§29. Retirement and Survivor's Benefits
Section 29.(A) Public School Employees. The legislature shall provide for retirement of teachers and other employees of the public educational system through establishment of one or more retirement systems. Membership in such a retirement system shall be a contractual relationship between employee and employer, and the state shall guarantee benefits payable to a member or retiree or to his lawful beneficiary upon his death.
(B) Other Officials and Employees. The legislature shall enact laws providing for retirement of officials and employees of the state, its agencies, and its political subdivisions, including persons employed jointly by state and federal agencies other than those in military service, through the establishment of one or more retirement systems. Membership in any retirement system of the state or of a political subdivision thereof shall be a contractual relationship between employee and employer, and the state shall guarantee benefits payable to a member of a state retirement system or retiree or to his lawful beneficiary upon his death.
(C) Retirement Systems; Change; Notice. No proposal to effect any change in existing laws or constitutional provisions relating to any retirement system for public employees shall be introduced in the legislature unless notice of intention to introduce the proposal has been published, without cost to the state, in the official state journal on two separate days. The last day of publication shall be at least sixty days before introduction of the bill. The notice shall state the substance of the contemplated law or proposal, and the bill shall contain a recital that the notice has been given.
(D) Compensation for Survivors of Law Enforcement Officers and Firemen. The legislature shall establish a system, including the expenditure of public funds, for compensating the surviving spouses and dependent children of law enforcement officers, firemen, and personnel, as defined by law, who die, or who died after June 30, 1972, as a result of injury sustained in the performance of official duties or in the protection of life or property while on or off duty.
(E) Actuarial Soundness. (1) The actuarial soundness of state and statewide retirement systems shall be attained and maintained and the legislature shall establish, by law, for each state or statewide retirement system, the particular method of actuarial valuation to be employed for purposes of this Section.
(2) For public retirement systems whose benefits are guaranteed by this constitution as is specified in Paragraphs (A) and (B) of this Section:
(a) The legislature shall, by law, determine and set all required contributions to be made by members. However, until the unfunded accrued liability referenced in (c) below is eliminated, this determination and setting shall not cause the ratio of employee contributions to total contributions, on the basis of each particular plan or classification within each particular retirement system, to exceed such ratio as it existed on January 1, 1987. Upon elimination of the unfunded accrued liability referenced in (c) below, this determination and setting shall not cause a member's contribution to exceed an amount contributed on his behalf as an employer contribution.
(b) The legislature shall, in each fiscal year, by law, provide an amount necessary to fund the employer portion of the normal cost, which shall be determined in accordance with the method of valuation established under (1) above.
(c) The legislature shall, in each fiscal year, by law, provide for the amortization of the unfunded accrued liability existing as of June 30, 1988, which shall be determined in accordance with the method of valuation selected in (1) above, by the year 2029, commencing with Fiscal Year 1989-1990.
(d) Amounts provided for under (b) and (c) above are hereby guaranteed payable, each fiscal year, to each retirement system covered herein. If, for any fiscal year, the legislature fails to provide these guaranteed payments, upon warrant of the governing authority of the retirement system, following the close of said fiscal year, the state treasurer shall pay the amount guaranteed directly from the state general fund.
(3) For statewide public retirement systems not covered by Paragraphs (A) and (B) of this Section, the legislature shall determine all required contributions to be made by members, contributions to be made by employers, and dedicated taxes required for the sound actuarial maintenance of the systems, including the elimination of the unfunded accrued liability as of the end of the 1988-1989 Fiscal Year, under the method of valuation selected under (1) above, by the year 2029, commencing with Fiscal Year 1989-1990.
(4) For all state and statewide public retirement systems, neither the state nor the governing authority of such system shall take any action that shall cause the actuarial present value of expected future expenditures of the retirement system to exceed or further exceed the sum of the current actuarial value of assets and the actuarial present value of expected future receipts of the retirement system, except with respect to the following:
(a) Normal business operating expenses of the retirement system.
(b) Capital outlay expenditures of the retirement system.
(c) Management of investments of the retirement system.
(d) Cost-of-living increases to retirees, as provided by law, provided the retirement system is approaching actuarial soundness as provided by law, and the granting of such increase does not cause an increase in the actuarially required contribution rate.
(5) All assets, proceeds, or income of the state and statewide public retirement systems, and all contributions and payments made to the system to provide for retirement and related benefits shall be held, invested as authorized by law, or disbursed as in trust for the exclusive purpose of providing such benefits, refunds, and administrative expenses under the management of the boards of trustees and shall not be encumbered for or diverted to any other purpose. The accrued benefits of members of any state or statewide public retirement system shall not be diminished or impaired.
(F) Benefit Provisions; Legislative Enactment. Benefit provisions for members of any public retirement system, plan, or fund that is subject to legislative authority shall be altered only by legislative enactment. No such benefit provisions having an actuarial cost shall be enacted unless approved by two-thirds of the elected members of each house of the legislature. Furthermore, no such benefit provision for any member of a state retirement system having an actuarial cost shall be approved by the legislature unless a funding source providing new or additional funds sufficient to pay all such actuarial cost within ten years of the effective date of the benefit provision is identified in such enactment. This Paragraph shall be implemented as provided by law.
(G) Forfeiture of Retirement Benefits; Felony Convictions. The receipt of a public retirement benefit shall be expressly conditioned upon the rendition of honorable service by the public official or employee. Notwithstanding any provision of this constitution or of any home rule charter to the contrary, the legislature may provide for the forfeiture of all or part of the benefits from a public retirement system, plan, or fund in this state by any person who holds or held any public office or employment and who is convicted of a felony associated with and committed during his service in such public office or employment. The legislature may provide for the application of all or part of any forfeited benefits to the unfunded accrued liability of the system, plan, or fund. The provisions of this Paragraph shall be applied only to persons employed, re-employed, or elected on or after January 1, 2013. The provisions of this Paragraph shall be applied only to benefits earned on or after January 1, 2013.
Amended by Acts 1987, No. 947, §1, approved Nov. 21, 1987, eff. Dec. 24, 1987; Acts 2007, No. 484, §1, approved Oct. 20, 2007, eff. Nov. 19, 2007; Acts 2010, No. 1048, §1, approved Nov. 2, 2010, eff. Dec. 1, 2010; Acts 2012, No. 868, §1, approved Nov. 6, 2012, eff. Dec. 9, 2012; Acts 2012, No. 872, §2, approved Nov. 6, 2012, eff. Dec. 10, 2012.