Code of the District of Columbia

§ 5–701. Definitions.

Wherever used in this subchapter:

(1)(A) The term “member” means any officer or member of the Metropolitan Police force, of the Fire Department of the District of Columbia, of the United States Park Police force, of the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division, and any officer or member of the United States Secret Service Division to whom this subchapter shall apply, but does not include an officer or member of the United States Park Police force, of the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division, or of the United States Secret Service Division, whose service is employment for the purposes of title II of the Social Security Act and chapter 21 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and who is not excluded from coverage under chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, by operation of § 8402 of such title.

(B) Repealed.

(2) The terms “disabled” and “disability” mean disabled for useful and efficient service in the grade or class of position last occupied by the member by reason of disease or injury, not due to vicious habits or intemperance as determined by the Board of Police and Fire Surgeons, or willful misconduct on his part as determined by the Mayor.

(3) The term "widow" means:

(A) The surviving wife of a member or former member not covered under Chapter 9 of Title 1, if:

(i) She was married to such member or former member:

(I) While he was a member; or

(II) For at least one year immediately preceding his death; or

(ii) She is the mother of issue by such marriage; or

(B) The surviving wife or domestic partner of a member or former member covered under Chapter 9 of Title 1, if:

(i) She was married to or the domestic partner of such member or former member:

(I) While he or she was a member; or

(II) For at least one year immediately preceding his or her death; or

(ii) She is the mother of issue by such marriage or domestic partnership.

(4) The term "widower" means:

(A) The surviving husband of a member or former member not covered under Chapter 9 of Title 1, if:

(i) He was married to such member or former member:

(I) While she was a member; or

(II) For at least one year immediately preceding her death; or

(ii) He is the father of issue by such marriage; or

(B) The surviving husband of a member or former member covered under Chapter 9 of Title 1, if:

(i) He was married to or the domestic partner of such member or former member:

(I) While he or she was a member; or

(II) For at least one year immediately preceding his or her death; or

(ii) He is the father of issue by such marriage or domestic partnership.

(5) The term "child" means:

(A) An adopted child, stepchild, or recognized natural child of a member or former member not covered under Chapter 9 of Title 1, who:

(i) Is unmarried, lives with the member or former member in a regular parent-child relationship, and is under the age of 18 years; or

(ii) Is unmarried and incapable of self-support, regardless of age, because of physical or mental disability incurred before the age of 18; or

(B) An adopted child, stepchild, or recognized natural child of a member or former member covered under Chapter 9 of Title 1, who:

(i) Is unmarried and does not have a domestic partner, lives with the member or former member in a regular parent-child relationship, and is under the age of 18 years; or

(ii) Is unmarried and does not have a domestic partner and is incapable of self-support, regardless of age, because of physical or mental disability incurred before the age of 18.

(5A) The term "student child" means a child, as defined in paragraph (5) of this subsection, who is a student between the ages of 18 and 22 years, inclusive, and who is regularly pursuing a full-time course of study or training in residence in a high school, trade school, technical or vocational institute, junior college, college, university, or comparable recognized educational institution.

(6) The term “basic salary” means regular salary established by law or regulation, including any differential for special occupational assignment, but shall not include overtime, holiday, or military pay.

(7) The term “annuitant” means any former member who, on the basis of his service, has met all requirements of this subchapter for title to annuity and has filed claim therefor.

(8) The term “survivor” means a person who is entitled to annuity under this subchapter based on the service of a deceased member or of a deceased annuitant.

(9) The term “survivor annuitant” means a survivor who has filed claim for annuity.

(10) The term “police or fire service” means all honorable service in the Metropolitan Police Department, United States Secret Service Uniformed Division, Fire Department of the District of Columbia, the United States Park Police force, and the United States Secret Service Division coming under the provisions of this chapter.

(11) The term “military service” means honorable active service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States, but shall not include service in the National Guard except when ordered to active duty in the service of the United States.

(12) The term “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia or his designated agent or agents.

(13) The term “service” means employment which is creditable under § 5-704.

(14) The term “government” means the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the United States government, including government owned or controlled corporations and Gallaudet College, and the municipal government of the District of Columbia.

(15) The term “government service” means honorable active service in the executive, judicial, or legislative branches of the United States government, including government owned or controlled corporations, and Gallaudet College, and the municipal government of the District of Columbia, and for which retirement deductions, other than social security deductions, were made.

(16) The term “department” means any part of the executive branch of the United States government, or any part of the government of the District of Columbia whose members come under this chapter.

(17) The term “average pay” means the highest annual rate resulting from averaging the member’s rates of basic salary in effect over any 36 consecutive months of police or fire service in the case of a member who is an officer or member of the Metropolitan Police force or the Fire Department of the District of Columbia and who first becomes such a member after the end of the 90-day period beginning on November 17, 1979, or over any 12 consecutive months of police or fire service in the case of any other member, with each rate weighted by the time it was in effect, except that if the member retires under § 5-710 and if on the date of his retirement under the section he has not completed 12 consecutive months or 36 consecutive months, as the case may be, of police or fire service, such term means his basic salary at the time of his retirement.

(18) The term “adjusted average pay” means the average pay of a member who was an officer or member of the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division, the United States Secret Service Division, the Metropolitan Police force or the Fire Department of the District of Columbia increased by the per centum increase (adjusted to the nearest one tenth of 1%) in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between the month in which such member retires and the month immediately prior to the month in which such member dies; except that in the case of members hired on or after the first day of the first pay period that begins after October 29, 1996, the increase shall not exceed 3% per annum.

(19) The term “full range of duties” means the ability of a sworn member of the Metropolitan Police Department or the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department to perform all of the essential functions of police work or fire suppression as determined by the established policies and procedures of the Metropolitan Police Department or the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department and to meet the physical examination and physical agility standards established under §§ 5-107.02a and 5-451.

(20) The term “Internal Revenue Code” or “Internal Revenue Code of 1986” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved October 22, 1986 (100 Stat. 2085; 26 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.).

(21) The term "domestic partner" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3).


(Sept. 1, 1916, 39 Stat. 718, ch. 433, § 12(a); as added Aug. 21, 1957, 71 Stat. 391, Pub. L. 85-157, § 3; Oct. 26, 1970, 84 Stat. 1136, Pub. L. 91-509, §§ 1(1), (2); Dec. 7, 1970, 84 Stat. 1392, Pub. L. 91-532, § 1(a); Aug. 29, 1972, 86 Stat. 641, Pub. L. 92-410, title II, § 201(a)(1); Sept. 3, 1974, 88 Stat. 1040, Pub. L. 93-407, title I, § 121(a), (d)(1); Oct. 1, 1976, D.C. Law 1-87, § 8(a), 23 DCR 2544; Nov. 15, 1977, 91 Stat. 1371, Pub. L. 96-179; Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, §§ 201, 206(a)(2); Jan. 8, 1988, 101 Stat. 1745, Pub. L. 100-238, § 103(d); Feb. 5, 1994, D.C. Law 10-68, § 13, 40 DCR 6311; Nov. 19, 1995, 109 Stat. 504, Pub. L. 104-52, § 630(a); Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-218, § 2(a), 43 DCR 6172; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-194, § 602(a), 51 DCR 9406; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 26, 53 DCR 6794; Mar. 31, 2009, D.C. Law 17-356, § 3(a), 56 DCR 1614; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-314, § 2(a), 60 DCR 3466; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 7046, 64 DCR 7652; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-215, § 2(a), 65 DCR 12958.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 4-607.

1973 Ed., § 4-521.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-632.03, § 1-702, § 1-712, § 1-732, § 1-901.02, § 5-631, § 5-702, § 5-704, § 7-2203, § 10-505.03, and § 10-505.04.

Effect of Amendments

Section 7046 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed Law 17-356.

D.C. Law 15-194 added par. (19).

D.C. Law 16-191, in par. (19), validated a previously made technical correction.

D.C. Law 17-356, in par. (1), designated subpar. (A) and added subpar. (B).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-314 added (20).

Cross References

District of Columbia employees retirement program management, “participant” defined, see § 1-702.

District of Columbia employees retirement program management, “retirement program” defined, see § 1-702.

District of Columbia police officers and firefighters retirement fund, see § 1-712.

Employee retirement program management, annual report, see § 1-732.

Merit system, “annuitant” defined, see § 1-621.03.

Merit system, “annuitant defined”, see § 1-622.04.

Merit system, “employee” defined, see § 1-623.01.

Office of emergency preparedness, appointment of police or fire department members, see § 7-2203.

Police, fire fighters, and teachers retirement benefit placement plan, “Police and Firemen’s Retirement Act” defined, see §

Police, transfer from Metropolitan to Capitol Police, creditable service as Congressional employee, annuity rights, forfeiture, see § 10-505.03.

Police, transfer from Metropolitan to Capitol police, payments into Retirement and Disability Fund, see § 10-505.04.

“Retirement program” defined, see § 1-702.

Spouse equity, application of law, see § 1-529.01.

Spouse equity, “employee” defined, see § 1-529.02.

Unemployment compensation, see § 51-101 et seq.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7046 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7046 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the New Hires Police Officers, Fire Fighters, and Teachers Pension Modification Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-428, October 29, 1996, 43 DCR 6147), and § 2(a) of the New Hires Police Officers, Fire Fighters, and Teachers Pension Modification Congressional Adjournment Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-10, March 3, 1997, 44 DCR 1633).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Police and Firefighter’s Retirement and Disability Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-33, March 19, 2013, 60 DCR 4630, 20 DCSTAT 493).

References in Text

Title II of the Social Security Act, referred to in subdivision (1) of this section, is codified as 42 U.S.C. §§ 401 to 433.

Chapter 21 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subdivision (1) of this section, is codified as 26 U.S.C. § 3101 et seq.

“Chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code,” referred to in subdivision (1) of this section, is codified as 5 U.S.C. § 8401 et seq.

“This act,” referred to at the end of paragraph (10) of this section, means the Act of September 1, 1916, ch. 433.

Editor's Notes

Policemen and Firemen’s Retirement and Disability Act: Section 3(r) of Pub. L. 85-157 provided that this section may be cited as part of the Policemen and Firemen’s Retirement and Disability Act.

Coverage Under Federal Employees’ Retirement Act: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 5-742.

Application of Titles I and VI of D.C. Law 15-194: Section 1301 of D.C. Law 15-194 provided: “Titles I and VI of this act shall apply to pre-1980 employees of the Metropolitan Police Department and the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department upon their enactment by Congress.”

Section 4 of D.C. Law 17-356 provided that this act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.

The Budget Director of the Council of the District of Columbia has determined, as of February 15, 2012, that the fiscal effect of Law 17-356 has not been included in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore, the provisions of this section, enacted by Law 17-356, are not in effect.

Law 17-358 amended this section subject to congressional enactment.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.