For the purposes of coverage in a divided vote system, an optional is an individual
who had an option to join the retirement system on August 1, 1956 or later. With respect
to an interstate instrumentality, an optional is an individual who had an option to
join the retirement system on August 30, 1957, or, if later, the first day he or she
occupied a position under the system. Optionals are deemed members of the retirement
system where coverage was extended after December 31, 1959. These individuals have
the same status for coverage purposes as actual members (i.e., they get an individual
choice for coverage in the referendum). New optionals are covered as new members.
An optional who voted against coverage will not be automatically covered if he later
becomes a member of the retirement system. Where the retirement system coverage group
was covered under the agreement prior to January 1, 1960, and did not include the
optionals, the state could have given them an opportunity for coverage under the transfer
procedures prior to January 1, 1970.
In a majority vote, all employees not previously covered and who are in positions
under the retirement system on the date of execution of the modification or the date
designated to control who will have retroactive coverage under that modification (the
"applicable" date in accordance with Section 218(e)(2) of the Act) will be covered
by the modification. This includes all current members, regardless of how they voted
in the referendum, including optionals.