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AGO 1953 No. 127 - September 04, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF WASHINGTON STATE PATROL

Period to repay contributions is fixed at 4 years from date of resumption of service.

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                                                               September 4, 1953

James A. Pryde, Chief
Washington State Patrol
Legislative Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 127

Dear Sir:

            We have received your inquiry as to the application of section 2 of chapter 262, Laws of 1953, Washington State Patrol Retirement System, respecting the status of members of the Patrol who terminated their service after August 1, 1947, and resumed service in the year 1949, and four years have elapsed since date of resumption of service.

            You have submitted the following questions:

            1.         Are these members permitted to repay their contributions within four years of the time the act became effective?  Answer:  No.

            2.         Are the repayments due and payable within four years from the date of reentering the service? Answer:  Yes.

            3.         Does the four-year period start at the end of the six months continuous service?  Answer:  No.

            4.         If these repayments are not made within four years after the date of reentering service, will this be lost  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] credit even if the member is willing to repay his contributions after the four-year period has elapsed?  Answer:  Yes.

            5.         Can the four-year period start from the effective date of the act?  Answer:  No.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Section 2, chapter 262, Laws of 1953, provides:

            "Any employee of the Washington state patrol, upon date of commissioning, shall be eligible to participate in the retirement plan and shall start contributing to the fund immediately.  Any employee of the Washington state patrol employed by the state of Washington or any of its political subdivisions prior to August 1, 1947, unless such service has been credited in another public retirement or pension system operating in the state of Washington shall receive full credit for such prior service but after that date each new commissioned employee must automatically participate in the fund.  If a member shall terminate service in the patrol and later reenter, he shall be treated in all respects as a new employee:  Provided, That a member who reenters or has reentered service within ten years from the date of his termination, shall upon completion of six months of continuous service and upon the restoration of all withdrawn contributions, plus earned interest, which restoration must be completed within four years after resumption of service, be returned to the status of membership he earned at the time of termination."

            In light of the above, question one as submitted was answered in the negative because the effective date of the act is not controlling but"four years after resumption of service" is mandatory under the act.

            The same is true of question two, answered affirmatively.  Repayments are due and payable four years after resumption of service.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            Question number three was answered negatively because under the act "restoration must be completed within four years after resumption of service."

            Question number four is answered affirmatively inasmuch as the statute fixes the specific time of four years within which repayment may be made.

            Question number five is answered in the negative inasmuch as the four-year period is in no way related or controlled by the effective date of the act.

            We also note by your letter that some members of the patrol are foregoing their current monthly contributions to the retirement fund.  In this regard note section 2 as quoted above, "* * * after that date (August 1, 1947) each new commissioned employee must automatically participate in the fund."

Very truly yours,

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General


DONALD E. WATSON
Assistant Attorney General

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