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Legislation #: 160254 Introduction Date: 4/7/2016
Type: Ordinance Effective Date: none
Sponsor: None
Title: Amending Chapter 2, Code of Ordinances, by repealing Section 2-1268 relating to death benefits and enacting in lieu thereof one new section of like number and subject matter.

Legislation History
DateMinutesDescription
4/5/2016 Filed by the Clerk's office
4/7/2016 Referred to Finance and Governance Committee
4/13/2016 Do Pass
4/14/2016 Assigned to Third Read Calendar
4/21/2016 Passed

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160254.pdf Authenticated 177K Authenticated
160254 Compared Version.pdf Compared Version 24K 160254 Compared Version
160254 Fiscal Note.pdf Fiscal Note 34K 160254 Fiscal Note
160254 Fact Sheet.pdf Fact Sheet 61K 160254 Fact Sheet

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ORDINANCE NO. 160254

 

Amending Chapter 2, Code of Ordinances, by repealing Section 2-1268 relating to death benefits and enacting in lieu thereof one new section of like number and subject matter.

 

WHEREAS, due to the recent line of duty deaths of two firefighters, the Board of Trustees ruled on an application for surviving spouse benefits that required review of Code of Ordinances Sections 2-1265(c) and 2-1268(a)1.b. The Board interpreted these sections together to require payment to the surviving spouse based on the member’s average final compensation but not less than the current maximum salary payable to the rank of firefighter; and

 

WHEREAS, the Board made this determination because the Board believes that the current language in Code of Ordinances Section 2-1268(a)1.b, regarding a surviving spouse’s pension, should have been changed in 1999 in Ordinance No. 991491 and the fact that it wasn’t changed was merely a scrivener’s error, that the changes made in Ordinance No. 991491 were because a duty death is the most egregious form of duty disability and that the provisions of Code of Ordinances Sections 2-1265, regarding duty disability pensions, and 2-1268 should be read in harmony; and

 

WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees of Firefighters’ Pension System has requested a change to the Code of Ordinances governing such system for the purpose of Code of Ordinances Section 2-1268 being amended so that such section is consistent with Section 2-1265; NOW, THEREFORE,

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY:

 

Section 1. That Chapter 2, Code of Ordinances of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, is hereby amended by repealing Section 2-1268 relating to death benefits enacting in lieu thereof one new section of like number and subject matter, to read as follows:

 

Sec. 2-1268. Death benefits generally.

 

(a) Amount. Upon receipt of the proper proofs of death of a member, there shall be paid the following amounts:

 

(1) Surviving spouse's pension.

 

a. There shall be paid to the eligible surviving spouse, if any, beginning the month following a member's death, one-half of the member's accrued pension at date of death as provided in section 2-1265(a), but not less than 25 percent of the member's average final compensation per month unless the deceased member had elected the joint option provided in section 2-1265(b)(2).

 

b. However, if the member dies before retirement as the natural and proximate result of an accident sustained in the performance of duty as a firefighter, the member's surviving spouse shall receive 100 percent of the member's accrued pension, but not less than 62.5 percent of the then current maximum salary payable to the rank of firefighter.

 

c. If a Tier 1 member having 25 years or more of creditable service, or a Tier 2 member having 27 years or more of creditable service, dies before retirement, the member's surviving spouse shall receive a pension calculated as if the member retired on the date of the member's death, electing a 100 percent joint option without lump sum withdrawal, as calculated in section 2-1265(b)(2).

 

d. A minimum of $275.00 per month is established for current and future spouse's pension payments, effective with pension checks dated August 1, 1986. Any annual cost-of-living adjustment related to prior calculated benefits shall be based on the original amount without reference to this minimum. The provisions of section 2-1279, when applicable to certain disability benefits, shall apply even if the net payments are less than the minimum stated in this subsection.

 

e. If there be no surviving spouse, or if such surviving spouse dies, the surviving spouse's pension shall be divided equally among any children eligible, as provided in subsection (a)(2) of this section for a child's allowance.

(2)               Child's allowance.

 

a.                   There shall be paid to a member's child or children under the age of 18 years at the time of the member's death, $100.00 a month each until such child shall attain the age of 18 years, unless the child is a full-time student at an accredited institution of higher learning, in which case the payments shall continue until the child shall attain the age of 21 years.

 

b.                  Any child 18 years of age or older, who is physically or mentally incapacitated from earning a livelihood, shall, so long as such incapacity exists as certified by a member of the medical board, be entitled to the same benefits as a child under the age of 18. If any so incapacitated child shall marry, such child shall not thereafter be entitled to any benefits under this division.

 

(3)               Funeral benefit. Effective May 3, 1993, there shall be paid a funeral benefit of $2,000.00, whether death occurred in service or after retirement.

 

(b)   Qualification of surviving spouse. No surviving spouse shall be entitled to receive any benefits or payment of any pension under this division unless the spouse is married to the member as of the effective date of the member's benefit and as of the date of the member's death.

 

(c)    Other payments. If there be no surviving spouse, or child qualifying for child's allowance, surviving such deceased member, the member's accumulated contributions shall be paid to the member’s estate or named beneficiary. If the payments received by such member, or the member's surviving spouse or children, did not equal the amount of the accumulated contributions, then the remaining balance of the accumulated contributions shall be paid to the member's named beneficiary or estate.

 

(d)   Rights of domestic partner. A member's approved domestic partner, as recognized by the city, shall have all the rights and responsibilities of a member's spouse as provided in this section 2-1268

 

(1)               Qualification of domestic partner. No domestic partner shall be entitled to receive any benefits or payment of any pension under this division unless the domestic partner's status as such had been approved prior to effective date of the member's benefit and continues in such status as of the date of the member's death.

 

(e)    Children of domestic partnership. For the purposes of this section 2-1268, children and step children of domestic partnerships shall have the same rights as children and step children of marital relationships.

 

_______________________________________________

 

Approved as to form and legality:

 

 

________________________________

Saskia Jacobse

Senior Associate City Attorney