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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 490

Section 490.121

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490.121 Definitions.

Subdivision 1. Scope. For purposes of sections 490.121 to 490.132, terms defined in this section have the meanings given them unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Subd. 2. Court. "Court" means any court of this state established by the Minnesota Constitution and any municipal, county or probate court of record, and shall include the Conciliation Court of the city of Duluth.

Subd. 3. Judge. "Judge" means a judge or justice of any court.

Subd. 4. Allowable service. (a) "Allowable service" means any calendar month, subject to the service credit limit in subdivision 22, served as a judge at any time, or served as a referee in probate for all referees in probate who were in office prior to January 1, 1974.

(b) "Allowable service" also means a period of authorized leave of absence for which the judge has made a payment in lieu of contributions, not in an amount in excess of the service credit limit under subdivision 22. To obtain the service credit, the judge shall pay an amount equal to the normal cost of the judges retirement plan on the date of return from the leave of absence, as determined in the most recent actuarial report for the plan filed with the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement, multiplied by the judge's average monthly salary rate during the authorized leave of absence and multiplied by the number of months of the authorized leave of absence, plus annual compound interest at the rate of 8.5 percent from the date of the termination of the leave to the date on which payment is made. The payment must be made within one year of the date on which the authorized leave of absence terminated. Service credit for an authorized leave of absence is in addition to a uniformed service leave under section 490.1211.

Subd. 5. Judges' retirement fund. "Judges' retirement fund", "retirement fund" or "fund" means that fund created by section 490.123.

Subd. 6. Annuity. "Annuity" means the payments made each year to an annuitant from the judges' retirement fund, pursuant to the provisions of sections 490.121 to 490.132.

Subd. 7. Annuitant. "Annuitant" means a judge, surviving spouse or dependent child entitled to an annuity under the provisions of sections 490.121 to 490.132.

Subd. 8. Normal retirement date. "Normal retirement date" means the last day of the month in which a judge attains the age of 65.

Subd. 9. Normal retirement annuity. Except as otherwise provided by sections 490.121 to 490.132, "normal retirement annuity" means an annuity to which a judge is entitled under section 490.124, subdivision 1, upon retirement on or after normal retirement date.

Subd. 10. Early retirement date. "Early retirement date" means the last day of any month after a judge attains the age of 60 until the normal retirement date.

Subd. 11. Early retirement annuity. "Early retirement annuity" means an annuity to which a judge is entitled under section 490.124, subdivisions 1 and 3 upon retirement at any early retirement date.

Subd. 12. Mandatory retirement date. "Mandatory retirement date" means the last day of the month in which a judge has attained 70 years of age.

Subd. 13. Disability. "Disability" means permanent inability to perform the functions of judge by reason of physical or mental impairment resulting from sickness or injury.

Subd. 14. Disability retirement date. "Disability retirement date" means the last day of the first month after which the governor determines, upon voluntary application by the judge or otherwise, that a judge suffers from a disability.

Subd. 15. Disability retirement annuity. "Disability retirement annuity" means an annuity to which a judge is entitled under section 490.124, subdivisions 1 and 4 after retirement for reason of disability.

Subd. 16. Surviving spouse. "Surviving spouse" means the surviving husband or wife of a deceased judge.

Subd. 17. Dependent child. "Dependent child" means any natural or adopted child of a deceased judge who has not reached the age of 18 years, or having reached the age of 18, is under age 22 and is a full time student throughout the normal school year, unmarried and actually dependent for more than one-half of the child's support upon such judge for a period of at least 90 days prior to the judge's death. It also includes any natural child of the judge born after the judge's death.

Subd. 18. Survivor's annuity. "Survivor's annuity" means an annuity to which a surviving spouse or dependent child is entitled under section 490.124, subdivision 9.

Subd. 19. Approved actuary. "Approved actuary" means any actuary who is either 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. 20. 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 directors of the Minnesota State Retirement System based on the experience of the fund as recommended by the actuary retained under section 356.214, and approved under section 356.215, subdivision 18, and using the applicable preretirement or postretirement interest rate assumption specified in section 356.215, subdivision 8.

Subd. 21. Final average compensation. "Final average compensation" means the total amount of salary payable to a judge in the highest five years out of the last ten years before the termination of judicial service, divided by five if the number of years of service by the judge equals or exceeds ten. If the number of years of service by the judge is less than ten, but more than five, the highest five years of salary must be counted. If the number of years of service by the judge is less than five, the aggregate salary for the period of service must be divided by the number of months in the period and multiplied by 12.

Subd. 21a. Covered salary limitation. "Final average compensation" is subject to the limitations of section 356.611.

Subd. 22. Service credit limit. "Service credit limit" means the greater of: (1) 24 years of allowable service under chapter 490; or (2) for judges with allowable service rendered prior to July 1, 1980, the number of years of allowable service under chapter 490, which, when multiplied by the percentage listed in section 356.315, subdivision 7 or 8, whichever is applicable to each year of service, equals 76.8.

HIST: 1973 c 744 s 1; 1977 c 307 s 28; 1978 c 626 s 1; 1978 c 672 s 13; 1979 c 296 s 2; 1981 c 224 s 223-226; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 259 s 79; 2000 c 461 art 18 s 4,5; 1Sp2001 c 10 art 3 s 27; 2002 c 392 art 11 s 52; 2004 c 267 art 7 s 7; 1Sp2005 c 8 art 1 s 30,31; art 2 s 2; art 3 s 9