Section 45-8A-22.118


Published: 2015

Subscribe to a Global-Regulation Premium Membership Today!

Key Benefits:

Subscribe Now
Section 45-8A-22.118

Section 45-8A-22.118Maximum benefits; limitations; adjustments.

(a) Annual Benefit and Final Regulations Under Internal Revenue Code Section 415.



(1) Annual Benefit. For purposes of this section, "annual benefit" means the benefit payable annually under the terms of the plan, exclusive of any benefit not required to be considered for purposes of applying the limitations of Internal Revenue Code Section 415 to the plan, in the form of a straight life annuity with no ancillary benefits. If the benefit is payable in any other form, the annual benefit shall be adjusted to the equivalent of a straight life annuity pursuant to subsection (c).



(2) Final Regulations Under Internal Revenue Code Section 415. Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, the following provisions apply beginning on or after January 1, 1976, except as otherwise provided in this section.



a. Incorporation by Reference. The limitations, adjustments, and other requirements prescribed in the plan shall comply with the provisions of Internal Revenue Code Section 415 and the final regulations promulgated thereunder, the terms of which are specifically incorporated herein by reference for limitation years beginning on or after July 1, 2007, except where an earlier effective date is otherwise provided in the final regulations or in this section. However, where the final regulations permit the plan to specify an alternative option to a default option set forth in the regulations, and the alternative option was available under statutory provisions, regulations, and other published guidance relating to Internal Revenue Code Section 415 as in effect prior to April 5, 2007, and the plan provisions in effect as of April 5, 2007, incorporated the alternative option, the alternative option shall remain in effect as a plan provision for limitation years beginning on or after July 1, 2007, unless another permissible option is selected herein.



b. Grandfather Provision. The application of the provisions of this section shall not cause the maximum annual benefit for any participant to be less than the participant's accrued benefit under all the defined benefit plans of the City of Anniston or a predecessor employer as of the end of the last limitation year beginning before July 1, 2007, under provisions of the plans that were both adopted and in effect before April 5, 2007. The preceding sentence applies only if the provisions of such defined benefit plans that were both adopted and in effect before April 5, 2007, satisfied the applicable requirements of statutory provisions, regulations, and other published guidance relating to Internal Revenue Code Section 415 in effect as of the end of the last limitation year beginning before July 1, 2007, as described in Treasury Regulations Section 1.415(a)-1(g)(4).



c. Adjustment to Dollar Limit After Date of Severance. In the case of a participant who has had a severance from employment with the City of Anniston, the defined benefit dollar limitation applicable to the participant in any limitation year beginning after the date of severance shall automatically be adjusted under Internal Revenue Code Section 415(d).



(3) Treatment of Qualified Governmental Excess Benefit Arrangements. Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 415(m), in determining whether the plan meets the requirements of this section, the annual benefit does not include benefits provided under any qualified governmental excess benefit arrangement as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 415(m)(3).



(b) Maximum Annual Benefit.



(1) Notwithstanding the foregoing and subject to the exceptions and adjustments below, effective for limitation years ending after December 31, 2001, the annual benefit otherwise payable to a participant under the plan at any time shall not exceed the maximum annual benefit, and if the benefit a participant would otherwise accrue in a limitation year would produce an annual benefit in excess of the maximum annual benefit, the benefit shall be limited, or the rate of accrual reduced, to a benefit that does not exceed the maximum annual benefit. The maximum annual benefit payable to a participant under the plan in any limitation year shall equal the "defined benefit dollar limitation" ("Maximum Annual Benefit"). The "defined benefit dollar limitation" one hundred sixty thousand dollars ($160,000), as adjusted, effective January 1 of each year, under Internal Revenue Code Section 415(d) in such manner as the secretary-treasurer shall prescribe, and payable in the form of a straight life annuity. Such dollar limitation as adjusted under Internal Revenue Code Section 415(d) will apply to limitation years ending with or within the calendar year for which the adjustment applies.



(2) For purposes of applying the limitations of Internal Revenue Code Section 415, the "limitation year" shall be the calendar year. All qualified plans maintained by the City of Anniston must use the same limitation year. If the limitation year is amended to a different 12 consecutive month period, the new limitation year must begin on a date within the limitation year in which the amendment is made.



(3) Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, if the plan was in existence on May 6, 1986, and had complied at all times with the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 415, the maximum annual benefit for any individual who is a participant as of the first day of the limitation year beginning after December 31, 1986, shall not be less than the "current accrued benefit." "Current accrued benefit" shall mean a participant's accrued benefit under the plan, determined as if the participant had separated from service as of the close of the last limitation year beginning before January 1, 1987, when expressed as an annual benefit within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b)(2). In determining the amount of a participant's current accrued benefit, the following shall be disregarded: a. any change in the terms and conditions of the plan after May 5, 1986; and b. any cost of living adjustment occurring after May 5, 1986.



(4) For the purpose of this section, all qualified defined benefit plans, whether terminated or not, ever maintained by the City of Anniston shall be treated as one defined benefit plan.



If a participant is, or has ever been, a participant in more than one defined benefit plan maintained by the City of Anniston, the sum of the participant's annual benefits from all such plans may not exceed the maximum annual benefit of this subsection (b). Where the participant's City of Anniston provided benefits under all defined benefit plans ever maintained by the City of Anniston, determined as of the same age, would exceed the maximum annual benefit applicable at that age, the City of Anniston will reduce the rate of accrual in the plan to the extent necessary so that the total annual benefit payable at any time under such plans will not exceed the maximum annual benefit.



(5) For the purpose of this section, if the City of Anniston is a member of a controlled group of corporations, trades or businesses under common control, as defined by Internal Revenue Code Section 1563(a) or Internal Revenue Code Section 414(b) and (c) as modified by Internal Revenue Code Section 415(h), or is a member of an affiliated service group, as defined by Internal Revenue Code Section 414(m), all employees of such employers shall be considered to be employed by a single employer.



(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section to the contrary, the limitations, adjustments, and other requirements prescribed in this section shall at all times comply with the provisions of Internal Revenue Code Section 415 and the regulations thereunder.



(7) Affect on Participants of EGTRRA Increase in Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b) Limitations. Effective for limitation years ending after December 31, 2001, benefit increases resulting from the increase in the limitations of Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b) on account of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 ("EGTRRA") will be provided to all current and former participants, with benefits limited by Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b), who have an accrued benefit under the plan immediately prior to the effective date of this section, other than an accrued benefit resulting from a benefit increase solely as a result of the increases in limitations under Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b).



(c) Adjustments to Annual Benefit and Limitations.



(1) Adjustment if Fewer than 10 Years. Effective for limitation years ending after December 31, 2001, if a participant has fewer than 10 years of participation in the plan, then the defined benefit dollar limitation of subsection (b) shall be multiplied by a fraction, a. the numerator of which is the number of years, or part thereof, of participation in the plan, and b. the denominator of which is 10. However, in no event shall such fraction be less than 1/10th. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no adjustment shall be made to the defined benefit dollar limitation for a distribution on account of a participant becoming disabled by reason of personal injuries or sickness, or as a result of the death of a participant.



For purposes of this section, a "year of participation" means each accrual computation period for which the following conditions are met: a. the participant is credited with a period of service for benefit accrual purposes, required under the terms of the plan in order to accrue a benefit for the accrual computation period, and b. the participant is included as a participant under the eligibility provisions of the plan for at least one day of the accrual computation period. If these two conditions are met, the portion of a year of participation credited to the participant shall equal the amount of benefit accrual service credited to the participant for such accrual computation period. A participant who is permanently and totally disabled within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code Section 415(c)(3)(C)(i) for an accrual computation period shall receive a year of participation with respect to the period. In no event will more than one year of participation be credited for any 12-month period.



(2) Adjustment of Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation for Commencement Before Age 62. Effective for benefits commencing in limitation years ending after December 31, 2001, the defined benefit dollar limitation shall be adjusted if the annuity starting date of the participant's benefit is before age 62.



a. Limitation Years Beginning Before July 1, 2007. If the annuity starting date for the participant's benefit is prior to age 62 and occurs in a limitation year beginning before July 1, 2007, the defined benefit dollar limitation for the participant's annuity starting date is the annual amount of a benefit payable in the form of a straight life annuity commencing at the participant's annuity starting date that is the actuarial equivalent of the defined benefit dollar limitation with actuarial equivalence computed using whichever of the following produces the smaller annual amount: 1. the applicable interest rate and applicable mortality table, or other tabular factor, as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 417(e)(3); or 2. a five percent interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 417(e)(3).



b. Limitation Years Beginning On or After July 1, 2007.



1. Plan Does Not Have Immediately Commencing Straight Life Annuity Payable at Both Age 62 and the Age of Benefit Commencement. If the annuity starting date for the participant's benefit is prior to age 62 and occurs in a limitation year beginning on or after July 1, 2007, and the plan does not have an immediately commencing straight life annuity payable at both age 62 and the age of benefit commencement, the defined benefit dollar limitation for the participant's annuity starting date is the annual amount of a benefit payable in the form of a straight life annuity commencing at the participant's annuity starting date that is the actuarial equivalent of the defined benefit dollar limitation with actuarial equivalence computed using a five percent interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table under Treasury Regulations Section 1.417(e)-1(d)(2), or the applicable mortality table as required by law, that is effective for that annuity starting date, and expressing the participant's age based on completed calendar months as of the annuity starting date.



2. Plan Has Immediately Commencing Straight Life Annuity Payable at Both Age 62 and the Age of Benefit Commencement. If the annuity starting date for the participant's benefit is prior to age 62 and occurs in a limitation year beginning on or after July 1, 2007, and the plan has an immediately commencing straight life annuity payable at both age 62 and the age of benefit commencement, the defined benefit dollar limitation for the participant's annuity starting date is the lesser of the limitation determined under paragraph b.1. and 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 participant'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 this section.



c. Mortality Adjustments. Notwithstanding the other requirements of this section, no adjustment shall be made to the defined benefit dollar limitation to reflect the probability of a participant's death between the annuity starting date and age 62 if benefits are not forfeited upon the death of the participant prior to the annuity starting date. To the extent benefits are forfeited upon death before the annuity starting date, such an adjustment shall be made. For this purpose, no forfeiture shall be treated as occurring upon the participant's death if the plan does not charge participants for providing a qualified preretirement survivor annuity, as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 417(c), upon the participant's death.



d. Exception for Certain Participants to the Adjustment of Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation for Commencement Before Age 62.



1. Qualified Participants. Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b)(2)(G) and (H), no age adjustment is made to the defined benefit dollar limitation for commencement before age 62 for any "qualified participant." For this purpose, a "qualified participant" is a participant in a defined benefit plan that is maintained by a state or any political subdivision of a state with respect to whom the service taken into account in determining the amount of the benefit under the defined benefit plan includes at least 15 years of service of the participant as a full-time employee of any police department or fire department that is organized and operated by the state or political subdivision maintaining such defined benefit plan to provide police protection, firefighting services, or emergency medical services for any area within the jurisdiction of such state or political subdivision, or as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States.



2. Survivor and Disability Benefits. Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b)(2)(I), no age adjustment is made to the defined benefit dollar limitation for commencement before age 62 for a distribution from the plan on account of a participant becoming disabled by reason of personal injuries or sickness, or as a result of the death of a participant.



(3) Actuarial Equivalence of Forms of Benefit Other Than a Straight Life Annuity. Effective for distributions in plan years beginning after December 31, 2003, the determination of actuarial equivalence of forms of benefit other than a straight life annuity shall be made in accordance with paragraph a. or b.



a. Benefit Forms Based on a Participant's Life, Not Subject to Internal Revenue Code Section 417(e)(3). The straight life annuity that is actuarially equivalent to the participant's form of benefit shall be determined under this section if the form of the participant's benefit is either 1. a nondecreasing annuity, other than a straight life annuity, payable for a period of not less than the life of the participant, or, in the case of a qualified pre-retirement survivor annuity, the life of the surviving spouse, or 2. an annuity that decreases during the life of the participant merely because of (i) the death of the survivor annuitant, but only if the reduction is not below 50 percent of the benefit payable before the death of the survivor annuitant, or (ii) the cessation or reduction of Social Security supplements or qualified disability payments, as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(11).



1. Limitation Years Beginning Before July 1, 2007. For limitation years beginning before July 1, 2007, the actuarially equivalent straight life annuity is equal to the annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same annuity starting date that has the same actuarial present value as the participant's form of benefit computed using whichever of the following produces the greater annual amount:



(i) The applicable interest rate and applicable mortality table, or other tabular factor, as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 417(e)(3) for adjusting benefits in the same form; or



(ii) Five percent interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 417(e)(3).



2. Limitation Years Beginning On or After July 1, 2007. For limitation years beginning on or after July 1, 2007, the actuarially equivalent straight life annuity is equal to the greater of:



(i) The annual amount of the straight life annuity, if any, payable to the participant under the plan commencing at the same annuity starting date as the participant's form of benefit; or



(ii) The annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same annuity starting date that has the same actuarial present value as the participant's form of benefit, computed using a five percent interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table as described in Treasury Regulations Section 1.417(e)-1(d)(2), or the applicable mortality table as required by law for that annuity starting date.



b. Benefit Forms Not Based on a Participant's Life, Lump Sum, Term Certain, Subject to Internal Revenue Code Section 417(e)(3). The straight life annuity that is actuarially equivalent to the participant's form of benefit shall be determined under this subsection if the form of the participant's benefit is other than a benefit form described in paragraph a. In this case, the actuarially equivalent straight life annuity shall be determined as follows:



1. Annuity Starting Date in Plan Years Beginning After 2005. If the annuity starting date of the participant's form of benefit is in a plan year beginning after 2005, the actuarially equivalent straight life annuity is equal to the greatest of:



(i) The annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same annuity starting date that has the same actuarial present value as the participant's form of benefit, computed using the interest rate and mortality table specified in the plan for adjusting benefits in the same form.



(ii) The annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same annuity starting date that has the same actuarial present value as the participant's form of benefit, computed using a five and one-half percent interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table for the distribution under Treasury Regulations Section 1.417(e)-1(d)(2), or the applicable mortality table as required by law.



(iii) The annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same annuity starting date that has the same actuarial present value as the participant's form of benefit, computed for the distribution under Treasury Regulations Section 1.417(e)-1(d)(3), or the applicable interest rate as required by law, and the applicable mortality table for the distribution under Treasury Regulations Section 1.417(e)-1(d)(2), or the applicable mortality table as required by law, divided by 1.05.



2. Annuity Starting Date in Plan Years Beginning in 2004 or 2005. If the annuity starting date of the participant's form of benefit is in a plan year beginning in 2004 or 2005, the actuarially equivalent straight life annuity is equal to the annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same annuity starting date that has the same actuarial present value as the participant's form of benefit, computed using whichever of the following produces the greater annual amount:



(i) The applicable interest rate and applicable mortality table, or other tabular factor, as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 417(e)(3) for adjusting benefits in the same form.



(ii) A five and one-half percent interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table for the distribution under Treasury Regulations Section 1.417(e)-1(d)(2).



(4) For purposes of subsection (a) and subsection (c)(2), no adjustments under Internal Revenue Code Section 415(d) shall be taken into account before the limitation year for which such adjustment first takes effect.



(5) No actuarial adjustment to the benefit is required for a. the value of a qualified joint and survivor annuity, b. ancillary benefits that are not directly related to retirement benefits, such as a qualified disability benefit, pre-retirement death benefits, and post-retirement medical benefits, and c. the value of post-retirement cost of living increases made in accordance with Internal Revenue Code Section 415(d) and Treasury Regulations Section 1.415(d)-1. The annual benefit does not include any benefits attributable to employee contributions or rollover contributions, or the assets transferred from a qualified plan that was not maintained by the City of Anniston.



(d) Annual Benefit Not in Excess of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000).



(1) The plan may pay an annual benefit to any participant in excess of the participant's maximum annual benefit if the annual benefit derived from employer contributions under the plan and all other defined benefit plans maintained by the City of Anniston does not in the aggregate exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the limitation year or for any prior limitation year and the City of Anniston has not at any time maintained a defined contribution plan, a welfare benefit fund under which amounts attributable to post-retirement medical benefits are allocated to separate accounts of key employees, as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 419(A)(d)(3), or an individual medical account in which the participant participated. For purposes of this subsection, if the plan provides for voluntary or mandatory employee contributions, such contributions will not be considered a separate defined contribution plan maintained by the City of Anniston.



(2) However, if a participant has fewer than 10 years of service with the City of Anniston, then the ten thousand dollar ($10,000) threshold of subsection (d)(1) shall be multiplied by a fraction, a. the numerator of which is the number of years, or part thereof, of service with the City of Anniston and b. the denominator of which is 10. However, in no event shall such fraction be less than 1/10th.



(e) Purchase of Permissive Service Credit.



(1) In General. If a participant makes one or more contributions to the plan to purchase permissive service credit under the plan, the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 415 shall be treated as met with respect to these contributions if:



a. The requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b) are met, determined by treating the accrued benefit derived from all such contributions as an annual benefit for purposes of Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b), provided, however, the plan shall not fail to meet the reduced limit under Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b)(2)(C) solely by reason of this section; or



b. The requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 415(c) are met, determined by treating all such contributions as annual additions for purposes of Internal Revenue Code Section 415(c), provided, however, the plan shall not fail to meet the percentage limitation under Internal Revenue Code Section 415(c)(1)(B) solely by reason of this section.



(2) Limitation on Nonqualified Service Credit. The plan shall fail to meet the requirements of this section if:



a. More than five years of nonqualified service credit are taken into account; or



b. Any nonqualified service credit is taken into account before the participant has at least five years of participation under the plan.



(3) Definitions.



a. Permissive Service Credit. For purposes of this section, "permissive service credit" means service credit:



1. Recognized by the plan for purposes of calculating a participant's benefit under the plan;



2. Which such participant has not otherwise received under the plan; and



3. Which such participant may receive only by making a voluntary additional contribution, in an amount determined under the plan, which does not exceed the amount necessary to fund the benefit attributable to such service credit.



Permissive service credit may include service credit for periods for which there is no performance of service, and, notwithstanding subsection (e)(3)a.2., may include service credited in order to provide an increased benefit for service credit which a participant is receiving under the plan.



b. Nonqualified Service Credit. For purposes of this section, "nonqualified service credit" means permissive service credit other than that allowed with respect to:



1. Service, including parental, medical, sabbatical, and similar leave, as an employee of the government of the United States, any state or political subdivision thereof, or any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing, other than military service or service for credit which was obtained as a result of a repayment described in Internal Revenue Code Section 415(k)(3);



2. Service, including parental, medical, sabbatical, and similar leave, as an employee, other than as an employee described in subparagraph 1., of an educational organization described in Internal Revenue Code Section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) which is a public, private, or sectarian school which provides elementary or secondary education, through grade 12, or a comparable level of education, as determined under state law;



3. Service as an employee of an association of employees who are described in subsection (e)(3)b.1.; or



4. Military service, other than qualified military service, recognized by the plan.



In the case of service described in subsections (e)(3)b.1, 2, and 3, such service will be nonqualified service if recognition of such service would cause a participant to receive a retirement benefit for the same service under more than one plan.



(4) Special Rules for Trustee-to-Trustee Transfers. In the case of a trustee-to-trustee transfer to which Section 403(b)(13)(A) or 457(e)(17)(A) applies, without regard to whether the transfer is made between plans maintained by the same employer:



a. The limitations above shall not apply in determining whether the transfer is for the purchase of permissive service credit; and



b. The distribution rules applicable to the defined benefit governmental plan to which any amounts are so transferred shall apply to such amounts and any benefits attributable to such amounts.



(5) Effective Date. This section shall be effective with respect to permissive service credit contributions made in years beginning after December 31, 1997. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the case of an "eligible participant," the limitations of Internal Revenue Code Section 415(c)(1) shall not be applied to reduce the amount of permissive service credit which may be purchased to an amount which is less than the amount which was allowed to be purchased under the terms of the plan as in effect on August 5, 1997. For purposes of this subsection, an "eligible participant" is an individual who became a participant in the plan before January 1, 1998.



(f) Annual Benefit Attributable to Mandatory Employee Contributions.



(1) In the case of "mandatory employee contributions" as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 411(c)(2)(C) and Treasury Regulations Section 1.411(c)-1(c)(4), or contributions that would be mandatory employee contributions if Internal Revenue Code Section 411 applied to the plan, the annual benefit attributable to such mandatory employee contributions is determined by applying the factors applicable to mandatory employee contributions as described in Internal Revenue Code Section 411(c)(2)(B) and (C) and regulations promulgated under Internal Revenue Code Section 411 to those contributions to determine the amount of a straight life annuity commencing at the annuity starting date, regardless of whether the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Sections 411 and 417 apply.



(2) For purposes of applying such factors to the plan, the applicable effective date of Internal Revenue Code Section 411(a)(2), which is used under Treasury Regulations Section 1.411(c)-1(c)(3) to determine the beginning date from which statutorily specified interest must be credited to mandatory employee contributions, must be determined as if Internal Revenue Code Section 411 applied to the plan, and in determining the annual benefit that is actuarially equivalent to these accumulated contributions, the plan must determine the interest rate that would have been required under Internal Revenue Code Section 417(e)(3) as if Internal Revenue Code Section 417 applied to the plan.

(Act 2012-484, p. 1349, §19.)