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490.102 Compensation allowance.

Subdivision 1. Waiver. A judge who elects to retire under the provisions of section 490.101 and who has an unexpired balance of the elected term yet to run after such retirement, shall, in order to receive the retirement compensation hereinafter outlined, waive in writing the compensation allotted to the office, from the date of such retirement to the date of the expiration of the term for which such judge was elected, and receive only during such period and thereafter retirement pay as hereinafter outlined. This subdivision shall not apply to any judge who has retired prior to April 25, 1959.

Subd. 2. Amount. (a) If, at the time of retirement, the judge has attained the age of at least 70 years and has served for 15 years as such judge, or as such judge and as judge of a court of record, the retiree shall receive for life, one-half the compensation allotted to the office at the time of retirement or on July 1, 1967, whichever is greater.

(b) If, at the time of retirement, the judge has attained the age of at least 65 years and has served for 24 years as such judge, or as such judge and as a judge of a court of record, the retiree shall receive for life, one-half of the compensation allotted for the office at the time of retirement or on July 1, 1967, whichever is greater.

Except for per diem payments made pursuant to section 484.62, and retirement pay adjustments pursuant to section 490.025, subdivision 2, it is unlawful for any public officer to pay a retired judge an amount greater than one-half of the compensation allotted to the office of such retired judge at the time of retirement or on July 1, 1967, whichever is greater, except when said retired judge shall have been appointed by the district court, or by the Supreme Court, to serve as a special master in litigation before the district court; in which case per diem payments may be made to said retired judge in amounts equal to per diem payments made pursuant to section 484.62. Where such payments are hereafter made in violation of this subdivision, it is the duty of the public officer making such payment to recover the amount so paid but without interest. Such recovery may be made by as many as 30 installment deductions from future retirement payments to a retired judge or by action in the district court. Unrecovered overpayments outstanding at the time of the death of a retired judge shall be a lien upon the judge's estate, in favor of the state of Minnesota.

Subd. 3. Application for retirement. Any judge of the district court who is serving in such capacity on April 24, 1949 and who has attained or hereafter attains, the age of 73 or more years and has completed 15 years of service, as such judge, or as such judge and as judge of a court of record, shall receive retirement pay hereunder if the judge applies for retirement within one year after becoming eligible, but not otherwise.

Any judge of the district court whose initial service as such judge began after April 24, 1949, after reaching a 70th birthday, shall apply for retirement within one year after such birthday or forfeit all retirement benefits hereunder. However, if a judge of the district court has not completed 15 years of service on attaining the age of 70 years, the judge shall receive retirement pay hereunder if the judge applies for retirement within six months of the date of completion of 15 years of service. Provided that any district judge past the age of 74 years still serving on the bench and for whom retirement has been allowed by a previous act passed by the 1959 legislature shall be permitted retirement allowance if the judge retires during the current term of office or during an extended term of three years thereafter which extension may be granted in the same manner as provided in section 490.101, subdivision 4.

Subd. 3a. Portion of maximum retirement. If a judge of the district court has attained the age of at least 70 years and has completed ten or more years of service as a district court judge or 15 or more years as a judge of a court of record including at least six years as a district court judge but less than the number of years required for maximum retirement benefits, the judge may apply for retirement and receive retirement pay of that portion of the maximum retirement allowance allotted to the office which the years of service as a district court judge, prior to retirement, bears to the number of years required for the maximum retirement allowance of a district court judge. Years of service shall be determined by the whole year rather than a fraction thereof. Any district court judge presently serving who is over 70 years of age shall forfeit any benefits under this subdivision by serving beyond the expiration of the judge's present term.

Subd. 4. Payment of benefits. Retirement allowances shall be paid by the executive director of the Minnesota State Retirement System in the same manner as other benefits are paid. Payments by a county, if any, shall be made in the manner prescribed by the director.

Subd. 5. Repealed, 1977 c 35 s 21

Subd. 6. Surviving spouse. The spouse of every judge of the district or Supreme Court who dies, in active service, shall be paid one-half of the retirement compensation to which the judge would have been entitled on the date of death, if the judge would have been otherwise eligible for retirement under the provisions of section 490.101 or under section 490.025, and had retired on that date, irrespective of whether the judge attained the age of retirement at the date of death or not and irrespective of whether the judge had served 15 years as district judge or as a judge of a court of record, and irrespective of whether the judge had previously been eligible to retire, but had not retired under the provisions of section 490.101, prior to death, provided the spouse had been married to the judge for three years prior to the judge's death. The spouse of every judge of the district court or Supreme Court who dies after retiring shall be paid one-half of the retirement compensation which the judge was receiving at the date of death.

Any judge who has heretofore retired and exercised the option previously set forth in section 490.102, shall, after July 1, 1961, be paid the full retirement compensation herein provided for, and the judge's spouse shall upon the judge's death be entitled to compensation as herein set forth.

The term "spouse" as used in this subdivision means the surviving spouse of a district or Supreme Court judge, but only if the spouse was married to the judge for a period of not less than three years immediately prior to the date of the judge's retirement or death, whichever occurs first.

If the spouse, either of a retired judge or a judge who dies in active service, who is otherwise qualified under this section, has not attained the age of 40 years at the time of the judge's death, the spouse will not become eligible for retirement compensation payments hereunder until the spouse's 40th birthday but shall receive the payments thereafter.

A spouse who is entitled to a retirement compensation under the provisions of this subdivision and subdivision 7 shall be paid the retirement compensation for the period of the spouse's life, unless the spouse remarries, in which event the retirement compensation is to cease and terminate. All judges of the district court and of the Supreme Court shall contribute four percent of their state salaries, which amount shall be deducted from their salaries at least once each month and paid to the commissioner of finance to be deposited in a special survivor retirement account. This contribution shall be for the purpose of providing the survivor benefits established by this subdivision and subdivision 7 and such amount as may be necessary to carry out this purpose is hereby appropriated from the special retirement account. It is declared to be the policy of the legislature that the survivor benefits provided for herein shall be wholly paid from contributions by the judges to the special retirement account. To implement this policy the rate of contribution by the judges shall be reviewed periodically and contributions adjusted to make this account sufficient to cover all benefits.

Subd. 7. Pre-1961 spousal benefits. In addition to the provisions of Minnesota Statutes 1961, section 490.102, subdivisions 1 to 6, inclusive, and notwithstanding the limitations thereof, the surviving spouse of every judge of the district or Supreme Court who died in active service prior to May 19, 1961, who had been married to the judge for five years prior to the judge's death and who has now attained the age of 49 years, shall be paid during the spouse's life one-half of the retirement compensation to which the judge would have been entitled, if the judge had been retired as of date of death. For the purposes of this subdivision, the judge shall be deemed to have been entitled to full retirement and to have retired as of the day of death. If retirement of a district judge from active service was by executive order prior to enactment of Laws 1949, chapter 640, the judge's unremarried surviving spouse who would otherwise qualify under this section will receive one-half of the compensation the judge would have received if the judge's retirement occurred in 1949 after enactment of that law and the judge was eligible for compensation thereunder.

Subd. 8. Special survivor retirement account. On June 30 of each year, the executive director of the Minnesota State Retirement System shall review the fiscal condition of the special survivor retirement account in the light of the prospective demands for payment therefrom in the next fiscal year. If the director determines that the balance in such account on June 30 plus the prospective receipts in the next fiscal year appear to be insufficient to meet the demands on such account during the next fiscal year, the director on July 1 of each year shall make an order increasing the rate of contribution to such account by the several judges of the district court from four percent of salary to such rate of contribution as will, in the judgment of the director, provide sufficient funds in said special survivor benefit account to pay all demand thereon during the next fiscal year. If on any following June 30, the director should determine that a lower rate of contribution will provide sufficient moneys to pay all demands on such special survivor benefit account, the director may on the next July 1, make and file an order reducing the rate of contribution to such rate as will in the director's judgment provide sufficient moneys to meet all demands on such special account in the current fiscal year but in no event lower than four percent. Deductions of contributions shall be made in accordance with rates prescribed by law or by order of the director, as the case may be.

HIST: 1949 c 640 s 2; 1959 c 688 s 3; Ex1961 c 15 s 1-3; 1963 c 739 s 1; 1963 c 844 s 1-3; 1965 c 762 s 3-5; 1967 c 382 s 1; Ex1967 c 38 s 5; 1969 c 987 s 1; 1974 c 129 s 2; 1974 c 417 s 3; 1974 c 445 s 18,19; 1981 c 31 s 8,9; 1986 c 444; 2003 c 112 art 2 s 50