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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 1672

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 02/27/2017 04:10pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to retirement; volunteer firefighter relief associations; implementing the
recommendations of the state auditor's volunteer firefighter working group; updating
audit requirements; updating corporate stock requirements; modifying the definition
of municipality; providing the option to include emergency medical response
volunteers in plan coverage; making various technical corrections; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 69.051, subdivision 1; 356A.06, subdivision 7;
424A.001, subdivisions 2, 3, 10, by adding a subdivision; 424A.002, subdivision
1; 424A.01, subdivisions 1, 5, 6; 424A.015, subdivision 1; 424A.016, subdivision
2; 424A.02, subdivisions 1, 3a, 7; 424A.04, subdivision 1; 424A.07; 424A.091,
subdivision 3; 424A.094, subdivision 3; 424A.10, subdivision 1.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 69.051, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Financial report and audit.

(a) The board of the Bloomington Fire
Department Relief Association and each volunteer firefighters relief association as defined
in section 424A.001, subdivision 4, with assets of at least $500,000 or liabilities of at least
$500,000 in the prior year or in any previous year, according to the applicable actuarial
valuation or according to the financial report if no valuation is required, shall prepare a
financial report covering the special and general funds of the relief association for the
preceding fiscal year, file the financial report, and submit financial statements.

(b) The financial report must contain financial statements and disclosures which present
the true financial condition of the relief association and the results of relief association
operations in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles and in compliance
with the regulatory, financing and funding provisions of this chapter and any other applicable
laws. The financial report must be countersigned by:

(1) the municipal clerk or clerk-treasurer of the municipality in which the relief
association is located if the relief association is a firefighters relief association which is
directly associated with a municipal fire department; or

(2) by the municipal clerk or clerk-treasurer of the largest municipality in population
which contracts with the independent nonprofit firefighting corporation if the volunteer
firefighter relief association is a subsidiary of an independent nonprofit firefighting
corporation and by the secretary of the independent nonprofit firefighting corporation; or

(3) by the chief financial official of the county in which the volunteer firefighter relief
association is located or primarily located if the relief association is associated with a fire
department that is not located in or associated with an organized municipality.

(c) The financial report must be retained in its office for public inspection and must be
filed with the governing body of the government subdivision in which the associated fire
department is located after the close of the fiscal year. One copy of the financial report must
be furnished to the state auditor after the close of the fiscal year.

(d) Audited financial statements must be attested to by a certified public accountant or
by the state auditor and must be filed with the state auditor within 180 days after the close
of the fiscal year. new text beginAudits must be conducted in compliance with generally accepted
governmental auditing standards and section 6.65 governing audit procedures.
new text endThe state
auditor may accept this report in lieu of the report required in paragraph (c).

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 356A.06, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Expanded list of authorized investment securities.

(a) Authority. A covered
pension plan not described by subdivision 6, paragraph (a), is an expanded list plan and
shall invest its assets as specified in this subdivision. The governing board of an expanded
list plan may select and appoint investment agencies to act for or on its behalf.

(b) Securities generally; investment forms. An expanded list plan is authorized to
purchase, sell, lend, and exchange the investment securities authorized under this subdivision,
including puts and call options and future contracts traded on a contract market regulated
by a governmental agency or by a financial institution regulated by a governmental agency.
These securities may be owned directly or through shares in exchange-traded or mutual
funds, or as units in commingled trusts, subject to any limitations specified in this subdivision.

(c) Government obligations. An expanded list plan is authorized to invest funds in
governmental bonds, notes, bills, mortgages, and other evidences of indebtedness if the
issue is backed by the full faith and credit of the issuer or the issue is rated among the top
four quality rating categories by a nationally recognized rating agency. The obligations in
which funds may be invested under this paragraph are guaranteed or insured issues of:

(1) the United States, one of its agencies, one of its instrumentalities, or an organization
created and regulated by an act of Congress;

(2) the Dominion of Canada or one of its provinces if the principal and interest are
payable in United States dollars;

(3) a state or one of its municipalities, political subdivisions, agencies, or
instrumentalities; and

(4) a United States government-sponsored organization of which the United States is a
member if the principal and interest are payable in United States dollars.

(d) Investment-grade corporate obligations. An expanded list plan is authorized to
invest funds in bonds, notes, debentures, transportation equipment obligations, or any other
longer term evidences of indebtedness issued or guaranteed by a corporation organized
under the laws of the United States or any of its states, or the Dominion of Canada or any
of its provinces if:

(1) the principal and interest are payable in United States dollars; and

(2) the obligations are rated among the top four quality categories by a nationally
recognized rating agency.

(e) Below-investment-grade corporate obligations. An expanded list plan is authorized
to invest in unrated corporate obligations or in corporate obligations that are not rated among
the top four quality categories by a nationally recognized rating agency if:

(1) the aggregate value of these obligations does not exceed five percent of the covered
pension plan's market value;

(2) the covered pension plan's participation is limited to 50 percent of a single offering
subject to this paragraph; and

(3) the covered pension plan's participation is limited to 25 percent of an issuer's
obligations subject to this paragraph.

(f) Other obligations. (1) An expanded list plan is authorized to invest funds in:

(i) bankers acceptances and deposit notes if issued by a United States bank that is rated
in the highest four quality categories by a nationally recognized rating agency;

(ii) certificates of deposit if issued by a United States bank or savings institution rated
in the highest four quality categories by a nationally recognized rating agency or whose
certificates of deposit are fully insured by federal agencies, or if issued by a credit union in
an amount within the limit of the insurance coverage provided by the National Credit Union
Administration;

(iii) commercial paper if issued by a United States corporation or its Canadian subsidiary
and if rated in the highest two quality categories by a nationally recognized rating agency;

(iv) mortgage securities and asset-backed securities if rated in the top four quality
categories by a nationally recognized rating agency;

(v) repurchase agreements and reverse repurchase agreements if collateralized with
letters of credit or securities authorized in this section;

(vi) guaranteed investment contracts if issued by an insurance company or a bank that
is rated in the top four quality categories by a nationally recognized rating agency or
alternative guaranteed investment contracts if the underlying assets comply with the
requirements of this subdivision;

(vii) savings accounts if fully insured by a federal agency; and

(viii) guaranty fund certificates, surplus notes, or debentures if issued by a domestic
mutual insurance company.

(2) Sections 16A.58, 16C.03, subdivision 4, and 16C.05 do not apply to certificates of
deposit and collateralization agreements executed by the covered pension plan under clause
(1), item (ii).

(3) In addition to investments authorized by clause (1), item (iv), an expanded list plan
is authorized to purchase from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency all or any part of a
pool of residential mortgages, not in default, that has previously been financed by the
issuance of bonds or notes of the agency. The covered pension plan may also enter into a
commitment with the agency, at the time of any issue of bonds or notes, to purchase at a
specified future date, not exceeding 12 years from the date of the issue, the amount of
mortgage loans then outstanding and not in default that have been made or purchased from
the proceeds of the bonds or notes. The covered pension plan may charge reasonable fees
for any such commitment and may agree to purchase the mortgage loans at a price sufficient
to produce a yield to the covered pension plan comparable, in its judgment, to the yield
available on similar mortgage loans at the date of the bonds or notes. The covered pension
plan may also enter into agreements with the agency for the investment of any portion of
the funds of the agency. The agreement must cover the period of the investment, withdrawal
privileges, and any guaranteed rate of return.

(g) Corporate stocks. An expanded list plan is authorized to invest in stocks or
convertible issues of any corporation organized under the laws of the United States or any
of its states, any corporation organized under the laws of the Dominion of Canada or any
of its provinces, or any corporation listed on an exchange that is regulated by an agency of
the United States or of the Canadian national government.

An investment in any corporation must not exceed five percent of the total outstanding
shares of that corporation, except that an expanded list plan may hold up to 20 percent of
the shares of a real estate investment trust and up to 20 percent of the shares of a closed
mutual fund.new text begin Purchase of shares of exchange-traded or mutual funds shall be consistent
with paragraph (b).
new text end

(h) Other investments. (1) In addition to the investments authorized in paragraphs (b)
to (g), and subject to the provisions in clause (2), an expanded list plan is authorized to
invest funds in:

(i) equity and debt investment businesses through participation in limited partnerships,
trusts, private placements, limited liability corporations, limited liability companies, limited
liability partnerships, and corporations;

(ii) real estate ownership interests or loans secured by mortgages or deeds of trust or
shares of real estate investment trusts, through investment in limited partnerships,
bank-sponsored collective funds, trusts, mortgage participation agreements, and insurance
company commingled accounts, including separate accounts;

(iii) resource investments through limited partnerships, trusts, private placements, limited
liability corporations, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, and
corporations; and

(iv) international securities.

(2) The investments authorized in clause (1) must conform to the following provisions:

(i) the aggregate value of all investments made under clause (1), items (i), (ii), and (iii),
may not exceed 35 percent of the market value of the fund for which the expanded list plan
is investing;

(ii) there must be at least four unrelated owners of the investment other than the expanded
list plan for investments made under clause (1), item (i), (ii), or (iii);

(iii) the expanded list plan's participation in an investment vehicle is limited to 20 percent
thereof for investments made under clause (1), item (i), (ii), or (iii);

(iv) the expanded list plan's participation in a limited partnership does not include a
general partnership interest or other interest involving general liability. The expanded list
plan may not engage in any activity as a limited partner which creates general liability;

(v) the aggregate value of all unrated obligations and obligations that are not rated among
the top four quality categories by a nationally recognized rating agency authorized by
paragraph (e) and clause (1), item (iv), must not exceed five percent of the covered plan's
market value; and

(vi) for volunteer firefighter relief associations, emerging market equity and international
debt investments authorized under clause (1), item (iv), must not exceed 15 percent of the
association's special fund market value.

(i) Supplemental plan investments. The governing body of an expanded list plan may
certify assets to the State Board of Investment for investment under section 11A.17.

(j) Asset mix limitations. The aggregate value of an expanded list plan's investments
under paragraphs (g) and (h) and equity investments under paragraph (i), regardless of the
form in which these investments are held, must not exceed 85 percent of the covered plan's
market value.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.001, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Fire department.

"Fire department" includes a municipal fire department deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end
an independent nonprofit firefighting corporationnew text begin, and a fire department serving a joint
powers entity established under section 471.59
new text end.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.001, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 2a. new text end

new text begin Municipal. new text end

new text begin "Municipal" means of a city or township.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.001, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Municipality.

"Municipality" means a deleted text beginmunicipalitydeleted text endnew text begin city or townshipnew text end which
has established a fire department with which the relief association is directly associated, deleted text beginor
the municipalities
deleted text endnew text begin a city or townshipnew text end which deleted text beginhavedeleted text endnew text begin hasnew text end entered into a contract with the
independent nonprofit firefighting corporation of which the relief association is deleted text begina subsidiarydeleted text endnew text begin
directly associated, or a city or township that has entered into a contract with a joint powers
entity established under section 471.59 of which the relief association is directly associated
new text end.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.001, subdivision 10, is amended to read:


Subd. 10.

Volunteer firefighter.

"Volunteer firefighter" means a person who is a member
of the applicable fire department or the independent nonprofit firefighting corporation and
is eligible for membership in the applicable relief association and:

(i) is engaged in providing emergency response services or delivering fire education or
prevention services as a member of a deleted text beginmunicipaldeleted text end fire departmentdeleted text begin, a joint powers entity fire
department, or an independent nonprofit firefighting corporation
deleted text end;

(ii) is trained in or is qualified to provide fire suppression duties or to provide fire
prevention duties under subdivision 8; and

(iii) meets any other minimum firefighter and service standards established by the fire
department deleted text beginor the independent nonprofit firefighting corporationdeleted text end or specified in the articles
of incorporation or bylaws of the relief association.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.002, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Authorization.

A deleted text beginmunicipaldeleted text end fire department deleted text beginor an independent nonprofit
firefighting corporation
deleted text end, with approval by the applicable municipality or municipalities,
may establish a new volunteer firefighter relief association or may retain an existing volunteer
firefighter relief association. A deleted text beginmunicipaldeleted text end fire department deleted text beginor an independent nonprofit
firefighting corporation
deleted text end may be associated with only one volunteer firefighter relief
association at one time.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.01, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Minors.

No volunteer firefighters relief association associated with a
municipalitynew text begin, a joint powers entity,new text end or an independent nonprofit firefighting corporation
may include as a relief association member a minor serving as a volunteer firefighter.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.01, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Fire prevention personnel.

(a) If the deleted text beginfire department is a municipal department
and the
deleted text end applicable municipality deleted text beginapproves, or if the fire department is an independent nonprofit
firefighting corporation and the contracting municipality
deleted text end or municipalities approve, the fire
department may employ or otherwise utilize the services of persons as volunteer firefighters
to perform fire prevention duties and to supervise fire prevention activities.

(b) Personnel serving in fire prevention positions are eligible to be members of the
applicable volunteer firefighter relief association and to qualify for service pension or other
benefit coverage of the relief association on the same basis as fire department personnel
who perform fire suppression duties.

(c) Personnel serving in fire prevention positions also are eligible to receive any other
benefits under the applicable law or practice for services on the same basis as personnel
who are employed to perform fire suppression duties.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.01, subdivision 6, is amended to read:


Subd. 6.

Return to active firefighting after break in service.

(a) This subdivision
new text begin governs the service pension calculation requirements of a firefighter who returns to active
service after a break in service and
new text endapplies to all breaks in service, except that the resumption
service requirements of this subdivision do not apply to leaves of absence made available
by federal statute, such as the Family Medical Leave Act, United States Code, title 29,
section 2691, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act,
United States Code, title 38, section 4301, and do not apply to leaves of absence made
available by state statute, such as the Parental Leave Act, section 181.941; the Leave for
Organ Donation Act, section 181.9456; the Leave for Civil Air Patrol Service Act, section
181.946; the Leave for Immediate Family Members of Military Personnel Injured or Killed
in Active Service Act, section 181.947; or the Protection of Jurors' Employment Act, section
593.50.

(b)(1) If a firefighter who has ceased to perform or supervise fire suppression and fire
prevention duties for at least 60 days resumes performing active firefighting with the fire
department associated with the relief association, if the bylaws of the relief association so
permit, the firefighter may again become an active member of the relief association. A
firefighter who returns to active service and membership is subject to the service pension
calculation requirements under this section.

(2) A firefighter who has been granted an approved leave of absence not exceeding one
year by the fire department or by the relief association is exempt from the minimum period
of resumption service requirement of this section.

(3) A person who has a break in service not exceeding one year but has not been granted
an approved leave of absence and who has not received a service pension or disability benefit
may be made exempt from the minimum period of resumption service requirement of this
section by the relief association bylaws.

(4) If the bylaws so provide, a firefighter who returns to active relief association
membership under this paragraph may continue to collect a monthly service pension,
notwithstanding the service pension eligibility requirements under chapter 424A.

(c) If a former firefighter who has received a service pension or disability benefit returns
to active relief association membership under paragraph (b), the firefighter may qualify for
the receipt of a service pension from the relief association for the resumption service period
if the firefighter meets the service requirements of section 424A.016, subdivision 3, or
424A.02, subdivision 2. No firefighter may be paid a service pension more than once for
the same period of service.

(d) If a former firefighter who has not received a service pension or disability benefit
returns to active relief association membership under paragraph (b), the firefighter may
qualify for the receipt of a service pension from the relief association for the original and
resumption service periods if the firefighter meets the service requirements of section
424A.016, subdivision 3, or 424A.02, subdivision 2, based on the original and resumption
years of service credit.

(e) A firefighter who returns to active lump-sum relief association membership under
paragraph (b) and who qualifies for a service pension under paragraph (c) must have, upon
a subsequent cessation of duties, any service pension for the resumption service period
calculated as a separate benefit. If a lump-sum service pension had been paid to the firefighter
upon the firefighter's previous cessation of duties, a second lump-sum service pension for
the resumption service period must be calculated by applying the service pension amount
in effect on the date of the firefighter's termination of the resumption service for all years
of the resumption service.

(f) A firefighter who had not been paid a lump-sum service pension returns to active
relief association membership under paragraph (b), who did not meet the minimum period
of resumption service requirement specified in the relief association's bylaws, but who does
meet the minimum service requirement of section 424A.02, subdivision 2, based on the
firefighter's original and resumption years of active service, must have, upon a subsequent
cessation of duties, a service pension for the original and resumption service periods
calculated by applying the service pension amount in effect on the date of the firefighter's
termination of the resumption service, or, if the bylaws so provide, based on the service
pension amount in effect on the date of the firefighter's previous cessation of duties. The
service pension for a firefighter who returns to active lump-sum relief association membership
under this paragraph, but who had met the minimum period of resumption service requirement
specified in the relief association's bylaws, must be calculated by applying the service
pension amount in effect on the date of the firefighter's termination of the resumption service.

(g) If a firefighter receiving a monthly benefit service pension returns to active monthly
benefit relief association membership under paragraph (b), and if the relief association
bylaws do not allow for the firefighter to continue collecting a monthly service pension,
any monthly benefit service pension payable to the firefighter is suspended as of the first
day of the month next following the date on which the firefighter returns to active
membership. If the firefighter was receiving a monthly benefit service pension, and qualifies
for a service pension under paragraph (c), the firefighter is entitled to an additional monthly
benefit service pension upon a subsequent cessation of duties calculated based on the
resumption service credit and the service pension accrual amount in effect on the date of
the termination of the resumption service. A suspended initial service pension resumes as
of the first of the month next following the termination of the resumption service. If the
firefighter was not receiving a monthly benefit service pension and meets the minimum
service requirement of section 424A.02, subdivision 2, a service pension must be calculated
by applying the service pension amount in effect on the date of the firefighter's termination
of the resumption service for all years of service credit.

(h) A firefighter who was not receiving a monthly benefit service pension returns to
active relief association membership under paragraph (b), who did not meet the minimum
period of resumption service requirement specified in the relief association's bylaws, but
who does meet the minimum service requirement of section 424A.02, subdivision 2, based
on the firefighter's original and resumption years of active service, must have, upon a
subsequent cessation of duties, a service pension for the original and resumption service
periods calculated by applying the service pension amount in effect on the date of the
firefighter's termination of the resumption service, or, if the bylaws so provide, based on
the service pension amount in effect on the date of the firefighter's previous cessation of
duties. The service pension for a firefighter who returns to active relief association
membership under this paragraph, but who had met the minimum period of resumption
service requirement specified in the relief association's bylaws, must be calculated by
applying the service pension amount in effect on the date of the firefighter's termination of
the resumption service.

(i) For defined contribution plans, a firefighter who returns to active relief association
membership under paragraph (b) and who qualifies for a service pension under paragraph
(c) or (d) must have, upon a subsequent cessation of duties, any service pension for the
resumption service period calculated as a separate benefit. If a service pension had been
paid to the firefighter upon the firefighter's previous cessation of duties, and if the firefighter
meets the minimum service requirement of section 424A.016, subdivision 3, based on the
resumption years of service, a second service pension for the resumption service period
must be calculated to include allocations credited to the firefighter's individual account
during the resumption period of service and deductions for administrative expenses, if
applicable.

(j) For defined contribution plans, if a firefighter who had not been paid a service pension
returns to active relief association membership under paragraph (b), and who meets the
minimum service requirement of section 424A.016, subdivision 3, based on the firefighter's
original and resumption years of service, must have, upon a subsequent cessation of duties,
a service pension for the original and resumption service periods calculated to include
allocations credited to the firefighter's individual account during the original and resumption
periods of service and deductions for administrative expenses, if applicable, less any amounts
previously forfeited under section 424A.016, subdivision 4.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.015, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Separation from active service; exception.

(a) No service pension is
payable to a person while the person remains an active member of the respective fire
department, and a person who is receiving a service pension is not entitled to receive any
other benefits from the special fund of the relief association.

(b) No relief association as defined in section 424A.001, subdivision 4, may pay a service
pension or disability benefit to a former member of the relief association if that person has
not separated from active service with the fire department to which the relief association is
directly associated, unless:

(1) the person discontinues volunteer firefighter duties with the deleted text beginmunicipality or the
independent nonprofit firefighting corporation, whichever applies,
deleted text endnew text begin fire departmentnew text end and
performs duties within the deleted text beginmunicipaldeleted text end fire department deleted text beginor corporationdeleted text end on a full-time basis;

(2) the governing body of the municipality deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin,new text end of the new text beginindependent nonprofit firefighting
new text end corporationnew text begin, or of the joint powers entitynew text end has filed its determination with the board of trustees
of the relief association that the person's experience with and service to the fire department
in that person's full-time capacity would be difficult to replace; and

(3) the bylaws of the relief association were amended to provide for the payment of a
service pension or disability benefit for such full-time employees.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.016, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Defined contribution service pension eligibility.

(a) A relief association,
when its articles of incorporation or bylaws so provide, may pay out of the assets of its
special fund a defined contribution service pension to each of its members who:

(1) separates from active service with the fire department;

(2) reaches age 50;

(3) completes at least five years of active service as an active member of the deleted text beginmunicipaldeleted text end
fire department to which the relief association is associated;

(4) completes at least five years of active membership with the relief association before
separation from active service; and

(5) complies with any additional conditions as to age, service, and membership that are
prescribed by the bylaws of the relief association.

(b) In the case of a member who has completed at least five years of active service as
an active member of the fire department to which the relief association is associated on the
date that the relief association is established and incorporated, the requirement that the
member complete at least five years of active membership with the relief association before
separation from active service may be waived by the board of trustees of the relief association
if the member completes at least five years of inactive membership with the relief association
before the date of the payment of the service pension. During the period of inactive
membership, the member is not entitled to receive any disability benefit coverage, is not
entitled to receive additional individual account allocation of fire state aid or municipal
contribution towards a service pension, and is considered to have the status of a person
entitled to a deferred service pension.

(c) The service pension earned by a volunteer under this chapter and the articles of
incorporation and bylaws of the relief association may be paid whether or not the municipality
or new text beginindependent new text endnonprofit firefighting corporation to which the relief association is associated
qualifies for the receipt of fire state aid under chapter 69.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.02, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Authorization.

(a) A defined benefit relief association, when its articles
of incorporation or bylaws so provide, may pay out of the assets of its special fund a defined
benefit service pension to each of its members who: (1) separates from active service with
the fire department; (2) reaches age 50; (3) completes at least five years of active service
as an active member of the deleted text beginmunicipaldeleted text end fire department to which the relief association is
associated; (4) completes at least five years of active membership with the relief association
before separation from active service; and (5) complies with any additional conditions as
to age, service, and membership that are prescribed by the bylaws of the relief association.
A service pension computed under this section may be prorated monthly for fractional years
of service as the bylaws or articles of incorporation of the relief association so provide. The
bylaws or articles of incorporation may define a "month," but the definition must require a
calendar month to have at least 16 days of active service. If the bylaws or articles of
incorporation do not define a "month," a "month" is a completed calendar month of active
service measured from the member's date of entry to the same date in the subsequent month.
The service pension earned by a volunteer firefighter under this chapter and the articles of
incorporation and bylaws of the volunteer firefighters relief association may be paid whether
or not the municipality or new text beginindependent new text endnonprofit firefighting corporation to which the relief
association is associated qualifies for the receipt of fire state aid under chapter 69.

(b) In the case of a member who has completed at least five years of active service as
an active member of the fire department to which the relief association is associated on the
date that the relief association is established and incorporated, the requirement that the
member complete at least five years of active membership with the relief association before
separation from active service may be waived by the board of trustees of the relief association
if the member completes at least five years of inactive membership with the relief association
before the date of the payment of the service pension. During the period of inactive
membership, the member is not entitled to receive disability benefit coverage, is not entitled
to receive additional service credit towards computation of a service pension, and is
considered to have the status of a person entitled to a deferred service pension under
subdivision 7.

(c) No municipality deleted text beginordeleted text endnew text begin, independentnew text end nonprofit firefighting corporationnew text begin, or joint powers
entity
new text end may delegate the power to take final action in setting a service pension or ancillary
benefit amount or level to the board of trustees of the relief association or to approve in
advance a service pension or ancillary benefit amount or level equal to the maximum amount
or level that this chapter would allow rather than a specific dollar amount or level.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.02, subdivision 3a, is amended to read:


Subd. 3a.

Penalty for paying pension greater than applicable maximum.

(a) If a
defined benefit relief association pays a service pension greater than the maximum service
pension associated with the applicable average amount of available financing per active
covered firefighter under the table in subdivision 3, paragraph (c) or (d), whichever applies,
the maximum service pension under subdivision 3, paragraph (f), or the applicable maximum
service pension amount specified in subdivision 3, paragraph (g), whichever is less, the
state auditor shall:

(1) disqualify the municipality or the new text beginindependent new text endnonprofit firefighting corporation
associated with the relief association from receiving fire state aid by making the appropriate
notification to the municipality and the commissioner of revenue, with the disqualification
applicable for the next apportionment and payment of fire state aid; and

(2) order the treasurer of the applicable relief association to recover the amount of the
overpaid service pension or pensions from any retired firefighter who received an
overpayment.

(b) Fire state aid amounts from disqualified municipalities for the period of
disqualifications under paragraph (a), clause (1), must be credited to the amount of fire
insurance premium tax proceeds available for the next subsequent fire state aid
apportionment.

(c) The amount of any overpaid service pension recovered under paragraph (a), clause
(2), must be credited to the amount of fire insurance premium tax proceeds available for
the next subsequent fire state aid apportionment.

(d) The determination of the state auditor that a relief association has paid a service
pension greater than the applicable maximum must be made on the basis of the information
filed by the relief association and the municipality with the state auditor under sections
69.011, subdivision 2, and 69.051, subdivision 1 or 1a, whichever applies, and any other
relevant information that comes to the attention of the state auditor. The determination of
the state auditor is final. An aggrieved municipality, relief association, or person may appeal
the determination under section 480A.06.

(e) The state auditor may certify, upon learning that a relief association overpaid a service
pension based on an error in the maximum service pension calculation, the municipality or
new text begin independent new text endnonprofit firefighting corporation associated with the relief association for fire
state aid if (1) there is evidence that the error occurred in good faith, and (2) the relief
association has initiated recovery of any overpayment amount. Notwithstanding paragraph
(c), all overpayments recovered under this paragraph must be credited to the relief
association's special fund.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.02, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Deferred service pensions.

(a) A member of a defined benefit relief association
is entitled to a deferred service pension if the member separates from active service and
membership and has completed the minimum service and membership requirements in
subdivision 1. The requirement that a member separate from active service and membership
is waived for persons who have discontinued their volunteer firefighter duties and who are
employed on a full-time basis under section 424A.015, subdivision 1.

(b) The deferred service pension is payable when the former member reaches at least
age 50, or at least the minimum age specified in the bylaws governing the relief association
if that age is greater than age 50, and when the former member makes a valid written
application.

(c) A defined benefit relief association that provides a lump-sum service pension governed
by subdivision 3 may, when its governing bylaws so provide, pay interest on the deferred
lump-sum service pension during the period of deferral. If provided for in the bylaws, interest
must be paid in one of the following manners:

(1) at the investment performance rate actually earned on that portion of the assets if the
deferred benefit amount is invested by the relief association in a separate account established
and maintained by the relief association;

(2) at the investment performance rate actually earned on that portion of the assets if the
deferred benefit amount is invested in a separate investment vehicle held by the relief
association; or

(3) at an interest rate of up to five percent, compounded annually, as set by the board of
trustees.

(d) Any change in the interest rate set by the board of trustees under paragraph (c), clause
(3), must be ratified by the governing body of the municipality new text beginor joint powers entity new text endserved
by the fire department to which the relief association is directly associated, or by the
independent nonprofit firefighting corporation, as applicable.

(e) Interest under paragraph (c), clause (3), is payable beginning on the January 1 next
following the date on which the deferred service pension interest rate as set by the board of
trustees was ratified by the governing body of the municipality new text beginor joint powers entity new text endserved
by the fire department to which the relief association is directly associated, or by the
independent nonprofit firefighting corporation, as applicable.

(f) Unless the bylaws of a relief association that has elected to pay interest or additional
investment performance on deferred lump-sum service pensions under paragraph (c) specifies
a different interest or additional investment performance method, including the interest or
additional investment performance period starting date and ending date, the interest or
additional investment performance on a deferred service pension is creditable as follows:

(1) for a relief association that has elected to pay interest or additional investment
performance under paragraph (c), clause (1) or (3), beginning on the first day of the month
next following the date on which the member separates from active service and membership
and ending on the last day of the month immediately before the month in which the deferred
member commences receipt of the deferred service pension; or

(2) for a relief association that has elected to pay interest or additional investment
performance under paragraph (c), clause (2), beginning on the date that the member separates
from active service and membership and ending on the date that the separate investment
vehicle is valued immediately before the date on which the deferred member commences
receipt of the deferred service pension.

(g) For a deferred service pension that is transferred to a separate account established
and maintained by the relief association or separate investment vehicle held by the relief
association, the deferred member bears the full investment risk subsequent to transfer and
in calculating the accrued liability of the volunteer firefighters relief association that pays
a lump-sum service pension, the accrued liability for deferred service pensions is equal to
the separate relief association account balance or the fair market value of the separate
investment vehicle held by the relief association.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.04, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Membership.

(a) A relief association that is directly associated with a
municipal fire department must be managed by a board of trustees consisting of nine
members. Six trustees must be elected from the membership of the relief association and
three trustees must be drawn from the officials of the municipalities served by the fire
department to which the relief association is directly associated. The bylaws of a relief
association which provides a monthly benefit service pension may provide that one of the
six trustees elected from the relief association membership may be a retired member receiving
a monthly pension who is elected by the membership of the relief association. The three
municipal trustees must be one elected municipal official and one elected or appointed
municipal official who are designated as municipal representatives by the municipal
governing board annually and the chief of the municipal fire department.

(b) A relief association that is a subsidiary of an independent nonprofit firefighting
corporation must be managed by a board of trustees consisting of nine members. Six trustees
must be elected from the membership of the relief association, two trustees must be drawn
from the officials of the municipalities served by the fire department to which the relief
association is directly associated, and one trustee must be the fire chief serving with the
independent nonprofit firefighting corporation. The bylaws of a relief association may
provide that one of the six trustees elected from the relief association membership may be
a retired member receiving a monthly pension who is elected by the membership of the
relief association. The two municipal trustees must be elected or appointed municipal
officials, selected as follows:

(1) if only one municipality contracts with the independent nonprofit firefighting
corporation, the municipal trustees must be two officials of the contracting municipality
who are designated annually by the governing body of the municipality; or

(2) if two or more municipalities contract with the independent nonprofit corporation,
the municipal trustees must be one official from each of the two largest municipalities in
population who are designated annually by the governing bodies of the applicable
municipalities.

(c) The municipal trustees for a relief association that is directly associated with a fire
department operated as or by a joint powers entity must be the fire chief of the fire department
and two trustees designated annually by the joint powers board. The municipal trustees for
a relief association that is directly associated with a fire department service area township
must be the fire chief of the fire department and two trustees designated by the township
board.

(d) If a relief association lacks the municipal board members provided for in paragraph
(a), (b), or (c) because the fire department is not located in or associated with deleted text beginan organizeddeleted text endnew text begin
a
new text end municipalitydeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin ornew text end joint powers entitydeleted text begin, or townshipdeleted text end, the municipal board members must be
the fire chief of the fire department and two board members appointed from the fire
department service area by the board of commissioners of the applicable county.

(e) The term of the appointed municipal board members is one year or until the person's
successor is qualified, whichever is later.

(f) A municipal trustee under paragraph (a), (b), (c), or (d) has all the rights and duties
accorded to any other trustee, except the right to be an officer of the relief association board
of trustees.

(g) A board must have at least three officers, who are a president, a secretary and a
treasurer. These officers must be elected from among the elected trustees by either the full
board of trustees or by the relief association membership, as specified in the bylaws. In no
event may any trustee hold more than one officer position at any one time. The terms of the
elected trustees and of the officers of the board must be specified in the bylaws of the relief
association, but may not exceed three years. If the term of the elected trustees exceeds one
year, the election of the various trustees elected from the membership must be staggered
on as equal a basis as is practicable.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.07, is amended to read:


424A.07 NONPROFIT FIREFIGHTING CORPORATIONS; ESTABLISHMENT
OF RELIEF ASSOCIATIONS.

Before paying any service pensions or retirement benefits under section 424A.02 or
before becoming entitled to receive any amounts of fire state aid upon transmittal from a
contracting municipality under section 69.031, subdivision 5, deleted text beginadeleted text endnew text begin an independentnew text end nonprofit
firefighting corporation shall establish a volunteer firefighters relief association governed
by this chapter.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.091, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Remedy for noncompliance; determination.

(a) A municipality in which
there exists a firefighters relief association as specified in subdivision 1 which does not
comply with the applicable provisions of sections 424A.091 to 424A.096 or the provisions
of any applicable special law relating to the funding or financing of the association does
not qualify initially to receive, and is not entitled subsequently to retain, fire state aid under
sections 69.011 to 69.051 until the reason for the disqualification specified by the state
auditor is remedied, whereupon the municipality or relief association, if otherwise qualified,
is entitled to again receive fire state aid for the year occurring immediately subsequent to
the year in which the disqualification is remedied.

(b) The state auditor shall determine if a municipality to which a firefighters' relief
association is directly associated or a firefighters relief association fails to comply with the
provisions of sections 424A.091 to 424A.096 or the funding or financing provisions of any
applicable special law based upon the information contained in the annual financial report
of the firefighters relief association required under section 69.051, the actuarial valuation
of the relief association, if applicable, the relief association officers' financial requirements
of the relief association and minimum municipal obligation determination documentation
under section 424A.092, subdivisions 3 and 4; 424A.093, subdivisions 4 and 5; or 424A.094,
subdivision 2
, if requested to be filed by the state auditor, the applicable municipal or
new text begin independent new text endnonprofit firefighting corporation budget, if requested to be filed by the state
auditor, and any other relevant documents or reports obtained by the state auditor.

(c) The municipality or new text beginindependent new text endnonprofit firefighting corporation and the associated
relief association are not eligible to receive or to retain fire state aid if:

(1) the relief association fails to prepare or to file the financial report or financial
statement under section 69.051;

(2) the relief association treasurer is not bonded in the manner and in the amount required
by section 69.051, subdivision 2;

(3) the relief association officers fail to determine or improperly determine the accrued
liability and the annual accruing liability of the relief association under section 424A.092,
subdivisions 2, 2a, and 3
, paragraph (c), clause (2), if applicable;

(4) if applicable, the relief association officers fail to obtain and file a required actuarial
valuation or the officers file an actuarial valuation that does not contain the special fund
actuarial liability calculated under the entry age normal actuarial cost method, the special
fund current assets, the special fund unfunded actuarial accrued liability, the special fund
normal cost under the entry age normal actuarial cost method, the amortization requirement
for the special fund unfunded actuarial accrued liability by the applicable target date, a
summary of the applicable benefit plan, a summary of the membership of the relief
association, a summary of the actuarial assumptions used in preparing the valuation, and a
signed statement by the actuary attesting to its results and certifying to the qualifications of
the actuary as an approved actuary under section 356.215, subdivision 1, paragraph (c);

(5) the municipality failed to provide a municipal contribution, or the new text beginindependent
new text end nonprofit firefighting corporation failed to provide a corporate contribution, in the amount
equal to the minimum municipal obligation if the relief association is governed under section
424A.092, or the amount necessary, when added to the fire state aid actually received in
the plan year in question, to at least equal in total the calculated annual financial requirements
of the special fund of the relief association if the relief association is governed under section
424A.093, and, if the municipal or corporate contribution is deficient, the municipality
failed to include the minimum municipal obligation certified under section 424A.092,
subdivision 3
, or 424A.093, subdivision 5, in its budget and tax levy or the new text beginindependent
new text end nonprofit firefighting corporation failed to include the minimum corporate obligation certified
under section 424A.094, subdivision 2, in the corporate budget;

(6) the defined benefit relief association did not receive municipal ratification for the
most recent plan amendment when municipal ratification was required under section 424A.02,
subdivision 10; 424A.092, subdivision 6
; or 424A.093, subdivision 6;

(7) the relief association invested special fund assets in an investment security that is
not authorized under section 424A.095;

(8) the relief association had an administrative expense that is not authorized under
section 69.80 or 424A.05, subdivision 3, or the municipality had an expenditure that is not
authorized under section 424A.08;

(9) the relief association officers fail to provide a complete and accurate public pension
plan investment portfolio and performance disclosure under section 356.219;

(10) the relief association fails to obtain the acknowledgment from a broker of the
statement of investment restrictions under section 356A.06, subdivision 8b;

(11) the relief association officers permitted to occur a prohibited transaction under
section 356A.06, subdivision 9, or 424A.04, subdivision 2a, or failed to undertake correction
of a prohibited transaction that did occur; or

(12) the relief association pays a defined benefit service pension in an amount that is in
excess of the applicable service pension maximum under section 424A.02, subdivision 3.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 19.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.094, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Authorized pension disbursements.

Authorized disbursements of assets of
the special fund of the subsidiary relief association of the new text beginindependent new text endnonprofit firefighting
corporation shall be governed by the provisions of section 424A.05.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 424A.10, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

For purposes of this section:

(1) "qualified recipient" means deleted text beginan individualdeleted text end new text begina volunteer firefighter new text endwho receives a
lump-sum distribution of pension or retirement benefits from a volunteer firefighters relief
association or from the voluntary statewide lump-sum volunteer firefighter retirement plandeleted text begin
for service that the individual has performed as a volunteer firefighter
deleted text end;

(2) "survivor of a deceased active or deferred volunteer firefighter" means the surviving
spouse of a deceased active or deferred volunteer firefighter or, if none, the surviving child
or children of a deceased active or deferred volunteer firefighter;

(3) "active volunteer firefighter" means a person whonew text begin:
new text end

new text begin (i)new text end regularly renders fire suppression servicenew text begin, the performance or supervision of authorized
fire prevention duties, or the performance or supervision of authorized emergency medical
response activities
new text end for a deleted text beginmunicipaldeleted text end fire departmentdeleted text begin or an independent nonprofit firefighting
corporation, who
deleted text endnew text begin;
new text end

new text begin (ii)new text end has met the statutory and other requirements for relief association membershipdeleted text begin,deleted text endnew text begin;new text end and
deleted text begin who
deleted text end

new text begin (iii)new text end is deemed by the relief association under law and its bylaws to be a fully qualified
member of the relief association or from the voluntary statewide lump-sum volunteer
firefighter retirement plan for at least one month; deleted text beginand
deleted text end

(4) "deferred volunteer firefighter" means a former active volunteer firefighter whonew text begin:
new text end

new text begin (i)new text end terminated active firefighting service, new text beginthe performance or supervision of authorized
fire prevention duties, or the performance or supervision of authorized emergency medical
response activities; and
new text end

new text begin (ii) new text endhas sufficient service credit from the applicable relief association or from the voluntary
statewide lump-sum volunteer firefighter retirement plan to be entitled to a service pension
under the bylaws of the relief association, but has not applied for or has not received the
service pensiondeleted text begin.deleted text endnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (5) "volunteer firefighter" includes an individual whose services were utilized to perform
or supervise fire prevention duties if authorized under section 424A.01, subdivision 5, and
individuals whose services were used to perform emergency medical response duties or
supervise emergency medical response activities if authorized under section 424A.01,
subdivision 5a.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective January 1, 2018.
new text end