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354A.091 Teachers on extended leave.

Subdivision 1. Retirement contributions. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary of this chapter or the articles of incorporation or bylaws of an association relating to the salary figure to be used for the determination of contributions or the accrual of service credit an elementary, secondary, or technical college teacher in the public schools of a city of the first class who is granted an extended leave of absence pursuant to section 122A.46, or a teacher who is granted an extended leave of absence under section 136F.43, may pay employee contributions to the applicable association and shall be entitled to receive allowable service credit in that association for each year of leave, provided the member and the employing board make the required employer contributions, in any proportion they may agree upon, to that association during the period of leave which shall not exceed five years. The state shall not make an employer contribution on behalf of the teacher. The employee and employer contributions shall be based upon the rates of contribution prescribed by section 354A.12 as applied to a salary figure equal to the teacher's actual covered salary for the plan year immediately preceding the leave. Payment of the employee and employer contributions authorized pursuant to this section shall be made on or before June 30 of the fiscal year for which service credit is to be received. No allowable service with respect to a year of extended leave of absence shall be credited to a teacher until payment of the required employee and employer contributions has been received by the association.

Subd. 1a. Exception for leaves since 1981-1982. Notwithstanding subdivision 1, the following provisions apply to elementary and secondary school and technical institute teachers whose extended leaves begin in the 1981-1982, 1982-1983, or 1983-1984 school year:

(a) A member whose application states the intention to pay employee contributions to the applicable association, requests state payment of the employer contribution, and is approved by the commissioner within the limits of section 125.60, subdivision 7, may pay employee contributions to the applicable association and receive allowable service credit in that association for each year of leave during the period of the leave, which shall not exceed five years;

(b) The state shall pay employer contributions for a member described in clause (a) for no more than the first three years of the leave, provided the member who is on extended leave pays the employee contribution to the applicable association by the payment date specified in subdivision 1;

(c) A member whose application is approved as to the member's eligibility under section 122A.46, subdivisions 1 and 2, but whose application does not request state payment of employer contributions or is disapproved as to state payment of employer contributions, or who is in the fourth or fifth year of leave affected by clause (b) may pay employee contributions and receive allowable service credit as provided in subdivision 1 if the member and the employing school board make the required employer contribution, in any proportion which they may agree upon, by the payment date specified in subdivision 1.

Subd. 1b. Pre-May 16, 1981, leave exception. Notwithstanding subdivision 1, the following provisions apply only to elementary, secondary, and area vocational technical school teachers whose extended leaves began in the 1978-1979, 1979-1980, or 1980-1981 school years:

(a) A member whose period of extended leave began on or before May 15, 1981, may pay employee contributions and receive allowable service credit toward annuities and other benefits under this chapter for each year of the leave during the period of the leave which does not exceed five years;

(b) The state shall pay employer contributions into the applicable fund for a member described in clause (a) for each year of the leave for which the member who is on extended leave pays the employee's contribution into the fund by the payment date specified in subdivision 1.

Subd. 2. Membership retention. A teacher on extended leave under either section 122A.46 or 136F.43 whose employee and employer contributions are made to the applicable teachers retirement fund association pursuant to subdivision 1 shall retain membership in the association for each year during which the contributions are made, under the same terms and conditions as if the teacher had continued to teach in the district.

Subd. 3. Effect of nonpayment. A teacher on extended leave under either section 122A.46 or 136F.43 who does not make employee contributions or whose employer contribution is not made to the applicable teachers retirement fund association in any year shall be deemed to have ceased to be an active member of the association and to have ceased to render teaching services beginning in that year for purposes of this chapter and the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the association, and may not pay employee or employer contributions into the fund in any subsequent year of the leave. Nonpayment of contributions into the fund shall not affect the rights or obligations of the teacher or the employing school district under section 122A.46 or the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system under section 136F.43.

Subd. 4. Teachers who do not resume service. If a teacher who has made employee contributions to the applicable teachers retirement fund association for the agreed maximum duration of an extended leave does not resume teaching service in the first school year after that maximum duration has elapsed, the teacher shall be deemed to have ceased to be an active member of the association and to have ceased to render teaching services beginning in that first school year after that maximum duration has elapsed for purposes of this chapter and the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the association.

Subd. 5. Applicability. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a teacher who is discharged pursuant to section 122A.41 while the teacher is on an extended leave of absence pursuant to section 122A.46. The provisions of this section also do not apply to a teacher who is discharged for cause while the teacher is on an extended leave of absence under section 136F.43.

Subd. 6. Exclusive coverage. A teacher who makes employee contributions to and receives allowable service credit in the applicable teacher's retirement fund association pursuant to this section may not make employee contributions or receive allowable service credit for the same period of time in any other Minnesota public employee pension plan, except a volunteer firefighters relief association governed by sections 69.771 to 69.776. This subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit a member who pays employee contributions and receives allowable service credit in the fund pursuant to this section in any year from being employed as a substitute teacher by any school district during that year. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter or the bylaws of a retirement association, a teacher may not pay retirement contributions or receive allowable service credit in the fund for teaching service rendered for any part of any year for which the teacher pays retirement contributions or receives allowable service credit pursuant to section 354.094 or this section while on an extended leave of absence under either section 122A.46 or 136F.43.

HIST: 1977 c 447 art 9 s 6; 1978 c 764 s 120,121; 1979 c 217 s 6; 1979 c 334 art 8 s 20-22; 1981 c 224 s 132,133; 1981 c 358 art 8 s 14-17; 1983 c 314 art 10 s 12-14; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 258 s 12; 1989 c 246 s 2; 1989 c 293 s 79; 1989 c 329 art 9 s 23,24; 1998 c 397 art 11 s 3; 2000 c 461 art 12 s 6-10