As used in this Chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed to them unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1)  “Accumulated employee contributions” means the sum of all amounts deducted from a member’s salary and paid to the fund.

(2)  “Board” means the board of trustees of the Assessors’ Retirement Fund.

(3)  “Designated beneficiary” means the person most recently designated in writing by a member to receive any benefits to which the member may be entitled.

(4)  “Fund” means the Assessors’ Retirement Fund.

(5)  “Minor child” means a child who is less than the age of eighteen years or who has a physical or mental disability, regardless of age, who is the issue of a marriage of the member or former member, the legally adopted child of a member or former member, the natural child of a female member or former member, or the child of a male member or former member if a court of competent jurisdiction has, during the lifetime of such male member or former member, issued an order of filiation declaring the paternity of such male member for the child.

(6)(a)  “Monthly average final compensation”, for a member whose first employment making him eligible for membership in the system began on or before September 30, 2006, means the average of a member’s monthly salary during the highest compensated thirty-six consecutive months or successive joined months if service was interrupted.

(b)  “Monthly average final compensation”, for a member whose first employment making him eligible for membership in the system began on or after October 1, 2006, means the average of a member’s monthly salary during the highest compensated sixty consecutive months or successive joined months if service was interrupted.

(c)  Compensation of a member in excess of one hundred fifty thousand dollars, as adjusted for increases in the cost of living under Section 401(a)(17)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code shall not be taken into account for years beginning on or after January 1, 1994, and ending before January 1, 2002. Compensation of a member in excess of two hundred thousand dollars as adjusted for increases in the cost of living under Section 401(a)(17)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code shall not be taken into account for years beginning on or after January 1, 2002. However, in determining monthly average final compensation for a member retiring on or after January 1, 2002, compensation which is permitted to be taken into account on or after January 1, 2002, but which occurred in a prior year that was included in the averaging period shall be taken into account.  This limitation may be adjusted from time to time by rules promulgated by the board in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, R.S. 49:950 et seq.

(d)  For purposes of compliance with federal tax-qualification requirements, the board may promulgate rules further defining “compensation” and “Section 415 compensation”, in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

(7)  “Surviving spouse” means a person who is legally married to a member of the system and living with the member at the time of his death.

(8)  “Actuarial equivalent” means a benefit of equivalent value to the accumulated contributions, annuity or benefits and regular interest, as the case may be, computed on the basis of such mortality and interest tables as shall be adopted by the board of trustees in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 11:1404.  In the absence of resolution by the board, the following assumptions shall be used:

(a)  Interest shall be compounded annually at a rate of seven and one-half percent per annum.

(b)  Annuity rates shall be determined on the basis of the mortality tables utilized for the latest system valuation approved by the Public Retirement Systems’ Actuarial Committee.

Acts 1989, No. 545, §1, eff. July 5, 1989; Redesignated from R.S. 47:8052 by Acts 1991, No. 74, §3, eff. June 25, 1991; Acts 1997, No. 691, §1, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 2004, No. 794, §1; Acts 2006, No. 780, §1, eff. June 30, 2006; Acts 2011, No. 364, §1, eff. July 1, 2011; Acts 2014, No. 811, §4, eff. June 23, 2014.

NOTE:  Acts 2014, No. 811 changed terminology referring to persons with disabilities throughout the La. Revised Statutes and codes of law, and included a listing of terms that were deleted and their respective successor terms (See Acts 2014, No. 811, §36). The Act provides that it is not the intent of the legislature that changes in terminology effected therein alter or affect in any way the substance, interpretation, or application of any law or administrative rule; further provides that nothing in the Act shall be construed to expand or diminish any right of or benefit for any person provided by any law or administrative rule (See Acts 2014, No. 811, §35(C) and (D)).