§ 404.1206. Retirement system coverage groups.
(a) General. Section 218(d) of the Act authorizes coverage of services of employees in positions under a retirement system. For purposes of obtaining coverage, a system may be considered a separate retirement system authorized by sections 218(d)(6) (A) or (B) or 218(l) of the Act. Under these sections of the Act a State may designate the positions of any one of the following groupings of employees as a separate retirement system:
(2) The employees of the State under the system;
(3) The employees of each political subdivision in the State under the system;
(4) The employees of the State and the employees of any one or more of the State's political subdivisions;
(5) The employees of any combination of the State's political subdivisions;
(6) The employees of each institution of higher learning, including junior colleges and teachers colleges;
(7) The employees of a hospital which is an integral part of a political subdivision; or
(8) The employees in police officers' positions or firefighters' positions, or both.
If State law requires a State or political subdivision to have a retirement system, it is considered established even though no action has been taken to establish the system.
(b) Retirement system coverage groups. A retirement system coverage group is a grouping of employees in positions under a retirement system. Employees in positions under the system have voted for coverage for the system by referendum and a State has provided coverage by agreement or modification of its agreement. It is not a permanent grouping. It exists only for referendum and coverage purposes and is not a separate group for reporting purposes. Once coverage has been obtained, the retirememt system coverage group becomes part of one of the absolute coverage groups described in § 404.1205(b).
(c) What a retirement system coverage group consists of. A retirement system coverage group consists of:
(1) Current employees—all employees whose services are not already covered by the agreement, who are in positions covered by the same retirement system on the date an agreement or modification of the agreement is made applicable to the system;
(2) Future employees—all employees in positions brought under the system after an agreement or modification of the agreement is signed; and
(3) Other employees—all employees in positions which had been under the retirement system but which were not under the retirement system when the group was covered (including ineligibles who had been optionally excluded from coverage under section 218(c)(3)(B) of the Act).
(d) Referendum procedures. Prior to signing the agreement or modification, the governor or an official of the State named by the governor (for an interstate instrumentality, its chief executive officer) must certify to the Commissioner that:
(1) All eligible employees were given at least 90 days' notice of the referendum;
(2) All eligible employees were given an opportunity to vote in the referendum;
(3) Only eligible employees were permitted to vote in the referendum;
(4) Voting was by secret written ballot on the question of whether service in positions covered by the retirement system should be included under an agreement;
(5) The referendum was conducted under the supervision of the governor or agency or individual named by him; and
(6) A majority of the retirement system's eligible employees voted for coverage under an agreement.
The State has two years from the date of a favorable referendum to enter into an agreement or modification extending coverage to the retirement system coverage group. If the referendum is unfavorable, another referendum cannot be held until at least one year after that unfavorable referendum.
(e) Who is covered. If a majority of the eligible employees in a retirement system vote for coverage, all employees in positions in that retirement system become covered.
(f) Coverage of employees in positions under more than one retirement system. (1) If an employee occupies two or more positions each of which is under a different retirement system, the employee's coverage in each position depends upon the coverage extended to each position under each system.
(2) If an employee is in a single position which is under more than one retirement system (because the employee's occupancy of that position permits her or him to become a member of more than one retirement system), the employee is covered when the retirement system coverage group including her or his position is covered under an agreement unless (A) he or she is not a member of the retirement system being covered and (B) he or she is a member of a retirement system which has not been covered. This rule also applies to the coverage of services in police officers' and firefighters' positions in States and interstate instrumentalities as discussed in § 404.1212(c).
[53 FR 32976, Aug. 29, 1988, as amended at 61 FR 38367, July 24, 1996; 62 FR 38451, July 18, 1997]