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CLERK AND FIRE CHIEF INFORMATION
1. What are the duties of the clerk and fire chief?
The clerk and fire chief share the responsibility for the administration of local retirement issues related to all contributing members of the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System including the enrollment of all eligible members, assistance in benefit applications and collection and payment of all employer and member contributions.
2. What if there is a personnel change in the clerk or fire chief?
Notify the System of the name and address of a new clerk or fire chief and give the phone number where either can be reached during business hours.
3. What information is available from the System to assist the clerk and fire chief?
The System provides this handbook, which is published on an annual basis. The handbook contains state statutes, administrative rules, question and answer section and forms for processing applications to the system.
4.What is your code?
Numerical codes have been assigned by the System to all cities, fire districts, county fire departments and development authorities that participate in the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System. These codes are utilized as important part of the orderly administration of the System and are listed at the back of this handbook.
5.What if there is a change in a member's personal information status?
The clerk should notify the System concerning changes in an active member's personal information. Items that need to be reported are marriage and birth dates for spouses and dates of birth for children under age eighteen (18). In the event of a divorce, a copy of the divorce decree is required to remove a spouse. All of the above referenced items and other personal information are found on the Change in Personal Information Form (Form 15) which shall be completed and filed with the System. A revised Death Benefit Recipient Form (Form 11) may also need to be completed and filed with the System.
6.What are the confidentiality requirements regarding member records?
All information, documents and copies thereof contained in a member's file, active or retired, shall be given confidential treatment and shall not be made public by the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System without the prior written consent of the member to which it pertains, but shall be subject to subpoena or court order.
7. City Raise Form
Click Here to have an excel copy of the city increase form.
IMPORTANT THINGS FOR CLERKS AND FIRE CHIEFS TO REMEMBER
A. An individual is not covered under the pension system until the System receives an Application for Entrance Form (Form 13). Paid members must also have passed the required performance/agility test and physical examination.
B. Paid fire departments must send payroll contributions after each pay period ending date. Departments not submitting contributions within thirty (30) days from each payroll date will be charged a late fee of one and one-half percent (1.5%) interest each month.
C. Volunteer cities should budget for pension contributions, which are due July 1 of each year.
D. A paid firefighter is classified as one who is carried on the fire department payroll and who receives a salary which more than twice the amount of a minimum pension of a volunteer firefighter which is currently $144.80 per month or $3,475.20 on an annual basis. Any firefighter receiving more than this salary will need to complete the required performance/agility test and a physical examination. Contributions of eight percent (8%) for the firefighter and thirteen percent (13%) for the employer will need to be paid to the System.
E. No paid firefighter's pension shall be less than the minimum pension of a volunteer firefighter, regardless of earnings, with the exception of a disability not in line of duty pension.
F. Applications for in line of duty disabilities must physician's statements certifying the disability and that the firefighter can no longer perform their duty.
G. All pension applications must be acted upon by an existing local board before being submitted to the State Board for consideration. Minutes from the existing local board must be received with the application showing the action taken by roll call vote.
H. A member changing from volunteer to paid status must take the required performance/agility test and physical examination. However, a member who successfully completed a performance/agility test as a condition of becoming a volunteer firefighter is not required to repeat the test if the member is in the same fire department.
I. A city may not employ a paid firefighter until the State Board has approved the firefighter for entrance into the System.
J. The State Board has adopted NFPA 1582 as the physical standards to be met for entrance into the System as well as the required agility test.
K. There are no provisions in the statues for a paid firefighter to convert to a volunteer firefighter and combine the time served towards a volunteer pension.
L. If a firefighter is off the payroll for a period of time and is not contributing to the pension system, that period of time will not count towards a retirement benefit.
M. A firefighter who terminates with ten (10) or more years but less than twenty (20) years of credited service may elect a vested benefit in lieu of a refund of contributions.
N. If a firefighter has received a refund of contributions and subsequently returns to work, the withdrawn contributions plus ten percent (10%) annual interest must be paid back to the System in order for that previous service time to count towards a normal retirement.
O. A valid marriage certificate or other proof of marriage is required before a continuation of a surviving spouse pension can be acted upon by the State Board.
P. Every two (2) years a personal information update form will be mailed to each member receiving a benefit. This form should be completed and returned to the System so that current member files may be updated.
Q. A volunteer firefighter who is appointed as a paid firefighter after May 15, 1992, may be allowed to credit no more than five (5) years of the volunteer time towards a twenty (20) years paid pension. Any additional volunteer time would be computed at one-twentieth of a volunteer pension for each additional volunteer year but the total combined time cannot exceed thirty (30) years.
R. Federal and state income tax will be withheld from a benefit check unless a Form 6 (Request for Federal and State Income Tax Withholding) is on file in the state office. A gross monthly benefit check of less than $458.33 will not be subject to Oklahoma income tax withholding unless requested by the member.
S. 1099R forms will be mailed from the System at the end of January each year directly to beneficiaries.
T. It is the responsibility of the clerk to notify the System of any changes regarding active and retired firefighters such as termination, mailing addresses, deaths of retirees or beneficiaries.
U. It is the responsibility of the fire chief to assist the clerk in obtaining necessary information concerning active and retired firefighters.
V. If a firefighter is single, the firefighter can designate a Trust for minor children to receive monthly benefits. Death benefits must be designated to the "Children's Trust" by completing a Death Benefit Recipient Form (Form 11). Designation of Plan B monies require a separate Form 11B.
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