2003 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Posey
AN ACT TO CREATE NEW SECTION 41-29-30, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CREATE A NEW CODE SECTION TO BE CODIFIED AS SECTION 41-29-30, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE MISSISSIPPI COMMISSION ON WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS TO IMPLEMENT A RETIREMENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM FOR CONSERVATION OFFICERS ASSIGNED TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following provision shall be codified as Section 41-29-30, Mississippi Code of 1972:
41-29-30. (1) The Legislature finds and declares that a compelling state interest exists in providing a retirement incentive program or encouraging the retirement of conservation officers assigned to the Law Enforcement Division who are current and active contributing members of the Public Employees' Retirement System.
(2) As used in this section "program" means the retirement incentive program established under this section.
(3) (a) The department is authorized to pay, in fiscal years selected by the commission, a monetary incentive to conservation officers assigned to the Law Enforcement Division who are eligible for retirement in exchange for a voluntary agreement of such conservation officer:
(i) To retire on a specific date as set forth in subsection (6) of this section, and
(ii) To waive any and all claims, known or unknown, arising out of or related to employment or cessation of employment with the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
(b) The granting of additional compensation shall be made in exchange for additional consideration given by the employee.
(c) The retirement incentive authorized by this section is a voluntary plan for conservation officers assigned to the Law Enforcement Division offering an incentive for retirement. The plan shall be available to all conservation officers assigned to the Law Enforcement Division who meet the eligibility criteria set forth in subsection (4) of this section.
(4) (a) To be eligible to participate in the program, conservation officers assigned to the Law Enforcement Division must, as of the effective date of their retirement, be eligible to retire under the laws governing the Public Employees' Retirement System by virtue of:
(i) Having twenty-five (25) years of creditable service, or
(ii) Being age sixty (60) and having at least four (4) years of creditable service.
(b) The department shall, in all cases, utilize the records of the Public Employees' Retirement System as the source for determining eligibility.
(c) The program is offered as an alternative to any other retirement incentive plan that may be offered by the state or the Public Employees' Retirement System in the future.
(5) In accordance with applicable law, the department shall provide a cash benefit to each participant in the program based upon a percentage of the participant's current salary that is subject to federal income tax, state income tax and Federal Insurance Contributions Act withholding. The participant shall be compensated for unused annual leave as otherwise provided by law. The cash benefit paid under this section shall not be subject to employer or employee contributions under the laws governing the Public Employees' Retirement System.
(6) Eligible conservation officers shall make their election to participate in the program in the manner and at the time prescribed by the commission. The date of retirement for all conservation officers participating in this program shall be June 30 of any fiscal year in which the program is offered. Conservation officers electing to participate in the program shall agree to waive any claims, known or unknown, arising out of or related to employment or cessation of employment at the department. A conservation officer may revoke the election to participate in the program within seven (7) days after the execution of the election.
(7) The additional compensation authorized under the program is made in exchange for additional consideration given by the conservation officer.
(8) The commission shall prescribe such rules and regulations as it shall consider necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.