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Chapter 354

Section 354.44

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354.44 Retirement benefits.

Subdivision 1. Requirements as to age and service. Any member or former member who ceases or has ceased to render teaching services in any school or institution covered by the provisions of this chapter, and who has attained the age of at least 55 years with not less than three years allowable service, or who has received credit for not less than 30 years allowable service regardless of age, is entitled upon written application to a retirement annuity.

Subd. 1a. Proportionate annuity. A member who terminates employment at any time during the academic year at the end of which the person is at the normal retirement age or older shall, for the purpose of determining eligibility for a proportionate retirement annuity, be considered to have been required to terminate employment at normal retirement age or older pursuant to section 356.32. For purposes of this subdivision, an academic year ends August 31.

Subd. 2. Computation of money purchase annuity. (a) The amount of retirement annuity is an amount equal to double the annuity which could be purchased by the member's accumulated deductions plus interest thereon. The annuity must be determined by the member's age, sex, double the amount of accumulated deductions, double the amount of interest earned on the accumulated deductions, and the appropriate mortality tables and interest rates. To determine the amount of the annuity for a basic member, the accumulated deductions before July 1, 1957, and the accumulated deductions after July 1, 1957, must be considered separately.

(b) For service rendered before July 1, 1957, the accumulated deductions for a member must be carried forward at a fixed amount which is shown credited to the member's account as of that date. That fixed amount must also include any payments in lieu of salary deductions which were actually so made under an agreement executed between the member and the board as authorized by section 354.50 or any other authorized payments made by the member to the fund. The annuity granted with respect to the period must be determined as follows:

(1) the fixed amount of the accumulated deductions for the period including the interest credited on the amount as earned up to July 1, 1957; and

(2) annuity purchase rates based on the applicable mortality table established by the board and the interest rate assumption in effect before July 1, 1957, in the case of basic members and an annuity purchase rate based on an appropriate annuity table of mortality established by the board as provided in section 354.07, subdivision 1, and using the applicable postretirement interest rate assumption specified in section 356.215, subdivision 8, in the case of coordinated members.

(c) For service rendered after July 1, 1957, the accumulated deductions for a member must consist of the amounts actually credited to the member's account by reason of salary deductions. The annuity granted with respect to the period must be determined by the following:

(1) accumulated deductions for the period;

(2) interest credited on these accumulated deductions from July 1, 1957, to the date of retirement;

(3) interest credited on accumulated deductions including prior credited interest provided in paragraph (b) from July 1, 1957, to the date of retirement;

(4) after the amount available for an annuity granted with respect to the person is determined in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision, an additional amount equal to 20 percent of the sum of clause (1) plus interest credited to a member's account from July 1, 1957, to date of retirement is to be added. This added amount is not to be doubled as provided for other amounts determined in this subdivision; and

(5) the annuity purchase rate based on an appropriate annuity table of mortality established by the board as provided in section 354.07, subdivision 1, and using the applicable postretirement interest rate assumption specified in section 356.215, subdivision 8.

Subd. 3. Application for retirement. A member or a person authorized to act on behalf of the member may make application for retirement provided the age and service requirements under subdivision 1 are satisfied on or before the member's retirement annuity accrual date under subdivision 4. The application may be made no earlier than 120 days before the termination of teaching service. The application must be made on a form prescribed by the executive director and is not complete until all necessary supporting documents are received by the executive director.

Subd. 4. Retirement annuity accrual date. (a) An annuity payment begins to accrue, provided that the age and service requirements under subdivision 1 are satisfied, after the termination of teaching service, or after the application for retirement has been filed with the board, whichever is later, as follows:

(1) on the 16th day of the month of termination or filing if the termination or filing occurs on or before the 15th day of the month;

(2) on the first day of the month following the month of termination or filing if the termination or filing occurs on or after the 16th day of the month;

(3) on July 1 for all school principals and other administrators who receive a full annual contract salary during the fiscal year for performance of a full year's contract duties; or

(4) a later date to be either the first or the 16th day of a month occurring within the six-month period immediately following the termination of teaching service as specified under paragraph (b) by the member.

(b) If an application for retirement is filed with the board during the six-month period that occurs immediately following the termination of teaching service, the annuity may begin to accrue as if the application for retirement had been filed with the board on the date teaching service terminated or a later date under paragraph (a), clause (4).

Subd. 5. Resumption of teaching service after retirement. (a) Any person who retired under the provisions of this chapter and has thereafter resumed teaching in any employer unit to which this chapter applies is eligible to continue to receive payments in accordance with the annuity except that annuity payments must be reduced during the calendar year immediately following any calendar year in which the person's income from the teaching service is in an amount greater than the annual maximum earnings allowable for that age for the continued receipt of full benefit amounts monthly under the federal old age, survivors and disability insurance program as set by the secretary of health and human services under United States Code, title 42, section 403. The amount of the reduction must be one-half of the amount in excess of the applicable reemployment income maximum specified in this subdivision and must be deducted from the annuity payable for the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the excess amount was earned. If the person has not yet reached the minimum age for the receipt of Social Security benefits, the maximum earnings for the person must be equal to the annual maximum earnings allowable for the minimum age for the receipt of Social Security benefits.

(b) If the person is retired for only a fractional part of the calendar year during the initial year of retirement, the maximum reemployment income specified in this subdivision must be prorated for that calendar year.

(c) After a person has reached the Social Security full retirement age, no reemployment income maximum is applicable regardless of the amount of income.

(d) The amount of the retirement annuity reduction must be handled or disposed of as provided in section 356.47.

(e) For the purpose of this subdivision, income from teaching service includes, but is not limited to:

(1) all income for services performed as a consultant or an independent contractor for an employer unit covered by the provisions of this chapter; and

(2) the greater of either the income received or an amount based on the rate paid with respect to an administrative position, consultant, or independent contractor in an employer unit with approximately the same number of pupils and at the same level as the position occupied by the person who resumes teaching service.

Subd. 5a. Exemption for interim superintendent. A person who performs services as an interim superintendent because of the death, disability, termination, or resignation of the previous superintendent is exempt from the earnings limitations and reductions in annuity payments in subdivision 5 for up to 90 working days of service as an interim superintendent. During this period of up to 90 working days, the school board may pay the interim superintendent at any rate, up to the rate paid to the previous superintendent. This exemption applies only if the school board hiring the interim superintendent submits an application for the exemption on a form prescribed by the executive director, and the executive director approves the application before the services as interim superintendent begin. The application must certify that the school board has unanimously approved the exemption from the earnings limitations and reductions. The executive director may prescribe a form for the application. A school board shall not apply for more than one exemption in a fiscal year. No more than three exemptions may be approved for any person. Only one exemption may be approved for any person in a fiscal year. The exemption under this subdivision does not apply to a person who retires from a school district and within one year after retirement returns to the same school district as an interim superintendent.

Subd. 6. Computation of formula program retirement annuity. (a) The formula retirement annuity must be computed in accordance with the applicable provisions of the formulas stated in paragraph (b) or (d) on the basis of each member's average salary under section 354.05, subdivision 13a, for the period of the member's formula service credit.

(b) This paragraph, in conjunction with paragraph (c), applies to a person who first became a member of the association or a member of a pension fund listed in section 356.30, subdivision 3, before July 1, 1989, unless paragraph (d), in conjunction with paragraph (e), produces a higher annuity amount, in which case paragraph (d) applies. The average salary as defined in section 354.05, subdivision 13a, multiplied by the following percentages per year of formula service credit shall determine the amount of the annuity to which the member qualifying therefor is entitled:

Coordinated Member Basic Member

Each year of service the percent the percent

during first ten specified in specified in

section 356.315, section 356.315,

subdivision 1, subdivision 3,

per year per year

Each year of service the percent the percent

thereafter specified in specified in

section 356.315, section 356.315,

subdivision 2, subdivision 4,

per year per year

(c)(i) This paragraph applies only to a person who first became a member of the association or a member of a pension fund listed in section 356.30, subdivision 3, before July 1, 1989, and whose annuity is higher when calculated under paragraph (b), in conjunction with this paragraph than when calculated under paragraph (d), in conjunction with paragraph (e).

(ii) Where any member retires prior to normal retirement age under a formula annuity, the member shall be paid a retirement annuity in an amount equal to the normal annuity provided in paragraph (b) reduced by one-quarter of one percent for each month that the member is under normal retirement age at the time of retirement except that for any member who has 30 or more years of allowable service credit, the reduction shall be applied only for each month that the member is under age 62.

(iii) Any member whose attained age plus credited allowable service totals 90 years is entitled, upon application, to a retirement annuity in an amount equal to the normal annuity provided in paragraph (b), without any reduction by reason of early retirement.

(d) This paragraph applies to a member who has become at least 55 years old and first became a member of the association after June 30, 1989, and to any other member who has become at least 55 years old and whose annuity amount when calculated under this paragraph and in conjunction with paragraph (e), is higher than it is when calculated under paragraph (b), in conjunction with paragraph (c). The average salary, as defined in section 354.05, subdivision 13a, multiplied by the percent specified by section 356.315, subdivision 4, for each year of service for a basic member and by the percent specified in section 356.315, subdivision 2, for each year of service for a coordinated member shall determine the amount of the retirement annuity to which the member is entitled.

(e) This paragraph applies to a person who has become at least 55 years old and first becomes a member of the association after June 30, 1989, and to any other member who has become at least 55 years old and whose annuity is higher when calculated under paragraph (d) in conjunction with this paragraph than when calculated under paragraph (b), in conjunction with paragraph (c). An employee who retires under the formula annuity before the normal retirement age shall be paid the normal annuity provided in paragraph (d) reduced so that the reduced annuity is the actuarial equivalent of the annuity that would be payable to the employee if the employee deferred receipt of the annuity and the annuity amount were augmented at an annual rate of three percent compounded annually from the day the annuity begins to accrue until the normal retirement age.

(f) No retirement annuity is payable to a former employee with a salary that exceeds 95 percent of the governor's salary unless and until the salary figures used in computing the highest five successive years average salary under paragraph (a) have been audited by the Teachers Retirement Association and determined by the executive director to comply with the requirements and limitations of section 354.05, subdivisions 35 and 35a.

subdivision 1, subdivision 3,

per year per year

Each year of service the percent the percent

thereafter specified in specified in

section 356.315, section 356.315,

subdivision 2, subdivision 4,

per year per year

(c)(i) This paragraph applies only to a person who first became a member of the association or a member of a pension fund listed in section 356.30, subdivision 3, before July 1, 1989, and whose annuity is higher when calculated under paragraph (b), in conjunction with this paragraph than when calculated under paragraph (d), in conjunction with paragraph (e).

(ii) Where any member retires prior to normal retirement age under a formula annuity, the member shall be paid a retirement annuity in an amount equal to the normal annuity provided in paragraph (b) reduced by one-quarter of one percent for each month that the member is under normal retirement age at the time of retirement except that for any member who has 30 or more years of allowable service credit, the reduction shall be applied only for each month that the member is under age 62.

(iii) Any member whose attained age plus credited allowable service totals 90 years is entitled, upon application, to a retirement annuity in an amount equal to the normal annuity provided in paragraph (b), without any reduction by reason of early retirement.

(d) This paragraph applies to a member who has become at least 55 years old and first became a member of the association after June 30, 1989, and to any other member who has become at least 55 years old and whose annuity amount when calculated under this paragraph and in conjunction with paragraph (e), is higher than it is when calculated under paragraph (b), in conjunction with paragraph (c). The average salary, as defined in paragraph (a) multiplied by the percent specified by section 356.315, subdivision 4, for each year of service for a basic member and by the percent specified in section 356.315, subdivision 2, for each year of service for a coordinated member shall determine the amount of the retirement annuity to which the member is entitled.

(e) This paragraph applies to a person who has become at least 55 years old and first becomes a member of the association after June 30, 1989, and to any other member who has become at least 55 years old and whose annuity is higher when calculated under paragraph (d) in conjunction with this paragraph than when calculated under paragraph (b), in conjunction with paragraph (c). An employee who retires under the formula annuity before the normal retirement age shall be paid the normal annuity provided in paragraph (d) reduced so that the reduced annuity is the actuarial equivalent of the annuity that would be payable to the employee if the employee deferred receipt of the annuity and the annuity amount were augmented at an annual rate of three percent compounded annually from the day the annuity begins to accrue until the normal retirement age.

(f) No retirement annuity is payable to a former employee with a salary that exceeds 95 percent of the governor's salary unless and until the salary figures used in computing the highest five successive years average salary under paragraph (a) have been audited by the Teachers Retirement Association and determined by the executive director to comply with the requirements and limitations of section 354.05, subdivisions 35 and 35a.

Subd. 6a. Extension of 1997 permanent increase. (a) A percentage of the permanent increase for benefit recipients effective July 1, 1997, under Laws 1997, chapter 233, article 1, section 71, as specified in paragraph (b), is payable to:

(1) a member who terminates service after June 30, 1997, and whose benefit begins to accrue during the period of July 2, 1997, to July 1, 2002, based on the member's age at retirement;

(2) a member who is determined to be totally and permanently disabled under section 354.05, subdivision 14, after June 30, 1997, and whose benefit begins to accrue during the period of July 2, 1997, to July 1, 2002, based on the member's age at disability;

(3) the survivor of a member who terminates service and dies after June 30, 1997, and whose benefit begins to accrue during the period of July 2, 1997, to July 1, 2002.

(b) The percentage of the permanent increase is the amount designated for the applicable beginning benefit accrual date, as follows:

Beginning Benefit Percentage of

Accrual Date Permanent Increase

July 2, 1997, to July 1, 1998 50 percent

July 2, 1998, to July 1, 1999 40 percent

July 2, 1999, to July 1, 2000 30 percent

July 2, 2000, to July 1, 2001 20 percent

July 2, 2001, to July 1, 2002 10 percent

Subd. 7. Repealed, 1990 c 570 art 12 s 64

Subd. 8. Annuity payment; evidence of receipt. An annuity or benefit for a given month must be paid during the first week of that month. Evidence of receipt of the check issued or acknowledgment of the amount electronically transferred in payment of an annuity or benefit may be required from the payee on a form prescribed by the executive director. The evidence of receipt form may be required periodically at times specified by the board. In the event the evidence of receipt form is required, future annuities or benefits must be withheld until the form is submitted.

Subd. 9. Determining applicable law. An employee who returns to covered service following a termination and who is not receiving a retirement annuity under this section must have earned at least 85 days of credited service following the return to covered service to be eligible for improved benefits resulting from any law change enacted subsequent to that termination.

HIST: Ex1957 c 16 s 6; Ex1959 c 50 s 10-12; 1961 c 745 s 3; Ex1961 c 17 s 11; 1963 c 246 s 1; 1965 c 821 s 11; 1967 c 693 s 2; 1969 c 485 s 18,19; 1971 c 40 s 16; 1973 c 270 s 10; 1973 c 728 s 17-19; 1974 c 289 s 24-28; 1975 c 306 s 16-18; 1976 c 329 s 30; 1977 c 67 s 8; 1977 c 429 s 37; 1978 c 781 s 4; 1979 c 40 s 6; 1979 c 50 s 46,47; 1980 c 342 s 10-12; 1980 c 509 s 135; 1981 c 160 s 6,7; 1981 c 210 s 54; 1981 c 224 s 106-111; 1Sp1981 c 4 art 1 s 21; art 2 s 33; 1983 c 148 s 3; 1984 c 564 s 30; 1Sp1985 c 7 s 17,18; 1986 c 444; 1986 c 458 s 16; 1987 c 259 s 35; 1987 c 284 art 2 s 5; art 6 s 6; 1987 c 372 art 9 s 24; 1989 c 319 art 2 s 13-16; art 13 s 56-59; 1990 c 570 art 12 s 31; 1994 c 524 s 2; 1994 c 528 art 3 s 17-19; 1995 c 141 art 3 s 10,20; 1996 c 438 art 3 s 1,2; 1997 c 233 art 1 s 51,52; 2000 c 461 art 2 s 6; 2002 c 392 art 11 s 52; 2004 c 267 art 7 s 4-6; 1Sp2005 c 8 art 1 s 18; art 10 s 60