Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGLO 1982 NO. 5 > Mar 5 1982

Unless deemed by the Court to be merely a legislative clarification of existing law and not a change in the law as it now exists, House Bill No. 986 relating to the formula to be utilized in computing the service retirement allowances of state elected officials, would be unconstitutional as applied to existing members of the Public Employees' Retirement System under the reasoning of Bakenhus v. Seattle, 48 Wn.2d 695, 296 P.2d 536 (1956) and later cases.

AGO 1982 NO. 6 > May 27 1982

Payment of a lump sum amount to a retiree for accrued annual leave at the time of his or her termination of employment does not constitute a salary increase for the purposes of § 34, chapter 52, Laws of 1982, 1st Ex. Sess. or § 2, chapter 10, Laws of 1982, 1st Ex. Sess. relating to employer liability for increased retirement benefit costs under the laws governing the Public Employees' Retirement System and the State Teachers' Retirement System, respectively.

AGO 2007 NO. 6 > Sep 6 2007

1.  Where a combination of cities and fire protection districts enters into an interlocal agreement under RCW 39.34 and forms a nonprofit corporation under the authority of that act to carry out cooperative activities, the corporation would qualify as an “employer” for purposes of the LEOFF Retirement System Plans 1 and 2, to the same extent as the government entities responsible for creating the corporation.  2.  Where a combination of cities and fire protection districts enters into an interlocal agreement under RCW 39.34 and forms a nonprofit corporation under the authority of that act to carry out cooperative activities, the corporation would qualify as an “employer” for purposes of the PERS Retirement System Plans 1, 2, and 3, to the same extent as the government entities responsible for creating the corporation.

AGO 1983 NO. 7 > Mar 30 1983

Medical insurance for law enforcement officers or firefighters under RCW 41.26.150(4), on the basis of which medical service payments by the employer are to be reduced in accordance with subsection (2) of that statute, may be paid for entirely by the employer or partially by the employer and partially by the subject employees; an employer may not, however, require its employees to pay the entire cost of such plan or plans of group hospitalization and medical aid insurance.

AGO 1977 NO. 7 > Mar 3 1977

(1) RCW 41.26.040(3) does not prohibit a city or town from using property tax revenues obtained under RCW 41.16.060 for municipal purposes other than the funding of firemen's pensions in those cases where such other uses are permitted by the terms of the latter statute.  (2) A municipality which first created a full time, paid fire department after March 1, 1970, the date upon which the LEOFF system became operative, is not authorized to levy the additional property tax provided for in RCW 41.16.060.

AGO 1985 NO. 7 > Mar 7 1985

(1) The phrase "his teeth" in RCW 41.26.030 (relating to members of the Washington Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters Retirement System) includes not only natural teeth but also previously installed dental work such as bridges, false teeth, fillings, and the like. (2) The obligation of an employer, under RCW 41.26.150, to pay for dental repair or replacement for an individual whose previous dental work broke while eating depends on whether, under the facts of the particular case as determined by the disability board having jurisdiction, the damages were the result of an accident.

AGLO 1981 NO. 7 > Mar 19 1981

(1) Monies in a prior municipal firemen's pension fund may now lawfully be used for the payment of service retirement, disability retirement and other pension benefits to qualified members of the former paid firemen's pension system and, as well, for the payment of hospitalization costs and other medical expenses incurred by firefighters covered by the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' System Plan I.

AGO 1980 NO. 8 > Mar 7 1980

(1) A person who has properly established membership in the Washington Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) through employment as a public school teacher in accordance with RCW 41.32.240 or RCW 41.32.780 may thereafter continue to participate in TRS and receive TRS service credit in connection with later periods of employment with the same or another school district or a state agency even though that person is not still employed as a teacher. (2) Such continuing active participation in the Washington Teachers' Retirement System, however, is only permitted and not required under the specified circumstances; accordingly, the person in question (by not returning to or continuing in active TRS membership upon his or her change in employment status) may, if employed in an eligible position under the Washington Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), thereafter be covered as a member of that retirement system unless he or she is personally ineligible, under RCW 41.40.120, for some other reason.

AGO 1978 NO. 8 > Mar 23 1978

(1) Where a Plan I member of the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System has been placed on disability leave under RCW 41.26.120, his disability leave allowance is not affected by salary increases (or decreases) granted to active members of the police or fire department during the period he remains on disability leave.   (2) The disability retirement allowance payable to a Plan I member of the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System under RCW 41.26.130 is to be based on his salary at the time he began his period of disability leave.

AGO 1973 NO. 9 > Mar 30 1973

(1) An agreement by a school district in reducing its force of certificated teachers for financial reasons to grant those teachers whose contracts are not to be renewed an unpaid leave of absence coupled with a right to return at some future date, if and when future teaching vacancies occur within the district for which they are qualified, will be enforceable by a separated teacher only if it is supported by an adequate legal consideration. (2) Such an agreement must be in writing in order to satisfy the requirements of RCW 28A.67.070, and of RCW 19.36.020 as well if the rights thereby granted are intended to be enforceable for more than one year beyond the date of its execution. (3) Considerable doubt must be expressed as to the enforceability of such a leave of absence coupled with a right of return if the term of leave exceeds one year in duration. (4) During the period of an unpaid leave of absence a teacher will not be eligible for active participation in the state teachers' retirement system as an employee of the district granting the leave. (5) Whether during the period of an unpaid leave of absence a teacher will be eligible to continue participating at his own expense in a medical insurance program provided for by the school district under RCW 28A.58.420 or RCW 41.04.180 will depend upon the terms of the particular insurance contract involved.

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