Substitute House Bill No. 5639
          Substitute House Bill No. 5639

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-251


AN  ACT  EXPANDING  BENEFITS  UNDER  THE TEACHERS'
RETIREMENT SYSTEM.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Subsection (b) of section 10-183e
of the general statutes, as amended by  section  1
of   public   act  97-301,  is  repealed  and  the
following is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (b)  Any  member  may purchase, as provided in
subsection  (c)  of   this   section,   additional
credited  service,  but not to exceed an aggregate
of one year in the case of  service  described  in
subdivision  (2)  of  this subsection for each two
years of active full-time service as a Connecticut
teacher;  and  not  to  exceed an aggregate of one
year  in  the  case  of   absence   described   in
subdivision  (8)  of this subsection for each five
years of active full-time service as a Connecticut
teacher,  provided  if  any  such  absence exceeds
thirty consecutive school months, such  additional
credited service shall be limited to thirty school
months; and not to  exceed  an  aggregate  of  ten
years   for   all   service   described   in  this
subsection. In no event, however, may any  service
described  in  this subsection be purchased if the
member  is  receiving  or  is,  or  will   become,
entitled  to  receive  a  retirement benefit based
upon such service  from  any  governmental  system
other  than the teachers' retirement system or the
federal   Social   Security   System.   Additional
credited service includes:
    (1)  Service  as  a  teacher  in  a school for
military  dependents  established  by  the  United
States Department of Defense;
    (2)  Service  as a teacher in another state of
the United States, its territories or possessions;
    (3)  Service in the armed forces of the United
States in time  of  war,  as  defined  in  section
27-103, or service in said armed forces during the
period beginning  October  27,  1953,  and  ending
January 31, 1955;
    (4)  Service in a permanent full-time position
for the state;
    (5)  Service as a teacher at The University of
Connecticut prior to July 1, 1965;
    (6)  Service  as  a  teacher  at  the  Wheeler
School and Library,  North  Stonington,  prior  to
September 1, 1949;
    (7)  Service as a teacher at the Gilbert Home,
Winsted, prior to September 1, 1948;
    (8)  Any  formal  leave of absence as provided
in regulations adopted by the board, if the member
subsequently  returns  to service for at least one
school year;
    (9)  Service  as  a  teacher  at  the American
School at Hartford for the Deaf,  the  Connecticut
Institute   for   the   Blind   or  the  Newington
Children's Hospital;
    (10)  Forty  or  more  days  of  service  as a
substitute  teacher,  OR  THE  EQUIVALENT  SERVICE
RENDERED  AT  LESS  THAN  HALF-TIME,  in  a single
public  school  system   within   the   state   of
Connecticut  in  any  school year, provided twenty
days of such service  shall  equal  one  month  of
credited  service  under  subsection  (a)  of this
section;
    (11)  Service  in  the  armed  forces  of  the
United States, other  than  service  described  in
subdivision  (3) of this subsection, not to exceed
thirty months;
    (12)   Service   as   a  full-time,  salaried,
elected official of the  state  or  any  political
subdivision  of the state during the 1978 calendar
year or thereafter, if  such  member  subsequently
returns to service for at least one school year;
    (13)   Service   in   the  public  schools  of
Connecticut as a member  of  the  federal  Teacher
Corps, not to exceed two years; and
    (14)   Service  in  the  United  States  Peace
Corps.
    Sec.   2.   Section  10-183g  of  the  general
statutes is amended by adding  subsection  (q)  as
follows:
    (NEW)  (q)  On  January 1, 1999, each eligible
retired  member  who   had   rendered   at   least
twenty-five  years  of  full-time service, or such
member's  successor  beneficiary,  as  defined  in
subsection  (j)  of  this section, shall receive a
single increase in benefits provided under chapter
167a.   Such   increase  shall  be  sufficient  to
increase the  monthly  benefit  of  such  eligible
members  or successor beneficiaries, whose monthly
benefit  as  of  December  31,  1998,  before  any
actuarial reduction for early retirement or for an
optional benefit payment plan, is less than twelve
hundred   dollars   and  shall  be  sufficient  to
increase such monthly benefit  to  twelve  hundred
dollars.
    Sec.  3.  Subsection (c) of section 10-183j of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (c)  A  coparticipant's  option may be elected
in  which  the  member  receives  an   actuarially
reduced  benefit  as provided in subsection (d) of
this  section  and  upon  such   member's   death,
one-third,  one-half, two-thirds, three-fourths or
all of  such  amount  is  paid  to  such  member's
designated   beneficiary   for  life.  [Only  such
member's  spouse,  dependent  parent,  brother  or
sister  may be designated as a coparticipant. Such
option shall not become effective until  one  year
after  the  filing of such election or evidence of
good health is submitted according to rules of the
board.  If  such  member  dies  or  such  member's
application  for  retirement   becomes   effective
before  the  effective  date  of such option, such
option will  not  become  effective  at  any  time
thereafter.   If   such   member  dies  after  the
effective  date  of  such  election,  but   before
retirement,  such option will be effective only if
such member at the time of his death fulfilled the
age  and service requirements for normal, early or
proratable benefits.]
    Sec.  4.  Subsection (a) of section 10-183h of
the general statutes, as amended by section  9  of
public  act  97-301, is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  The  basic  survivor's  monthly  benefit,
subject to a family maximum of [six  hundred]  ONE
THOUSAND  FIVE HUNDRED dollars, shall be (1) three
hundred dollars each for a surviving  spouse,  [;]
PLUS  TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH YEAR OF SERVICE
IN EXCESS  OF  TWELVE  YEARS  IN  THE  CONNECTICUT
PUBLIC SCHOOLS COMPLETED BY THE MEMBER, SUBJECT TO
A MAXIMUM MONTHLY BENEFIT OF SIX HUNDRED  DOLLARS,
(2)  THREE  HUNDRED  DOLLARS  EACH for a dependent
former spouse; for a dependent parent if there  is
no  surviving spouse or dependent child; and for a
legal guardian of any dependent child if there  is
no  surviving  spouse,  dependent former spouse or
dependent  parent,  and  [(2)]  (3)  [two]   THREE
hundred  dollars for [a] EACH dependent child. [or
if more than one child is  eligible,  a  total  of
three  hundred dollars allocated in equal shares.]
In applying the family maximum, the benefit  shall
be  first allocated to the child or children, with
the excess allocated to the surviving  spouse  and
any  dependent  former spouse IN PROPORTION TO THE
AMOUNT EACH WOULD RECEIVE ACCORDING TO  THE  ABOVE
FORMULA.  Payment of the benefit shall commence on
the last day of the month following the  month  of
the  member's  death.  Such benefit shall continue
through the month preceding the month in which the
survivor  dies  or  ceases to be eligible for such
benefit. Such benefit to  the  legal  guardian  of
dependent  children  shall continue until all such
children are no longer dependent,  as  defined  in
section 10-183b. Notwithstanding the provisions of
this  subsection,  any  such   surviving   spouse,
dependent former spouse, dependent parent or legal
guardian may waive the right  to  payment  of  the
benefit  under  this  subsection  in  order that a
designated beneficiary who is  the  child  of  the
deceased   member   may   receive   such  member's
accumulated contributions plus credited  interest.
Such  waiver shall be made prior to the payment of
the  benefit  to  any   such   surviving   spouse,
dependent former spouse, dependent parent or legal
guardian.
    Sec.  5.  Subsection (d) of section 10-183h of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (d)  [The]  ON  AND  AFTER  JULY  1, 1998, THE
surviving spouse [, in the absence of an effective
election  of  the  coparticipant's option provided
pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-183j  and
in  lieu  of  the  other benefits provided by this
section,] may elect to receive a  monthly  benefit
for  life  equal  to  the  benefit  payable  if  a
[one-half] ONE HUNDRED  PER  CENT  coparticipant's
option  had been elected or an amount equal to the
member's accumulated contributions  with  credited
interest. An election under this subsection may be
made only in cases where (1) the  spouse  is  such
member's  sole designated beneficiary or where all
other  designated  beneficiaries  relinquish   all
claim to any amounts that may be due them from the
system and (2) such member at the  time  of  death
was eligible for a retirement benefit other than a
disability benefit.
    Sec.  6.  A   surviving  spouse  who  withdrew
retirement  contributions  during   the  1997-1998
school   year   may    elect    to   return   such
contributions, plus interest  at a rate determined
by the board,  and be covered by the provisions of
subsection (d) of  section  10-183h of the general
statutes, as amended  by  section  5  of this act,
provided such surviving  spouse  provides  written
notification of such  election  to  the  board and
returns  such contributions,  plus  interest,  not
later than October 1, 1998.
    Sec. 7. This  act  shall  take effect from its
passage, section 4 of this act shall be applicable
to  any  person   receiving   benefits   from  the
Teachers' Retirement System  on the effective date
of this act,  and  section  5 of this act shall be
applicable to the surviving spouse of a member who
dies on or after August 15, 1997.

Approved June 8, 1998