Code of the District of Columbia

Part A. General.


§ 38–2021.01. Salary deductions; deposit.

(a) Beginning on the first day of the first pay period which begins after December 31, 1969, there shall be deducted and withheld from the annual salary of each teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia an amount equal to 7% of the teacher’s annual salary; except that in the case of teachers hired on or after the first day of the first pay period that begins after October 29, 1996, there shall be deducted and withheld from the annual salary of each teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia an amount equal to 8% of the teacher’s annual salary. The amounts deducted and withheld from the annual salary of each teacher, including amounts so deducted and withheld prior to July 1, 1946, under subchapter I of this chapter, shall be credited to an individual account of the teacher from whose salary the deduction is made, together with interest at 4% per annum, compounded annually up to July 1, 1946, and thereafter at 3% per annum, compounded annually from December 31st of the year in which the deductions are made; provided, that such interest shall not be credited after December 31, 1956, except that in the case of a teacher separated before he has completed 5 years of eligible service interest shall be credited to the date of separation or the end of the 90-day period beginning on November 17, 1979, whichever is earlier. These individual interest-bearing accounts shall be kept by the Custodian of Retirement Funds. After the end of the 90-day period beginning on November 17, 1979, any amounts deducted and withheld pursuant to this subsection shall be paid to the Custodian of Retirement Funds (as defined in § 1-702(6)) for deposit in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund established by § 1-713(a).

(b) Repealed.

(c) Amounts deducted and withheld from the annual salary of each teacher shall be:

(1) Picked up by the public schools of the District of Columbia, as described in section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code;

(2) Deducted and withheld from the annual salary of the teachers as salary reduction contributions;

(3) Paid by the public schools of the District of Columbia to the Custodian of Retirement Funds, as defined in § 1-702(6); and

(4) Made a part of the teacher’s annuity benefit.

(d) Notwithstanding any provisions of this part to the contrary, the amounts contributed under this section shall be fully (100%) vested.

(e) Notwithstanding any provisions of this part to the contrary, upon the employer’s request, a contribution that was made by a mistake of fact shall be returned to the employer by the trustee within one year after the payment of the contribution. A portion of a contribution returned pursuant to this section shall be adjusted to reflect earnings or gains. Notwithstanding any provisions of this part to the contrary, the right or claim of a participant or beneficiary to an asset of the trust or a benefit under this part shall be subject to and limited by the provisions of this subsection.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 875, ch. 779, § 1; Mar. 6, 1952, 66 Stat. 17, ch. 95,§ 1; Aug. 5, 1955, 69 Stat. 530, ch. 569, title V, § 21; June 4, 1957, 71 Stat. 46, Pub. L. 85-46, § 1; Dec. 29, 1967, 81 Stat. 747, Pub. L. 90-231, § 1(1); May 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 257, Pub. L. 91-263, § 1(d)(1); Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, §§ 123(b)(1)(A), 253(a)(1); Mar. 24, 1990, D.C. Law 8-97, § 4, 37 DCR 1046; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-218, § 4(a), 43 DCR 6172; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 55(a), 52 DCR 2638; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 60, 53 DCR 6794; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(a), 60 DCR 3434.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1221.

1973 Ed., § 31-721.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-713, § 38-2021.04, § 38-2021.08, § 38-2023.14, and § 38-2041.01.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-354, in subsec. (b), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Council of the District of Columbia” and substituted “prescribed by the District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “prescribed by the Council, in”.

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

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 deleted “purchase of annuity” from the section heading; repealed (b), relating to the purchase of annuities; and added (c), (d), and (e).

Cross References

District of Columbia teachers retirement fund, see § 1-713.

Election of educational employees of the Teachers College to remain subject to provisions of subchapter, see § 38-1103.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2 of the Board of Education Early-Out Retirement for “ET” Employees Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-262, April 18, 1996, 43 DCR 2177).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4(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 4(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,

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(a) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

Section 2(a)(1) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended the heading by striking the phrase “; purchase of annuity”. Section 2(a)(2) of D.C. Law 19-313 repealed subsection (b).

Section 2(a)(3) of D.C. Law 19-313 added new subsections (c), (d), and (e) to read as follows:

“(c) Amounts deducted and withheld from the annual salary of each teacher shall be:

“(1) Picked up by the public schools of the District of Columbia, as described in section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code;

“(2) Deducted and withheld from the annual salary of the teachers as salary reduction contributions;

“(3) Paid by the public schools of the District of Columbia to the Custodian of Retirement Funds, as defined in section 102(6) of the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act, approved November 17, 1979 (93 Stat. 866; D. C. Official Code § 1-702(6)); and

“(4) Made a part of the teacher’s annuity benefit.

“(d) Notwithstanding any provisions of this act to the contrary, the amounts contributed under this section shall be fully (100%) vested.

“(e) Notwithstanding any provisions of this act to the contrary, upon the employer’s request, a contribution that was made by a mistake of fact shall be returned to the employer by the trustee within one year after the payment of the contribution. A portion of a contribution returned pursuant to this section shall be adjusted to reflect earnings or gains. Notwithstanding any provisions of this act to the contrary, the right or claim of a participant or beneficiary to an asset of the trust or a benefit under this act shall be subject to and limited by the provisions of this subsection.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Editor's Notes

Full Funding of Pension Liability Retirement Reform Amendment Act of 1994: Section 311 of D.C. Law 10-135 amended (a) by inserting “(or, with respect to each pay period which begins on or after October 1, 1995, 8 per centum)” following “7 %” in the first sentence.

Section 401 of D.C. Law 10-135 provided that notwithstanding any other law, title I, §§ 101(b)(1) and (2), and titles II and III shall apply to any action or transaction taken or undertaken with respect to the Police Officers and Fire Fighters’ Retirement Fund, the Teachers’ Retirement Fund and the Judges’ Retirement Fund on and after October 1, 1995.

Section 501 of D.C. Law 10-135 provided that the act shall take effect on the later of: (1) completion of a 30-day period of Congressional review following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council of the District of Columbia to override the veto) as provided in § 1-2-33(c)(1), and publication in either the District of Columbia Register, the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large, or the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations; or (2) enactment by Congress of titles II and III of this act and of an amendment to D.C. Code § 11-1563 which amends the first sentence in subsection (a) by inserting after “per centum” the following: “(or, with respect to each pay period which begins on or after October 1, 1995, 4 1/2 per centum)” and an amendment to D.C. Code § 11-1564(d)(1) which inserts after “United States Code,” the following: “with respect to services performed before October 1, 1995, and equal to 4 1/2 per centum of such salary, pay, or compensation with respect to services performed on or after October 1, 1995,”.

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 402(239) 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 the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. 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.


§ 38–2021.01a. Retirement credit for leave without pay.

(a) Any teacher who enters on approved leave without pay to serve as a full-time officer or employee of an organization composed primarily of teachers, for the purpose of bargaining with the District of Columbia concerning grievances, disputes, hours of employment, or conditions of work, may, within 60 days after entering on such leave without pay, file with the Board of Education of the District of Columbia an election to receive full retirement credit for his periods of that leave without pay and arrange to pay currently into the teachers’ retirement fund established pursuant to this part, through the Board of Education, amounts equal to the retirement deductions plus additional amounts equivalent to such amounts, in lieu of District of Columbia contributions which would be applicable if he were in pay status. A teacher who is on approved leave without pay and serving as a full-time officer or employee of such an organization on May 22, 1970, may similarly make such election within 60 days after such date. If the election and all payments herein provided are not made, the teacher shall receive no credit for such periods of leave without pay occurring on or after May 22, 1970.

(b) A teacher may deposit, with interest computed in accordance with § 38-2023.14(b), an amount equal to retirement deductions representing any period or periods of approved leave without pay while serving, prior to May 22, 1970, as a full-time officer or employee of an organization composed primarily of teachers, and may receive full retirement credit for such period or periods of leave without pay. In the event of the death of such teacher, any individual entitled to annuity under this part may make such deposit.


(Aug. 7, 1946, ch. 779, § 1A; May 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 259; Pub. L. 91-263,§ 3; Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, § 253(a)(2).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1222.

1973 Ed., § 31-721a.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2023.14.


§ 38–2021.02. Retirement and Annuity Fund; income from investments; separate accounts.

Until the end of the 90-day period beginning on November 17, 1979, the amounts so deducted and withheld from the annual salary of every teacher, and the amounts of additional voluntary deposits, shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the Teachers’ Retirement and Annuity Fund. As of July 1, 1946, there shall be transferred and credited to such fund the balances of funds held for the retirement of teachers under the provisions of §§ 38-2001.02 and 38-2001.07. The fund thus created shall be held and invested by the Secretary of the Treasury until paid out as hereinafter provided, and the income derived from such investment shall constitute a part of said fund for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this part, and for payment of administrative expenses incurred by the Mayor of the District of Columbia in placing in effect each annuity adjustment granted under § 38-2023.14. Separate accounts shall be maintained by the Treasury with respect to:

(1) The regular operations of the retirement system, exclusive of those incident to the voluntary deposits; and

(2) The voluntary deposits and the supplementary annuities and refunds resulting from such deposits.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 876, ch. 779, § 2; July 5, 1966, 80 Stat. 267, Pub. L. 89-494, § 2; Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, § 123(b)(1)(B).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1223.

1973 Ed., § 31-722.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-713 and § 38-2023.13.

Cross References

District of Columbia teachers retirement fund, see § 1-713.

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.


§ 38–2021.03. Voluntary and involuntary retirement.

(a) Any teacher who completes 5 years of eligible service and who is separated from the service: (1) after becoming 55 years of age and completing 30 years of service; (2) after becoming 60 years of age and completing 20 years of service; (3) after becoming 62 years of age; or (4) in the case of any teacher hired on or after the first day of the first pay period which begins after October 29, 1996, after completing 30 years of service; is entitled to an annuity.

(b)(1) Any teacher who completes 5 years of eligible service and who is involuntarily separated from the service, except by removal for cause on charges of misconduct or delinquency, after: (1) completing 25 years of service; or (2) becoming 50 years of age and completing 20 years of service; is entitled to an annuity reduced by one sixth of 1% for each full month such teacher is under the age of 55 years at the date of his separation from the service.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term:

(A) “Excessing” means the elimination of a teacher’s position at a particular school, when such an elimination is not a reduction in force or abolishment, due to a:

(i) Decline in student enrollment;

(ii) Reduction in the local school budget;

(iii) Closing or consolidation;

(iv) Restructuring; or

(v) Change in the local school program.

(B) “Involuntarily separated” includes the excessing of a permanent status teacher, without regard to whether the teacher chose to reject options available to him or her, such as finding a placement elsewhere in the public schools of the District of Columbia.

(c) Repealed.

(c-1) A teacher who completes 5 years of eligible service shall be 100% vested.

(d)(1) The length of a teacher’s service shall be computed in accordance with § 38-2021.08.

(2) The amount of an annuity authorized by this section shall be computed in accordance with § 38-2021.05.

(3) Each annuity authorized by this section shall commence on the day after the teacher is separated from the service and shall terminate on the date the teacher dies.

(e) Any teacher who completes 5 years of vested service may voluntarily retire from the service on or before December 31, 1980, after completing 20 years of service and shall be entitled to an annuity computed in accordance with subsection (b) of this section; provided, that the amortization payment to the District of Columbia Retirement Board for the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund shall be made from appropriations of the Board of Education; except that any teacher hired on or after the first day of the first pay period which begins after October 29, 1996, who completes 30 years of service shall be entitled to an annuity computed in accordance with § 38-2021.05.

(f)(1) In the event of a major reorganization, a major reduction in force, or a major transfer of functions in which a significant percentage of Board of Education employees will be separated or subject to an immediate reduction in the rate of basic pay or a furlough, the Board of Education is authorized to offer voluntary retirement to the following eligible teachers:

(A) Teachers who have completed 25 years of service; and

(B) Teachers who have reached 50 years of age and completed 20 years of service.

(2) Teachers who accept voluntary retirement under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall:

(A) Receive an annuity reduced by 1/6 of 1% for each full month such teacher is under the age of 55 years at the date of his or her separation from the service; and

(B) Be eligible for the early out retirement incentive program established by § 38-2021.03.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 876, ch. 779, § 3; Mar. 6, 1952, 66 Stat. 17, ch. 95,§ 2; June 4, 1957, 71 Stat. 46, Pub. L. 85-46, § 1; Dec. 29, 1967, 81 Stat. 747, Pub. L. 90-231, § 1(2); Mar. 4, 1981, D.C. Law 3-128, § 9, 28 DCR 246; Mar. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 3-133, § 5, 27 DCR 4417; May 21, 1988, D.C. Law 7-111, § 2, 35 DCR 2674; Sept. 26, 1995, D.C. Law 11-52, § 902, 42 DCR 3684; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-218, § 4(b), 43 DCR 6172; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(b), 60 DCR 3434; Sept. 19, 2013, D.C. Law 20-16, § 2, 60 DCR 9837.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1224.

1973 Ed., § 31-723.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.04, § 38-2021.05, and § 38-2021.09.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 added (c-1).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-16 added the (1) designation to the existing text of (b); and added (b)(2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4(b) 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 4(b) 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 addition of (c), see § 2(b) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Teachers’ Retirement Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-72, May 16, 2013, 60 DCR 7243, 20 DCSTAT 1421).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of the Teachers’ Retirement Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-146, July 31, 2013, 60 DCR 11807, 20 DCSTAT 1998).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 added a new subsection (c-1) to read as follows:

“(c-1) A teacher who completes 5 years of eligible service shall be 100% vested.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 38–2021.04. Disability retirement.

(a) Any teacher who completes 5 years of eligible service, and who, before becoming eligible for retirement under the conditions defined in §§ 38-2021.01 to 38-2021.03, acquires a physical or mental disability and is incapable of satisfactorily performing the duties of his position by reason of disease or injury not due to vicious habits, intemperance, or willful misconduct on the part of the teacher, shall upon his own application or upon order of the Board of Education as provided later in this section be retired on an annuity computed in accordance with the provisions of §§ 38-2021.05 and 38-2021.06 and beginning on the day after his pay ceases and he meets the service and disability requirements for title to annuity. Proof of freedom from vicious habits, intemperance, or willful misconduct for a period of more than 5 years next prior to having a disability for useful and efficient service shall not be required in any case. No claim shall be allowed under the provisions of this section unless the application for retirement shall have been executed prior to the applicant’s separation from the service or within 6 months thereafter. No teacher shall be retired under the provisions of this section unless examined under the direction of the Director of the Department of Human Services of the District of Columbia, and as a result of said examination, in his judgment, or in the judgment of the Superintendent of Schools concurred in by two thirds of the members of the Board of Education, shall have been found to be physically or mentally incapacitated for efficient service.

(b) Every annuitant retired under the provisions of this section, unless the disability for which retired be permanent in character, shall at the expiration of one year from the date of such retirement and annually thereafter, until reaching retirement age as defined in § 38-2021.03, be examined under the direction of the Director of the Department of Human Services of the District of Columbia in order to ascertain the nature and degree of the annuitant’s disability, if any. If an annuitant shall recover before reaching retirement age he shall be reappointed by the Board of Education in accordance with such rules and regulations as the said Board may prescribe to the first position, equal or similar to any position in the public schools occupied by the annuitant before retirement, which becomes vacant after the date the Board of Education receives written notification from the Director of the Department of Human Services of the District of Columbia that the annuitant has recovered and is able to discharge his duties as a teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia. Payment of the annuity shall be continued until the date of reappointment by the Board of Education. In the event that the annuitant refuses to accept the employment prescribed in this section no annuity shall be paid after the date of such refusal. Should the annuitant fail to appear for examination as required under this section, payment of the annuity shall be suspended until continuance of the disability shall have been satisfactorily established. Upon written recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, the Board of Education may order or direct at any time such medical or other examination as it shall deem necessary to determine the facts relative to the nature and degree of disability of any teacher retired on an annuity under this section.

(b-1) Any initiation, termination, or change of annuity payments made under subsection (b) of this section shall be subject to review and final determination by the District of Columbia Retirement Board.

(c) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, if during any calendar year an annuitant who is receiving a disability annuity under this section and who has not reached retirement age (as defined in § 38-2021.03) receives income from wages or self-employment, or both, in an amount not less then 80% of the current rate of pay of the position occupied by the annuitant before retirement, the annuity of such annuitant shall be terminated by the District of Columbia Retirement Board effective January 1st of the first calendar year after such calendar year, except that this sentence shall not apply with respect to income received during the year in which the annuitant retired. The annuity of any annuitant whose annuity is terminated under the preceding sentence shall be restored, at the rate which would have been in effect but for such termination, effective January 1st of any year following a year during which the amount of such annuitant’s income from wages and self-employment is less than 80% of the current rate of pay of the position occupied by the annuitant before retirement, or effective immediately if the District of Columbia Retirement Board determines that, outside of normal fluctuations in such annuitant’s income, such annuitant’s income is reduced to a level which on an annual basis is less than 80% of such current rate of pay.

(d) In cases where the annuity is discontinued under the provisions of this section, as much of the annuity payments as would have been provided by an annuity whose actuarial value at the time of retirement was equal to the contributions accumulated with interest shall be charged against the teacher’s individual account and, unless the teacher shall become reemployed in a position covered under the Teachers’ Retirement Program established pursuant to the Chapter 9 of Title 1 [§ 1-901.01 et seq.], the teacher shall be considered as having been separated from the service for other than retirement purposes and entitled to the benefits set forth in § 38-2021.09.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 877, ch. 779, § 4; Aug. 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 393, ch. 513, § 1; Mar. 6, 1952, 66 Stat. 17, ch. 95, § 3; June 4, 1957, 71 Stat. 46, Pub. L. 85-46, § 1; Dec. 29, 1967, 81 Stat. 747, Pub. L. 90-231, § 1(3); Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, § 256; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 55(b), 52 DCR 2638; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-305, § 56, 53 DCR 6198; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(c), 60 DCR 3434.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1225.

1973 Ed., § 31-724.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.05, § 38-2021.06, § 38-2021.09, § 38-2021.27, and § 38-2023.11.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-354 added subsec. (b-1); and, in subsec. (c), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Board of Education”.

D.C. Law 16-305, in subsec. (a), substituted “acquires a physical or mental disability and is” for “becomes physically or mentally disabled and” and “having a disability” for “becoming so disabled”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 rewrote (d).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of (d), see § 2(c) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(c) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended (d) to read as follows:

“(d) In cases where the annuity is discontinued under the provisions of this section, as much of the annuity payments as would have been provided by an annuity whose actuarial value at the time of retirement was equal to the contributions accumulated with interest shall be charged against the teacher’s individual account and, unless the teacher shall become reemployed in a position covered under the Teachers’ Retirement Program established pursuant to the Police Officers, Fire Fighters, and Teachers Retirement Benefit Replacement Plan Act of 1998, effective September 18, 1998 (D.C. Law 12-152; D.C. Official Code § 1-901.01 et seq.), the teacher shall be considered as having been separated from the service for other than retirement purposes and entitled to the benefits set forth in section 9.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Office of Director of Public Health abolished: Section 1 of the Act of August 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 393, ch. 513, provided that the Health Officer of the District of Columbia would be known as the Director of Public Health. The Health Department of the District of Columbia, including the office of the head thereof, was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. Reorganization Order No. 57 of the Board of Commissioners, dated June 30, 1953, and Reorganization Order No. 52, dated June 30, 1953, combined and redesignated Organization Order No. 141, dated February 11, 1964, established, under the direction and control of a Commissioner, a Department of Public Health headed by a Director, for the purpose of planning, implementing, and directing public health and hospital care programs, and for performing certain other allied medical and paramedical functions. The Anatomical Board was established under the direction and control of the Director of Public Health consisting of members as prescribed in the D.C. Code. The Order prior to redesignation abolished the previously existing Health Department, Gallinger Hospital, Glenn Dale Sanatorium, and the Anatomical Board and transferred their functions and positions to the new Department. The organization of the new Department was set out in the Order. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Functions stated in Organization Order No. 141 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Human Resources by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969, as amended by Commissioner’s Order No. 70-83, dated March 6, 1970. The Department of Human Resources was replaced by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1979, dated February 21, 1980, which Plan established the Department of Human Services.


§ 38–2021.05. Computation of annuity; options.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this part, every teacher who shall be retired under the provisions of § 38-2021.03 or § 38-2021.04 shall receive an annuity composed of: (1) the larger of: (A) one and one-half per centum of the average salary as defined in § 38-2021.13, multiplied by so much of the total service as does not exceed 5 years; or (B) one per centum of the average salary, plus $25, multiplied by so much of the total service as does not exceed 5 years; plus (2) the larger of: (A) one and three-quarters per centum of the average salary multiplied by so much of the total service as exceeds 5 years but does not exceed 10 years; or (B) one per centum of the average salary, plus $25, multiplied by so much of the total service as exceeds 5 years but does not exceed 10 years; plus (3) the larger of: (A) two per centum of the average salary multiplied by so much of the total service as exceeds 10 years; or (B) one per centum of the average salary, plus $25, multiplied by so much of the total service as exceeds 10 years. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, every teacher retired under the provisions of § 38-2021.03 or § 38-2021.05 who is hired on or after the first day of the first pay period that begins after October 29, 1996 shall receive an annuity equal to 2% of the average salary as defined in § 38-2021.13 multiplied by the number of years of the teacher’s creditable service. Each annuity is stated as an annual amount, one twelfth of which, fixed at the nearest dollar, constitutes the monthly rate payable on the first business day of the month after the month or other period for which it has accrued. Annuities payable to any retired teacher who has become eligible for retirement because of age as defined in § 38-2021.03 shall be payable during the lifetime of the annuitant. Annuities payable to any teacher retired on account of disability shall be subject to the conditions set forth under § 38-2021.04.

(b) Any teacher retiring under the provisions of § 38-2021.03 or § 38-2021.04 may, at the time of retirement, elect to receive in lieu of the life annuity described herein 1 of the following:

(1) A reduced annuity and an annuity after death payable to the surviving spouse or domestic partner of such teacher. The life annuity of a teacher making such election, or any portion of such annuity designated by the teacher in writing for such purposes at the time of retirement, shall be reduced by 2 1/2% of so much thereof as does not exceed $3,600 and by 10% of so much thereof as exceeds $3,600. The spouse or domestic partner of a teacher making such election shall be entitled to an annuity equal to 55% of such life annuity, or designated portion thereof, except that if a retired teacher who has elected a reduced annuity as provided in this paragraph or in subsection (d) of this section dies and is survived by a spouse or domestic partner whom he or she married or entered into a domestic partnership with after retirement, such spouse or domestic partner is entitled to an annuity in an amount which would have been paid had the teacher been married to, or in a domestic partnership with, the spouse or domestic partner at the time of retirement, but only if: (A) such spouse or domestic partner was married to, or in a domestic partnership with, such individual for at least 2 years immediately preceding the teacher’s death, or is the mother or father of issue of such marriage or domestic partnership; and (B) such spouse or domestic partner elects this annuity instead of any other survivor benefit to which he or she may be entitled under this part or another retirement system for employees of the federal or District government. The annuity of a spouse or domestic partner entitled to an annuity under this paragraph shall begin on the day after the retiree dies. Such annuity and any right thereto shall terminate on the last day of the month before: (A) the spouse or domestic partner dies; or (B) the spouse or domestic partner remarries or enters into a domestic partnership before becoming 55 years of age. In the case of a surviving spouse or domestic partner whose annuity under this paragraph is terminated because of remarriage or entry into a domestic partnership before becoming 55 years of age, annuity at the same rate shall be restored commencing on the day the remarriage is dissolved by death, annulment, or divorce, or the day the domestic partnership is terminated in accordance with § 32-702(d), or § 16-904(e), if:

(i) The surviving spouse or domestic partner elects to receive the annuity which was terminated instead of a survivor benefit to which the surviving spouse or domestic partner may be entitled, under this part or another retirement system for employees of the federal or District government, by reason of the remarriage or entry into a domestic partnership; and

(ii) Any lump sum paid on termination of the annuity is repaid to the Custodian of Retirement Funds (as defined in § 1-702(6) for deposit in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund established by § 1-713(a).

(2) If unmarried, not in a domestic partnership, and in good health, a reduced annuity payable to him during his life, and an annuity after his death payable to a survivor annuitant having an insurable interest in such teacher, duly designated in writing and filed with the District of Columbia Retirement Board at the time of retirement, during the life of such survivor annuitant equal to 55% of such reduced annuity. The annuity of the survivor annuitant shall commence on the day after the retired teacher dies, and such annuity and any right thereto shall terminate on the last day of the month before the death of the survivor annuitant. The annuity hereunder payable to the teacher shall be 90% of the life annuity otherwise payable if the survivor annuitant is the same age or older than the annuitant, or is less than 5 years younger than the annuitant; 85% if the survivor annuitant is 5 but less than 10 years younger; 80% if the survivor annuitant is 10 but less than 15 years younger; 75% if the survivor annuitant is 15 but less than 20 years younger; 70% if the survivor annuitant is 20 but less than 25 years younger; and 60% if the survivor annuitant is 25 or more years younger. No such election shall be valid until the retiring teacher shall have satisfactorily passed a physical examination under the direction of the Director of the Department of Human Services of the District of Columbia, as prescribed by the Board of Education. No person shall be eligible to receive an annuity under subsection (b) of § 38-2021.09 based upon the service of the same teacher covering the same period of time.

(3) A reduced annuity of equivalent value providing for a life-insurance benefit payable in a lump sum at the time of the annuitant’s death. The face amount of such life insurance may be in any amount which the retiring teacher shall designate at the time of retirement but shall not exceed his contributions accumulated with interest to the date of retirement. Payment of such insurance shall be made in accordance with the provisions of § 38-2021.10. Any annuitant who elects to receive the reduced annuity with fixed life-insurance benefits may reconvert the value of the life insurance to an additional annuity of equivalent value on any anniversary of the retirement date of said annuitant prior to reaching age 70.

(4) In the event an individual designated as a surviving spouse or domestic partner or as a survivor annuitant under this subsection predeceases the teacher designating such individual, the annuity of such teacher shall, effective the day after the death of such individual, be the amount it would have been if no such beneficiary had been named.

(c)(1)(A) The annuity of any person who now or hereafter is receiving or entitled to receive an annuity from the Teachers’ Retirement and Annuity Fund shall be increased, effective on October 1, 1955, or on the commencing date of the annuity, whichever is later, in accordance with the following schedule:

If annuity commences between Annuity not in excess of $1,500 shall be increased by Annuity in excess of $1,500 shall be increased by
August 20, 1920, and June 30, 1955 12 per centum 8 per centum
July 1, 1955, and December 31, 1955 10 per centum 7 per centum
January 1, 1956, and June 30, 1956 8 per centum 6 per centum
July 1, 1956, and December 31, 1956 6 per centum 4 per centum
January 1, 1957, and June 30, 1957 4 per centum 2 per centum
July 1, 1957, and December 31, 1957 2 per centum 1 per centum

(B) Such increase in annuity shall not exceed the sum necessary to increase such annuity, exclusive of annuity purchased by voluntary contributions under this section, to $4,104. The monthly installment of each annuity so increased shall be fixed at the nearest dollar.

(2) The increases provided by this subsection, when added to the annuities of retired employees, shall not operate to increase the annuities of their survivors, except that the annuity of any such survivor who becomes entitled to annuity shall be increased by the per centum provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection appropriate to the commencing date of such survivors annuity.

(d) A teacher who is unmarried and not in a domestic partnership at the time of retiring under a provision of law which permits election of a reduced annuity with a survivor annuity payable to his spouse or domestic partner and who later marries or enters into a domestic partnership may irrevocably elect, in a signed writing filed with the District of Columbia Retirement Board within one year after he or she marries or enters into a domestic partnership, a reduction in his or her current annuity and an annuity after death payable to his or her surviving spouse or domestic partner as provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this section. The reduced annuity is effective the first day of the month after such election is received by the District of Columbia Retirement Board. The election voids prospectively any election previously made under paragraph (2) or paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of this section.

(e)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, other than this subsection, the monthly rate of annuity payable under this section shall not be less than the smallest primary insurance amount, including any cost-of-living increase added to that amount, authorized to be paid from time to time under title II of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq.].

(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this part, other than this subsection, the monthly rate of annuity payable under this section to a surviving child shall not be less than the smallest primary insurance amount, including any cost-of-living increase added to that amount, authorized to be paid from time to time under title II of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq.], or 3 times such primary insurance amount divided by the number of surviving children entitled to an annuity, whichever is the lesser.

(3) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to an annuitant or to a survivor who is or becomes entitled to receive from the United States, or the District of Columbia, an annuity or retired pay under any other civilian or military retirement system, benefits under title II of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq.], a pension, veterans’ compensation, or any other periodic payment of a similar nature, when the monthly rate thereof is equal to or greater than the smallest primary insurance amount, including any cost-of-living increase added to that amount, authorized to be paid from time to time under title II of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq.].

(4) An annuity payable from the Teachers’ Retirement and Annuity Fund to a former teacher, which is based on a separation occurring prior to October 20, 1969, is increased by $240.

(5) In lieu of any increase based on an increase under paragraph (4) of this subsection, an annuity payable from the Teachers’ Retirement and Annuity Fund to the surviving spouse of a teacher or annuitant, which is based on a separation occurring prior to October 20, 1969, shall be increased by $132.

(6) The monthly rate of an annuity resulting from an increase under paragraph (4) or (5) of this subsection shall be considered as the monthly rate of annuity payable under subsection (a) of this section for purposes of computing the minimum annuity under this subsection.

(f) Each year, the District of Columbia Retirement Board shall set the applicable interest rate, mortality table, and cost-of-living factor to be used in the determination of actuarial equivalents or for other pertinent benefit calculations under the provisions of this part.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 878, ch. 779, § 5; Aug. 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 393, ch. 513, § 1; Mar. 6, 1952, 66 Stat. 17, ch. 95, § 4; Aug. 5, 1955, 69 Stat. 530, ch. 569, title V, § 23; July 2, 1956, 70 Stat. 487, ch. 497, § 1; June 4, 1957, 71 Stat. 46, Pub. L. 85-46, § 1; Oct. 24, 1962, 76 Stat. 1237, Pub. L. 87-881, title II, § 203(a); Dec. 29, 1967, 81 Stat. 748, Pub. L. 90-231, § 1(4); May 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 258, Pub. L. 91-263, § 1(f); Oct. 21, 1972, 86 Stat. 1012, Pub. L. 92-518, title II, § 201(1), (2); Sept. 3, 1974, 88 Stat. 1050, Pub. L. 93-407, title III, § 301; Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, §§ 123(b)(1)(c), 255(a); Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-218, § 4(c), 43 DCR 6172; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 55(c), 52 DCR 2638; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 32(a), 55 DCR 6758; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-301, § 3(a), 60 DCR 2310; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(d), 60 DCR 3434; Apr. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-105, § 4(d)(1), 63 DCR 217.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1226.

1973 Ed., § 31-725.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.03, § 38-2021.04, § 38-2021.06, § 38-2021.08, § 38-2021.09, § 38-2021.19, and § 38-2023.12.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-354, in subsec. (b)(2), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Auditor of the District of Columbia”; and, in subsec. (d), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Mayor of the District of Columbia” and “Mayor”.

D.C. Law 17-231 substituted “surviving spouse or domestic partner” for “widow or widower” throughout the section; rewrote subsec. (b)(1); in subsec. (b)(2), substituted “unmarried’, not in a domestic partnership” for “unmarried”; and, in subsec. (d), substituted “unmarried and not in a domestic partnership,” for “unmarried”, “spouse or domestic partner” for “spouse”, and “marries or enters into a domestic partnership”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-301, in (b)(1), substituted “(B) such spouse or domestic partner elects” for “(B) such spouse or domestic partnership elects” and twice substituted “55 years” for “60 years”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 added (f).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4(c) 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 § 4(c) 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 addition of (f), see § 2(d) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(d) of D.C. Law 19-313 added a new subsection (f) to read as follows:

“(f) Each year, the District of Columbia Retirement Board shall set the applicable interest rate, mortality table, and cost-of-living factor to be used in the determination of actuarial equivalents or for other pertinent benefit calculations under the provisions of this act.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

References in Text

“Title II of the Social Security Act,” referred to throughout subsection (e), is codified at 42 U.S.C. § 401 et seq.

Editor's Notes

Application of Law 11-218: Section 7 of D.C. Law 11-218 provided that the act shall apply as of January 28, 1997.

Office of Auditor abolished: The Office of the Auditor of the District of Columbia was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. All functions of the Office of the Auditor including the functions of all officers, employees, and subordinate agencies were transferred to the Director, Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 3 of the Board of Commissioners, dated August 28, 1952, and effective September 2, 1952. The function of receiving written designation for survivor annuity, referred to in subsection (b)(2) of this section, was transferred from the Auditor to the Accounting Officer, Finance Office, Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 20, dated November 10, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 20 was superseded by Organization Order No. 121, dated December 12, 1957. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Organization Order No. 121 was revoked and replaced by Organization Order No. 3, dated December 13, 1967. Part IVC of the latter Order established a Finance Office within the newly created Department of General Administration, and prescribed the functions thereof. These functions were subsequently transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by paragraph 4, Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. Functions pertaining to centralized accounting as set forth in Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96 were transferred to the Director of the Office of Budget and Financial Management by Organization Order No. 30, dated April 5, 1972. Organization Order No. 50, dated December 31, 1974, established the Office of Budget and Management Systems, and transferred to that Office the functions of the Office of Budget and Financial Management. The Office of Budget and Management Systems was replaced by Mayor’s Order 79-5, dated January 2, 1979, which Order established the Office of Budget and Revenue Development.

Office of Director of Public Health abolished: Section 1 of the Act of August 1, 1950, 64 Stat. 393, ch. 513, provided that the Health Officer of the District of Columbia would be known as the Director of Public Health. The Health Department of the District of Columbia, including the office of the head thereof, was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. Reorganization Order No. 57 of the Board of Commissioners, dated June 30, 1953, and Reorganization Order No. 52, dated June 30, 1953, combined and redesignated Organization Order No. 141, dated February 11, 1964, established, under the direction and control of a Commissioner, a Department of Public Health headed by a Director, for the purpose of planning, implementing, and directing public health and hospital care programs, and for performing certain other allied medical and paramedical functions. The Anatomical Board was established under the direction and control of the Director of Public Health consisting of members as prescribed in the D.C. Code. The Order prior to redesignation abolished the previously existing Health Department, Gallinger Hospital, Glenn Dale Sanatorium, and the Anatomical Board and transferred their functions and positions to the new Department. The organization of the new Department was set out in the Order. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Functions stated in Organization Order No. 141 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Human Resources by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969, as amended by Commissioner’s Order No. 70-83, dated March 6, 1970. The Department of Human Resources was replaced by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1979, dated February 21, 1980, which Plan established the Department of Human Services.

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.


§ 38–2021.06. Annuity of teachers retired for disability.

The annuity of a teacher retiring under § 38-2021.04 shall be at least: (1) forty per centum of the average salary or; (2) the sum obtained under § 38-2021.05 after increasing his total service by the period elapsing between the date of separation and the date he attains the age of 60 years, whichever is the lesser.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 878, ch. 779, § 6; Mar. 6, 1952, 66 Stat. 19, ch. 95,§ 5; June 4, 1957, 71 Stat. 47, Pub. L. 85-46, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1229.

1973 Ed., § 31-726.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.04.


§ 38–2021.07. [Omitted].


Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of the Act of Aug. 7, 1946, ch. 779, § 7a, concerning required minimum distributions, see § 2(e) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).


§ 38–2021.07a. Required minimum distributions.

(a) Distributions shall begin no later than the teacher’s required beginning date, as defined in section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code, and shall be made in accordance with all other requirements of section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code. The provisions of this section shall apply for the purposes of determining minimum required distributions under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of this part; provided, that these provisions are intended solely to reflect the requirements of section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and accompanying Treasury regulations and are not intended to provide or expand, and shall not be construed as providing or expanding, a benefit or distribution option not otherwise expressly provided for under the terms of this part. The provisions of this section shall apply only to the extent required under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code as applied to a governmental plan, and if any special rules for governmental plans are not set forth in this section, these special rules are incorporated by reference and shall for all purposes be deemed a part of this part.

(b)(1) The teacher’s entire interest shall be distributed, or begin to be distributed, to the teacher no later than April 1 following the later of the calendar year in which the teacher attains age 701/2 or the calendar year in which the teacher retires or terminates employment (the “required beginning date”).

(2) If the teacher dies before distributions begin, the teacher’s entire interest shall be distributed, or shall begin to be distributed, no later than as follows:

(A) If the teacher’s surviving spouse is the sole designated beneficiary, distributions to the surviving spouse shall begin by December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the teacher died, or by December 31 of the calendar year in which the teacher would have attained age 701/2, if later;

(B) If the teacher’s surviving spouse is not the sole designated beneficiary, distributions to the designated beneficiary shall begin by December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the teacher died;

(C) If there is no designated beneficiary as of September 30 of the year following the year of the teacher’s death, the teacher’s entire interest shall be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year of the 5th anniversary of the teacher’s death;

(D) If the teacher’s surviving spouse is the sole designated beneficiary and the surviving spouse dies after the teacher but before distributions to the surviving spouse begin, subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall not apply, and subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this paragraph shall apply as if the surviving spouse were the teacher. For the purposes of this paragraph and subsection (d) of this section, distributions are considered to begin on the teacher’s required beginning date or, if this subparagraph applies, the date distributions to the surviving spouse are required to begin under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph. If annuity payments to the teacher irrevocably commence before the teacher’s required beginning date or to the teacher’s surviving spouse before the date distributions to the surviving spouse are required to begin under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the date distributions are considered to begin is the date distributions actually commence.

(3) Unless the teacher’s interest is distributed in the form of an annuity purchased from an insurance company or in a single sum on or before the required beginning date, as of the first distribution, calendar year distributions shall be made in accordance with subsections (c) and (d) of this section. If the teacher’s interest is distributed in the form of an annuity purchased from an insurance company, distributions under the annuity shall be made in accordance with the requirements of section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and applicable Treasury regulations. A part of the teacher’s interest that is in the form of an individual account described in section 414(k) of the Internal Revenue Code shall be distributed in a manner satisfying the requirements of section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and the Treasury regulations that apply to individual accounts.

(c)(1) The amount of the annuity is to be determined each year.

(2) If the teacher’s interest is paid in the form of annuity distributions, payments under the annuity shall satisfy the following requirements:

(A) The annuity distributions shall be paid in periodic payments made at intervals not longer than one year;

(B) Payments shall either be non-increasing or increase only as follows:

(i) By an annual percentage increase that does not exceed the annual percentage increase in a cost-of-living index based on prices of all items (the CPI-W) and issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics;

(ii) To provide cash refunds of employee contributions upon the teacher’s death;

(iii) To pay increased benefits that result from an amendment to this part.

(3) The amount that must be distributed on or before the teacher’s required beginning date or, if the teacher dies before distributions begin, the date distributions are required to begin under subsection (b)(2)(A) or (B) of this section, is the payment that is required for one payment interval. The second payment need not be made until the end of the next payment interval even if that payment interval ends in the next calendar year. Payment intervals are the periods for which payments are received (for example, bi-monthly, monthly, semi-annually, or annually). The teacher’s benefit accruals as of the last day of the first distribution calendar year shall be included in the calculation of the amount of the annuity payments for payment intervals ending on or after the teacher’s required beginning date.

(4) Additional benefits accruing to the teacher in a calendar year after the first distribution calendar year shall be distributed beginning with the first payment interval ending in the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the amount accrues.

(d) Amounts payable if a teacher dies before distribution begins are subject to the following requirements:

(1) If the teacher dies before the date of distribution of his or her interest begins and there is a designated beneficiary, the teacher’s entire interest shall be distributed, beginning no later than the time described in subsection (b)(2)(A) or (B) of this section, over the life of the designated beneficiary not exceeding either of the following:

(A) Unless the benefit commenced is before the first distribution calendar year, the life expectancy of the designated beneficiary, determined using the beneficiary’s age as of the beneficiary’s birthday in the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of the teacher’s death; or

(B) If the benefit commenced before the first distribution calendar year, the life expectancy of the designated beneficiary, determined using the beneficiary’s age as of his or her birthday in the calendar year that begins before benefits commence;

(2) If the teacher dies before the date distributions begin and there is no designated beneficiary as of September 30 of the year following the year of the teacher’s death, distribution of the teacher’s entire interest shall be completed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the 5th anniversary of the teacher’s death; or

(3) If the teacher dies before the date distribution of the teacher’s interest begins, the teacher’s surviving spouse is the teacher’s sole designated beneficiary, and the surviving spouse dies before distributions to the surviving spouse begin, this subsection shall apply as if the surviving spouse were the teacher, except that the time by which distributions must begin shall be determined without regard to subsection (b)(2)(A) of this section.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 875, ch. 779, § 7a; as added May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(e), 60 DCR 3434.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.27.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 added this section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 2(e) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(e) of D.C. Law 19-313 added this section.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 38–2021.08. Basis for determining annuity amount.

(a) The years of service which form the basis for determining the amount of the annuity provided in § 38-2021.05(a) shall be computed from the date of original appointment as a teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia, including so much of any authorized leaves of absence without pay as does not exceed 6 months in the aggregate in a fiscal year, plus service credit that may be allowed under the provisions of this section. A teacher or former teacher who returns to duty after a period of separation is deemed, for the purpose of this section, to have been on a leave of absence without pay for that part of the period in which he or she was receiving benefits under subchapter I of 5 U.S.C. Chapter 81, or any earlier statute on which the subchapter is based. In computing an annuity under § 38-2021.05(a), the total service of a teacher shall include days of unused sick leave credited to him. No deposit may be required for days of unused sick leave included in a teacher’s total service under the preceding sentence. Days of unused sick leave shall not be counted in determining a teacher’s average salary or his eligibility for an annuity. In computing the length of service of retiring teachers credit may be given, year for year, for:

(1) Public school service or its equivalent outside the District of Columbia but not to exceed 10 years;

(2) Continuous temporary service in the public schools of the District immediately before probationary appointment;

(3) Service in the District government or the government of the United States allowable under subchapter III of 5 U.S.C. § 83;

(4) Periods of honorable active service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States (but not the National Guard except when ordered to active duty in the service of the United States) before the date of the separation upon which title to annuity is based; provided, that if a teacher is awarded retired pay on account of military service, the teacher’s military service shall not be included unless the retired pay is awarded on account of a service-connected disability:

(A) Incurred in combat with an enemy of the United States; or

(B) Caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during an enlistment or employment as provided in Veterans Regulation No. 1(a), part 1, paragraph 1, or is awarded under 10 U.S.C. § 12736;

(5) Educational leaves of absence with part pay authorized by the Board of Education in accordance with §§ 1-612.01, 1-612.02, and 1-612.03; and

(6) Continuous temporary service as an employee of a cafeteria or lunchroom operated in the public school buildings of the District of Columbia during a period before the date on which the cafeteria or lunchroom is placed under the Office of Central Management, Department of Food Services, District of Columbia, and immediately before appointment as a teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia; provided, that portion of the annuity which results from credit for service allowable under paragraphs (1) and (3) of this subsection shall be reduced by the amount of any annuity that the retired teacher is entitled to receive under a federal, state, or municipal retirement or pension system with respect to the service, except that that portion of the annuity after reduction shall not be less than the annuity purchasable with the deposit that the teacher is required to make under the provisions of this section in order to obtain credit for such service; provided further, that no credit for service prescribed in this section, with the exception of periods of honorable service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States and all educational leaves of absence with part pay authorized by the Board of Education in accordance with §§ 1-612.01, 1-612.02, and 1-612.03, shall be given to a teacher until the teacher shall have deposited to the credit of the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund a sum equal to:

(A) The accumulated contributions that the teacher would have had credited to the teacher’s individual account if the service had been rendered on active duty in the public schools of the District of Columbia, the contributions to be based on the average annual salary of the class to which the teacher is appointed; and

(B) Interest thereon computed in accordance with § 38-2021.24(b); provided further, that contributions to the retirement fund made by a teacher on education leave with part pay shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of § 38-2021.01, but otherwise no provision of this part shall be interpreted to deprive a teacher employed by the Board of Education of any rights or benefits allowable under §§ 1-612.01, 1-612.02, and 1-612.03. If the teacher so elects, the teacher may deposit the required sum in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund in monthly installments, upon making a claim with the District of Columbia Retirement Board. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, contributions, benefits, and service credit with respect to qualified military service will be provided in accordance with section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, this section shall not be construed to allow any teacher more than one year’s credit for all services rendered in any one fiscal year.

(b) A teacher who during the period of any war, or of any national emergency as proclaimed by the President or declared by the Congress, has left or leaves his position to enter the military service, as defined in this section, shall not be considered, for the purposes of this part, as separated from his teaching position by reason of such military service, unless he shall apply for and receive a lump-sum benefit under this part, except that such teacher shall not be considered as retaining his teaching position beyond 6 months after June 4, 1957, or the expiration of 5 years of such military service, whichever is later.

(c) Nothing in this part shall affect the right of a teacher to retired pay, pension, or compensation in addition to the annuity herein provided.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, any teacher who is entitled to purchase service credit under the provisions of § 38-1970(d) shall purchase such credit based on the salary received from the Board of Higher Education during the period of service to be credited.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 879, ch. 779, § 8; Mar. 6, 1952, 66 Stat. 19, ch. 95,§ 7; Aug. 5, 1955, 69 Stat. 536, ch. 575, § 2; June 4, 1957, 71 Stat. 47, Pub. L. 85-46, § 1; Dec. 29, 1967, 81 Stat. 748, Pub. L. 90-231, § 1(5); May 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 257, Pub. L. 91-263, § 1(b); Oct. 21, 1972, 86 Stat. 1013, Pub. L. 92-518, title II, §§ 201(3), 202(a)(1), 203(b); Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, § 253(a)(3); May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 34(a), 36 DCR 492; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 55(d), 52; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(f), 60 DCR 3434.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1230.

1973 Ed., § 31-728.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.03, § 38-2021.27, and § 38-2023.14.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-354, in subsec. (b)(2), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Mayor of the District of Columbia, or his designated agent”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 rewrote (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of (a), see § 2(f) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(f) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(f) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended subsection (a) to read as follows:

“(a) The years of service which form the basis for determining the amount of the annuity provided in section 5(a) shall be computed from the date of original appointment as a teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia, including so much of any authorized leaves of absence without pay as does not exceed 6 months in the aggregate in a fiscal year, plus service credit that may be allowed under the provisions of this section. A teacher or former teacher who returns to duty after a period of separation is deemed, for the purpose of this section, to have been on a leave of absence without pay for that part of the period in which he or she was receiving benefits under subchapter I of 5 U.S.C. Chapter 81, or any earlier statute on which the subchapter is based. In computing an annuity under section 5(a), the total service of a teacher shall include days of unused sick leave credited to him. No deposit may be required for days of unused sick leave included in a teacher’s total service under the preceding sentence. Days of unused sick leave shall not be counted in determining a teacher’s average salary or his eligibility for an annuity. In computing the length of service of retiring teachers credit may be given, year for year, for:

“(1) Public school service or its equivalent outside the District of Columbia but not to exceed 10 years;

“(2) Continuous temporary service in the public schools of the District immediately before probationary appointment;

“(3) Service in the District government or the government of the United States allowable under subchapter III of 5 U.S.C. § 83;

“(4) Periods of honorable active service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States (but not the National Guard except when ordered to active duty in the service of the United States) before the date of the separation upon which title to annuity is based; provided, that if a teacher is awarded retired pay on account of military service, the teacher’s military service shall not be included unless the retired pay is awarded on account of a service-connected disability:

“(A) Incurred in combat with an enemy of the United States; or

“(B) Caused by an instrumentality of war and incurred in the line of duty during an enlistment or employment as provided in Veterans Regulation No. 1(a), part 1, paragraph 1, or is awarded under 10 U.S.C. § 12736;

“(5) Educational leaves of absence with part pay authorized by the Board of Education in accordance with sections 1201, 1202, and 1203 of the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-139; D.C. Official Code § 1-612.01, 1-612.02, and 1-612.03); and

“(6) Continuous temporary service as an employee of a cafeteria or lunchroom operated in the public school buildings of the District of Columbia during a period before the date on which the cafeteria or lunchroom is placed under the Office of Central Management, Department of Food Services, District of Columbia, and immediately before appointment as a teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia; provided, that portion of the annuity which results from credit for service allowable under paragraphs (1) and (3) of this subsection shall be reduced by the amount of any annuity that the retired teacher is entitled to receive under a federal, state, or municipal retirement or pension system with respect to the service, except that that portion of the annuity after reduction shall not be less than the annuity purchasable with the deposit that the teacher is required to make under the provisions of this section in order to obtain credit for such service; provided further, that no credit for service prescribed in this section, with the exception of periods of honorable service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States and all educational leaves of absence with part pay authorized by the Board of Education in accordance with sections 1201, 1202, and 1203 of the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978, effective October 1, 1987 (D.C. Law 2-139; D.C. Official Code § 1-612.01, 1-612.02, 1-612.03), shall be given to a teacher until the teacher shall have deposited to the credit of the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund a sum equal to:

“(A) The accumulated contributions that the teacher would have had credited to the teacher’s individual account if the service had been rendered on active duty in the public schools of the District of Columbia, the contributions to be based on the average annual salary of the class to which the teacher is appointed; and

“(B) Interest thereon computed in accordance with section 24(b); provided further, that contributions to the retirement fund made by a teacher on education leave with part pay shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of section 1, but otherwise no provision of this act shall be interpreted to deprive a teacher employed by the Board of Education of any rights or benefits allowable under sections 1201, 1202, and 1203 of the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978, effective March 3, 1979 (D.C. Law 2-139; D.C. Official Code § 1-612.01, 1-612.02, 1-612.03). If the teacher so elects, the teacher may deposit the required sum in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund in monthly installments, upon making a claim with the District of Columbia Retirement Board. Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, contributions, benefits, and service credit with respect to qualified military service will be provided in accordance with section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, this section shall not be construed to allow any teacher more than one year’s credit for all services rendered in any one fiscal year.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

References in Text

“Veterans Regulation No. 1(a), part 1, paragraph 1,” referred to in subsection (a)(4)(B) of this section, was repealed by the Act of June 17, 1957, 71 Stat. 167, Pub. L. 85-56, title XXII, § 2202(129), (217).

“Title III of Public Law 810, 80th Congress,” referred to in subsection (a)(4)(B) of this section, refers to the Act of June 29, 1948, 62 Stat. 1087, ch. 708, title III, §§ 301 to 313, which was repealed by the Act of August 10, 1956, 70A Stat. 64, ch. 1041, § 53, and the Act of September 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1569, Pub. L. 85-861, § 36A.

“ Section 31-1132(d),” referred to in subsection (d), was repealed by D.C. Law 4-78, effective March 16, 1982.

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.


§ 38–2021.09. Deferred annuity; annuity to survivors.

(a) Should a teacher to whom this part applies, after completing 5 years of eligible service and before becoming eligible for retirement, become separated from the service, the teacher may elect to receive a deferred annuity, computed as provided in § 38-2021.05, beginning at the age of 62 years and terminating on the date of the teacher’s death; provided, that a teacher who becomes separated from the public schools of the District of Columbia for other than retirement purposes and who does not elect to receive a deferred annuity as provided for in this section shall receive as soon as practicable after separation the refund of deductions, deposits, or redeposits; provided further, that no teacher who shall withdraw the amount of the teacher’s deductions, deposits, or redeposits under this section shall, after reinstatement, be entitled to credit for previous service unless the teacher shall repay to the Custodian of Retirement Funds as defined in § 1-702(6), for deposit in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund, established by § 1-713(a), the amount withdrawn by him (including the interest thereon) plus interest computed in accordance with § 38-2021.24(c); and provided further, that the amount required to be so deposited may be paid by the teacher, if he so elects, in any number of monthly installments, not exceeding 100.

(b)(1) In the event any teacher to whom this part applies shall die subsequent to March 6, 1952, after completing at least 18 months of eligible service and is survived by a spouse or domestic partner, such surviving spouse or domestic partner shall be paid an annuity beginning the day after the teacher dies, equal to 55% of the amount of an annuity computed as provided in subsection (a) of § 38-2021.05 with respect to such teacher, except that in the computation of the annuity under such subsection the annuity of the teacher shall be at least the smaller of: (A) forty per centum of his average salary; or (B) the sum obtained under such subsection after increasing his eligible service of the type last performed by the period elapsing between the date of death and the date he would have become 55 years of age. Such annuity and any right thereto shall terminate on the last day of the month before: (A) the surviving spouse or domestic partner dies; or (B) the surviving spouse or domestic partner remarries or enters a new domestic partnership before becoming 55 years of age. In the case of a surviving spouse or domestic partner whose annuity under this paragraph is terminated because of remarriage or entry into a new domestic partnership before becoming 55 years of age, annuity at the same rate shall be restored commencing on the day the remarriage is dissolved by death, annulment, or divorce, or the new domestic partnership is terminated in accordance with § 32-702(d), or § 16-904(e), if:

(i) The surviving spouse or domestic partner elects to receive the annuity which was terminated instead of a survivor benefit to which the surviving spouse or domestic partner may be entitled, under this part or another retirement system for employees of the federal or District government, by reason of the remarriage or new domestic partnership; and

(ii) Any lump sum paid on termination of the annuity is repaid to the Custodian of Retirement Funds (as defined in § 1-702(6), for deposit in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund established by § 1-713(a).

(2) If any teacher to whom this part applies shall die after completing at least 18 months of eligible service or after having retired under the provisions of § 38-2021.03 or § 38-2021.04 and is survived by a spouse or domestic partner, each surviving child shall be paid an annuity equal to the smallest of: (A) sixty per centum of the teacher’s average salary divided by the number of children; (B) $ 900; or (C) $ 2,700 divided by the number of children. If such teacher is not survived by a spouse or domestic partner, each surviving child shall be paid an annuity equal to the smallest of: (A) seventy-five per centum of the teacher’s average salary divided by the number of children; (B) $ 1,080; or (C) $ 3,240 divided by the number of children. The child’s annuity shall commence on the first day after the teacher dies. Such annuity and the right thereto terminate on the last day of the month before the child: (i) becomes 18 years of age unless he is then a student as described or incapable of self-support; (ii) becomes capable of self-support after becoming 18 years of age unless he or she is then such a student; (iii) becomes 22 years of age if he or she is then such a student and capable of self-support; (iv) ceases to be such a student after becoming 18 years of age unless he or she is then incapable of self-support; or (v) dies or marries; whichever first occurs. Upon the death of the surviving spouse or domestic partner or termination of the annuity of the child, the annuity of any other child or children shall be recomputed and paid as though such spouse, domestic partner, or child had not survived the teacher.

(3) In the event any teacher to whom this part applies shall die subsequent to March 6, 1952, after completing at least 18 months of eligible service, and is not survived by a spouse, domestic partner, or children, but is survived by dependent parents or a dependent father or a dependent mother, such surviving dependent parents or parent shall be paid an annuity, beginning the first day of the month following the death of the teacher, equal to 55% of the amount of an annuity computed as provided in subsection (a) of § 38-2021.05 with respect to such teacher, except that, in the computation of the annuity under such subsection, the annuity of the teacher shall be at least the smaller of 40% of his average salary, or the sum obtained under such subsection after increasing his eligible service of the type last performed by the period elapsing between the date of death and the date he would have become 60 years of age; provided, that such payments shall be made jointly to surviving dependent parents and payment of such annuity shall continue after the death of either dependent parent; provided further, that all such payments or any right thereto shall cease upon the death of both dependent parents.

(4) In the event that a teacher to whom this part applies shall die after January 1, 2007, while performing qualified military service, the survivor or survivors of the teacher shall be entitled to receive any additional benefits provided under this part (other than benefit accruals relating to the period of qualified military service) as if the teacher resumed employment and then terminated employment on account of death.

(b-1) Effective as of January 1, 2007, benefits payable under this part shall not be paid until at least 30 days, or a shorter period as may be permitted by law, but no more than 180 days after a teacher’s receipt of required distribution notices and election forms pursuant to section 402(f) of the Internal Revenue Code. The notices must include a description of the teacher’s right, if any, to defer receipt of a distribution, the consequences of failing to defer receipt of the distribution, the relative value of optional forms of benefit, and other information as may be required by applicable regulations and guidance.

(c) As used in this section:

(1) The term “spouse” means a surviving wife or husband of an individual, who either shall have been married to such individual for at least 2 years immediately preceding the individual’s death, or is the mother or father of issue by such marriage.

(2) The term “child” means:

(A) An unmarried child under 18 years of age, including:

(i) An adopted child; and:

(ii) A stepchild or recognized natural child who lived with the teacher in a regular parent-child relationship;

(B) Such unmarried child regardless of age who is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical disability incurred before age 18; or

(C) Such unmarried child between 18 and 22 years of age who is a student 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. For the purpose of this paragraph and paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of this section, a child whose 22nd birthday occurs before July 1st or after August 31st of a calendar year, and while he is regularly pursuing such a course of study or training, is deemed to have become 22 years of age on the 1st day of July after that birthday. A child who is a student is deemed not to have ceased to be a student during an interim between school years if the interim is not more than 5 months and if he shows to the satisfaction of the District of Columbia Retirement Board that he has a bona fide intention of continuing to pursue a course of study or training in the same or different school during the school semester (or other period into which the school year is divided) immediately after the interim.

(3) The term “dependent parents” means the natural parents of a teacher who were receiving one half or more of their total income from said teacher immediately preceding the death of said teacher.

(4) The term “dependent father” or “dependent mother” means the natural father or natural mother of a teacher who was receiving one half or more of his or her total income from said teacher immediately preceding the death of said teacher.

(5) Repealed.

(6) Questions of dependency and disability arising under this section shall be determined by the District of Columbia Retirement Board and its decisions with respect to such matters shall be final and conclusive and shall not be subject to review.

(7) The term “domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3), and who shall have been a domestic partner with such individual for at least 2 years immediately preceding his death.

(8) The term “qualified military service” shall mean any military service in the uniformed services, as defined in 38 U.S.C. § 43, by a teacher, if the teacher is entitled to reemployment rights with respect to such military service, all within the meaning of section 414(u)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 880, ch. 779, § 9; Mar. 6, 1952, 66 Stat. 19, ch. 95,§ 8; June 4, 1957, 71 Stat. 47, Pub. L. 85-46, § 1; Oct. 24, 1962, 76 Stat. 1237, Pub. L. 87-881, title II, § 203(b), (c), (d), (e); Sept. 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 886, Pub. L. 88-575, § 202; Dec. 29, 1967, 81 Stat. 748, Pub. L. 90-231, § 1(6); May 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 258, Pub. L. 91-263, § 1(e); Oct. 21, 1972, 86 Stat. 1013, Pub. L. 92-518, title II, § 201(4); Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, §§ 123(b)(1)(D), (E), 253 (a)(4); Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 55(e), 52 DCR 2638; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 32(b), 55 DCR 6758; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-301, § 3(b), 60 DCR 2310; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(g), 60 DCR 3434; Apr. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-105, § 4(d)(2), 63 DCR 217.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1231.

1973 Ed., § 31-729.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.04, § 38-2021.05, § 38-2021.13, § 38-2021.21, § 38-2021.27, and § 38-2023.14.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-354, in subsec. (c)(2)(C), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Mayor of the District of Columbia”; and, in subsec. (c)(6), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Board of Education”.

D.C. Law 17-231 rewrote subsecs. (b) and (c)(1); repealed subsec. (c)(5); and added subsec. (c)(7).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-301 substituted “before becoming 55 years of age” for “before becoming 60 years of age” throughout (b)(1).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 rewrote (a); and added (b)(4), (b-1), and (c)(8).

Cross References

Adjustment of annuities, see § 38-2021.21.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(g) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(g) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(g)(1) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended subsection (a) to read as follows:

“(a) Should a teacher to whom this act applies, after completing 5 years of eligible service and before becoming eligible for retirement, become separated from the service, the teacher may elect to receive a deferred annuity, computed as provided in section 5, beginning at the age of 62 years and terminating on the date of the teacher’s death; provided, that a teacher who becomes separated from the public schools of the District of Columbia for other than retirement purposes and who does not elect to receive a deferred annuity as provided for in this section shall receive as soon as practicable after separation the refund of deductions, deposits, or redeposits; provided further, that no teacher who shall withdraw the amount of the teacher’s deductions, deposits, or redeposits under this section shall, after reinstatement, be entitled to credit for previous service unless the teacher shall repay to the Custodian of Retirement Funds as defined in section 102(6) of the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act, effective November 17, 1979 (93 Stat. 866; D. C. Official Code § 1-702(6)), for deposit in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund, established by section 123(a) of the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act, effective November 17, 1979 (93 Stat. 866; D.C Official Code § 1-713(a)), the amount withdrawn by him (including the interest thereon) plus interest computed in accordance with section 24(c); and provided further, that the amount required to be so deposited may be paid by the teacher, if he so elects, in any number of monthly installments, not exceeding 100.”

Section 2(g)(2) of D.C. Law 19-313 added a new paragraph (b)(4) to read as follows:

“(4) In the event that a teacher to whom this act applies shall die after January 1, 2007, while performing qualified military service, the survivor or survivors of the teacher shall be entitled to receive any additional benefits provided under this act (other than benefit accruals relating to the period of qualified military service) as if the teacher resumed employment and then terminated employment on account of death.”

Section 2(g)(3) of D.C. Law 19-313 added a new subsection (b-1) is added to read as follows:

“(b-1) Effective as of January 1, 2007, benefits payable under this act shall not be paid until at least 30 days, or a shorter period as may be permitted by law, but no more than 180 days after a teacher’s receipt of required distribution notices and election forms pursuant to section 402(f) of the Internal Revenue Code. The notices must include a description of the teacher’s right, if any, to defer receipt of a distribution, the consequences of failing to defer receipt of the distribution, the relative value of optional forms of benefit, and other information as may be required by applicable regulations and guidance.”

Section 2(g)(4) of D.C. Law 19-313 added a new paragraph (c)(8) to read as follows:

“(8) The term ‘qualified military service’ shall mean any military service in the uniformed services, as defined in 38 U.S.C. § 43, by a teacher, if the teacher is entitled to reemployment rights with respect to such military service, all within the meaning of section 414(u)(5) of the Internal Revenue Code.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

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.


§ 38–2021.10. Payment of beneficiaries.

(a) Under regulations prescribed by the District of Columbia Retirement Board, a present or former teacher may designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries for the purpose of this part.

(b)(1) Lump-sum benefits authorized by subsections (c), (d), and (e) of this section shall be paid in the following order of precedence to the person or persons surviving the teacher and alive at the date title to the payment arises, and the payment bars recovery by any other person:

(A) To the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the teacher in a signed and witnessed writing received by the District of Columbia Retirement Board before the teacher’s death;

(B) If there is no designated beneficiary, to the spouse or domestic partner of the teacher;

(C) If none of the above, to the child or children of the teacher and descendants of deceased children by representation;

(D) If none of the above, to the parents of the teacher or the survivor of them;

(E) If none of the above, to the duly appointed executor or administrator of the estate of the teacher;

(F) If none of the above, to such other next of kin of the teachers as the District of Columbia Retirement Board determines to be entitled under the laws of the domicile of the teacher at the date of his death.

(2) For the purpose of this subsection, the term “child” includes a natural child and an adopted child, but does not include a stepchild.

(c) If: (1) a teacher dies: (A) without a survivor; or (B) with a survivor or survivors and the right of all survivors terminates before a claim for survivor annuity is filed; or (2) a former teacher not retired dies, the lump-sum credit shall be paid.

(d) If all annuity rights under this part based on the service of a deceased teacher terminate before the total annuity paid equals the lump-sum credit, the difference shall be paid.

(e) If an annuitant dies, any annuity accrued and unpaid shall be paid.

(f) For purposes of this section, the term “lump-sum credit” means the unrefunded amount consisting of:

(1) Retirement deductions made under this part from the salary of a teacher;

(2) Amounts deposited into the teachers’ retirement and annuity fund by a teacher covering earlier service; and

(3) Interest earned prior to the end of the 90-day period beginning on November 17, 1979, on the deductions and deposits made with respect to service which aggregates more than 1 year but excluding interest for the fractional part of a month in the total service.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 880, ch. 779, § 10; Mar. 6, 1952, 66 Stat. 21, ch. 95,§ 9; Dec. 29, 1967, 81 Stat. 750, Pub. L. 90-231, § 1(7); Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, § 253(a)(5); Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 55(f), 52 DCR 2638; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 32(c), 55 DCR 6758.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1232.

1973 Ed., § 31-730.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-354, in subsecs. (a) and (b)(1)(F), substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Mayor of the District of Columbia”; and, in subsec. (b)(1)(A), substituted “ District of Columbia Retirement Board before the teacher’s death;” for “Mayor of the District of Columbia before his death;”.

D.C. Law 17-231, in subsec. (b)(1)(B), substituted “spouse or domestic partner” for “widow or widower”.

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.


§ 38–2021.11. Consent to deductions.

Every teacher who shall continue in the service of the public schools of the District of Columbia after the passage of this part, as well as every person who hereafter may be appointed to a position as teacher in the public schools of the District of Columbia, shall be deemed to consent and agree to the deductions made and provided for herein; and the salary, pay, or compensation, which may be paid monthly or at any other time, shall be full and complete discharge and acquittance of all claims and demands whatsoever for all services rendered by such teacher during the period covered by such payment, except his claim for the benefits to which he may be entitled under the provisions of this part, notwithstanding the provisions of the Act of June 20, 1906 (34 Stat. 316), and of any other law, rule, or regulation affecting the salary, pay, or compensation of the teachers employed in the service of the public schools of the District of Columbia.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 880, ch. 779, § 11.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1233.

1973 Ed., § 31-731.


§ 38–2021.12. Discharge of teacher.

Nothing in this part shall be construed to prevent the discharge of any teacher at any time in the discretion of the Board of Education of the District of Columbia under the provisions of law.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 881, ch. 779, § 12.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1234.

1973 Ed., § 31-732.


§ 38–2021.13. Definitions.

(a) The term “teacher,” under this part, shall include all teachers employed by the Board of Education in the public day schools of the District of Columbia, including other educational employees whose salaries are established in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Salary Act of 1945 [repealed], as amended, except the employees of the Department of School Attendance and Work Permits; whenever the pronoun “his” occurs in this part it shall be construed to mean both male and female; and the term “annual salary” shall be construed to mean the total annual income received during the fiscal year for service rendered in the public day schools (not including summer schools) of the District of Columbia, including basic salary, automatic increases, and longevity allowances, provided for in the District of Columbia Teachers’ Salary Act of 1945 [repealed], as amended, and all wartime additional compensation or bonus, and this definition of “annual salary” shall not be construed to affect any deductions which have been made prior to July 1, 1946, from any teacher’s “annual salary” as defined in subchapter I of this chapter.

(b) The term “average salary” shall mean the largest annual rate resulting from averaging, over any period of 3 consecutive years of eligible service, or in the case of a survivor annuity under § 38-2021.09(b) based on service of less than 3 years, over the total eligible service in the public schools of the District of Columbia, a teacher’s rates of annual salary in effect during such period, with each rate weighted by the time it was in effect.

(c) For purposes of this part, the term “eligible service” means service in the public schools of the District of Columbia under a temporary, probationary, or permanent appointment to a position, the rate of compensation of which is prescribed in the salary schedule adopted pursuant to §§ 1-611.11 and 1-617.16.

(d) For the purposes of this part, the term “domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3).

(e) For the purposes of this part, the term “domestic partnership” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(4).

(f) For the purposes of this part, 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.).


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 881, ch. 779, § 13; June 4, 1957, 71 Stat. 48, Pub. L. 85-46, § 1; Dec. 29, 1967, 81 Stat. 751, Pub. L. 90-231, § 1(8); May 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 257, Pub. L. 91-263, § 1(a); Oct. 21, 1972, 86 Stat. 1013, Pub. L. 92-518, title II, § 202(a)(2); May 10, 1989, D.C. Law 7-231, § 34(b), 36 DCR 492; Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 32(d), 55 DCR 6758; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(h), 60 DCR 3434.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1235.

1973 Ed., § 31-733.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-702, § 1-901.02, and § 38-2021.05.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-231 added subsecs. (d) and (e).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 added (f).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(h) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(h) of D.C. Law 19-313 added a new paragraph at the end to read as follows:

“For the purposes of this Act, 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.).”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

References in Text

The “District of Columbia Teachers’ Salary Act of 1945, as amended,” referred to twice in subsection (a) of this section, was repealed by the Act of July 7, 1947, 61 Stat. 260, ch. 208, § 20.


§ 38–2021.14. Records and accounts; report to Congress. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 881, ch. 779, § 14; Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, § 146(a)(2); May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(i), 60 DCR 3434.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1236.

1973 Ed., § 31-734.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary repeal of section, see § 2(h) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of this section, see § 2(i) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(i) of D.C. Law 19-313 repealed this section.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

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.


§ 38–2021.15. [Omitted].


Emergency Legislation

For temporary addition of the Act of Aug. 7, 1946, ch. 779, § 15a, concerning disposition of forfeitures, see § 2(i) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).


§ 38–2021.15a. Disposition of forfeitures.

Forfeitures in the Teacher’s Retirement Fund shall not be applied to increase the annuity of a person hereunder, but rather, shall be applied to pay administrative expenses, if and as directed by the District of Columbia Retirement Board, or used to reduce the District’s contributions.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 875, ch. 779, § 15a; as added May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(j), 60 DCR 3434.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 added this section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) addition of this section, see § 2(j) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(j) of D.C. Law 19-313 added this section.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 38–2021.16. Rules and regulations. [Repealed]

Repealed.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 881, ch. 779, § 16; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354,§ 55(g), 52 DCR 2638.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1237.

1973 Ed., § 31-736.

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 402(240) 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 the District of Columbia Council, subject to the right of the Commissioner as provided in § 406 of the Plan. 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 § 7(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 38–2021.17. Funds not assignable or subject to execution.

Except as provided in subchapter VI of Chapter 5 of Title 1 (§ 1-529.01 et seq.), none of the money mentioned in this part, including any assets of the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund established by § 1-713(a), shall be assignable, either in law or equity, or be subject to execution or levy by attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, except with respect to a domestic relations order that substantially meets all of the requirements of section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code , as determined solely by the District of Columbia Retirement Board.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 882, ch. 779, § 17; Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, § 123(b)(1)(F); Mar. 16, 1989, D.C. Law 7-214, § 5, 36 DCR 513; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(k), 60 DCR 3434.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1238.

1973 Ed., § 31-737.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 rewrote the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(j) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(k) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(k) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended this section to read as follows:

“Except as provided in the District of Columbia Spouse Equity Act of 1988, effective March 16, 1989 (D.C. Law 7-214; D.C. Official Code § 1-529.01 et seq.), none of the money mentioned in this act, including any assets of the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement Fund established by section 123(a) of the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act, approved November 17, 1979 (93 Stat. 866; D.C Official Code § 1-713(a)), shall be assignable, either in law or equity, or be subject to execution or levy by attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, except with respect to a domestic relations order that substantially meets all of the requirements of section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code, as determined solely by the District of Columbia Retirement Board.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

References in Text

The “District of Columbia Spouse Equity Act of 1988” is D.C. Law 7-214.


§ 38–2021.18. Applicability.

The provisions of this part shall constitute a defined benefit plan and a governmental plan, as described in section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code , which is intended to qualify under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code . Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this part, Chapter 7 of Title 1 (§ 1-701 et seq.), or Chapter 9 of Title 1 (§ 1-901.01 et seq.), the provisions of this part shall apply to and control the provision of any annuity payable. The provisions of this part shall apply to all teachers on the rolls of the public schools of the District who accrue service after June 30, 1997, under the Teachers’ Retirement Program established pursuant to Chapter 9 of Title 1 (§ 1-901.01 et seq.), if otherwise eligible.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 882, ch. 779, § 18; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(l), 60 DCR 3434.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1239.

1973 Ed., § 31-738.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 rewrote the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(k) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(l) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(l) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended this section to read as follows:

“Applicability.

“The provisions of this act and the associated acts shall constitute a defined benefit plan and a governmental plan, as described in section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, which is intended to qualify under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this act, the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act, approved November 17, 1979 (93 Stat. 866; D.C. Official Code § 1-701 et seq.), or the Police Officers, Fire Fighters, and Teachers Retirement Benefit Replacement Plan Act of 1998, effective September 18, 1998 (D.C. Law 12-152; D.C. Official Code § 1-901.01 et seq.), the provisions of this act shall apply to and control the provision of any annuity payable. The provisions of this act shall apply to all teachers on the rolls of the public schools of the District who accrue service after June 30, 1997, under the Teachers’ Retirement Program established pursuant to the Police Officers, Fire Fighters, and Teachers Retirement Benefit Replacement Plan Act of 1998, effective September 18, 1998 (D.C. Law 12-152; D.C. Official Code § 1-901.01 et seq.), if otherwise eligible.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.


§ 38–2021.19. Recomputation of annuities.

The annuities of all teachers retired prior to July 1, 1946, shall be recomputed in accordance with the provisions of § 38-2021.05 within 90 days after August 7, 1946, retroactive to July 1, 1946, and no recomputation shall be made which will reduce the annuity received by any retired teacher; provided, that the average annual salary during any 5 consecutive years, specified in § 38-2021.05, upon which the annuity is based shall be within the last 10 years of allowable service in the public schools of the District of Columbia; provided further, that the increased amount of the annuity resulting therefrom shall be a straight life annuity without any insurance or death benefits of any kind.


(Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 882, ch. 779, § 19.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1240.

1973 Ed., § 31-739.


§ 38–2021.20. [Omitted].


§ 38–2021.21. Adjustment of annuities on basis of price index; computation; definitions.

(a) Effective December 1, 1965, each annuity payable from the fund which has a commencing date not later than January 1, 1966, shall be increased by: (1) the per centum rise in the price index, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1%, determined by the Mayor of the District of Columbia on the basis of the annual average price index for calendar year 1962 and the price index for the month of July 1965; plus (2) 6 1/2% if the commencing date (or in the case of a survivor of a deceased annuitant the commencing date of the annuity of the retired employee) occurred on or before October 1, 1956, or 1 1/2% if the commencing date (or in the case of the survivor of a deceased annuitant the commencing date of the annuity of the retired employee) occurred after October 1, 1956. The month used in determining the increase based on the per centum rise in the price index under this subsection shall be the base month for determining the per centum change in the price index until the next succeeding increase occurs.

(b)(1) For the payments of benefits accrued by teachers after June 30, 1997, on January 1 of each year (or within a reasonable time thereafter), the Mayor shall determine the per centum change in the price index for the preceding year by determining the difference between the index published for December of the preceding year and the index published for December of the second preceding year.

(2)(A) If, in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Mayor determines in a year (beginning with 1999) that the per centum change in the price index for the preceding year indicates a rise in the price index, each annuity having a commencing date on or before March 1 of the year shall, effective March 1 of the year, be increased by an amount equal to:

(i) In the case of an annuity having a commencing date on or before March 1 of such preceding year, the per centum change computed under paragraph (1) of this subsection, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1 per centum; or

(ii) In the case of an annuity having a commencing date after March 1 of such preceding year, a pro rata increase equal to the product of 1/12 of the per centum change computed under paragraph (1) of this subsection, multiplied by the number of months (not to exceed 12 months, counting any portion of a month as an entire month) for which the annuity was payable before the effective date of the increase, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1 per centum.

(B) On January 1, 1998, or within a reasonable time thereafter, the Mayor shall determine the per centum change in the price index published for December 1997 over the price index published for June 1997. If such per centum change indicates a rise in the price index, effective March 1, 1998:

(i) Each annuity having a commencing date on or before September 1, 1997, shall be increased by an amount equal to such per centum change, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1 per centum; and

(ii) Each annuity having a commencing date after September 1, 1997, and on or before March 1, 1998, shall be increased by a pro rata increase equal to the product of 1/6 of such per centum change, multiplied by the number of months (not to exceed 6 months, counting any portion of a month as an entire month) for which the annuity was payable before the effective date of the increase, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1 per centum.

(b-1)(1) On January 1 of each year, or within a reasonable time thereafter, the Mayor shall determine the per centum change in the price index for the preceding year and by determining the difference between the index published for December of the preceding year and the index published for December of the second preceding year.

(2)(A) If, in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Mayor determines in a year, beginning with 1997, that the per centum change in the price index for the preceding year indicates a rise in the price index, each annuity having a commencing date on or before March 1 of the year shall, effective March 1 of the year, be increased by an amount equal to:

(i) In the case of an annuity having a commencing date on or before March 1 of the preceding year, the per centum change computed under paragraph (1) of this subsection, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1%; or

(ii) In the case of an annuity having a commencing date after March 1 of the preceding year, a pro rata increase equal to the product of 1/12 of the per centum change computed under paragraph (1) of this subsection, multiplied by the number of months (not to exceed 12 months, counting any portion of a month as an entire month) for which the annuity was payable before the effective date of the increase, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1%.

(B) On January 1, 1996, or within a reasonable time thereafter, the Mayor shall determine the per centum change in the price index published for December 1995 or the price index published for June 1995. If such per centum change indicates a rise in the index, effective March 1, 1996;

(i) Each annuity having a commencing date on or before September 1, 1995, shall be increased by an amount equal to the per centum change, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1%; and

(ii) Each annuity having a commencing date after September 1, 1995, and on or before March 1, 1996, shall be increased by a pro rata increase equal to the product of 1/6 of the per centum change, multiplied by the number of months (not to exceed 6 months, counting any portion of a month as an entire month) for which the annuity was payable before the effective date of the increase, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1%.

(3) This subsection shall apply only to public school teachers hired after December 31, 1979.

(c) Eligibility for an annuity increase under this section shall be as provided in subsection (b)(2) of this section, except as follows:

(1) Effective from its commencing date, an annuity payable to an annuitant’s survivor (other than a child entitled under § 38-2021.09(b)(2)), which annuity commences the day after the annuitant’s death and after the effective date of the 1st increase under this section, shall be increased by the total per centum increase the annuitant was receiving under this section at death;

(2) For the purpose of computing the annuity of a child under § 38-2021.09(b)(2) that commences after October 31, 1969, the items $900, $1,080, $2,700, and $3,240 appearing in § 38-2021.09(b)(2) shall be increased by the total per centum increases allowed and in force under this section on or after such day and, in case of a deceased annuitant, the items 60% and 75% appearing in § 38-2021.09(b)(2) shall be increased by the total per centum allowed and in force to the annuitant under this section on or after such day.

(3) Each annuity increase payable from the fund to an annuitant hired on or after the first day of the first pay period which begins after October 29, 1996, or to such annuitant’s beneficiary or survivor, shall in no event exceed 3% per annum.

(d) No increase in annuity provided by this section shall be computed on any additional annuity purchased at retirement by voluntary contributions.

(e) The monthly installment of annuity after adjustment under this section shall be fixed at the nearest dollar, except that such installments shall after adjustment reflect an increase of at least $1.

(f) For purposes of this section, the term “price index” shall mean the Consumer Price Index (all items — United States city average) published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The term “base month” shall mean the month for which the price index showed a per centum rise forming the basis for a cost-of-living annuity increase.


(Aug. 7, 1946, ch. 779, § 21; as added Oct. 24, 1962, 76 Stat. 1236, Pub. L. 87-881, title II, § 202; July 5, 1966, 80 Stat. 266, Pub. L. 89-494, § 1; Dec. 29, 1967, 81 Stat. 751, Pub. L. 90-231, § 1(9); May 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 257, Pub. L. 91-263, § 1(c); Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, § 251(a)(1), (b); Sept. 26, 1995, D.C. Law 11-52, § 806b, 42 DCR 3684; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-218, § 4(d), 43 DCR 6172; Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-255, § 33, 44 DCR 1271; Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 719, Pub. L. 105-33, § 11013(b); Sept. 18, 1998, D.C. Law 12-152, § 207(b), 45 DCR 4045.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1241.

1973 Ed., § 31-739a.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.27 and § 38-2023.13.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4(d) 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 § 4(d) 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 amendment of section, see § 206(b) of the Police Officer, Fire Fighters, and Teachers Retirement Benefit Replacement Plan Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-155, October 1, 1997, 44 DCR 5896), and see § 206(b) of the Police Officers, Fire Fighters, and Teachers Retirement Benefit Replacement Plan Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-240, January 13, 1998, 45 DCR 531).

Temporary Legislation

Section 206(b) of D.C. Law 12-58 rewrote (b).

Section 209(b) of D.C. Law 12-58 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Full Funding of Pension Liability Reform Amendment Act of 1994: Section 312 of D.C. Law 10-135 amends (b)(1) and (2) to read as follows:

“(b)(1) On January 1 of each year (or within a reasonable time thereafter), the Mayor shall determine the per centum change in the price index for the preceding year by determining the difference between the index published for December of the preceding year and the index published for December of the second preceding year.

“(2)(A) If (in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection) the Mayor determines in a year (beginning with 1997) that the per centum change in the price index for the preceding year indicates a rise in the price index, each annuity having a commencing date on or before March 1 of the year shall, effective March 1 of the year, be increased by an amount equal to—

“(i) In the case of an annuity having a commencing date on or before March 1 of such preceding year, the per centum change computed under paragraph (1), adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1%; or.

“(ii) In the case of an annuity having a commencing date after March 1 of such preceding year, a pro rata increase equal to the product of:

“(I) One-twelfth of the per centum change computed under paragraph (1), multiplied by.

“(II) The number of months (not to exceed 12 months, counting any portion of a month as an entire month) for which the annuity was payable before the effective date of the increase, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1%.

“(B) On January 1, 1996 (or within a reasonable time thereafter), the Mayor shall determine the per centum change in the price index published for December 1995 over the price index published for June 1995. If such per centum change indicates a rise in the price index, effective March 1, 1996—

“(i) Each annuity having a commencing date on before September 1, 1995, shall be increased by an amount equal to such per centum change, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1%; and.

“(ii) Each annuity having a commencing date after September 1, 1995, and on or before March 1, 1996, shall be increased by a pro rata increase equal to the product of.

“(I) One-sixth of such per centum change, multiplied by.

“(II) The number of months (not to exceed 6 months, counting any portion of a month as an entire month) for which the annuity was payable before the effective date of the increase, adjusted to the nearest 1/10 of 1%.”

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.


§ 38–2021.22. [Omitted].


§ 38–2021.23. Increased annuities for certain surviving spouses or domestic partners.

Effective on November 1, 1969, or the commencing date of the annuity, whichever is later, the annuity of each surviving spouse or domestic partner whose entitlement to annuity payable from the District of Columbia Teachers’ Retirement and Annuity Fund resulted from the death of: (1) a teacher prior to October 24, 1962; or (2) a retired teacher whose retirement was based on a separation from service prior to October 24, 1962; shall be increased by 20%.


(Aug. 7, 1946, ch. 779, § 23; as added May 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 258, Pub. L. 91-263, § 1(g); Sept. 12, 2008, D.C. Law 17-231, § 32(e), 55 DCR 6758.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 31-1242.

1973 Ed., § 31-739d.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-231, in subsec. (b)(1)(B), substituted “spouse or domestic partner” for “spouse”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of §§ 38-2021.24 and 38-2021.25, see §§ 3602 to 3604 of Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-453, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8026).


§ 38–2021.24. Rollovers; purchase of service credit. [Transferred]

Recodified as § 38-2021.26.


Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.08 and § 38-2021.09.

Editor's Notes

Section 2(m) of D.C. Law 19-312 recodified former § 38-2021.24 as § 38-2021.26.


§ 38–2021.25. Internal Revenue Code limits. [Transferred]

Recodified as § 38-2021.27.


Editor's Notes

Section 2(n) of D.C. Law 19-312 recodified former § 38-2021.25 as § 38-2021.27.


§ 38–2021.26. Rollovers; purchase of service credit.

(a) An individual withdrawing a distribution under this part that constitutes an eligible rollover distribution within the meaning of section 402(c) of the Internal Revenue Code may elect, at the time and in the manner prescribed by the District of Columbia Retirement Board, and after receipt of proper notice, to have any portion of an eligible rollover distribution paid directly to an eligible retirement plan, within the meaning of section 402(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, in a direct rollover in accordance with section 401(a)(31) of the Internal Revenue Code. Any nontaxable distribution or portion thereof from a qualified plan may be directly rolled over tax-free to another qualified plan or a plan or annuity contract described in section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, if separate accounting and other requirements are met pursuant to section 402(c)(2)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(b) The Custodian of the Retirement Funds shall be entrusted with any transfer from another retirement plan for the purchase of service credit, including transfers allowed by sections 403(b) and 457 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Before any transfer is received, the District of Columbia Retirement Board shall be presented with documentation sufficient to satisfy the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 governing the substantiation of proposed transfers for the purchase of service credit.

(c)(1) The Custodian of the Retirement Funds shall also be entrusted with any rollover contribution from an eligible retirement plan, including:

(A) A qualified plan described in section 401(a) or 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, excluding after-tax employee contributions;

(B) An annuity contract described in section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, excluding after-tax employee contributions;

(C) An eligible plan under section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which is maintained by a state, political subdivision of a state, or any agency or instrumentality of a state or political subdivision of a state; or

(D) Amounts transferred from an individual retirement account or annuity described in section 408(a) or 408(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that is eligible to be rolled over and would otherwise be includible in gross income.

(2) The rollover shall be separately accounted for as member contributions that were not previously taxed. Before any rollover is received, the District of Columbia Retirement Board shall be presented with documentation sufficient to satisfy the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 governing the substantiation of proposed rollover contributions. The rollover shall be used to purchase service credit in addition to the service credit provided under the provisions of this part.

(d) The District of Columbia Retirement Board shall administer this part in the manner required to satisfy the applicable qualification requirements for a qualified governmental plan pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. If a conflict should arise with a qualification requirement, the provision shall be interpreted in favor of maintaining the federal qualification requirements. The District of Columbia Retirement Board may adopt rules to implement this section.

(e) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Direct rollover” means a payment to the eligible retirement plan specified by the distributee described in section 402(e)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(2) “Distributee” means a teacher or former teacher. In addition, the teacher’ or former teacher’s surviving spouse is a distributee with regard to the interest of the spouse or former spouse. A nonspouse beneficiary of a deceased teacher is also a distributee for purposes of this section; provided, that, in the case of a nonspouse beneficiary, the direct rollover may be made only to an individual retirement account or annuity under section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code that is established on behalf of the nonspouse beneficiary and that will be treated as an inherited IRA pursuant to the provisions of section 402(c)(11) of the Internal Revenue Code. The determination of the extent to which a distribution to a nonspouse beneficiary is required under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code shall be made in accordance with IRS Notice 2007-7, Q&A 17 and 18, 2007-5 I.R.B. 395.

(3) “Eligible retirement plan” means:

(A) An individual retirement account described in section 408(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, including a Roth IRA described in section 408A of the Internal Revenue Code;

(B) An individual retirement annuity described in section 408(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, including a Roth IRA described in section 408A of the Internal Revenue Code;

(C) A qualified trust described in section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code or an annuity plan described in section 403(a) of the Internal Revenue Code that accepts the distributee’s eligible rollover distribution;

(D) An annuity contract described in section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code that accepts the distributee’s eligible rollover distribution; and

(E) An eligible plan described in section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code which is maintained by a state, political subdivision of a state, or an agency or instrumentality of a state or political subdivision of a state, that accepts the distributee’s eligible rollover distribution and agrees to account separately for amounts transferred into such plan from the arrangement described under this part. The foregoing definition of eligible retirement plan shall also apply in the case of a distribution to a surviving spouse, or to a spouse or former spouse who is the alternate payee under a domestic relations order.

(4) “Eligible rollover distribution,” within the meaning of section 402(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, means any distribution of all or any portion of the balance to the credit of the distributee, except that an eligible rollover distribution does not include:

(A) A distribution that is one of a series of substantially equal periodic payments (not less frequently than annually) made for the life (or life expectancy) of the distributee or the joint lives (or joint life expectancies) of the distributee and the distributee’s designated beneficiary, or for a specified period of 10 years or more; and

(B) A distribution to the extent such distribution is required under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code. A distribution to a nonspouse beneficiary under section 401(f)(2)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code is an eligible rollover distribution. A portion of the distribution shall not fail to be an eligible rollover distribution merely because the portion consists of after-tax employee contributions that are not includible in gross income. However, the portion may be paid only to an individual retirement account or annuity described in section 408(a) or (b) of the Internal Revenue Code or to a qualified trust or annuity plan described in section 401(a) or 403(a) of the Internal Revenue Code or an annuity contract described in section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code if the trust or annuity plan or contract provides for separate accounting for amounts so transferred (and earnings thereon), including separately accounting for the portion of such distribution which is includible in gross income and the portion of such distribution which is not so includible.


(Aug. 7, 1946, ch. 799, § 24; as added Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-190, § 3702, 49 DCR 6968; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 71, 51 DCR 881; Apr. 13, 2005, D.C. Law 15-354, § 55(h), 52 DCR 2638; renumbered as § 25 [26], May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(m), 60 DCR 3434.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 38-2021.24.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.24.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-105 validated a previously made technical correction.

D.C. Law 15-354 substituted “District of Columbia Retirement Board” for “Mayor”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 renumbered § 24 of the Act of Aug. 7, 1946, ch. 799, as § 25; rewrote (a); added “an eligible retirement plan, including” in the introductory language of (c); substituted “shall administer this part” for “shall administer the plan” in (d); and added (e).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(l) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(m) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(m)(1) of D.C. Law 19-313 redesignated § 24 of the Act of Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 878, ch. 779, as § 25.

Section 2(m)(2) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended subsection (a) to read as follows:

“(a) An individual withdrawing a distribution under this act that constitutes an eligible rollover distribution within the meaning of section 402(c) of the Internal Revenue Code may elect, at the time and in the manner prescribed by the District of Columbia Retirement Board, and after receipt of proper notice, to have any portion of an eligible rollover distribution paid directly to an eligible retirement plan, within the meaning of section 402(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, in a direct rollover in accordance with section 401(a)(31) of the Internal Revenue Code. Any nontaxable distribution or portion thereof from a qualified plan may be directly rolled over tax-free to another qualified plan or a plan or annuity contract described in section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, if separate accounting and other requirements are met pursuant to section 402(c)(2)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code.”

Section 2(m)(3) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended subsection (c) by striking the phrase “contribution from:” in the lead-in language and inserting the phrase “contribution from an eligible retirement plan, including:” in its place.

Section 2(m)(4) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended subsection (d) by striking the phrase “shall administer the plan” and inserting the phrase “shall administer this act and the associated acts” in its place.

Section 2(m)(5) of D.C. Law 19-313 added a new subsection (e) to read as follows:

“(e) For the purposes of this section, the term:

“(1) ‘Direct rollover’ means a payment to the eligible retirement plan specified by the distributee described in section 402(e)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

“(2) ‘Distributee’ means a teacher or former teacher. In addition, the teacher’ or former teacher’s surviving spouse is a distributee with regard to the interest of the spouse or former spouse. A nonspouse beneficiary of a deceased teacher is also a distributee for purposes of this section; provided, that, in the case of a nonspouse beneficiary, the direct rollover may be made only to an individual retirement account or annuity under section 408 of the Internal Revenue Code that is established on behalf of the nonspouse beneficiary and that will be treated as an inherited IRA pursuant to the provisions of section 402(c)(11) of the Internal Revenue Code. The determination of the extent to which a distribution to a nonspouse beneficiary is required under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code shall be made in accordance with IRS Notice 2007-7, Q 17 and 18, 2007-5 I.R.B. 395.

“(3) ‘Eligible retirement plan’ means:

“(A) An individual retirement account described in section 408(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, including a Roth IRA described in section 408A of the Internal Revenue Code;

“(B) An individual retirement annuity described in section 408(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, including a Roth IRA described in section 408A of the Internal Revenue Code;

“(C) A qualified trust described in section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code or an annuity plan described in section 403(a) of the Internal Revenue Code that accepts the distributee’s eligible rollover distribution;

“(D) An annuity contract described in section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code that accepts the distributee’s eligible rollover distribution; and

“(E) An eligible plan described in section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code which is maintained by a state, political subdivision of a state, or an agency or instrumentality of a state or political subdivision of a state, that accepts the distributee’s eligible rollover distribution and agrees to account separately for amounts transferred into such plan from the arrangement described under this act. The foregoing definition of eligible retirement plan shall also apply in the case of a distribution to a surviving spouse, or to a spouse or former spouse who is the alternate payee under a domestic relations order.

“(4) ‘Eligible rollover distribution,’ within the meaning of section 402(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, means any distribution of all or any portion of the balance to the credit of the distributee, except that an eligible rollover distribution does not include:

“(A) A distribution that is one of a series of substantially equal periodic payments (not less frequently than annually) made for the life (or life expectancy) of the distributee or the joint lives (or joint life expectancies) of the distributee and the distributee’s designated beneficiary, or for a specified period of 10 years or more; and

“(B) A distribution to the extent such distribution is required under section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code. A distribution to a nonspouse beneficiary under section 401(f)(2)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code is an eligible rollover distribution. A portion of the distribution shall not fail to be an eligible rollover distribution merely because the portion consists of after-tax employee contributions that are not includible in gross income. However, the portion may be paid only to an individual retirement account or annuity described in section 408(a) or (b) of the Internal Revenue Code or to a qualified trust or annuity plan described in section 401(a) or 403(a) of the Internal Revenue Code or an annuity contract described in section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code if the trust or annuity plan or contract provides for separate accounting for amounts so transferred (and earnings thereon), including separately accounting for the portion of such distribution which is includible in gross income and the portion of such distribution which is not so includible.”

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Short Title

Short title of subtitle A of title XXXVII of Law 14-190: Section 3701 of D.C. Law 14-190 provided that subtitle A of title XXXVII of the act may be cited as the Teachers Retirement Consolidation Amendment Act of 2002.

References in Text

Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsecs. (b) and (c), is codified as 26 U.S.C. § 403(b).

Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsecs. (b) and (c)(1)(C), is codified as 26 U.S.C. § 457.

Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(A), is codified as 26 U.S.C. § 401(a).

Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(B), is codified as 26 U.S.C. § 403(b).

Section 408(a) or 408(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(D), is codified as 26 U.S.C. § 408(a) or 408(b).

Editor's Notes

Section 3703 of D.C. Law 14-190 provided: “This subtitle subtitle A of title XXXVII, §§ 3701 to 3705 of D.C. Law 14-190 is adopted in good faith to comply with the requirements of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, approved June 7, 2001 (115 Stat. 38; scattered sections of Title 26 of the U.S. Code) (‘EGTRRA’) and shall be construed in accordance with EGTRRA and guidance issued thereunder.”

Section 3704 of D.C. Law 14-190 provided: “This subtitle subtitle A of title XXXVII, §§ 3701 to 3705 of D.C. Law 14-190 shall apply as of January 1, 2002.”


§ 38–2021.27. Internal Revenue Code limits.

(a) Benefits and contributions under the provisions of this part shall not be computed with reference to any compensation that exceeds that maximum dollar amount permitted by section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code, as adjusted for increases in the cost of living. This provision shall apply only with respect to an individual who first receives benefits under [this part]* on or after October 1, 2002.

(b) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this part to the contrary, benefits under this part are subject to the limitations imposed by section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, as adjusted from time to time and, to that end, effective for limitation years beginning on or after January 1, 2008:

(1)(A) To the extent necessary to prevent disqualification under section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, and subject to the remainder of this subsection, the maximum monthly benefit to which any teacher may be entitled in any limitation year with respect to his or her accrued retirement benefit, as adjusted from time to time pursuant to § 38-2021.21 (hereafter referred to as the “maximum benefit”), shall not exceed the defined benefit dollar limit (adjusted as provided in this subsection). In addition to the foregoing, to the extent necessary to prevent disqualification under section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, and subject to this subsection), the maximum annual additions for any limitation year shall be equal to the lesser of:

(i) The dollar limit on annual additions; or

(ii) 100% of the teacher’s remuneration.

(B) The defined benefit dollar limit and the dollar limit on annual additions shall be adjusted, effective January 1 of each year, under section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code in such manner as the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe. The dollar limit as adjusted under section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code shall apply to limitation years ending with or within the calendar year for which the adjustment applies, but a teacher’s benefits shall not reflect the adjusted limit before January 1 of that calendar year. To the extent that the monthly benefit payable to a teacher who has reached his or her termination date is limited by the application of this subsection, the limit shall be adjusted to reflect subsequent adjustments made in accordance with section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, but the adjusted limit shall apply only to benefits payable on or after January 1 of the calendar year for which the adjustment applies.

(2) Benefits shall be actuarially adjusted based upon the defined benefit dollar limit, as follows:

(A) There shall be an adjustment for benefits payable in a form other than a straight life annuity as follows:

(i) If a monthly benefit is payable in a form other than a straight life annuity, before applying the defined benefit dollar limit, the benefit shall be adjusted, in the manner described in sub-subparagraphs (ii) or (iii) of this subparagraph, to the actuarially equivalent straight life annuity that begins at the same time. No actuarial adjustment to the benefit shall be made for benefits that are not directly related to retirement benefits (such as a qualified disability benefit, preretirement incidental death benefits, and postretirement medical benefits), or in the case of a form of benefit not subject to section 417(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, the inclusion of a feature under which a benefit increases automatically to the extent permitted to reflect cost-of-living adjustments and the increase, if any, in the defined benefit dollar limit under section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(ii) If the benefit of a teacher is paid in a form not subject to section 417(e) of the Internal Revenue Code, the actuarially equivalent straight life annuity (without regard to cost-of-living adjustments described in this subsection) is equal to the greater of the annual amount of the straight life annuity, if any, payable to the teacher commencing at the same time, or the annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same time that has the same actuarial present value as the teacher’s form of benefit, computed using a 5% interest rate and the applicable mortality designated by the Secretary of the Treasury from time to time pursuant to section 417(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(iii) If the benefit of a teacher is paid in a form subject to section 417(e) of the Internal Revenue Code, the actuarially equivalent straight life annuity is equal to the greatest of:

(I) The annual amount of the straight life annuity having a commencement date that has the same actuarial present value as the teacher’s form of benefit, computed using the interest rate and mortality table (or other tabular factor) specified in the definition of actuarial equivalent for adjusting benefits in the same form;

(II) The annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the time that has the same actuarial present value as the teacher’s form of benefit, computed using a 5.5% interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table designated by the Secretary of the Treasury from time to time pursuant to section 417(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or

(III) The annual amount of the straight life annuity commencing at the same time that has the same actuarial present value as the teacher’s form of benefit, computed using the applicable interest rate and the applicable mortality table designated by the Secretary of the Treasury from time to time pursuant to section 417(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, divided by 1.05.

(iv) For the purposes of this subparagraph, whether a form of benefit is subject to section 417(e) of the Internal Revenue Code is determined without regard to the status of this part as a government plan as described in section 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(B) There shall be an adjustment to benefits that commence before age 62 or after age 65 as follows:

(i) If the benefit of a teacher begins before age 62, the defined benefit dollar limit applicable to the teacher at such earlier age is an annual benefit payable in the form of a straight life annuity beginning at the earlier age that is the actuarial equivalent of the defined benefit dollar limit applicable to the teacher at age 62 (adjusted for participation of fewer than 10 years, if applicable) computed using a 5% interest rate and the applicable mortality table designated by the Secretary of the Treasury from time to time pursuant to section 417(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. However, if the benefit provided under this part provides an immediately commencing straight life annuity payable at both age 62 and the age of benefit commencement, the defined benefit dollar limit is the lesser of:

(I) The limitation determined under the immediately preceding sentence; or

(II) The defined benefit dollar limit, adjusted for participation of fewer than 10 years, if applicable, multiplied by the ratio of the annual amount of the immediately commencing straight life annuity under this part at the age of benefit commencement to the annual amount of the immediately commencing straight life annuity under this part at age 62, both determined without applying the limitations of this section. The adjustment in this sub-subparagraph shall not apply as a result of benefits paid on account of disability under § 38-2021.04 or as a result of the death of a teacher under § 38-2021.09.

(ii) If the benefit of a teacher begins after age 65, the defined benefit dollar limit applicable to the teacher at the later age is the annual benefit payable in the form of a straight life annuity beginning at the later age that is actuarially equivalent to the defined benefit dollar limit applicable at age 65 (adjusted for participation of fewer than 10 years, if applicable) computed using a 5% interest rate assumption and the applicable mortality table designated by the Secretary of the Treasury from time to time pursuant to section 417(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. However, if the benefit provided under this part provides an immediately commencing straight life annuity payable at both age 65 and the age of benefit commencement, the defined benefit dollar limit is the lesser of:

(I) The limitation determined under the immediately preceding sentence; or

(II) The defined benefit dollar limit (adjusted for participation of less than 10 years, if applicable) multiplied by the ratio of the annual amount of the adjusted immediately commencing straight life annuity under this part at the age of benefit commencement to the annual amount of the adjusted immediately commencing straight life annuity under this part at age 65, both determined without applying the limitations of this section. For this purpose, the adjusted immediately commencing straight life annuity under this part at the age the benefit commences is the annual amount of the annuity payable to the teacher, computed disregarding the teacher’s accruals after age 65 but including any actuarial adjustments, even if those actuarial adjustments are used to offset accruals; and the adjusted immediately commencing straight life annuity under this part at age 65 is the annual amount of such annuity that would be payable under this part to a hypothetical teacher who is age 65 and has the same annuity as the teacher.

(iii) For the purposes of this subparagraph, no adjustment shall be made to the defined benefit dollar limit to reflect the probability of a teacher’s death between the commencing date and age 62, or between age 65 and the commencing date, as applicable, if benefits are not forfeited upon the death of the teacher before the annuity having a commencing date. To the extent benefits are forfeited upon death before the date the benefits first commence, such an adjustment shall be made. For this purpose, no forfeiture shall be treated as occurring upon the teacher’s death if the benefit provided under this part does not charge the teacher for providing a qualified preretirement survivor annuity (as defined for purposes of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code) upon the teacher’s death.

(3) If the teacher has fewer than 10 years of participation in the defined benefit portion of this part (as determined under section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code and associated regulations), the defined benefit dollar limit shall be multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of years (or part thereof) of participation under this part and the denominator of which is 10. The adjustment in this paragraph shall not apply to benefits paid on account of disability under § 38-2021.04(d) or as a result of the death of a teacher under § 38-2021.09. In the case of years of credited service credited to a teacher pursuant to § 38-2021.08:

(A) The limitations contained in paragraph (1)(A)(i) of this subsection and this paragraph shall not apply to the portion of the teacher’s accrued retirement benefit (determined as of the annuity commencement date) that is attributable to any additional years of credited service under § 38-2021.08 that are actuarially funded by:

(i) A transfer or rollover from the teacher’s account under a retirement plan qualified under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code or an eligible deferred compensation plan within the meaning of section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code or from an individual retirement account; or

(ii) A direct payment.

(B) The limitations contained in paragraph (1)(A)(i) of this subsection and this paragraph shall apply to the portion of the teacher’s accrued retirement benefit (determined as of the annuity commencement date) that is attributable to any additional years of credited service under § 38-2021.08 that are not actuarially funded by:

(i) A transfer or rollover from the teacher’s account under a retirement plan qualified under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code or an eligible deferred compensation plan (within the meaning of section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code) or from an individual retirement account; or

(ii) A direct payment.

(C) The determination of the extent to which additional years of credited service under § 38-2021.08 have been actuarially funded as of the annuity commencement date shall be determined in accordance with section 411(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (using the actuarial assumptions thereunder), applied as if section 411(c) of the Internal Revenue Code applied and treating the amount transferred from a plan qualified under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, the teacher’s account under an eligible deferred compensation plan (within the meaning of section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code), or an individual retirement account, or the amount of the direct lump-sum payment to the Custodian of Retirement Funds, as if it were a mandatory employee contribution.

(4) In addition to the foregoing, the maximum benefit and contributions shall be reduced, and the rate of benefit accrual shall be frozen or reduced accordingly, to the extent necessary to prevent disqualification under section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, with respect to any teacher who is also a participant in:

(A) Any other tax-qualified retirement plan maintained by the District of Columbia, including a defined benefit plan in which an individual medical benefit account, as described in section 415(l) of the Internal Revenue Code, has been established for the teacher;

(B) A welfare plan maintained by the District of Columbia in which a separate account, as described in section 419A(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, has been established to provide post-retirement medical benefits for the teacher; or

(C) A retirement or welfare plan, as aforesaid, maintained by an affiliated or predecessor employer, as described in regulations under section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code, or otherwise required to be taken into account under such regulations.

(5) If a teacher has distributions commencing at more than one date determined in accordance with section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code and associated regulations, the annuity payable having the commencement date shall satisfy the limitations of this subsection as of each date, actuarially adjusting for past and future distributions of benefits commencing at the other dates that benefits commence.

(6) The application of the provisions of this subsection shall not cause the maximum permissible benefit for a teacher to be less than the teacher’s annuity under this part as of the end of the last limitation year beginning before July 1, 2007 under provisions of this part that were both adopted and in effect before April 5, 2007 and that satisfied the limitations under section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code as in effect as of the end of the last limitation year beginning before July 1, 2007.

(7) To the extent that a teacher’s benefit is subject to provisions of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code that have not been set forth in this part, these provisions are hereby incorporated by reference and for all purposes shall be deemed a part of this part.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary, all death benefit payments referred to in this section shall be distributed only in accordance with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and accompanying Treasury regulations, as more fully set forth in § 38-2021.07a.

(d) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Annual additions” means the sum of the following items credited to the teacher under this part and any other tax-qualified retirement plan sponsored by the District of Columbia for a limitation year and treated as a defined contribution plan for purposes of section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code: District of Columbia contributions that are separately allocated to the teacher’s credit in any defined contribution plan; forfeitures; teacher contributions (other than contributions that are picked up by the District of Columbia as described in section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code); and amounts credited after March 31, 1984 to a teacher’s individual medical account (within the meaning of section 415(l) of the Internal Revenue Code).

(2) “Defined benefit dollar limit” means the dollar limit imposed by section 415(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code, as adjusted pursuant to section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. The defined benefit dollar limit as set forth above is the monthly amount payable in the form of a straight life annuity, beginning no earlier than age 62 (except as provided in subsection (b)(2)(B)(i)) of this section and no later than age 65. In the case of a monthly amount payable in a form other than a straight life annuity, or beginning before age 62 or after age 65, the adjustments in subsection (b)(2) of this section shall apply.

(3) “Dollar limit” means the dollar limit on annual additions imposed by section 415(c)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code, as adjusted pursuant to section 415(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(4) “Remuneration” means a teacher’s wages as defined in section 3401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and all other payments of salary to the teacher from the public schools of the District of Columbia for which the public schools of the District of Columbia is required to furnish the teacher a written statement under sections 6041(d) and 6051(a)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For this purpose:

(A) Remuneration shall be determined without regard to any rules that limit the remuneration included in wages based on the nature or location of the employment or the services performed.

(B) Remuneration does not include mandatory employee contributions picked up by the public schools of the District of Columbia pursuant to section 1.

(C) Remuneration shall include an amount that would otherwise be deemed remuneration under this definition but for the fact that it is subject to a salary reduction agreement under a plan described in section 457(b), 132(f) or 125 of the Internal Revenue Code.

(D) Remuneration with respect to any limitation year shall in no event exceed the dollar limit specified in section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code (as adjusted from time to time by the Secretary of the Treasury). The cost-of-living adjustment in effect for a calendar year applies to remuneration for the limitation year that begins with or within such calendar year.


(Aug. 7, 1946, ch. 799, § 25; as added Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-190, § 3702, 49 DCR 6968; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 71, 51 DCR 881; renumbered as § 26, May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-312, § 2(n), 60 DCR 3434; Feb. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-215, § 3, 65 DCR 12958.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 38-2021.25.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 38-2021.25.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-105 validated a previously made technical correction.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-312 renumbered § 25 of the Act of Aug. 7, 1946, ch. 799, as § 26; and rewrote the section.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(n) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-584, January 1, 2013, 60 DCR 134).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(n) of the Retirement of Public-School Teachers Omnibus Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-41, March 25, 2013, 60 DCR 5361, 20 DCSTAT 527).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(n)(1) of D.C. Law 19-313 redesignated § 25 of the Act of Aug. 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 878, ch. 779, as § 26.

Section 2(n)(2) of D.C. Law 19-313 amended this section.

Section 4(b) of D.C. Law 19-313 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

References in Text

*"[this part]", referenced in subsection (a) of this section, generally refers to all sections contained in this part, however, not all sections of D.C. Law 14-190 are codified in this part. The reader may want to take note of the sections of D.C. Law 14-190 that are not codified in this part.

Section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is classified to 26 U.S.C. § 401(a)(17).

Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (b), is classified as 26 U.S.C. § 415.

Editor's Notes

Section 3703 of D.C. Law 14-190 provided: “This subtitle subtitle A of title XXXVII, §§ 3701 to 3705, of D.C. Law 14-190 is adopted in good faith to comply with the requirements of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, approved June 7, 2001 (115 Stat. 38; scattered sections of Title 26 of the U.S. Code) (‘EGTRRA’) and shall be construed in accordance with EGTRRA and guidance issued thereunder.”

Section 3704 of D.C. Law 14-190 provided: “This subtitle subtitle A of title XXXVII, §§ 3701 to 3705, of D.C. Law 14-190 shall apply as of January 1, 2002.”