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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 354A

Section 354A.011

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Recent History

354A.011 DEFINITIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Terms. For purposes of this chapter, unless the language or context clearly
indicates that a different meaning is intended, the following terms shall have the meanings
ascribed to them.
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1992 c 598 art 6 s 22]
    Subd. 3. Accumulated contributions. "Accumulated contributions" means the total of
member or employee contributions made by salary deductions and assessments or payments made
in lieu of salary deductions, if authorized, which are credited by the teachers retirement fund
association to the member's individual account.
    Subd. 3a. 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 appropriate board of trustees based on the experience of that retirement fund association
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. 4. Allowable service. "Allowable service" means any service rendered by a teacher
during a period in which the teacher receives salary from which employee contribution salary
deductions are made to and credited by the teachers retirement fund association, any service
rendered by a person during any period where assessments or payments in lieu of salary deductions
were made if authorized by any law or provision of the association's articles of incorporation or
bylaws then in effect or pursuant to section 354A.091, 354A.092, 354A.093, or 354A.094.
    Subd. 5. Annuity. "Annuity" means the payments made by a teachers retirement fund
association in the form of a retirement annuity or an optional annuity.
    Subd. 6. 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
retirement funds or any firm which retains such an actuary on its staff.
    Subd. 7. Association. "Association" or "teachers retirement fund association" means the
applicable teachers retirement fund association established pursuant to this chapter.
    Subd. 7a. Average salary. "Average salary," for purposes of computing a normal coordinated
program retirement annuity under section 354A.31, subdivision 4 or 4a, means an amount equal
to the average salary upon which contributions were made for the highest five successive years
of service credit but may not, in any event, include any more than the equivalent of 60 monthly
salary payments. Average salary must be based upon all years of service credit if this service
credit is less than five years.
    Subd. 8. Basic member. "Basic member" means any member of the teachers retirement fund
association who is not covered by any agreement or modification made between the state and the
Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.
    Subd. 9. Benefit. "Benefit" means the allowance paid or payable by the teachers retirement
fund association to a surviving spouse, designated beneficiary, surviving child or estate or in
periodic payments to a member or former member who is permanently and totally disabled.
    Subd. 10. Board. "Board" means the board of trustees of a teachers retirement fund
association.
    Subd. 11. Coordinated member. "Coordinated member" means any member of the teachers
retirement fund association who is 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 certain teachers except in the case of a
member of the Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund Association, in which it means additionally
that the member either first became a member prior to July 1, 1981, and elected to be covered by
the new law coordinated program of the Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund Association or first
became a member on or subsequent to July 1, 1981.
    Subd. 12. Coordinated service. "Coordinated service" means the allowable service credited
by the respective teachers retirement fund association for which the member was covered by
the coordinated program of the association.
    Subd. 12a. Dependent child. "Dependent child" means any biological or adopted child of a
deceased member who has not reached the age of 20 and is dependent on the member for more
than one-half of the child's support at the time of the member's death. It also means a child of the
member conceived during the member's lifetime and born after the member's death.
    Subd. 13. Designated beneficiary. "Designated beneficiary" means the person designated by
a member or retiree of a teachers retirement fund association to receive the benefits to which a
beneficiary is entitled under this chapter. A beneficiary designation is valid only if it is made on an
appropriate form provided by the executive director and the properly completed form is received
by the fund postmarked on or before the date of death of the retiree or member. If a retiree or
member does not designate such a person or if the person designated predeceases the retiree or
member, beneficiary in such cases means the estate of the deceased retiree or member.
    Subd. 14. Disability. "Disability" or "permanent and total disability" means the inability of a
member 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 which shall in no event be less than one year.
    Subd. 14a. District; school district. "District" or "school district" means the employing
school district or the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
    Subd. 15. Member. "Member" for purposes of entitlement to annuities or benefits pursuant
to sections 354A.31 to 354A.41 and any other applicable provisions of this chapter means every
teacher who is engaged in teaching service and who under section 354A.05 contributes to the
respective teachers retirement fund association and who has not retired. "Member" for purposes
of determining who may participate in the organization and governance of the teachers retirement
fund association, including the eligibility to elect members of and to serve as a member of the
board of trustees, means every teacher who joins and contributes to the respective teachers
retirement fund association and any other person designated as a member by the articles of
incorporation or the bylaws of the respective teachers retirement fund association.
    Subd. 15a. Normal retirement age. "Normal retirement age" means age 65 for a person
who first became a member of the coordinated program of the St. Paul Teachers Retirement
Fund Association or the new law coordinated program of the Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund
Association or a member of a pension fund listed in section 356.30, subdivision 3, before July
1, 1989. For a person who first became a member of the coordinated program of the St. Paul
Teachers Retirement Fund Association or the new law coordinated program of the Duluth
Teachers Retirement Fund Association 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. For a person who is a member of the basic program of the St.
Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association or the old law coordinated program of the Duluth
Teachers Retirement Fund Association, normal retirement age means the age at which a teacher
becomes eligible for a normal retirement annuity computed upon meeting the age and service
requirements specified in the applicable provisions of the articles of incorporation or bylaws of
the respective teachers retirement fund association.
    Subd. 16. Normal retirement annuity. "Normal retirement annuity" means for a coordinated
member the retirement annuity computed pursuant to section 354A.31, subdivision 4, and paid
or payable to a member upon meeting the age and service requirements specified in section
354A.31, subdivision 5, and for a basic member the retirement annuity computed pursuant to
and paid or payable to a member upon meeting the age and service requirements specified in
the applicable provisions of the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the respective teachers
retirement fund association.
    Subd. 17. Optional survivors annuity. "Optional survivors annuity" means the payments
made by the teachers retirement fund association to a survivor of a former member pursuant to an
actuarial equivalent optional annuity form established by the applicable board of trustees under
section 354A.32 and selected by the member at or before retirement.
    Subd. 18. Other than normal school operating funds. "Other than normal school operating
funds" means funds other than those generated as proceeds of property tax levies, state school
maintenance cost aids distributed in accordance with statute, state aid to distressed school
districts, proceeds from federal forest reserve lands, state transportation aids, receipts from tuition
paid by persons or other school districts, any rental charges received, and any other moneys
appropriated by the legislature.
    Subd. 19. Program. "Program" means a separate component plan of a teachers retirement
fund association providing a specific set of retirement annuities and disability and survivor
benefits for a defined portion of the covered membership of the association.
    Subd. 20. Reduced retirement annuity. "Reduced retirement annuity" means for a
coordinated member the retirement annuity computed pursuant to section 354A.31, subdivision 4,
reduced pursuant to section 354A.31, subdivision 6 or 7, and paid or payable to a member upon
meeting the minimum age and service requirements specified in section 354A.31, subdivision 1,
but prior to meeting the age and service requirements specified in section 354A.31, subdivision
5
, and for a basic member the retirement annuity computed pursuant to and paid or payable
to a member upon meeting the minimum age and service requirements specified in but prior
to meeting the age and service requirements for a normal retirement annuity specified in the
applicable provisions of the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the respective teachers
retirement fund association.
    Subd. 21. Retirement. "Retirement" means the time after the date of cessation of active
teaching service by a teacher who is thereafter entitled to an accrued retirement annuity
commencing as designated by the board of trustees and payable pursuant to an application for
an annuity filed with the board. The applicable provisions of law, articles of incorporation and
bylaws in effect on the date of cessation of active teaching service thereafter determine the
rights of the person.
    Subd. 22. Retirement annuity. "Retirement annuity" means the payments made by a
teachers retirement fund association to a retired teacher.
    Subd. 23. Sabbatical leave. "Sabbatical leave" means an authorized leave of absence period
during which the member is compensated at a rate of not less than one-third of the salary which
the member received during the plan year immediately preceding the granting of the leave.
    Subd. 24. Salary; covered salary. (a) Subject to the limitations of section 356.611, "salary"
or "covered salary" means the entire compensation, upon which member contributions are
required and made, that is paid to a teacher before deductions for deferred compensation,
supplemental retirement plans, or other voluntary salary reduction programs.
(b) "Salary" does not mean:
(1) lump sum annual leave payments;
(2) lump sum wellness and sick leave payments;
(3) 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 secretary or director
to be ineligible;
(4) any form of payment that is made in lieu of any other employer-paid fringe benefit
or expense;
(5) any form of severance payments;
(6) workers' compensation payments;
(7) disability insurance payments, including self-insured disability payments;
(8) payments to school principals and all other administrators for services that are in addition
to the normal work year contract if these additional services are performed on an extended duty
day, Saturday, Sunday, holiday, annual leave day, sick leave day, or any other nonduty day;
(9) payments under section 356.24, subdivision 1, clause (4)(ii); and
(10) payments made under section 122A.40, subdivision 12, except for payments for sick
leave that are accumulated under the provisions of a uniform school district policy that applies
equally to all similarly situated persons in the district.
(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. 25. Service. "Service" means all allowable service credited by the teachers retirement
fund association, irrespective of whether the member at the time was covered by the basic
program or by the coordinated program.
    Subd. 26. Spouse. "Spouse" means the person who was legally married to the member
immediately prior to the member's death.
    Subd. 27. Teacher. (a) "Teacher" means any person who renders service for a public school
district, other than a charter school, located in the corporate limits of Duluth or St. Paul, as
any of the following:
(1) a full-time employee in a position for which a valid license from the state Department of
Education is required;
(2) an employee of the teachers retirement fund association located in the city of the first
class unless the employee has exercised the option pursuant to Laws 1955, chapter 10, section 1,
to retain membership in the Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund established pursuant to
chapter 422A;
(3) a part-time employee in a position for which a valid license from the state Department
of Education is required; or
(4) a part-time employee in a position for which a valid license from the state Department of
Education is required who also renders other nonteaching services for the school district, unless
the board of trustees of the teachers retirement fund association determines that the combined
employment is on the whole so substantially dissimilar to teaching service that the service may
not be covered by the association.
(b) The term does not mean any person who renders service in the school district as any of
the following:
(1) an independent contractor or the employee of an independent contractor;
(2) an employee who is a full-time teacher covered by the Teachers Retirement Association or
by another teachers retirement fund association established pursuant to this chapter or chapter 354;
(3) an employee exempt from licensure pursuant to section 122A.30;
(4) an employee who is a teacher in a technical college located in a city of the first class
unless the person elects coverage by the applicable first class city teacher retirement fund
association under section 354B.21, subdivision 2;
(5) a teacher employed by a charter school, irrespective of the location of the school; or
(6) an employee who is a part-time teacher in a technical college in a city of the first class
and who has elected coverage by the applicable first class city teacher retirement fund association
under section 354B.21, subdivision 2, but (i) the teaching service is incidental to the regular
nonteaching occupation of the person; (ii) the applicable technical college stipulates annually
in advance that the part-time teaching service will not exceed 300 hours in a fiscal year; and
(iii) the part-time teaching actually does not exceed 300 hours in the fiscal year to which the
certification applies.
    Subd. 28. Teaching service. "Teaching service" means any service as a teacher performed by
any person included within the definition of teacher.
History: 1979 c 217 s 1; 1980 c 609 art 5 s 22; 1981 c 224 s 131; 1981 c 269 s 1; 1981 c
298 s 11; 1983 c 286 s 9; 1987 c 258 s 12; 1987 c 259 s 46,47; 1989 c 246 s 2; 1989 c 319 art
13 s 71,72; 1990 c 570 art 12 s 45; 1991 c 269 art 2 s 11; 1992 c 598 art 6 s 1-10; 1993 c 336
art 1 s 1; art 6 s 16; 1994 c 508 art 1 s 5; 1994 c 542 s 1; 1995 c 141 art 4 s 4,5; 1Sp1995 c 3
art 16 s 13; 1997 c 233 art 3 s 1; 1998 c 397 art 11 s 3; 1Sp2001 c 10 art 3 s 19; art 6 s 10,21;
2002 c 392 art 6 s 2; art 11 s 52; 2003 c 130 s 12; 1Sp2003 c 12 art 6 s 5; 2004 c 267 art 2 s 5;
1Sp2005 c 8 art 1 s 19,20; art 3 s 5; 2006 c 277 art 3 s 11,12