Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I. Short Title, Findings, Definitions.


§ 1–801.01. Findings and declaration of policy.

(a) Findings. — The Congress finds that:

(1) State and municipal retirement programs should be funded on an actuarially sound basis;

(2) The retirement programs for the police officers and firefighters, teachers and judges of the District of Columbia had significant unfunded liabilities totaling approximately $1,900,000,000 when the Federal government transferred those programs to the District of Columbia, and those liabilities have since increased to nearly $4,800,000,000, an increase which is almost entirely attributable to the accumulation of interest on the value which existed at the time of transfer;

(3) The District of Columbia has fully met its financial obligations under the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act of 1979 (Public Law 96-122);

(4) The growth of the unfunded liabilities of the three pension funds listed above did not occur because of any action taken or any failure to act that lay within the power of the District of Columbia government or the District of Columbia Retirement Board;

(5) The presence of the unfunded pension liability is having and will continue to have a negative impact on the District of Columbia’s credit rating as it is a legal obligation and the total unfunded liability exceeds the total General Obligation debt of the District, and the costs associated with this liability are a contributing cause of the District’s ongoing financial crisis;

(6) The obligations of the District associated with these pension programs in fiscal year 1997 represents nearly 10 percent of the District’s revenue;

(7) The annual Federal contribution toward these costs under the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act has remained $52,000,000;

(8) If the unfunded pension liability situation is not resolved, in 2004 the District of Columbia would be responsible for annual costs exceeding $800,000,000, a figure which would be impossible to meet without catastrophic impact on the District government’s resources and programs;

(9) The financial resources of the District of Columbia are not adequate to discharge the unfunded liabilities of the retirement programs; and

(10) The level of benefits and funding of the current retirement programs were authorized by various Acts of Congress.

(b) Policy. — It is the policy of this chapter:

(1) To relieve the District of Columbia government of the responsibility for the unfunded pension liabilities transferred to it by the Federal government;

(2) For the Federal government to assume the legal responsibility for paying certain pension benefits (including certain unfunded pension liabilities which existed as of the day prior to introduction of this legislation) for the retirement plans of teachers, police, and firefighters;

(3) To provide for a responsible Federal system for payment of benefits accrued prior to the date of introduction of this legislation; and

(4) To require the establishment of replacement plans by the District of Columbia government for the current retirement plans for teachers, and police and firefighters.


(Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 715, Pub. L. 105-33, § 11002.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-761.1.

Cross References

Retirement Board and funds, establishment, Board to continue duties under retirement program after enactment of this chapter, see § 1-711.

Short Title

District of Columbia Retirement Protection Act of 1997: Section 11001 of subtitle A of Title XI of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 Stat. 715, the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997, provided that subtitle A may be cited as the “District of Columbia Retirement Protection Act of 1997.”

Effective Dates

Section 11721 of Title XI of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 Stat. 786, the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997, provided that except as otherwise provided in this title, the provisions of this title shall take effect on the later of October 1, 1997, or the day the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority certifies that the financial plan and budget for the District government for fiscal year 1998 meet the requirements of section 201(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995, as amended by this title.


§ 1–801.02. Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) The term “contract” means the contract under § 1-807.05 between the Secretary and the Trustee, and includes any agreement with a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States entered into under that section.

(2) The term “covered District employee” means a teacher of the District of Columbia public schools, or a member of the Metropolitan Police Force or the Fire Department of the District of Columbia, as defined under the District Retirement Program.

(3) The term “D.C. Federal Pension Fund” means the District of Columbia Teachers, Police Officers, and Firefighters Federal Pension Fund established under § 1-817.01.

(4) The term “District Government” means any entity treated as part of the District government under § 47-393(5), including the District of Columbia Retirement Board (as defined in § 1-702(5)).

(5) The term “District Retirement Fund” means the District of Columbia Police Officers and Fire Fighters Retirement Fund and the District of Columbia Teachers Retirement Fund, as defined in the Reform Act.

(6) The term “District Retirement Program” means any of the retirement programs for teachers and members of the Metropolitan Police Force and Fire Department, as described in § 1-702(7) as in effect on the day before the freeze date (except as provided under § 1-803.02(e) and (f) and as amended by § 11013 of the District of Columbia Retirement Protection Act of 1997).

(7) The term “enrolled actuary” means the enrolled actuary engaged by the Trustee under § 1-813.01(a).

(8) The term “Federal benefit payment” means a payment described in § 1-803.02.

(9) The term “Federal Supplemental Fund” means the Federal Supplemental District of Columbia Pension Fund created under § 1-811.01.

(10) The term “freeze date” means June 30, 1997.

(11) The term “person” means an individual; partnership; joint venture; corporation; mutual company; joint-stock company; trust; estate; unincorporated organization; association; employee organization; or department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States.

(12) The term “Reform Act” means the District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act (Public Law 96-122).

(13) The term “replacement plan” means the plan described in § 1-809.02.

(14) The term “replacement plan adoption date” means the date upon which the legislation establishing the replacement plan becomes effective, or the first day after the expiration of the 1-year period which begins on August 5, 1997, whichever occurs first.

(15) The term “Trust Fund” means the District of Columbia Federal Pension Liability Trust Fund established under § 1-807.01.

(16) The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Treasury or the Secretary’s designee.

(17) The term “Trustee” means the person or persons selected by the Secretary under § 1-807.05, or, beginning October 1, 2004, the Pension Fund Trustee selected by the Secretary under § 1-817.05.


(Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 716, Pub. L. 105-33, § 11003; Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681-530, Pub. L. 105-277, § 801(a); Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2763, Pub. L. 106-554, § 1(a)(4), H.R. 5666 § 908(b); Nov. 22, 2003, 117 Stat. 1387, Pub. L. 108-133, § 3(b); Dec. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 3969, Pub. L. 108-489, § 2(c).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-761.2.

Effect of Amendments

Pub. L. 106-554, in par. (5), inserted “provided under § 1-803.02(e) and as” following “(except as”.

Pub. L. 108-113, in par. (5), inserted “and (f)” following “§ 1-803.02(e)”.

Pub. L. 108-489, in par. (16), inserted “, or, beginning October 1, 2004, the Pension Fund Trustee selected by the Secretary under § 1-817.05” before the period; redesignated pars. (3) through (16) as pars. (4) through (17); and inserted a new par.

Effective Dates

Section 908(c) of Title IX of H.R. 5666, incorporated by reference by Public Law 106-554 stated that the amendments made by section 908 shall apply with respect to federal benefit payments made after December 21, 2000.