CHAPTER 19 - HIGHER EDUCATION RETIREMENT
 
21-19-101.  Short title.
 
This act shall be known and cited as "The Wyoming Higher Education Retirement Act".
 
21-19-102.  Authorization of supplemental retirement plan; conditions for participation.
 
(a)  Except as provided in subsections (b), (c) and (d) of this section, the governing body of any lawfully established community college or of the University of Wyoming may establish and administer a retirement plan for the benefit of certain employees of its institution by the use of a portion of the employer and employee contributions required under the provisions of the Wyoming Retirement Act.
 
(b)  Except for participation on and after January 1, 1994, pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, any employee who is initially employed by an institution after June 30, 1985, shall elect to participate in either the institution's retirement plan or the Wyoming retirement system but shall not participate in any manner in both retirement plans.
 
(c)  Prior to January 1, 1994, any employee participating in a retirement plan pursuant to this chapter but who is not a member of the Wyoming retirement system, by written notice to his employer, may elect to discontinue participation under the institution's plan and become a member of the Wyoming retirement system, or if an employee is participating in the Wyoming retirement system as a limited member, he may elect to transfer his limited contributions and matching employer contributions, plus regular interest, from the Wyoming retirement system to one (1) of the plans authorized by this section.
 
(d)  Prior to January 1, 1994, any employee of an institution shall elect to participate in either the retirement plan offered by the employing institution or the Wyoming retirement system. Each employee shall prior to January 1, 1994, provide written notice to the employing institution and the Wyoming retirement board of his election under this subsection.  If an employee fails to notify the employing institution which retirement plan he selects, the institution shall notify the retirement board of this omission and the retirement board shall serve notice on the employee by registered mail return receipt requested that participation in the retirement system shall be cancelled effective January 1, 1994.  All retirement contributions made on and after January 1, 1994 by any employee, together with matching employer contributions on his behalf, shall be made to the elected plan.  An election pursuant to this subsection is irrevocable during the remainder of an employee's working career as a public employee.
 
21-19-103.  Contributions generally.
 
(a)  Except as provided under W.S. 21-19-102(d), the terms and conditions of the Wyoming Retirement Act shall remain effective as to all employees of the institution except that any required employer and employee contributions thereunder which are based upon an employee's annual salary rate in excess of six thousand six hundred dollars ($6,600.00) may be paid for the benefit of the employee in accordance with the institution's retirement plan.  The payments of employer and employee contributions shall be in lieu of a portion of payments to the Wyoming retirement account, and the full amount of payments is subject to management and disposition in accordance with contractual rights and obligations of the institution's retirement plan.  Any retirement plan shall provide that:
 
(i)  Any employee whose annual salary rate is less than eight thousand six hundred dollars ($8,600.00), or who is sixty (60) years of age or more at the time an institutional retirement plan becomes effective or his annual salary rate exceeds eight thousand six hundred dollars ($8,600.00), shall have the option to have all employer and employee contributions paid to the Wyoming retirement account;
 
(ii)  All employees whose annual salary rate exceeds eight thousand six hundred dollars ($8,600.00) shall have all employer and employee contributions based upon an annual salary rate in excess of six thousand six hundred dollars ($6,600.00) paid in accordance with the institution's retirement plan.
 
21-19-104.  Retirement annuity policies.
 
Any retirement plan established pursuant to W.S. 21-19-102 shall provide for the purchase of retirement annuity policies  for the contributing employees. Rights and benefits of the annuity contracts shall vest in the employee. Annuity contracts  may be made transferable from one (1) institution to another and provide acceptance of service of process by the issuer of  the policy within the home state of the policyholder.
 
21-19-105.  Rules and regulations; further provisions as to contributions.
 
The governing body shall make rules and regulations necessary and appropriate for administration of the plan and for the performance of its functions under W.S. 21-19-101 through 21-19-106.  Except as provided under W.S. 21-19-102(d), a retirement plan may require a minimum dollar contribution by employees whose annual salary rate is less than eight thousand six hundred dollars ($8,600.00), and may permit employees to make voluntary additional contributions to be withheld from salary payments and paid into the retirement plan for the employee's benefit.  In no event shall the total employer contribution to the Wyoming retirement account and the institution's retirement plan exceed the amount that may be authorized by the Wyoming Retirement Act.
 
21-19-106.  Qualification of participating insurance companies.
 
All insurance companies participating in retirement plans under this act shall be in all ways qualified to do business as an insurance company in the state of Wyoming.