employee will be ineligible to participate regardless of whether he or she otherwise satisfies the eligibility requirements for participation. Please notify GMEBS if you have an employee who has such an agreement.

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