A. Employees of the Authority shall be employed on such terms and conditions as established by the Authority. The Board of Commissioners of the Authority shall develop and adopt personnel rules, policies, and procedures to give its employees grievance rights, ensure that employment decisions shall be based upon the merit and fitness of applicants, and prohibit discrimination because of race, religion, color, sex, or national origin.
B. The Authority shall issue a written notice to its employees regarding the Authority’s status. The date upon which such written notice is issued shall be referred to herein as the “option date.” Each employee may, by written request made within 180 days of the option date, elect not to become employed by the Authority. Any employee of the Virginia Port Authority who: (i) elects not to become employed by the Authority and who is not reemployed by any other department, institution, board, commission or agency of the Commonwealth; (ii) is not offered the opportunity to remain employed by the Authority; or (iii) is not offered a position with the Authority for which the employee is qualified or is offered a position that requires relocation or a reduction in salary, shall be eligible for the severance benefits conferred by the provisions of the Workforce Transition Act (§ 2.2-3200 et seq.). Any employee who accepts employment with the Authority shall not be considered to be involuntarily separated from state employment and shall not be eligible for the severance benefits conferred by the Workforce Transition Act.
C. Any employee of the Authority who is a member of any plan providing health insurance coverage pursuant to Chapter 28 (§ 2.2-2800 et seq.) of Title 2.2, shall continue to be a member of such health insurance plan under the same terms and conditions. Notwithstanding subsection A of § 2.2-2818, the costs of providing health insurance coverage to such employees who elect to continue to be members of the state employees’ health insurance plan shall be paid by the Authority. Alternatively, an employee may elect to become a member of any health insurance plan established by the Authority. The Authority is authorized to: (i) establish a health insurance plan for the benefit of its employees and (ii) enter into agreements with the Department of Human Resource Management providing for the coverage of its employees under the state employees’ health insurance plan, provided that such agreement requires the Authority to pay the costs of providing health insurance coverage under such plan.
D. Any retired employee of the Authority shall be eligible to receive the health insurance credit set forth in § 51.1-1400 provided the retired employee meets the eligibility criteria set forth in that section.
E. Any Authority employee who is a member of the Virginia Retirement System or other retirement plan as authorized by Article 4 (§ 51.1-125 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 51.1, shall continue to be a member of the Virginia Retirement System or other authorized retirement plan under the same terms and conditions. Alternatively, such employee may elect to become a member of the retirement program established by the Authority for the benefit of its employees pursuant to § 51.1-126.4. The following rules shall apply:
1. The Authority shall collect and pay all employee and employer contributions to the Virginia Retirement System or other such authorized retirement plan for retirement and group life insurance in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.) of Title 51.1 for any employee who elects to remain a member of the Virginia Retirement System or other such authorized retirement plan.
2. Employees who elect to become members of the alternative retirement plan established by the Authority pursuant to § 51.1-126.4 shall be given full credit for their creditable service as defined in § 51.1-124.3, and vesting and benefit accrual under the retirement plan. For any such employee, employment with the Authority shall be treated as employment with any nonparticipating employer for purposes of the Virginia Retirement System or other retirement plan authorized pursuant to Article 4 (§ 51.1-125 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 51.1.
3. For employees who elect to become members of the alternative retirement plan established by the Authority, the Virginia Retirement System or other such authorized plan shall transfer to the alternative retirement plan established by the Authority, assets equal to the actuarially determined present value of the accrued basic benefits as of the transfer date. For purposes hereof, the “basic benefits” means the benefits accrued under the Virginia Retirement System or other such authorized retirement plan based on creditable service and average final compensation as defined in § 51.1-124.3. The actuarial present value shall be determined by using the same actuarial factors and assumptions used in determining the funding needs of the Virginia Retirement System or other such authorized retirement plan so that the transfer of assets to the alternative retirement plan established by the Authority will have no effect on the funded status and financial stability of the Virginia Retirement System or other such authorized retirement plan. The Authority shall reimburse the Virginia Retirement System for the cost of actuarial services necessary to determine the present value of the accrued basic benefit of employees who transfer to an Authority retirement plan.
4. The Authority may provide that employees of the Authority who are eligible to participate in the deferred compensation plan sponsored by the Authority shall be enrolled automatically in such plan, unless such employee elects, in a manner prescribed by the Board, not to participate. The amount of the deferral under the automatic enrollment and the group of employees to which the automatic enrollment shall apply shall be set by the Board; provided however, that such employees are provided the opportunity to increase or decrease the amount of the deferral in accordance with the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
1997, c. 232; 2000, cc. 66, 657; 2008, cc. 325, 621.