Hon Holli Vining
Upon application for regular or disability retirement benefits, and prior to receipt of any such benefits, an applicant may elect to receive the maximum benefits payable throughout his life (or until cessation of total and permanent disability, if applicable) computed as described in the sections on computing benefits. With the exception of a guarantee that retirees receive in benefits an amount equal to their accumulated contributions (see section titled “Guaranteed return of accumulated contributions”), maximum benefits do not provide for benefits to a designated beneficiary. At the time of application for regular or disability retirement benefits, an applicant may instead choose an optional form of benefit which is actuarially equivalent to the maximum benefit. The optional benefits require a reduction in the amount received by the member in order to account for benefits payable to a surviving, designated beneficiary upon the member’s death. A description of the options is below:
No change in the option elected or the selection of the option beneficiary will be permitted after the retiree has received his initial monthly benefit payment unless the retiree is subsequently elected Clerk of Court, or if a former member who retired under disability retirement returns to service prior to attaining the age of fifty-five years. If a retiree who has elected to receive a reduced monthly benefit to provide a survivor benefit upon his death dies after receiving his initial monthly benefit payment, the benefits payable under the option selected will constitute the limit of benefits payable from the fund. The payment of the optional benefit will be in lieu of all other benefits which might otherwise have been due the retiree, his surviving spouse, children, parents, or any other persons whomsoever, except as provided in the event the sum total of benefits paid are less than his accumulated employee contributions to the fund (see the section titled “Guaranteed Return of Accumulated Contributions.”)
Automatic Cost-of-Living Adjustments – (See R. S. 11:247)
Upon application for retirement or participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, any member may elect to receive an actuarially reduced retirement allowance which would provide them an automatic annual two and one-half percent cost-of-living adjustment, subject to a few restrictions detailed below.
The election to receive benefits in this form is irrevocable after the effective date of retirement or after the beginning date of participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan. The reduced retirement allowance together with the automatic cost of-living adjustment must be in an amount certified by the system actuary as actuarially equivalent to the member's maximum allowance and must be approved by the system's Board of Trustees.
The automatic, annual cost-of-living adjustments provided under this section will be based on the retiree’s actual reduced benefit being paid on the effective date of the increase, inclusive of cost-of-living adjustments paid pursuant to this Section, but exclusive of cost-of-living adjustments separately approved by the Board and paid under any other provision of law.
The annual cost-of-living adjustment of any Deferred Retirement Option Plan participant will be credited to the participant's Deferred Retirement Option Plan subaccount during the participation period.
Following participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, the annual cost-of-living adjustment will be applied to the reduced, optional monthly benefit allowance, inclusive of cost-of-living adjustments paid under this Section, but exclusive of cost-of-living adjustments separately approved by the Board and paid under any other provision of law. The monthly benefit allowance upon retirement shall reflect the annual benefit adjustments set forth in this Paragraph.
Upon retirement of a Deferred Retirement Option Plan participant who continued to work after completing the DROP participation period, the annual cost-of-living adjustment shall also be applied to any supplemental benefit earned after the participation period in accordance with applicable law.
If a retiree or Deferred Retirement Option Plan participant has chosen an optional retirement allowance which provides that a spouse who has been designated as beneficiary will receive a continuing benefit upon the retiree's or Deferred Retirement Option Plan participant's death, the spouse's cost-of-living adjustment will be payable based on the spouse's allowance on the effective date of the increase.
The automatic, annual cost-of-living adjustment authorized by this section will be effective annually on the anniversary date of retirement and will be payable to any retiree who is age fifty-five or older and not before the retiree would have attained such age if his spouse is receiving the retirement allowance as his designated beneficiary.
Additional cost-of-living adjustments granted by the system's board of trustees, as otherwise provided by law, will be computed on the basis of the retiree's benefit amount on the date such cost-of-living adjustment is granted. If an additional cost-of-living adjustment is scheduled to be effective on the same day as the automatic, annual cost-of-living adjustment, the automatic, annual cost-of-living adjustment is to be calculated first.
Upon application for retirement or participation in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan and upon certifying that he is contemplating availing himself of the provisions of this Section, a member of a state or statewide retirement system may request that the system provide actuarial estimates of the benefits that such member would receive under this section for the fifth, tenth, and fifteenth year following the member's anticipated retirement date. The system will provide such actuarial estimates to the member upon request.
Persons receiving disability retirement benefits pursuant to the provisions of this Title will only be eligible to elect this retirement option upon conversion to a service retirement, if applicable, under the provisions of this Title.
Louisiana Clerks of Court Association
10202 Jefferson Highway, Building A
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
(800) 256-6660 or (225) 293-1162