(a) There is established in the Treasury a fund known as the District of Columbia Judicial Retirement and Survivors Annuity Fund (hereafter in this section referred to as the ‘Fund’), which shall consist of the following assets:
(1) Amounts deposited by, or deducted and withheld from the salary and retired pay of, a judge under section 1563 or 1567 of this title, which shall be credited to an individual account of the judge.
(2) Amounts transferred from the District of Columbia Judges’ Retirement Fund under section 124(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act, as amended by section 11252 of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
(3) Amounts deposited under subsection (d) [of this section].
(4) Any return on investment of the assets of the Fund.
(b)(1) The Secretary of the Treasury (hereafter in this section referred to as the “Secretary”) shall be responsible for the administration of the Fund. The Secretary may carry out such responsibilities through an agreement with a Trustee or contractor (who may be the Trustee or contractor appointed to carry out responsibilities relating to Federal benefit payments under subtitle A of title XI of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and an enrolled actuary (as defined in section 7701(a)(35) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) who is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries (who may be the enrolled actuary engaged under such Act). Notwithstanding any other provision of District law or any other law, rule, or regulation, any Trustee, contractor, or enrolled actuary selected by the Secretary under this subsection may, with the approval of the Secretary, enter into one or more subcontracts with the District of Columbia government or any person to provide services to such Trustee, contractor, or enrolled actuary in connection with its performance of its agreement with the Secretary. Such Trustee, contractor, or enrolled actuary shall monitor the performance of any subcontract to which it is a party and enforce its provisions.
(2) The Secretary shall submit to the President an annual estimate of the expenditures necessary for the maintenance and operation of the Fund, and such supplemental estimates as may be required from time to time for the same purposes, according to law.
(3) The Secretary may cause periodic examinations of the Fund to be made by an enrolled actuary (as defined in section 7701(a)(35) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) who is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.
(c)(1) Amounts in the Fund are available—
(A) for the payment of judges retirement pay, annuities, refunds, and allowances under this subchapter;
(B) to cover the reasonable and necessary expenses of administering the Fund under any agreement entered into with a Trustee, contractor, or enrolled actuary under subsection (b)(1), including any agreement with a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States; and
(C) to cover the reasonable and necessary administrative expenses incurred by the Secretary in carrying out the Secretary’s responsibilities under this subchapter.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of District law or any other law (other than the Internal Revenue Code of 1986), rule, or regulation—
(A) the Secretary may review benefit determinations under this subchapter made prior to the date of the enactment of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 [August 5, 1997], and shall make initial benefit determination after such date; and
(B) the Secretary may recoup or recover, or waive recoupment or recovery of, any amounts paid under this subchapter as a result of errors or omissions by any person.
(3)(A) In accordance with procedures approved by the Secretary, the Secretary shall provide to any individual whose claim for a benefit under this subchapter has been denied in whole or in part—
(i) adequate written notice of such denial, setting forth the specific reasons for the denial in a manner calculated to be understood by the average participant in the program of benefits under this subchapter; and
(ii) a reasonable opportunity for a full and fair review of the decision denying such claim.
(B) Any factual determination made by the Secretary pursuant to this paragraph shall be presumed correct unless rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. The Secretary’s interpretation and construction of the benefit provisions of this subchapter shall be entitled to great deference.
(d)(1) The Secretary shall pay into the Fund from the General Fund of the Treasury, not later than the close of each fiscal year, an amount equal to the sum of —
(A) the normal cost for the year;
(B) the annual amortization amount for the year (which may not be less than zero); and
(C) the covered administrative expenses for the year.
(2) For purposes of this subsection:
(A) The “original unfunded liability” is the amount that is the present value as of September 30, 1997, of future benefits payable from the Fund (net of the sum of the present value of future normal costs and plan assets as of such date).
(B) The “annual amortization amount” is the amount determined by the enrolled actuary to be necessary to amortize in equal annual installments (until fully amortized) —
(i) the original unfunded liability over a 30-year period;
(ii) a net experience gain or loss over a 10-year period; and
(iii) any other changes in actuarial liability over a 20-year period.
(C) The “covered administrative expenses” are the expenses determined by the Secretary (on an annual basis) to be necessary to administer the Fund.
(3) Deposits made under this subsection shall not be credited to the account of any individual.
(e) The Secretary shall invest such portion of the Fund as is not in the judgment of the Secretary required to meet current withdrawals. Such investments shall be in public debt securities with maturities suitable to the needs of the Fund, as determined by the Secretary, and bearing interest at rates determined by the Secretary, taking into consideration current market yields on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable maturities.
(f) None of the moneys mentioned in this subchapter shall be assignable, either in law or in equity, or be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process (except to the extent permitted pursuant to the District of Columbia Spouse Equity Act of 1988 [subchapter VI of Chapter 5 of Title 1]).
(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of District law, rule, or regulation, any civil action brought —
(1) by an individual to enforce or clarify rights to benefits from the Fund; or
(2) by the Secretary —
(A) to enforce any claim arising (in whole or in part) under this section or any contract entered into to carry out this section,
(B) to recover benefits improperly paid from the Fund or to clarify an individual’s rights to benefits from the Fund, or
(C) to enforce any provision of this section or any contract entered into to carry out this section,
shall be brought in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
(h) For purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986—
(1) the Fund shall be treated as a trust described in section 401(a) of the Code that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Code;
(2) any transfer to or distribution from the Fund shall be treated in the same manner as a transfer to or distribution from a trust described in section 401(a) of the Code; and
(3) the benefits provided by the Fund shall be treated as benefits provided under a governmental plan maintained by the District of Columbia.
(i) For purposes of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the benefits provided by the Fund shall be treated as benefits provided under a governmental plan maintained by the District of Columbia.
(j) To the extent that any provision of subpart A of part I of subchapter D of the chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 401 et seq.) is amended after the date of the enactment of this subsection, such provision as amended shall apply to the Fund only to the extent the Secretary determines that application of the provision as amended is consistent with the administration of this subchapter.
(k) Federal obligations for benefits under this subchapter are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.
(l) The provisions of section 664 of title 18, United States Code (relating to theft or embezzlement from employee benefit plans), shall apply to the Fund.
(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 507, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 111; Nov. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 866, Pub. L. 96-122, § 124(b)(4); Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 756, Pub. L. 105-33, §§ 11251(a), 11253(a)(1); Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2419, Pub. L. 105-274, § 2(a); Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681-533, Pub. L. 105-277, § 804(a); Dec. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 3970, Pub. L. 108-489, § 3(a)(1), (b)(1).)
1981 Ed., § 11-1570.
1973 Ed., § 11-1570.
Effect of Amendments
Pub. L. 108-489, in subsec. (c), added par. (3); and added subsec. (l).
District of Columbia judges retirement fund, see § 1-714.
District of Columbia Judicial Retirement and Survivors Annuity Fund, transition from District of Columbia Administration, see § 1-819.01.
References in Text
Subtitle A of Title XI of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, referred to in (b)(1) and (c)(2)(A), is subtitle A of title XI of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 Stat. 731.
Section 2(f) of Pub. L. 105-274, 112 Stat. 2423, provided that § 2(a) of the act shall take effect October 1, 1998.
Pub. L. 108-489, § (3)(a)(2), provided that: “The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to claims for benefits which are made after the date of the enactment of this Act Dec. 23, 2004 .”
Pub. L. 108-489, § (3)(b)(2) provided that: “The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act Dec. 23, 2004 .”
Change in Government
This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to the District of Columbia Council and to a Commissioner of the District of Columbia. 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 brackets, in this section.