Summary Plan Description

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Plan Overview

This Page Describes

 

The "Plan"

Over seventy-two years ago the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recognized the difficulty of saving enough money to provide an income after retirement, to cover living costs if you are not able to work, and to provide protection for your survivors if you die.  As a consequence, on October 1, 1938, the Department established the Water and Power Employees' Retirement Plan (The "Plan").  The Plan is designed to promote financial security and help you prepare for your future through comprehensive programs that provide income at retirement and during disability; death benefits for beneficiaries; and continuation of benefits for eligible survivors.

 

Funding the Plan 

The Plan is operated on an actuarially-funded basis.  In addition, money is set aside in reserves for every claim against, and every obligation assumed by the Temporary Disability Fund, the Permanent Total Disability Fund and the Death Benefit Fund.  Separate valuation methods and separate accounting are established for each reserve within the respective Funds.

 

Financing

Financing of the Plan is provided by earnings on the investment of Plan funds, and by Department and member contributions; with the Department contributing $1.10 for each $1 contributed by the members, plus any additional amounts necessary to fully fund the Plan Benefits as determined by the Actuary.  No tax monies are available or utilized for support.

 

Investments

The investment of Plan assets is governed by provisions of the City Charter.  The Board must manage Plan assets with the care, skill, prudence and diligence that a prudent person, acting in a like capacity, would use in the conduct of a similar enterprise.

The Board contracts with investment management firms which assist the Board in investing Plan funds.

 

 

Interest

Currently, interest is credited to contribution accounts at the rate of 7.75% compounded annually.  Interest rates may be changed from time to time based upon the earnings and other experience of the Retirement Fund.  Any change must be approved by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.

 

 

Actuarial Surveys

Under the provisions of the City Charter, a general survey and actuarial report is required at least once every five years.  The Board contracts with consulting actuaries who conduct an annual valuation of the Plan to determine Department contribution rates and  adjust reserves as necessary to reflect changes resulting from actual Plan experience.  The annual actuarial survey is posted on the Retirement website.

 

Annual Report

For each fiscal year, the Board publishes a summary annual report of its activities, investment experience, actuarial survey and audited financial statements.  You may call the "General Information" telephone number (213) 367-1712 to request a copy of the most recent summary annual report.  The Annual Report is also posted on the Retirement website.

 

Reciprocity Between the Plan and LACERS

There is reciprocity between the Plan and the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System (LACERS) which:

The situations described below should help you determine whether you are eligible to participate in the Reciprocity Program:

  •  You automatically participate in the Reciprocity Program if you entered DWP service directly from another City department after February 1, 1980, and were a contributing member of LACERS for at least 26 consecutive weeks before entering DWP service, and did not withdraw your retirement contributions from LACERS.

  •  You are not eligible to participate in the Reciprocity Program if you entered DWP service after February 1, 1980, and you either had a break in service of more than seven calendar days since termination of employment at another City department, or requested not to participate in the Reciprocity Program, or withdrew your retirement contributions from LACERS.

  •  You are eligible to participate in the Reciprocity Program if you were already a member of the DWP Plan on February 1, 1980, and as of that date had re-deposited at DWP at least some of the contributions required to purchase previous City service credit, and you did not have a break in service of six or more months between your employment at another City department and your employment at DWP.

  •  You are eligible to participate in the Reciprocity Program if you were already a member of the DWP Plan on February 1, 1980, and left your retirement contributions on deposit at LACERS, and did not have a break in service of six or more months between your employment at another City department and your employment at DWP.

If you are eligible to participate in the Reciprocity Program, you may call the "Purchase of Service Credit" telephone number (213) 367-1695 to have your funds transferred.

NOTE:  At the time this Summary Plan Description was printed, the DWP and the City were contemplating changes to the Reciprocity Program.  You are advised to call the Membership Section if you are planning to transfer to the City to ascertain if any changes were enacted.

 

  
Although this document discusses the Plan in some detail, if there are any conflicts, real or apparent, between this document and the City Charter or the Plan, the terms of the Charter and the Plan will at all times be the final authority. Therefore before relying on provisions described in this document or taking any action which will affect your future welfare, you and your beneficiaries are urged to consult the Retirement Plan Office for the specific terms of the Plan in any situation.