§479. Group insurance

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/03/016/00479
Published: 2015

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Title

03

:
Executive






Chapter

016

:
VERMONT EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM






Subchapter

001
:
GENERALLY










 

§

479. Group insurance

(a) As provided

under section 631 of this title, a member who is insured by the respective

group insurance plans immediately preceding the member's effective date of

retirement shall be entitled to continuation of group insurance as follows:

(1)(A) coverage

in the group medical benefit plan provided by the State of Vermont for active

State employees; or

(B) for a group

F plan member first included in the membership of the system on or after July

1, 2008, coverage in the group medical benefit plan offered by the State of

Vermont for active State employees and pursuant to the following, provided:

(i) a member who

has completed five years and less than 10 years of creditable service at his or

her retirement shall pay the full cost of the premium;

(ii) a member

who has completed 10 years and less than 15 years of creditable service at his

or her retirement shall pay 60 percent of the cost of the premium;

(iii) a member

who has completed 15 years and less than 20 years of creditable service at his

or her retirement shall pay 40 percent of the cost of the premium;

(iv) a member

who has completed 20 years or more of creditable service at his or her

retirement shall pay 20 percent of the cost of the premium; and

(2) members who

have completed 20 years of creditable service at their effective date of

retirement shall be entitled to the continuation of life insurance in the

amount of $10,000.00.

(b) As of July

1, 2007, members of the group C plan who separate from service prior to being

eligible for retirement benefits under this chapter, who have at least 20 years

of creditable service, and who participated in the group medical benefit plan

at the time of separation from service shall have a one-time option at the time

retirement benefits commence to participate in the group medical benefit plan

provided by the State of Vermont for active State employees. Premiums for the

plan shall be prorated between the retired member and the Retirement System

pursuant to section 631 of this title.

(c) Premiums for

coverage of retired members of the group C plan and their dependents in the

group medical benefit plan shall be prorated on the same basis as is provided

for active employees by the current collective bargaining agreement for the

nonmanagement unit. The amounts designated as the State's share of premium for

the medical benefit plan and the total premium for group life insurance

provided under subdivision (a)(2) of this section shall be paid by the Fund as

an operating expense in accordance with subsection 473(d) of this title.

(d) After

January 1, 2007, the State Treasurer may offer and administer a dental benefit

plan for retired members, beneficiaries, eligible dependents, and eligible

retirees of special affiliated groups and the dependents of members of those

groups who are eligible for coverage in the State Employee Group Medical

Benefit Plan. The Plan shall be separate and apart from any dental benefit plan

offered to Vermont State employees. The original plan of benefits, and any

changes thereto, shall be determined by the State Treasurer with due

consideration of recommendations from the Retired Employees' Committee on

Insurance established in section 636 of this title.

(1) For purposes

of dental benefits, "retired members" shall include retired employees

of the State who are receiving a retirement allowance from the Vermont State

Retirement System. In addition, "retired members" shall include

retired employees who are receiving a retirement allowance based upon their

employment with the Vermont State Employees' Association, the Vermont State

Employees' Credit Union, and the Vermont Council on the Arts, as long as they

were covered under a group dental plan as active employees on their retirement

date, and:

(A) they have at

least 20 years' service with that employer; or

(B) have

attained 62 years of age, and have at least 15 years' service with that

employer.

(2) One hundred

percent of the premiums for providing dental benefit coverage to retired

members, beneficiaries, and eligible dependents shall be paid in full by

retired members and beneficiaries and shall be deducted from each member's

retirement allowance each month. Nothing in this subdivision creates a legal

obligation on the part of the State to pay any portion of the premiums required

to provide dental benefit coverage to retired members, dependents,

beneficiaries, or other eligible participants.

(3) Dependent

eligibility shall be determined in the manner applied to determinations for

coverage in the State Employee Medical Benefit Plan.

(4) Repealed.]

(e) As of

January 1, 2007, and thereafter, upon retirement, members entitled to prorated

group medical benefit plan premium payments from the Retirement System under

the terms of this section shall have a one-time option to reduce the percentage

of premium payments from the Retirement System during the member's life, with

the provision that the Fund shall continue making an equal percentage of

premium payments after the member's death for the life of the dependent

beneficiary nominated by the member under section 468 of this title, should

such dependent beneficiary survive the member. The Retirement Board, after

consultation with its actuary, shall establish reduced premium payment

percentages that are as cost neutral to the Fund as possible.

(f) There is

created a medical account to be maintained under the Retirement System pursuant

to 26 U.S.C. § 401(h), which shall be used to pay for health and medical

benefits as the Board may arrange pursuant to this section. Contributions to

the account shall be reasonable and ascertainable. The medical account shall be

subordinate to the retirement benefits provided by the Retirement System. It

shall be impossible, at any time before satisfaction of all liabilities to

provide retiree medical benefits, for any part of the corpus or income of the

account to be used for, or diverted to, any purpose other than providing health

and medical benefits. All balances in the account at the end of the fiscal year

shall be carried forward, and interest earned shall remain in the account.

Notwithstanding the exclusive benefit rule of subsection 472a(b) of this title,

in the event of termination of the account on satisfaction of all liabilities

under the Plan to provide retiree medical benefits, any assets remaining in the

account shall be returned to the State of Vermont. The aggregate actual

contributions for medical benefits, when added to the actual contributions for

life insurance, if any, under the Plan, is limited to 25 percent of the total

actual contributions made to the Plan (other than contributions to fund past

service credits) after the date on which the Section 401(h) account is

established.

(g) A member of

the group F plan who is first included in the membership of the System on or

after July 1, 2008, who separates from service prior to being eligible for

retirement benefits under this chapter, who has at least 20 years of creditable

service, and who participated in the group medical benefit plan at the time of

separation from service shall have a one-time option at the time retirement

benefits commence to reinstate the same level of coverage, in the group medical

benefit plan provided by the State of Vermont for active State employees, that

existed at the date of separation from service. Premiums for the plan shall be

prorated between the retired member and the Retirement System pursuant to

subsection 479(a) of this title.

(h) For purposes

of entitlement to medical benefits in retirement, former county court employees

hired by the counties to court positions on or before June 30, 2008 who became

State employees on February 1, 2011 pursuant to 2010 Acts and Resolves No. 154

shall be deemed to have been first included in membership of the system on or

before June 30, 2008. (Added 1981, No. 249 (Adj. Sess.), § 30b, eff. July 4,

1982; amended 2003, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; 2005, No. 163 (Adj. Sess.), §

3; 2005, No. 165 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2007, No. 12, § 2; 2007, No. 13, § 15a;

2007, No. 116 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2011, No.1, § 1, eff. Feb. 2, 2011; 2013, No.

22, § 5; 2015, No. 18, § 4.)
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