§ 1–711. District of Columbia Retirement Board.
*NOTE: This section includes amendments by temporary legislation that will expire on March 10, 2022. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation affecting this section, click this link: Permanent Version.*
(a) There is established, as an independent agency of the government of the District of Columbia, a board of trustees to be known as the District of Columbia Retirement Board which shall have exclusive authority and discretion (subject to the requirements of this chapter) to manage and control the Funds established by this chapter, and for implementation and administration of the retirement program and post employment benefit programs.
(b)(1)(A) The Board shall consist of 12 members selected as follows:
(i) One member or officer of the Metropolitan Police force of the District of Columbia, to be elected by the members and officers of the Metropolitan Police force;
(ii) One retired member or officer of the Metropolitan Police force to be elected by the retired members and officers of the Metropolitan Police force;
(iii) One member or officer of the Fire Department of the District of Columbia, to be elected by the members and officers of the Fire Department;
(iv) One retired member or officer of the Fire Department of the District of Columbia, to be elected by the retired members and officers of the Fire Department;
(v) One teacher in the public day schools of the District of Columbia, to be elected by the teachers of the public day schools of the District of Columbia;
(vi) One teacher in the public day schools of the District of Columbia who is retired, to be elected by the retired teachers of the public day schools of the District of Columbia;
(vii) One senior judge and an alternate senior judge appointed by the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration of the District of Columbia. For purposes of calculating the total number of members of the Board, the senior judge and the alternate senior judge combined shall constitute one member of the Board.
(viii) Three individuals appointed by the Council of the District of Columbia; and
(ix) Three individuals appointed by the Mayor.
(B) A vacancy on the Board shall be filled in the manner in which the original selection was made.
(C) Upon transfer of the assets of the Judges’ Retirement Fund to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to Subtitle A of Title XI of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, approved August 5, 1997 (P.L. 105-33; 111 Stat. 963), the senior judge and the alternative senior judge shall no longer serve on the Board. Thereafter, the Board shall consist of 12 members.
(2) The 1st election of the Board members described in sub-subparagraphs (i) through (vi) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be conducted within 6 months after the date of the enactment of this chapter in accordance with regulations which the Mayor shall promulgate. Thereafter, elections shall be conducted by the Board. In any such election, voting shall be by secret ballot, and each individual to be represented on the Board by the winner of such election shall be eligible to vote in such election.
(3)(A) Members of the Board shall each serve a term of 4 years, except that a member selected to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the end of the term for which his predecessor was selected shall only serve until the end of such term. If the portion of the remaining term to be filled is one year or less, the member selected to fill the vacancy shall serve until the end of such term and shall serve a subsequent 4-year term. A member may serve after the expiration of his term until his successor has taken office.
(B) A vote of two-thirds of the members of the Board shall remove any Board member from office for good cause, after notice to the Board member.
(5) Any individual who was selected as a member of the Board under sub-subparagraph (A)(i), (iii), or (v) of paragraph (1) of this subsection and who ceases to be a member or officer of the Metropolitan Police force, member or officer of the Fire Department, or a teacher, as the case may be, may not continue as a member of the Board.
(6) No member of the Board may hold or be a candidate for any elective office in the District of Columbia.
(7) A member of the Board shall not have any personal interest, direct or indirect, except as a participant in a retirement program, in any transaction involving assets of the Funds established by this chapter and shall otherwise comply with the standards of conduct established by subchapter V of this chapter.
(8) Not less than 2 members of the Board appointed by the Mayor and 1 member of the Board appointed by the Council under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be individuals who have professional experience in the banking, insurance, or investment industry.
(9) Any member of the Board may be removed from the Board by a vote of two thirds of the members of the Board for a breach of fiduciary responsibility with respect to a Fund or for a violation of § 1-744.
(10) The Board shall elect 1 member of the Board to be Chairman of the Board. The Chairman shall be elected for a term of 1 year, but may be removed from such position by a vote of two thirds of the members of the Board.
(11) The Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia, his or her successor, or his or her designee, shall be an ex officio member of the Board, but shall not vote, shall not be eligible to be elected Chairman of the Board, and shall not be counted for purposes of a quorum. For purposes of continuity on the board of trustees, the Mayor shall notify the Board in writing if the designated ex officio member of the Board is replaced.
(c)(1) Subject to the availability of appropriations for that purpose, each member of the Board shall be entitled to receive the hourly equivalent of the annual rate of pay in effect for the highest step of grade DS-15 under Chapter 6 of this title for each hour that the member is engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the Board, except that a member of the Board who is a full-time officer or employee of the District of Columbia or the United States shall not be entitled to receive pay under this subsection for performance of duties vested in the Board during the employee’s regularly scheduled working hours, and the total amount to which a member may be entitled under this subsection during a year may not exceed:
(A) Beginning in Fiscal Year 2021, $25,000 for the Chairperson of the Board; and
(B) Beginning in Fiscal Year 2021, $15,000 for each member entitled to compensation under this paragraph other than the Chairperson.
(2) Members of the Board who are employees of the District of Columbia shall be entitled to leave, without loss of pay, leave, or credit for time of service, while engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the Board. To the extent that Board duties are performed by a District employee during other than the regularly scheduled working hours of the employee, the employee shall be entitled to receive pay in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(4) The Board may participate in seminars, conventions, dinners, or similar activities at the expense of a bank, investment manager, brokerage firm, or other entity only if the principal purpose of the activity is to discuss financial matters for the benefit of the participants and beneficiaries of the Fund and the activity is of a nature normally provided free of charge to other institutional investors. Participation in the activities in accordance with this paragraph shall not constitute a violation of subchapter XVIII of Chapter 6 of this title. The Board shall provide a list of these activities, indicating the sponsor and date of each activity, as part of the annual report provided for in § 1-732.
(d)(1) The Board shall meet at least once each calendar quarter at a regular and specified time. It shall meet at such other times as the Chairman or any 3 members of the Board may prescribe.
(2) A majority of members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the Board.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, actions of the Board shall be determined by a majority vote of the members present and voting.
(e) The Board shall from time to time, or when necessary, promulgate and adopt rules, regulations, and resolutions, and issue directives for the management and administration of the retirement program and for management and control of the Funds. To efficiently administer and implement the retirement program and manage the Funds, the Board may make reasonable interpretations of and implement all governing authorities. All governing authorities shall comply with necessary qualification requirements set forth by the Internal Revenue Code as amended for governmental retirement plans. Governing authorities may constitute the Trust Document for the retirement program and the Funds. Prior to the enactment or adoption of any governing authority, the Retirement Board shall submit a written analysis of the proposed governing authority to the appropriate person including the Mayor, the Council of the District of Columbia, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chairman of the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, the President of the Board of Education, or their successors, for purposes of fulfilling its fiduciary duties and for continued compliance with Internal Revenue Code qualification requirements.
(f)(1) All administrative expenses incurred by the Board in carrying out this chapter, including compensation for the members of the Board, shall be paid out of funds appropriated for such purpose.
(2) The budget prepared and submitted by the Mayor pursuant to § 1-204.42 shall include recommended expenditures at a reasonable level for the forthcoming fiscal year for the administrative expenses of the Board.
(3) The Mayor and the Council may establish the amount of funds which will be allocated to the Board for administrative expenses, but may not specify the purposes for which such funds may be expended or the amounts which may be expended for the various activities of the Board.
(g)(1) The Board shall engage the services of competent investment counsel or counsels each of whom shall be either:
(A) Registered under title II of An Act To provide for the registration and regulation of investment companies and investment advisers (15 U.S.C. § 80b-1 et seq.) (“Investment Advisers Act of 1940”);
(B) A bank, as defined in the Investment Advisers Act of 1940; or
(C) An insurance company qualified to perform investment advisory services under the laws of more than 1 state. The investment counsel or counsels shall be fiduciaries with respect to services rendered to the Board. This fiduciary relationship shall be specified in a written agreement between the investment counsel or counsels and the Board.
(2)(A) As an independent agency of the District government pursuant to this chapter and § 1-603.01(13), the Board may appoint any staff it considers necessary to carry out the responsibilities under this chapter. Except as provided under subsection (k) of this section, staff appointed by the Board shall be subject to Chapter 6 of Title 1.
(B)(i)(I) Notwithstanding the provisions of Unit A of Chapter 14 of Title 2, the Board shall use a ranking system based on a scale of 100 points for all employment decisions for positions within the Board.
(II) An individual who is a District resident at the time of application shall be awarded a 10-point hiring preference over a nonresident applicant; provided, that the individual claims the preference. This 10-point preference shall be in addition to any points awarded on the 100-point scale.
(III) At the time of appointment, an individual who claimed the 10-point residency preference shall agree, in writing, to maintain District residency for a period of 7 consecutive years from the effective date of appointment into the position for which the individual claimed the residency preference.
(IV) An individual who claimed the residency preference and who fails to maintain District residency for 7 consecutive years from the individual's effective date of appointment shall forfeit the individual's District government employment.
(V) Each applicant for a position covered by this sub-subparagraph shall be informed in writing of the provisions of this sub-subparagraph at the time of application.
(ii) The Board shall verify and enforce District residency requirements pursuant to § 1-515.04.
(iii) By November 1 of each year and pursuant to § 1-515.06, the Board shall submit to the Mayor an annual report detailing, for the previous fiscal year, compliance with residency requirements.
(C) The Executive Director, who shall be appointed to manage the day-to-day operations of the Board, shall be a District resident throughout his or her term and failure to maintain District residency shall result in a forfeiture of the position.
(D) Notwithstanding any provision of law, the annual salary of the Executive Director shall be fixed by the Board as it considers necessary at a rate not to exceed 135% of the highest step of Grade E5 of the Executive Service.
(h) Not more than 90 days after all initial members of the Board have been selected in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the Board shall certify in writing to the Director of the Office of Budget and Financial Management of the District of Columbia that the Board is assuming responsibility for the Funds established by this chapter.
(i)(1) The Board shall have the authority to enter into contracts with the governments of the District of Columbia and the United States and other public and private entities to the extent necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this chapter.
(2) The Board shall issue proposed rules governing the procurement of goods and services pursuant to the authority granted in paragraph (1) of this subsection. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.
(j) In accordance with § 1-809.01, after enactment of Chapter 8 of this title, the Board shall continue to discharge its duties and responsibilities under the retirement program and to the Funds (as the duties and responsibilities are modified by the Retirement Protection Act), including the responsibility for federal benefit payments provided in § 1-903.05, until the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury provides notification to the District government as required under the Retirement Protection Act.
(k) Staff appointed by the Board pursuant to subsection (g)(2) of this section shall not be subject to the provisions of subchapter XI of Chapter 6 of this title. The Board shall have exclusive authority to establish classification and compensation policy for staff appointed by the Board, provided that staff shall not be paid at a rate greater than the highest level authorized for nonunion workers in the District Service schedule. The Board shall establish by regulation a new compensation system for staff appointed by the Board within one year of October 20, 1999. Until a new compensation system is established by regulation, staff appointed by the Board shall be subject to the compensation policy applicable prior to October 20, 1999. The Board shall have exclusive authority to establish by regulation alternative benefits requirements for its employees to insure an efficient system of personnel administration and to recruit and retain highly qualified personnel.
(l) Within 30 days after December 7, 2004, the Board, in consultation with the Chief Financial Officer, shall determine the time and methodology for transferring the necessary functional responsibilities, as defined by rules and regulations issued by the Board from the Office of Payroll and Retirement Services of the Office of Financial Operations and Systems to the Board.
(m) The Board may reasonably rely upon records, statements, and representations from the Mayor, the Chief Financial Officer, the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, the Secretary of the Board of Education, or its successor, a participant or beneficiary sworn in or acknowledged before an individual authorized to administer oaths, or presenting an affidavit, certification, or other reasonably reliable proof regarding any matter affecting the rights and privileges of a participant or beneficiary under the retirement program and post employment benefit programs.