Substitute Senate Bill No. 1192
         Substitute Senate Bill No. 1192

               PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-87


AN  ACT  CONCERNING RETIREMENT BENEFITS FOR JUDGES
OF PROBATE.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  (NEW)  Any  judge  of  probate in
office on or after October 1, 1997, whose  probate
district  is  merged with another district and who
has not been elected after such consolidation, (1)
may  elect  to  receive  four  years  of  credited
service, as defined in subdivision (2) of  section
45a-34  of  the  general  statutes,  as amended by
section 2 of this act, (2) may elect to receive  a
reduction  of  his retirement age of not more than
four years pursuant to subsection (a)  of  section
45a-36  of  the  general  statutes,  as amended by
section 3 of  this  act,  or  (3)  may  elect  any
combination  of  subdivisions  (1) and (2) of this
section,  provided  such  combination  shall   not
exceed four years in total.
    Sec.   2.   Section   45a-34  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    The  following  words  and  phrases as used in
sections 45a-34 to 45a-54, inclusive,  AS  AMENDED
BY  THIS  ACT,  and  45a-75  except  as  otherwise
provided, shall have the following meanings:
    (1)  "Average  final  compensation"  means, in
the case of a judge of probate, the average annual
compensation  for  the three highest paid years of
service while serving  in  the  probate  court  to
which  the judge was elected or by citation to any
other court or courts, provided, for  purposes  of
this  section,  the  compensation for any one year
shall not exceed the  maximum  net  annual  income
currently  allowed  by law, and, in the case of an
employee, the average annual rate  of  pay  during
the   employee's   three  highest  paid  years  of
employment;
    (2) "Credited service"  means  (A) all periods
during which a  person held the office of judge of
probate AND ANY  PERIOD  OF  SERVICE  ELECTED BY A
JUDGE PURSUANT TO SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT or (B) any
period during which a person served as an employee
of  any  probate  court  or  (C)  subject  to  the
requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of section
45a-54, a period  of not more than three years for
service as a  member  of  the General Assembly and
military  service or  (D)  the  aggregate  of  any
periods of service  provided for in [subdivisions]
SUBPARAGRAPHS (A), (B) and (C) of this subsection;
    (3)  "Employee" means a person employed by any
probate court for more than  four  hundred  thirty
hours  per  year  or  a person who served for more
than four hundred thirty hours per year performing
under any contract of employment with any court of
probate;
    (4)   "Fund"   means   the   retirement   fund
established by section 45a-35;
    (5)  "Member"  means  any  judge of probate or
employee  who  is  or  may  become  eligible   for
retirement   benefits  under  sections  45a-34  to
45a-54, inclusive, AS AMENDED  BY  THIS  ACT,  and
45a-75;
    (6)  "Normal  retirement age" means the age of
sixty-two  for  any  judge  of  probate   or   any
employee;
    (7)  "Old  Age and Survivors System" means the
system established under Title II  of  the  Social
Security Act, as amended;
    (8)  "Pay" means the salary, wages or earnings
of an employee, but does not include any  fees  or
allowances for expenses;
    (9)  "Retirement  Commission"  means the State
Retirement Commission;
    (10)  "Social  Security  Act" means the Act of
Congress, approved August 14, 1935,  Chapter  531,
49  Stat.  620,  officially  cited  as  the Social
Security   Act,   including   regulations   issued
pursuant  thereto,  as  such  act has been and may
from time to time be amended.
    Sec.   3.   Section   45a-36  of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  Judges  of probate courts in office on or
after December 31, 1966,  and  employees  of  such
courts,  who  have completed at least ten years of
credited service shall be eligible to  retire  and
thereupon to receive normal retirement benefits on
the first day of the month after attaining the age
of sixty-five or after termination of service as a
judge of probate  or  employee,  whichever  occurs
later;  provided  any judge or employee who has at
least ten years of credited service but less  than
twelve years in the case of a judge, and less than
fifteen years in the  case  of  an  employee,  and
whose  credited  service terminated before July 1,
1979, shall  become  eligible  to  retire  and  to
receive retirement benefits retroactive to January
1, 1979, or to the first day of  the  month  after
such  termination,  whichever  is later. Judges of
probate courts in office on or  after  October  1,
1986,  and  employees  of  such  courts,  who have
completed at least ten years of  credited  service
shall  be  eligible  to  retire  and  thereupon to
receive normal retirement benefits  on  the  first
day  of  any  month  after  attaining  the  age of
sixty-two.
    (b)   Employees   AND  JUDGES  whose  credited
service began at or after the age of  sixty  shall
be  eligible  on  the first day of the month after
attaining the age of seventy, regardless of length
of  service,  PROVIDED  IN  THE CASE OF A JUDGE OF
PROBATE, SUCH JUDGE SHALL HAVE SERVED AT LEAST ONE
FULL TERM.
    (c)  Employees who attained the age of seventy
before establishment of the retirement fund  shall
be eligible on January 1, 1968.
    (d)  Employees of probate courts serving on or
after October 1, 1993, who have completed at least
ten years of credited service shall be eligible to
retire and thereupon to receive normal  retirement
benefits  on  the  first  day  of  any month after
attaining the age of sixty-two.
    Sec.  4.  Subsection  (a) of section 45a-43 of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  Except  as  provided in subsection (d) of
this  section  AND   SUBDIVISION   (5)   OF   THIS
SUBSECTION,  each married member shall, subject to
regulations issued by the  Retirement  Commission,
make  an  election  in accordance with subsections
(d) and (e) of this section to receive  a  reduced
retirement  allowance  with the provision that the
reduced retirement allowance, or such  part  which
is  specified  by  such  person  in  his notice of
election, shall be continued after  his  death  to
his  spouse  named  in the election for as long as
his spouse lives. The reduced retirement allowance
shall   be  in  an  amount  which  the  Retirement
Commission  determines   to   be   the   actuarial
equivalent  of the retirement allowance that would
have been payable had not the election been  made.
A  member  may  elect  to  receive  his retirement
allowance in accordance with any of the  following
options:  (1)  A  reduced  amount  payable  to the
member for his lifetime with  the  provision  that
after his death his spouse, if surviving, shall be
entitled to receive a  lifetime  income  equal  to
fifty  per  cent  of  the  reduced  monthly amount
payable  to  the  member;  (2)  a  reduced  amount
payable  to  the  member for his lifetime with the
provision that  after  his  death  his  contingent
annuitant  shall be entitled to receive a lifetime
income equal to either fifty or  one  hundred  per
cent  of the reduced amount payable to the member;
(3) a reduced amount payable to the member for his
lifetime  with  the provision that if he shall die
within  either  a  ten   or   twenty-year   period
following   the   date   his   retirement   income
commences, whichever is selected  by  the  member,
the  reduced  amount  continues  to his contingent
annuitant  for  the  balance   of   the   ten   or
twenty-year  period; [or] (4) an amount payable to
the member  for  his  lifetime  with  no  payments
continuing  after the member's death, except for a
lump sum  death  benefit  equal  to  the  member's
retirement  contributions plus interest reduced by
the federal tax exclusion ratio times  the  income
payments  made to the member from the fund; OR (5)
FOR JUDGES ELIGIBLE FOR RETIREMENT BENEFITS  UNDER
SECTION 1 OF THIS ACT, AN UNREDUCED AMOUNT PAYABLE
TO THE MEMBER FOR HIS LIFETIME WITH THE  PROVISION
THAT  AFTER  HIS  DEATH  HIS SPOUSE, IF SURVIVING,
SHALL BE ENTITLED TO  RECEIVE  A  LIFETIME  INCOME
EQUAL  TO  FIFTY PER CENT OF THE UNREDUCED MONTHLY
AMOUNT PAYABLE TO THE MEMBER. If a member who  has
been  married  for one year dies before retirement
but  after  completion  of  the  age  and  service
requirements  that would permit him to retire upon
his  own  application,  the  retirement  allowance
shall  be  payable to his spouse commencing at his
death,  in  accordance  with  regulations  to   be
established by the Retirement Commission.

Approved May 29, 1997