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Existing local firefighters pension and retirement boards

1. Are all participating municipalities required to use local firefighter pension and retirement boards? 

No, the following is a list of those participating municipalities authorized and required to use local firefighter pension and retirement boards:

 

Ada  Dickson Lexington   Sallisaw
Altus     Dougherty   Locust Grove   Sand Springs
Bartlesville  EdgewaterPark  Marland   Seiling
Beaver  ElkCity  Marshall   Skiatook
Billings  Eufaula  Maysville  Spencer
Bixby   Gage  McAlester  Springer
BoiseCity  Garber  Moore  Stillwater
Canute   Glenpool  Muskogee  Stilwell
Chickasha  Grayson   Newkirk  SWODA
Claremore  Guthrie  Norge  Tipton
Clinton  Guymon  Norman  Tulsa
Colbert Hammon  Oklahoma City  Vinita
Cole   Hydro Okmulgee  Walters
Council Hill   Jenks  Optima   Weatherford
Crowder  Jones   PaulsValley  Wyandotte
Deer Creek  Kingfisher Pawhuska Yale
Dibble  Leedy    Rolling Hills  Zena



No other participating municipalities may use a local firefighter pension and retirement board.

 

2.What is the organizational structure of a local firefighter pension and retirement board? 

            For cities and towns, the mayor, city clerk, city treasurer and three (3) firefighters from the local fire department make up the local board.  For a county fire department or fire protection district, the chairman, clerk and treasurer of the board of directors and three (3) firefighters from the local fire department make up the local board.  The firefighter members of the local board shall be elected by ballot vote cast by the active members of the local fire departments.  One elected member shall serve for the term of one (1) year, one for the term of two (2) years, and one for the term of three (3) years.  Thereafter, the active members of the local fire department shall elect every year, by ballot vote, one of its members to serve for the term of three (3) years. 

            The mayor or chairman of the board of directors shall be an ex-officio member and serve as chairman of the local board and shall have a casting vote with the members only when necessary to avoid a tie vote.  The city clerk or clerk of the board of directors shall serve as the secretary of the local board.  In cities and towns where the clerk and treasurer hold both positions, the local board becomes a five (5) member board.  The members shall elect a vice-chairman from among them and put into action such other rules and offices as may be necessary to insure the orderly conduct of business.  If the city charter provides, the city council or similar authority, in the absence of the mayor, clerk or treasurer, may designate an authorized official as an alternate member to the local board if the alternate member has the responsibilities of the standing board member.  A firefighter member of a local board may not have an alternate.  Elected board members can be, for due cause, recalled in the same manner as other elected officials.

 

3.What are the duties of a local firefighters pension and retirement board? 

            The local board is required to review applications for retirement benefits.  The local board shall recommend the approval, disapproval or modification of each application to the state board.  Deliberations by the local board shall be pursuant to state statute and the administrative rules of the pension system.  The local board shall forward such recommendations to the state board within ten (10) days following the local board's decision.  The System shall furnish all required forms necessary so as to allow the local board to carry out its responsibilities. 

4.When is a local firefighter's pension and retirement board required to meet? 

            The local board meets whenever action is required to approve, disapprove or modify applications for retirement benefits.  All meetings of the local board are subject to the provisions of the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act.

5.How is a meeting of a local firefighter's pension and retirement board to be conducted? 

            Any actions deliberated by the local board must be documented.  The minutes must show the action taken by roll call vote and must be signed by the chairman or vice-chairman and the secretary.  Only those members who are present may vote.  As stated earlier, all deliberations of the local board shall be pursuant to state statute and the administrative rules governing the System. 

            The State Board meets the third Friday of each month unless otherwise scheduled.  The meetings of the local board should be scheduled so that the State Board receives the applications by the second Friday of the month.  This will allow sufficient time for the applications to be processed and placed on the agenda of the State Board pursuant to the rules of the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act. 

            All pension benefits are paid in arrears the last working day of the month.  No applications can be approved until the applicant is terminated from the fire department.  Example: an applicant terminating employment on the 31st of month will be approved at the State Board meeting the following month allowing the applicant to receive a full month?s benefit on the last working day of that month.

 

NOTE:  THERE IS A SAMPLE MEETING NOTICE AND SAMPLE MINUTES LOCATED AT THE END OF THIS DOCUMENT.

 

Procedures where a local pension and retirement board no longer exists

6. What procedure is followed to process applications where a local board ceases to exist? 

State statute provides that where a local board ceases to exist, the Executive Director of the System shall assume the role and responsibilities vacated by the local board.  A member seeking to make application for a pension benefit is advised as follows: 

A. Contact the fire chief, clerk or the System directly for information in processing a benefit application.

B. The System will have an assigned staff member to assist the member, fire chief or city clerk in the processing of the application.

C. Mail the completed application to the System for final processing and placement on the State Board's agenda.

 

SAMPLE MINUTES

The Melrose Firefighters Pension and Retirement Board met June 5, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. at the City Hall Meeting Room at 200 N. Main, Melrose, Oklahoma.

Chairman John Doe called the meeting to order.

 

Members Present:           John Doe, Mayor*; Candy Cane, City Clerk

                                    Michael Mancini, John Smith and

                                    Brandon Walsh, Firefighters

 

Others:                        Patrick Dempsey, Eric Dane and Keith Urban

 

Absent:                        Sandy Beach, Treasurer

 

GENERAL:

DISCUSSION AND VOTE TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL, DISAPPROVAL OR MODIFICATION OF APPLICATION, AND ANY OTHER NECESSARY ACTION TO IMPLEMENT DISCUSSION AND VOTE FOR RUTH B. SMITH, WIDOW OF B.J. SMITH, FOR CONTINUATION OF  PENSION BENEFITS:

Motion was made by Ms. Cane and seconded by Mr. Mancini to approve the Application for Surviving Spouse filed by Ruth B. Smith, widow of B.J. Smith.  Ayes:  Messrs. Cane, Mancini, Smith and Walsh.  Nayes:  None.  Motion carried.

DISCUSSION AND VOTE TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL, DISAPPROVAL OR MODIFICATION OF APPLICATION, AND ANY OTHER NECESSARY ACTION TO IMPLEMENT DISCUSSION AND VOTE FOR CLYDE BROWN FOR DISABILITY IN THE LINE OF DUTY PENSION, BACK, 15 YEARS OF SERVICE, EFFECTIVE JUNE 30, 2006, APPROVE, DENY OR MODIFY: 

Motion was made by Mr. Walsh and seconded by Mr. Smith to approve the Application for Disability in the Line of Duty pension filed by Clyde Smith, back, 15 years of service, effective June 30, 2006. Ayes:  Messrs. Cane, Mancini, Smith and Walsh.  Nayes:  None.  Motion carried.

DISCUSSION AND VOTE TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL, DISAPPROVAL OR MODIFICATION OF APPLICATION, AND ANY OTHER NECESSARY ACTION TO IMPLEMENT DISCUSSION AND VOTE FOR JOHN WAYNE, FOR 20 YEAR RETIREMENT PENSION, EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2006, APPROVE, DENY OR MODIFY: 

*The Mayor only votes in case of a tie.

Motion was made by Ms. Cane and seconded by Mr. Mancini to approve the Application for a 20 year retirement pension filed by John Wayne, effective July 1, 2006.  Ayes:  Messrs. Cane, Mancini, Smith, and Walsh.  Nayes:  None.  Motion carried.

DISCUSSION AND VOTE TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL, DISAPPROVAL OR MODIFICATION OF APPLICATION, AND ANY OTHER NECESSARY ACTION TO IMPLEMENT DISCUSSION AND VOTE FOR ROBERT REDFORD, FOR 15 YEAR VESTED BENEFIT: 

Motion was made by Mr., Smith and seconded by Mr. Walsh to approve the Application for Vested Benefit filed by Robert Redford.  Ayes:  Messrs. Cane, Mancini, Smith and Walsh.  Nayes:  None.  Motion carried.

ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business, motion was made by Ms. Cane and seconded by Mr. Smith to adjourn the meeting.  Ayes:  Messrs. Cane, Mancini, Smith and Walsh.  Nayes:  None.  Motion carried.

Signature:

____________________

Candy Cane, City Clerk

 

Prepared by Bob Jones, Executive Director for the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System and Marc Edwards, Attorney for the State Pension Board

 

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