State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_135 > GS_135-16_1

§135‑16.1.  Blind or visually impaired employees.

(a)        On July 1, 1971,all blind or visually impaired employees employed by the Department of Healthand Human Services shall be enrolled as members of the Teachers' and StateEmployees' Retirement System. All such employees shall be given full credit forall service theretofore as employees of the Department of Health and HumanServices. All retired employees drawing or receiving benefits from and underthe private retirement plan purportedly created on December 6, 1966, by theBureau of Employment for the Blind Division pursuant to a trust agreementpurportedly entered into with a private banking institution as trustee shallcontinue to be paid by the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement Systembenefits in the same amount which they purportedly were entitled to under theprivate retirement plan and trust agreement, except that such retired personsshall be eligible for such annual cost‑of‑living increases as maybe provided for retirement members of the Teachers' and State Employees'Retirement System under the provisions of this Article.

(b)        Upon the enrollmentof the employees in the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System, thepurported private retirement plan and trust agreement hereinabove referred toshall be dissolved and terminated.

(c)        Notwithstanding theforegoing, blind persons licensed by the State and operating vending facilitiesunder contract with the Department of Health and Human Services, Division ofServices for the Blind and its successors, hereinafter referred to as licensedvendors, so licensed on and after October 1, 1983, shall not be members of theRetirement System. All licensed vendors in service or who are members of theRetirement System before October 1, 1983, shall make an irrevocable election todo one of the following:

(1)        Continuecontributing membership service as if an employee under the same conditions andrequirements as are otherwise provided, and have the rights of a member to allbenefits and a retirement allowance;

(2)        Receive a return ofaccumulated contributions with cessation of contributing membership service,under G.S. 135‑5(f), and in any event with regular interest regardless ofmembership service; or

(3)        Terminatecontributing membership service and be entitled alternatively to the benefitsand allowances provided under G.S. 135‑3(8) or 135‑5(a). (1971,c. 1025, s. 3; 1973, c. 476, s. 143; 1983, c. 867, s. 3; 1997‑443, s.11A.118(a); 2000‑121, s. 28.)