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Chapter 353

Section 353.01

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353.01 Definitions.

Subdivision 1. Terms. Unless the language or context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended, each of the following terms, for the purposes of this chapter, has the meaning given it.

Subd. 2. Public employee. "Public employee" means a governmental employee performing personal services for a governmental subdivision defined in subdivision 6, whose salary is paid, in whole or in part, from revenue derived from taxation, fees, assessments, or from other sources. The term includes the classes of persons described or listed in subdivision 2a. The term also includes persons who elect association membership under subdivision 2d, paragraph (a), and persons for whom the applicable governmental subdivision had elected association membership under subdivision 2d, paragraph (b). The term excludes the classes of persons listed in subdivision 2b for purposes of membership in the association.

Subd. 2a. Included employees. (a) Public employees whose salary from one governmental subdivision exceeds $425 in any month shall participate as members of the association. If the salary is less than $425 in a subsequent month, the employee retains membership eligibility. Eligible public employees shall participate as members of the association with retirement coverage by the public employees retirement plan or the public employees police and fire retirement plan under this chapter, or the local government correctional employees retirement plan under chapter 353E, whichever applies, as a condition of their employment on the first day of employment unless they:

(1) are specifically excluded under subdivision 2b;

(2) do not exercise their option to elect retirement coverage in the association as provided in subdivision 2d, paragraph (a); or

(3) are employees of the governmental subdivisions listed in subdivision 2d, paragraph (b), where the governmental subdivision has not elected to participate as a governmental subdivision covered by the association.

(b) A public employee who was a member of the association on June 30, 2002, based on employment that qualified for membership coverage by the public employees retirement plan or the public employees police and fire plan under this chapter, or the local government correctional employees retirement plan under chapter 353E as of June 30, 2002, retains that membership until the employee terminates public employment under subdivision 11a or terminates membership under subdivision 11b.

Subd. 2b. Excluded employees. The following public employees are not eligible to participate as members of the association with retirement coverage by the public employees retirement plan, the local government correctional employees retirement plan under chapter 353E, or the public employees police and fire retirement plan:

(1) public officers, other than county sheriffs, who are elected to a governing body, or persons who are appointed to fill a vacancy in an elective office of a governing body, whose term of office commences on or after July 1, 2002, for the service to be rendered in that elective position. Elected governing body officials who were active members of the association's coordinated or basic retirement plans as of June 30, 2002, continue participation throughout incumbency in office until termination of public service occurs as defined in subdivision 11a;

(2) election officers or election judges;

(3) patient and inmate personnel who perform services for a governmental subdivision;

(4) except as otherwise specified in subdivision 12a, employees who are hired for a temporary position as defined under subdivision 12a, and employees who resign from a nontemporary position and accept a temporary position within 30 days in the same governmental subdivision;

(5) employees who are employed by reason of work emergency caused by fire, flood, storm, or similar disaster;

(6) employees who by virtue of their employment in one governmental subdivision are required by law to be a member of and to contribute to any of the plans or funds administered by the Minnesota State Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement Association, the Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund Association, the Minneapolis Teachers Retirement Fund Association, the St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association, the Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund, or any police or firefighters relief association governed by section 69.77 that has not consolidated with the Public Employees Retirement Association, or any local police or firefighters consolidation account who have not elected the type of benefit coverage provided by the public employees police and fire fund under sections 353A.01 to 353A.10, or any persons covered by section 353.665, subdivision 4, 5, or 6, who have not elected public employees police and fire plan benefit coverage. This clause must not be construed to prevent a person from being a member of and contributing to the Public Employees Retirement Association and also belonging to and contributing to another public pension plan or fund for other service occurring during the same period of time. A person who meets the definition of "public employee" in subdivision 2 by virtue of other service occurring during the same period of time becomes a member of the association unless contributions are made to another public retirement fund on the salary based on the other service or to the Teachers Retirement Association by a teacher as defined in section 354.05, subdivision 2;

(7) persons who are members of a religious order and are excluded from coverage under the federal Old Age, Survivors, Disability, and Health Insurance Program for the performance of service as specified in United States Code, title 42, section 410(a)(8)(A), as amended through January 1, 1987, if no irrevocable election of coverage has been made under section 3121(r) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended;

(8) employees of a governmental subdivision who have not reached the age of 23 and are enrolled on a full-time basis to attend or are attending classes on a full-time basis at an accredited school, college, or university in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional-technical program, or a public or charter high school;

(9) resident physicians, medical interns, and pharmacist residents and pharmacist interns who are serving in a degree or residency program in public hospitals;

(10) students who are serving in an internship or residency program sponsored by an accredited educational institution;

(11) persons who hold a part-time adult supplementary technical college license who render part-time teaching service in a technical college;

(12) except for employees of Hennepin County, foreign citizens working for a governmental subdivision with a work permit of less than three years, or an H-1b visa valid for less than three years of employment. Upon notice to the association that the work permit or visa extends beyond the three-year period, the foreign citizens must be reported for membership from the date of the extension;

(13) public hospital employees who elected not to participate as members of the association before 1972 and who did not elect to participate from July 1, 1988, to October 1, 1988;

(14) except as provided in section 353.86, volunteer ambulance service personnel, as defined in subdivision 35, but persons who serve as volunteer ambulance service personnel may still qualify as public employees under subdivision 2 and may be members of the Public Employees Retirement Association and participants in the public employees retirement fund or the public employees police and fire fund, whichever applies, on the basis of compensation received from public employment service other than service as volunteer ambulance service personnel;

(15) except as provided in section 353.87, volunteer firefighters, as defined in subdivision 36, engaging in activities undertaken as part of volunteer firefighter duties; provided that a person who is a volunteer firefighter may still qualify as a public employee under subdivision 2 and may be a member of the Public Employees Retirement Association and a participant in the public employees retirement fund or the public employees police and fire fund, whichever applies, on the basis of compensation received from public employment activities other than those as a volunteer firefighter;

(16) pipefitters and associated trades personnel employed by Independent School District No. 625, St. Paul, with coverage under a collective bargaining agreement by the pipefitters local 455 pension plan who were either first employed after May 1, 1997, or, if first employed before May 2, 1997, elected to be excluded under Laws 1997, chapter 241, article 2, section 12;

(17) electrical workers, plumbers, carpenters, and associated trades personnel employed by Independent School District No. 625, St. Paul, or the city of St. Paul, who have retirement coverage under a collective bargaining agreement by the Electrical Workers Local 110 pension plan, the United Association Plumbers Local 34 pension plan, or the Carpenters Local 87 pension plan who were either first employed after May 1, 2000, or, if first employed before May 2, 2000, elected to be excluded under Laws 2000, chapter 461, article 7, section 5;

(18) bricklayers, allied craftworkers, cement masons, glaziers, glassworkers, painters, allied tradesworkers, and plasterers employed by the city of St. Paul or Independent School District No. 625, St. Paul, with coverage under a collective bargaining agreement by the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 pension plan, the Cement Masons Local 633 pension plan, the Glaziers and Glassworkers Local L-1324 pension plan, the Painters and Allied Trades Local 61 pension plan, or the Twin Cities Plasterers Local 265 pension plan who were either first employed after May 1, 2001, or if first employed before May 2, 2001, elected to be excluded under Laws 2001, First Special Session chapter 10, article 10, section 6;

(19) plumbers employed by the Metropolitan Airports Commission, with coverage under a collective bargaining agreement by the Plumbers Local 34 pension plan, who either were first employed after May 1, 2001, or if first employed before May 2, 2001, elected to be excluded under Laws 2001, First Special Session chapter 10, article 10, section 6;

(20) employees who are hired after June 30, 2002, to fill seasonal positions under subdivision 12b which are limited in duration by the employer to 185 consecutive calendar days or less in each year of employment with the governmental subdivision;

(21) persons who are provided supported employment or work-study positions by a governmental subdivision and who participate in an employment or industries program maintained for the benefit of these persons where the governmental subdivision limits the position's duration to three years or less, including persons participating in a federal or state subsidized on-the-job training, work experience, senior citizen, youth, or unemployment relief program where the training or work experience is not provided as a part of, or for, future permanent public employment;

(22) independent contractors and the employees of independent contractors; and

(23) reemployed annuitants of the association during the course of that reemployment.

Subd. 2c. Repealed, 1989 c 319 art 3 s 26

Subd. 2d. Optional membership. (a) Membership in the association is optional by action of the individual employee for the following public employees who meet the conditions set forth in subdivision 2a:

(1) members of the coordinated plan who are also employees of labor organizations as defined in section 353.017, subdivision 1, for their employment by the labor organization only if they elect to have membership under section 353.017, subdivision 2;

(2) persons who are elected or persons who are appointed to elected positions other than local governing body elected positions who elect to participate by filing a written election for membership;

(3) members of the association who are appointed by the governor to be a state department head and who elect not to be covered by the general state employees retirement plan of the Minnesota State Retirement System under section 352.021;

(4) city managers as defined in section 353.028, subdivision 1, who do not elect to be excluded from membership in the association under section 353.028, subdivision 2; and

(5) employees of the Port Authority of the city of St. Paul who were at least age 45 on January 1, 2003, and who elect to participate by filing a written election for membership.

(b) Membership in the association is optional by action of the governmental subdivision for the employees of the following governmental subdivisions under the conditions specified:

(1) the Minnesota Association of Townships if the board of the association, at its option, certifies to the executive director that its employees are to be included for purposes of retirement coverage, in which case the status of the association as a participating employer is permanent; and

(2) a county historical society if the county in which the historical society is located, at its option, certifies to the executive director that the employees of the historical society are to be county employees for purposes of retirement coverage under this chapter. The status as a county employee must be accorded to all similarly situated county historical society employees and, once established, must continue as long as a person is an employee of the county historical society.

(c) For employees who are covered by paragraph (a), clause (1), (2), or (3), or covered by paragraph (b), if the necessary membership election is not made, the employee is excluded from retirement coverage under this chapter. For employees who are covered by paragraph (a), clause (4), if the necessary election is not made, the employee must become a member and have retirement coverage under this chapter. The option to become a member, once exercised under this subdivision, may not be withdrawn until termination of public service as defined under subdivision 11a.

Subd. 3. Head of department. "Head of department" means the head of any department, institution, office, or branch of service of any governmental subdivision which directly pays salaries out of its revenue or is empowered to authorize the payment of such salaries.

Subd. 4. Accumulated deductions. "Accumulated deductions" means the total of the amounts deducted from the salary of a member, exclusive of interest, and the total of the amounts paid by a member in lieu of such deductions and credited to the member's individual account in the retirement fund.

Subd. 5. Repealed, 1971 c 106 s 40

Subd. 6. Governmental subdivision. (a) "Governmental subdivision" means a county, city, town, school district within this state, or a department or unit of state government, or any public body whose revenues are derived from taxation, fees, assessments or from other sources.

(b) Governmental subdivision also means the Public Employees Retirement Association, the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Metropolitan Municipalities, public hospitals owned or operated by, or an integral part of, a governmental subdivision or governmental subdivisions, the Association of Minnesota Counties, the Metropolitan Intercounty Association, the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association, the Metropolitan Airports Commission, the Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund for employment initially commenced after June 30, 1979, the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools, soil and water conservation districts, economic development authorities created or operating under sections 469.090 to 469.108, the Port Authority of the city of St. Paul, the Spring Lake Park Fire Department, incorporated, the Lake Johanna Volunteer Fire Department, incorporated, the Red Wing Environmental Learning Center, and the Dakota County Agricultural Society.

(c) Governmental subdivision does not mean any municipal housing and redevelopment authority organized under the provisions of sections 469.001 to 469.047; or any port authority organized under sections 469.048 to 469.089 other than the Port Authority of the city of St. Paul; or any hospital district organized or reorganized prior to July 1, 1975, under sections 447.31 to 447.37 or the successor of the district, nor the Minneapolis Community Development Agency.

Subd. 7. Member. "Member" means a person who accepts employment as a "public employee" under subdivision 2, who is an employee who works in one or more positions that require or allow membership in the association under subdivision 2a or 2d, for whom contributions have been withheld from salary and who is not covered by the plan established in chapter 353D or excluded under subdivision 2b. A person who is a member remains a member while performing services as a public employee and while on an authorized leave of absence or an authorized temporary layoff.

Subd. 7a. Former member. "Former member" means a member of the association who terminates public service under subdivision 11a or membership under subdivision 11b.

Subd. 8. Association. "Association" means the Public Employees Retirement Association.

Subd. 9. Repealed, 1957 c 935 s 27

Subd. 10. Salary. (a) "Salary" means:

(1) the periodic compensation of a public employee, before deductions for deferred compensation, supplemental retirement plans, or other voluntary salary reduction programs, and also means "wages" and includes net income from fees; and

(2) for a public employee who has prior service covered by a local police or firefighters relief association that has consolidated with the Public Employees Retirement Association or to which section 353.665 applies and who has elected coverage either under the public employees police and fire fund benefit plan under section 353A.08 following the consolidation or under section 353.665, subdivision 4, the rate of salary upon which member contributions to the special fund of the relief association were made prior to the effective date of the consolidation as specified by law and by bylaw provisions governing the relief association on the date of the initiation of the consolidation procedure and the actual periodic compensation of the public employee after the effective date of consolidation.

(b) Salary does not mean:

(1) the fees paid to district court reporters, unused annual vacation or sick leave payments, in lump-sum or periodic payments, severance payments, reimbursement of expenses, lump-sum settlements not attached to a specific earnings period, or workers' compensation payments;

(2) employer-paid amounts used by an employee toward the cost of insurance coverage, employer-paid fringe benefits, flexible spending accounts, cafeteria plans, health care expense accounts, day care expenses, or any payments in lieu of any employer-paid group insurance coverage, including the difference between single and family rates that may be paid to a member with single coverage and certain amounts determined by the executive director to be ineligible;

(3) the amount equal to that which the employing governmental subdivision would otherwise pay toward single or family insurance coverage for a covered employee when, through a contract or agreement with some but not all employees, the employer:

(i) discontinues, or for new hires does not provide, payment toward the cost of the employee's selected insurance coverages under a group plan offered by the employer;

(ii) makes the employee solely responsible for all contributions toward the cost of the employee's selected insurance coverages under a group plan offered by the employer, including any amount the employer makes toward other employees' selected insurance coverages under a group plan offered by the employer; and

(iii) provides increased salary rates for employees who do not have any employer-paid group insurance coverages;

(4) except as provided in section 353.86 or 353.87, compensation of any kind paid to volunteer ambulance service personnel or volunteer firefighters, as defined in subdivision 35 or 36; and

(5) the amount of compensation that exceeds the limitation provided in section 356.611.

(c) Amounts provided to an employee by the employer through a grievance proceeding or a legal settlement are salary only if the settlement is reviewed by the executive director and the amounts are determined by the executive director to be consistent with paragraph (a) and prior determinations.

Subd. 11. Public service. "Public service" means service as an officer or employee of a governmental subdivision.

Subd. 11a. Termination of public service. (a) "Termination of public service" occurs when a member resigns or is dismissed from public service by the employing governmental subdivision or when a position ends and the member who held the position is not considered by the governmental subdivision to be on a temporary layoff, and the employee does not, within 30 days of the date the employment relationship ended, return to an employment position in the same governmental subdivision.

(b) The termination of public service must be recorded in the association records upon receipt of an appropriate notice from the governmental subdivision.

Subd. 11b. Termination of membership. (a) "Termination of membership" means the conclusion of membership in the association and occurs:

(1) upon termination of public service under subdivision 11a;

(2) when a member does not return to work within 30 days of the expiration of an authorized temporary layoff under subdivision 12 or an authorized leave of absence under subdivision 31 as evidenced by the appropriate record filed by the governmental subdivision; or

(3) when a person files a written election to discontinue employee deductions under section 353.27, subdivision 7, paragraph (a), clause (1).

(b) The termination of membership must be reported to the association by the governmental subdivision.

(c) If the employee subsequently returns to a position in the same governmental subdivision, the employee shall not again be required to earn a salary in excess of $425 per month to qualify for membership, unless the employee has taken a refund of accumulated employee deduction plus interest under section 353.34, subdivision 1.

Subd. 12. Authorized temporary layoff. "Authorized temporary layoff," including seasonal leave of absence, means a suspension of public service authorized by the employing governmental subdivision for a period not exceeding three months in any calendar year, as evidenced by appropriate record of the employer and promptly transmitted to the association.

Subd. 12a. Temporary position. (a) "Temporary position" means an employment position predetermined by the employer at the time of hiring to be a period of six months or less. Temporary position also means an employment position occupied by a person hired by the employer as a temporary replacement who is employed for a predetermined period of six months or less.

(b) "Temporary position" does not mean an employment position for a specified or unspecified term in which a person serves a probationary period as a requirement for subsequent employment on a permanent or unlimited basis.

(c) If employment in a temporary position extends beyond six consecutive months, the head of the department shall report the employee for membership if salary in any month exceeds the salary threshold specified in subdivision 2a. The membership eligibility of an employee who resigns or is dismissed from a temporary position and accepts another temporary position in the same governmental subdivision within 30 days must be determined on the total length of employment rather than on each separate position.

Subd. 12b. Seasonal position. "Seasonal position" means a position where the nature of the work or its duration are related to a specific season or seasons of the year, regardless of whether or not the employing agency anticipates that the same employee will return to the position each season in which it becomes available. The entire period of employment in a year must be used to determine whether or not a position may be excluded as seasonal when there is less than a 30-day break between one seasonal position and a subsequent seasonal position for employment with the same governmental employer. Seasonal positions include, but are not limited to, coaching athletic activities or employment to plow snow or to maintain roads or parks, or to operate skating rinks, ski lodges, golf courses, or swimming pools.

Subd. 13. Repealed, 1963 c 641 s 38

Subd. 14. Actuarial equivalent. "Actuarial equivalent" means the condition of one annuity or benefit having an equal actuarial present value as another annuity or benefit, determined as of a given date with each actuarial present value based on the appropriate mortality table adopted by the board of trustees based on the experience of the fund as recommended by the actuary retained by the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement and using the applicable preretirement or postretirement interest rate assumption specified in section 356.215, subdivision 8.

Subd. 15. Dependent child. For the purpose of survivor benefit eligibility under sections 353.31, subdivision 1, and 353.657, subdivision 3, "dependent child" means a biological or adopted child of a deceased member who is unmarried, and under the age of 18, or age 18 to 23, so long as the child submits evidence of full-time enrollment in an accredited educational institution. "Dependent child" also includes a child of the member conceived during the member's lifetime and born after the member's death. It also means a dependent child who is the subject of adoption proceedings filed by a member, and who within two years after death of the member, by judgment and decree duly entered, is adjudged to be the adopted child of the deceased member; subject, however, to the qualifying conditions of age and dependency under this subdivision. The dependency of the child dates from the decree of adoption. "Dependent child" also includes a child age 18 to 23 who had submitted evidence of full-time enrollment in an accredited educational institution but was determined to be medically unable to continue school on a full-time basis. The board of trustees shall adopt written procedures to make determinations regarding eligibility based on a student being medically unable to continue school, and may not continue a benefit for medical reasons for a period greater than one year.

Subd. 15a. Dependent child. For the purpose of survivor benefit eligibility under section 353.32, subdivision 1c, "dependent child" means any biological or adopted child of a deceased member who has not reached the age of 20 and is dependent for more than one-half of support upon the member. It also includes any child of the member conceived during the member's lifetime and born after the member's death.

Subd. 16. Allowable service; limits and computation. (a) "Allowable service" means:

(1) service during years of actual membership in the course of which employee contributions were made, periods covered by payments in lieu of salary deductions under section 353.35;

(2) service in years during which the public employee was not a member but for which the member later elected, while a member, to obtain credit by making payments to the fund as permitted by any law then in effect;

(3) a period of authorized leave of absence with pay from which deductions for employee contributions are made, deposited, and credited to the fund;

(4) a period of authorized personal, parental, or medical leave of absence without pay, including a leave of absence covered under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, that does not exceed one year, and during or for which a member obtained service credit for each month in the leave period by payments to the fund made in place of salary deductions. The payments must be made in an amount or amounts based on the member's average salary on which deductions were paid for the last six months of public service, or for that portion of the last six months while the member was in public service, to apply to the period in either case that immediately precedes the commencement of the leave of absence. If the employee elects to pay the employee contributions for the period of any authorized personal, parental, or medical leave of absence without pay, or for any portion of the leave, the employee shall also, as a condition to the exercise of the election, pay to the fund an amount equivalent to the required employer and the additional employer contributions, if any, for the employee. The payment must be made within one year from the expiration of the leave of absence or within 20 days after termination of public service under subdivision 11a, whichever is earlier. The employer, by appropriate action of its governing body which is made a part of its official records and which is adopted before the date of the first payment of the employee contribution, may certify to the association in writing its commitment to pay the employer and additional employer contributions from the proceeds of a tax levy made under section 353.28. Payments under this paragraph must include interest at an annual rate of 8.5 percent compounded annually from the date of the termination of the leave of absence to the date payment is made. An employee shall return to public service and render a minimum of three months of allowable service in order to be eligible to pay employee and employer contributions for a subsequent authorized leave of absence without pay. Upon payment, the employee must be granted allowable service credit for the purchased period;

(5) a periodic, repetitive leave that is offered to all employees of a governmental subdivision. The leave program may not exceed 208 hours per annual normal work cycle as certified to the association by the employer. A participating member obtains service credit by making employee contributions in an amount or amounts based on the member's average salary that would have been paid if the leave had not been taken. The employer shall pay the employer and additional employer contributions on behalf of the participating member. The employee and the employer are responsible to pay interest on their respective shares at the rate of 8.5 percent a year, compounded annually, from the end of the normal cycle until full payment is made. An employer shall also make the employer and additional employer contributions, plus 8.5 percent interest, compounded annually, on behalf of an employee who makes employee contributions but terminates public service. The employee contributions must be made within one year after the end of the annual normal working cycle or within 20 days after termination of public service, whichever is sooner. The association shall prescribe the manner and forms to be used by a governmental subdivision in administering a periodic, repetitive leave. Upon payment, the member must be granted allowable service credit for the purchased period;

(6) an authorized temporary layoff under subdivision 12, limited to three months allowable service per authorized temporary layoff in one calendar year. An employee who has received the maximum service credit allowed for an authorized temporary layoff must return to public service and must obtain a minimum of three months of allowable service subsequent to the layoff in order to receive allowable service for a subsequent authorized temporary layoff; or

(7) a period during which a member is absent from employment by a governmental subdivision by reason of service in the uniformed services, as defined in United States Code, title 38, section 4303(13), if the member returns to public service upon discharge from service in the uniformed service within the time frames required under United States Code, title 38, section 4312(e), provided that the member did not separate from uniformed service with a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or under other than honorable conditions. The service is credited if the member pays into the fund equivalent employee contributions based upon the contribution rate or rates in effect at the time that the uniformed service was performed multiplied by the full and fractional years being purchased and applied to the annual salary rate. The annual salary rate is the average annual salary during the purchase period that the member would have received if the member had continued to be employed in covered employment rather than to provide uniformed service, or, if the determination of that rate is not reasonably certain, the annual salary rate is the member's average salary rate during the 12-month period of covered employment rendered immediately preceding the period of the uniformed service. Payment of the member equivalent contributions must be made during a period which begins with the date on which the individual returns to public employment and that is three times the length of the military leave period, or within five years of the date of discharge from the military service, whichever is less. If the determined payment period is less than one year, the contributions required under this clause to receive service credit may be made within one year of the discharge date. Payment may not be accepted following 20 days after termination of public service under subdivision 11a. If the member equivalent contributions provided for in this clause are not paid in full, the member's allowable service credit must be prorated by multiplying the full and fractional number of years of uniformed service eligible for purchase by the ratio obtained by dividing the total member contributions received by the total member contributions otherwise required under this clause. The equivalent employer contribution, and, if applicable, the equivalent additional employer contribution must be paid by the governmental subdivision employing the member if the member makes the equivalent employee contributions. The employer payments must be made from funds available to the employing unit, using the employer and additional employer contribution rate or rates in effect at the time that the uniformed service was performed, applied to the same annual salary rate or rates used to compute the equivalent member contribution. The governmental subdivision involved may appropriate money for those payments. The amount of service credit obtainable under this section may not exceed five years unless a longer purchase period is required under United States Code, title 38, section 4312. The employing unit shall pay interest on all equivalent member and employer contribution amounts payable under this clause. Interest must be computed at a rate of 8.5 percent compounded annually from the end of each fiscal year of the leave or the break in service to the end of the month in which the payment is received. Upon payment, the employee must be granted allowable service credit for the purchased period.

(b) For calculating benefits under sections 353.30, 353.31, 353.32, and 353.33 for state officers and employees displaced by the Community Corrections Act, chapter 401, and transferred into county service under section 401.04, "allowable service" means the combined years of allowable service as defined in paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (6), and section 352.01, subdivision 11.

(c) For a public employee who has prior service covered by a local police or firefighters relief association that has consolidated with the Public Employees Retirement Association or to which section 353.665 applies, and who has elected the type of benefit coverage provided by the public employees police and fire fund either under section 353A.08 following the consolidation or under section 353.665, subdivision 4, "applicable service" is a period of service credited by the local police or firefighters relief association as of the effective date of the consolidation based on law and on bylaw provisions governing the relief association on the date of the initiation of the consolidation procedure.

(d) No member may receive more than 12 months of allowable service credit in a year either for vesting purposes or for benefit calculation purposes.

(e) MS 2002 (Expired)

Subd. 16a. Uncredited military service credit purchase. (a) A public employee who has at least three years of allowable service with the Public Employees Retirement Association or the public employees police and fire plan and who performed service in the United States armed forces before becoming a public employee, or who failed to obtain service credit for a military leave of absence under subdivision 16, paragraph (h), is entitled to purchase allowable service credit for the initial period of enlistment, induction, or call to active duty without any voluntary extension by making payment under section 356.55 if the public employee has not purchased service credit from any other Minnesota defined benefit public employee pension plan for the same period of service.

(b) A public employee who desires to purchase service credit under paragraph (a) must apply with the executive director to make the purchase. The application must include all necessary documentation of the public employee's qualifications to make the purchase, signed written permission to allow the executive director to request and receive necessary verification of applicable facts and eligibility requirements, and any other relevant information that the executive director may require.

(c) Allowable service credit for the purchase period must be granted by the public employees association or the public employees police and fire plan, whichever applies, to the purchasing public employee upon receipt of the purchase payment amount. Payment must be made before the effective date of retirement of the public employee.

Subd. 17. Approved actuary. "Approved actuary" means any actuary who is a fellow of the society of actuaries or who has at least 15 years of service to major public employee funds or any firm retaining such an actuary on its staff.

Subd. 18. Year of allowable service. "Year of allowable service" means any 12 calendar months not necessarily consecutive in which a public employee received compensation from the governmental subdivision or was eligible to credit for service. It also means 12 months credit each year for employees who are paid on a yearly basis and who may or may not receive compensation in every calendar month in the year.

Subd. 19. Total and permanent disability. "Total and permanent disability" means the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration. Long-continued and indefinite duration means that the disability has been or is expected to be for a period of at least one year.

Subd. 20. Surviving spouse. "Surviving spouse" means the spouse of a deceased member or disabilitant who was legally married to the member at the time of death.

Subd. 21. Repealed, 1971 c 106 s 40

Subd. 22. Repealed, 1971 c 106 s 40

Subd. 23. Retirement annuity. "Retirement annuity" means the amount paid or payable by the fund to a former member after retirement.

Subd. 24. Optional annuity. "Optional annuity" means the allowance paid or payable by the fund to the designated optional annuity beneficiary of a member or former member, pursuant to an optional annuity form selected at or before retirement, or to the spouse of a deceased member under section 353.32, subdivision 1a.

Subd. 25. Repealed, 1973 c 753 s 85

Subd. 26. Repealed, 1971 c 106 s 40

Subd. 27. Benefit. "Benefit" means a monthly survivor benefit paid or payable by the fund to a surviving spouse or a dependent child and also includes a monthly disability benefit paid or payable by the fund to a member who is totally and permanently disabled.

Subd. 28. Retirement. (a) "Retirement" means the commencement of payment of an annuity based on a date designated by the board of trustees. This date determines the rights under this chapter which occur either before or after retirement. A right to retirement is subject to termination of public service under subdivision 11a. A right to retirement requires a complete and continuous separation for 30 days from employment as a public employee and from the provision of paid services to that employer.

(b) An individual who separates from employment as a public employee and who, within 30 days of separation, returns to provide service to a governmental subdivision as an independent contractor or as an employee of an independent contractor, has not satisfied separation requirements under paragraph (a).

(c) A former member of the basic or police and fire fund who becomes a coordinated member upon returning to eligible, nontemporary public service, terminates employment before obtaining six months' allowable service under subdivision 16, paragraph (a), in the coordinated fund, and is eligible to receive an annuity the first day of the month after the most recent termination date shall not accrue a right to a retirement annuity under the coordinated fund. An annuity otherwise payable to the former member must be based on the laws in effect on the date of termination of the most recent service under the basic or police and fire fund and shall be retroactive to the first day of the month following that termination date or one year preceding the filing of an application for retirement annuity as provided by section 353.29, subdivision 7, whichever is later. The annuity payment must be suspended under the provisions of section 353.37, if earned compensation for the reemployment equals or exceeds the amounts indicated under that section. The association will refund the employee deductions made to the coordinated fund, with interest under section 353.34, subdivision 2, return the accompanying employer contributions, and remove the allowable service credits covering the deductions refunded.

(d) Notwithstanding the 30-day separation requirement under paragraph (a), a member of the defined benefit plan under this chapter, who also participates in the public employees defined contribution plan under chapter 353D for other public service, may be paid, if eligible, a retirement annuity from the defined benefit plan while participating in the defined contribution plan.

Subd. 29. Designated beneficiary. "Designated beneficiary" means the person or organization designated by a member, former member, disabilitant, or retired member in writing, signed and filed with the association before the death of the member, former member, disabilitant, or retired member, to receive a refund of the balance of the member's accumulated deductions after death.

Subd. 30. Designated optional annuity beneficiary. "Designated optional annuity beneficiary" means the person designated by a former member to receive a joint and survivor annuity or a modified joint and survivor annuity.

Subd. 31. Authorized leave of absence. "Authorized leave of absence" means any period during which a member is authorized by an employer to refrain from active employment, with or without pay, evidenced by appropriate record of the employer and promptly transmitted to the association.

Subd. 32. Coordinated member. "Coordinated member" means any public employee, including any public hospital employee, covered by any agreement or modification made between the state and the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, making the provisions of the federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Act applicable to the member if membership eligibility criteria are met under this chapter. A coordinated member also is a former basic member who has a complete and continuous separation for at least 30 days from employment as a public employee meeting the requirements specified in subdivision 28, paragraphs (a) and (b), and who reenters public service as a public employee and meets the membership eligibility criteria under this chapter.

Subd. 33. Basic member. "Basic member" means any public employee, including any public hospital employee, not covered by any agreement or modification made between the state and the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

Subd. 34. Repealed, 1982 c 404 s 10

Subd. 35. Volunteer ambulance service personnel. "Volunteer ambulance service personnel," for purposes of this chapter, are basic and advanced life support emergency medical service personnel employed by or providing services for any public ambulance service or privately operated ambulance service that receives an operating subsidy from a governmental entity.

Subd. 36. Volunteer firefighter. For purposes of this chapter, a person is considered a "volunteer firefighter" for all service for which the person receives credit in an association or fund operating under chapter 424A.

Subd. 37. Normal retirement age. "Normal retirement age" means age 65 for a person who first became a public employee or a member of a pension fund listed in section 356.30, subdivision 3, before July 1, 1989. For a person who first becomes a public employee after June 30, 1989, "normal retirement age" means the higher of age 65 or "retirement age," as defined in United States Code, title 42, section 416(l), as amended, but not to exceed age 66.

Subd. 38. Business year. "Business year" means the first day of the first full pay period through the last day of the last full pay period of the 12-month fiscal year applicable to the respective governmental subdivision.

Subd. 39. Repealed, 2002 c 392 art 3 s 9

Subd. 40. Reduced salary during period of workers' compensation. (a) A member who is receiving temporary workers' compensation payments related to the member's service to the public employer and who either is receiving a reduced salary from the employer during that period or is receiving no salary from the employer during that period is entitled to receive allowable service and salary credit for the period of time that the member is receiving the workers' compensation payments upon making the payments specified in this subdivision.

(b) The differential salary amount is the difference between the average rate of salary received by the member, if any, during the period of time that the member is collecting temporary workers' compensation payments and the average rate of salary of the member on which contributions to the applicable plan were made during the period of the last six months of covered employment occurring immediately before beginning to collect the temporary workers' compensation payments, applied to the member's normal employment period, measured in hours or otherwise, as applicable.

(c) To receive eligible service credit, the member shall pay an amount equal to the applicable employee contribution rate under section 353.27, subdivision 2; 353.65, subdivision 2; or 353E.03, subdivision 1, as applicable, multiplied by the differential salary amount; plus an employer equivalent payment equal to the applicable employer contribution rate in section 353.27, subdivision 3; 353.65, subdivision 3; or 353E.03, subdivision 2, as applicable, multiplied by the differential salary amount; plus, if applicable, an equivalent employer additional amount equal to the additional employer contribution rate in section 353.27, subdivision 3a, multiplied by the differential salary amount.

(d) The employer may, by appropriate action of its governing body and documented in its official records, pay the employer equivalent contributions and, as applicable, the equivalent employer additional contributions on behalf of the member.

(e) Payment under this subdivision must include interest on the contribution amount or amounts, whichever applies, at an 8.5 percent annual rate, prorated for applicable months from the date on which the temporary workers' compensation payments terminate to the date on which the payment or payments are received by the executive director. Payment under this subdivision must be completed within one year after the termination of the temporary workers' compensation payments to the member, or within 20 days after the termination of public service by the employee under subdivision 11a, whichever is earlier.

HIST: (254-23) 1931 c 307 s 1; 1933 c 374 s 1; 1937 c 466 s 1; 1941 c 285 s 1; 1945 c 78 s 1; 1947 c 18 s 1; 1949 c 84 s 1; 1951 c 22 s 1-8; 1953 c 78 s 1; 1955 c 815 s 11; 1957 c 815 s 1; 1957 c 935 s 1-5; 1959 c 650 s 1-7,39,43,58; 1961 c 482 s 1; 1961 c 595 s 1; 1961 c 746 s 1; 1963 c 440 s 1; 1963 c 641 s 3-12; 1965 c 104 s 1; 1965 c 880 s 1,2; Ex1967 c 26 s 1; Ex1967 c 37 s 1; 1969 c 940 s 1,2; 1971 c 106 s 1-8; 1971 c 503 s 1,2; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1973 c 753 s 3-18; 1974 c 229 s 1-8; 1975 c 102 s 1-3; 1975 c 359 s 23; 1976 c 329 s 12-15; 1977 c 347 s 52,53; 1977 c 429 s 19-22,63; 1978 c 471 s 1; 1978 c 720 s 6; 1978 c 796 s 23-26; 1979 c 216 s 1-4,21; 1979 c 303 art 6 s 5; 1980 c 609 art 5 s 20; 1981 c 68 s 16-18; 1981 c 180 s 1; 1981 c 224 s 73-75; 1981 c 298 s 11; 1982 c 404 s 1-4; 1982 c 424 s 64,115,125; 1983 c 286 s 6; 1985 c 261 s 3; 1Sp1985 c 7 s 12; 1986 c 399 art 2 s 9; 1986 c 400 s 9; 1986 c 444; 1986 c 458 s 11; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 2 s 41; 1987 c 49 s 9; 1987 c 258 s 12; 1987 c 259 s 25; 1987 c 284 art 5 s 1,2; 1987 c 291 s 215; 1987 c 296 s 1-3; 1987 c 372 art 1 s 5; 1988 c 709 art 2 s 1; art 5 s 1-7; 1989 c 209 art 2 s 36; 1989 c 246 s 2; 1989 c 319 art 3 s 1-6; art 5 s 1; art 13 s 29; 1989 c 335 art 3 s 5; 1990 c 556 s 7; 1990 c 570 art 8 s 1; art 11 s 1-3; art 12 s 19; 1991 c 269 art 2 s 5; 1991 c 341 s 1-6; 1992 c 432 art 2 s 2-5; 1992 c 598 art 2 s 1; 1993 c 307 art 4 s 1-15; 1993 c 336 art 6 s 5,6; 1994 c 528 art 2 s 1-4; 1994 c 572 s 5; 1997 c 233 art 1 s 37; 1997 c 241 art 2 s 1; 1998 c 254 art 1 s 87; 1999 c 222 art 4 s 4-6; 2000 c 260 s 93; 2000 c 461 art 3 s 7-12; art 4 s 3; art 7 s 1; 1Sp2001 c 10 art 6 s 3,21; art 10 s 2,3; art 11 s 1-12; 2002 c 392 art 2 s 2; art 3 s 1-5; art 7 s 3; art 11 s 52; 1Sp2003 c 12 art 4 s 1,2; art 6 s 5; 2004 c 267 art 1 s 2-4; art 2 s 3; art 3 s 3; art 15 s 1; art 17 s 3

* NOTE: Subdivision 2a was also amended by Laws 2001, First *Special Session chapter 10, article 10, section 1, to read as *follows:

* "Subd. 2a. Included employees. Public employees *whose salary from one governmental subdivision exceeds $425 in *any month shall participate as members of the association. If *the salary of an employee is less than $425 in a subsequent *month, the employee retains membership eligibility. The *following persons are considered public employees:

* (1) employees whose annual salary from one governmental *subdivision exceeds a stipulation prepared in advance, in *writing, to be not more than $5,100 per calendar year or per *school year for school employees for employment expected to be *of a full year's duration or more than the prorated portion of *$5,100 per employment period expected to be of less than a full *year's duration. If compensation from one governmental *subdivision to an employee under this clause exceeds $5,100 per *calendar year or school year after being stipulated in advance *not to exceed that amount, the stipulation is no longer valid *and contributions must be made on behalf of the employee under *section 353.27, subdivision 12, from the month in which the *employee's salary first exceeded $425;

* (2) employees whose total salary from concurrent *nontemporary positions in one governmental subdivision exceeds *$425 in any month;

* (3) elected officers for service to which they were elected *by the public-at-large, or persons appointed to fill a vacancy *in an elective office, who elect to participate by filing an *application for membership, but not for service on a joint or *regional board that is a governmental subdivision under *subdivision 6, paragraph (a), unless the salary earned for that *service exceeds $425 in any month. The option to become a *member, once exercised, may not be withdrawn during the *incumbency of the person in office;

* (4) members who are appointed by the governor to be a state *department head and elect not to be covered by the Minnesota *State Retirement System under section 352.021;

* (5) employees of elected officers;

* (6) persons who elect to remain members under section *480.181, subdivision 2;

* (7) employees of a school district who receive separate *salaries for driving their own buses;

* (8) employees of the Minnesota association of townships *when the board of the association, at its option, certifies to *the executive director that its employees are to be included for *purposes of retirement coverage, in which case coverage of all *employees of the association is permanent;

* (9) employees of a county historical society who are county *employees;

* (10) employees of a county historical society located in *the county whom the county, at its option, certifies to the *executive director to be county employees for purposes of *retirement coverage under this chapter, which status must be *accorded to all similarly situated county historical society *employees and, once established, must continue as long as a *person is an employee of the county historical society and is *not excluded under subdivision 2b;

* (11) employees who became members before July 1, 1988, *based on the total salary of positions held in more than one *governmental subdivision; and

* (12) full-time employees of the Dakota county agricultural *society."

* NOTE: Subdivision 16a, as added by Laws 2000, chapter 461, *article 4, section 3, is repealed effective May 16, 2006. Laws *2000, chapter 461, article 4, section 4, paragraph (b), as *amended by Laws 2003, First Special Session chapter 12, article *6, section 3; and Laws 2004, chapter 267, article 17, section 7.