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On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, at the Select Committee on Pension Policy the subject of the LEOFF 1/TRS 1 proposed merger was a major topic.  We had over 100 people attend that meeting to demonstrate their concern about this attack on our pension.  We attended the meeting and testified as did RSPOA Board Member Jeff Caldwell, RFFOW President Dick Warbrouck and others. 

One of the principal reasons for this meeting was to setup a work plan for the production of a study of SB6668 – the LEOFF 1/TRS 1 merger proposal that died in the last session of the legislature. The SCPP will be accepting questions from stakeholders which can be submitted in written form or through testimony at upcoming meetings.  You should submit any questions or define any areas you want addressed by the SCPP staff or the State Actuary staff.  Submissions will be included in the study. 


Follow this link for a map of parking and the DASH shuttle for Olympia.

SCPP Merger Study- May 21, 2016

Please try to attend the Select Committee meeting on June 21st.  The merger threat continues.

Dick Warbrouck and Jerry Taylor had a meeting with Senator Conway last week to discuss the TRS I/LEOFF I merger.  We wanted to find out if a substitute committee would be appointed to discuss this issue and the format and schedule for the study.  He said that the details will be explained at the SCPP meeting on June 21, 2016. 

We suggest that we show our concern and enthusiasm by packing the Hearing Room at that meeting.  We would like as many LEOFF I members as possible to attend this meeting, even if we have to stand around the walls of the room or in the hallway.

The meeting will be at 10:00 am on June 21, 2016 in the John L O'Brien Building southeast of the Capitol Building. 

Free parking is available at the Farmer's Market at the west end of Capitol Way with free shuttle service to the Capitol campus and the John O'Brien Bldg.

Editor's note:  This article was written by Sonja Ericson-Russell and published in the RFFOW May Newsletter.  It is a good read as it shows the process of getting a bill passed through the legislature.

I want to thank Dick Warbrouck and the Retired Fire Fighters of Washington for their work on ESB 5873 and for being my main support as a stakeholder invested in the amendment to this bill.

Beginning in May of 2009, just after my husband Dennis Russell passed away, I began a concerted effort to obtain my survivor benefit. I spent several years in appeal to The Department of Retirement Systems and in Superior Court. After being denied every step of the way, and exhausting all available avenues and resources, I thought that was the end of the story until February of 2015 when I learned that a new bill had been initiated.

Survivor Benefit

Ok, for those who missed out on the window to include a post retirement spouse here is the new law that give you another chance.  Don't pass it up as you will probably not get another chance.  This does not apply to a new retiree or a member who is unmarried and now marries.  They have the opportunity to include the new spouse as a survivor.  This law just deals with those who missed out on the earlier window.

Effective June 9, 2016, qualified Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Plan 1 retirees have an opportunity to provide survivor benefits to their post-retirement spouse or registered domestic partner. The open window for making this change is June 9, 2016 to Sept. 1, 2016.

To qualify, you must have been married or registered in a domestic partnership after retirement. Even if a portion of your retirement benefit was awarded to an ex-spouse as a property division obligation in a divorce or legal separation, as long as a portion of your retirement benefit is payable to directly to you, you may qualify. You must also meet these additional requirements:

  • Your marriage or registration must span at least two years before Sept. 1, 2015
  • Your spouse or registered domestic partner cannot be already eligible for survivor benefits through any other provisions of LEOFF law
May 17 marked the first meeting of the SCPP since the end of the legislative session.  The SCPP was charged by that session to conduct a study on the proposed merger of LEOFF I and TRS 1.  The committee must report back to the legislature by January 9, 2017.

The bill creating this study assignment had some dollars allocated to fund the study, but those funds were vetoed by the governor.  Therefore we were concerned as to how the committee might approach the study.

See the full story to view the hearing.
The LEOFF I Coalition has just issued a newsletter.  It is not yet available on their website but evidently they have mailed it to many folks.  They should be complemented on this publication as it is one of their better ones in that it includes some real information about what went on in the last session of the legislature.  Nothing new for followers of LEOFF1.Net but useful for those out of contact with the ongoing legislative actions.

Survivor Benefits

A new law (ESB 5873) effective June 9, 2016, gives Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Plan 1 retirees an opportunity to provide survivor benefits to their post-retirement spouse or registered domestic partner. If a spouse or registered domestic partner is added, a retiree’s monthly benefit will be reduced to pay for the benefit. The open window for making this change is June 9, 2016 to Sept. 1, 2016.
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