33-1228. Severance allowance at retirement. (1) Upon separation from public school employment by retirement in accordance with chapter 13, title 59, Idaho Code, an employee’s unused sick leave shall be determined based on accumulated sick leave earned subsequent to July 1, 1976, as provided by section 33-1218, Idaho Code, and shall be reported by the employer to the Idaho public employee retirement system. A sum equal to one-half (1/2) of the monetary value of such unused sick leave, calculated at the rate of pay for such employee during the employee’s highest year of salary used in the average monthly salary, as determined by the retirement board, shall be transferred from the sick leave account provided by subsection (3) of this section and shall be credited to such employee’s retirement account. Such sums shall be used by the retirement board to continue to pay, subject to applicable federal tax limits:
(a) Premiums for the retiree and the retiree’s dependents at the rate for the active employee’s group health, long-term care, vision, prescription drug and dental insurance programs as maintained by the employer for the active employees until the retiree and/or the retiree’s spouse becomes eligible for medicare at which time the district shall make available a supplemental program to medicare for the eligible individual. Upon the death of the retiree, the surviving spouse’s health coverage shall be available and continued under the same terms and conditions as the retiree. Coverage may be continued for the retiree’s surviving dependent spouse and dependents until remarriage of the spouse or until the retiree’s surviving dependent spouse is eligible for a group health program by an employer. The medicare supplement program will provide the same premium and benefits for all retirees of all the employers served by the same insurance carrier. However, a school district may make available to all retirees from that district other benefits in addition to the medicare supplement program, and the retiree or the district shall pay for such additional benefits.
(b) Premiums at the time of retirement for the retiree for the life insurance program maintained by the employer which may be reduced to a minimum of five thousand dollars ($5,000) of coverage.
(2) The retiree may continue to pay the premiums for the health, accident, dental and life insurance to the extent of the funds credited to the employee’s account pursuant to this section, and when these funds are expended, the premiums may be deducted from the retiree’s allowance. Upon a retiree’s death, any unexpended sums remaining in the retiree’s account shall revert to the sick leave account. If funds are not available for payment by the Idaho public employee retirement system from the retiree’s surviving dependent spouse’s allowance, the insurance carrier shall implement a direct billing procedure to permit the retiree’s surviving spouse to continue coverage.
(3) Each employer shall contribute to a sick leave account maintained by the public employee retirement system in trust exclusively for the purpose of the provisions of this section. The retirement board shall serve as trustee of the trust and shall be indemnified to the same extent as provided in section 59-1305, Idaho Code. Assets in the trust shall not be assignable or subject to execution, garnishment or attachment or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law. The rate of such contribution each pay period shall consist of a percentage of employees’ salaries as determined by the board, and such rate shall remain in effect until next determined by the board. Any excess balance in the sick leave account shall be invested, and the earnings therefrom shall accrue to the sick leave account except the amount required by the board to defray administrative expenses. Assets of the trust may be commingled for investment purposes with other assets managed by the retirement board. All moneys payable to the sick leave account are hereby perpetually appropriated to the board and shall not be included in its departmental budget.
(4) For purposes of this section public school employment shall be defined to include the employees of the Idaho digital learning academy, and to permit inclusion of employees of organizations funded by school districts or of contributions of employees of school districts and shall include employees of the Idaho bureau of educational services for the deaf and the blind.
[33-1228, added 1978, ch. 159, sec. 1, p. 347; am. 1982, ch. 206, sec. 1, p. 569; am. 1988, ch. 254, sec. 1, p. 493; am. 1990, ch. 407, sec. 1, p. 1133; am. 1993, ch. 398, sec. 1, p. 1461; am. 2006, ch. 150, sec. 1, p. 463; am. 2007, ch. 78, sec. 1, p. 205; am. 2009, ch. 55, sec. 1, p. 156; am. 2009, ch. 168, sec. 3, p. 503; am. 2018, ch. 91, sec. 1, p. 195.]