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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

356.302 DISABILITY BENEFIT WITH COMBINED SERVICE.
    Subdivision 1. Definitions. (a) The terms used in this section are defined in this subdivision.
(b) "Average salary" means the highest average of covered salary for the appropriate period
of credited service that is required for the calculation of a disability benefit by the covered
retirement plan and that is drawn from any period of credited service and successive years of
covered salary in a covered retirement plan.
(c) "Covered retirement plan" or "plan" means a retirement plan listed in subdivision 7.
(d) "Duty-related" means a disabling illness or injury that occurred while the person was
actively engaged in employment duties or that arose out of the person's active employment duties.
(e) "General employee retirement plan" means a covered retirement plan listed in subdivision
7, clauses (1) to (8) and (13).
(f) "Occupationally disabled" means the condition of having a medically determinable
physical or mental impairment that makes a person unable to satisfactorily perform the minimum
requirements of the person's employment position or a substantially similar employment position.
(g) "Public safety employee retirement plan" means a covered retirement plan listed in
subdivision 7, clauses (9) to (12).
(h) "Totally and permanently disabled" means the condition of having a medically
determinable physical or mental impairment that makes a person unable to engage in any
substantial gainful activity and that is expected to continue or has continued for a period of at
least one year or that is expected to result directly in the person's death.
    Subd. 2. Entitlement. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary governing
any covered retirement plan, a member of a covered retirement plan may receive a combined
service disability benefit from each covered retirement plan in which the person has credit
for at least one-half year of allowable service if that person meets the applicable qualifying
conditions. Subdivision 3 applies to a member of a general employee retirement plan. Subdivision
4 applies to a member of a public safety employee retirement plan. Subdivision 5 applies to a
member of a covered retirement plan with both general employee and public safety employee
retirement plan service.
    Subd. 3. General employee plan eligibility requirements. A disabled member of a covered
retirement plan who has credit for allowable service in a combination of general employee
retirement plans is entitled to a combined service disability benefit if the member:
(1) is less than the normal retirement age on the date of the application for the disability
benefit;
(2) has become totally and permanently disabled;
(3) has credit for allowable service in any combination of general employee retirement
plans totaling at least three years;
(4) has credit for at least one-half year of allowable service with the current general
employee retirement plan before the commencement of the disability;
(5) has at least three continuous years of allowable service credit by the general employee
retirement plan or has at least a total of three years of allowable service credit by a combination
of general employee retirement plans in a 72-month period during which no interruption of
allowable service credit from a termination of employment exceeded 29 days; and
(6) was not receiving a retirement annuity or disability benefit from any covered general
employee retirement plan at the time of the commencement of the disability.
    Subd. 4. Public safety plan eligibility requirements. A disabled member of a covered
retirement plan who has credit for allowable service in a combination of public safety employee
retirement plans is entitled to a combined service disability benefit if the member:
(1) has become occupationally disabled;
(2) has credit for allowable service in any combination of public safety employee retirement
plans totaling at least one year if the disability is duty-related or totaling at least three years
if the disability is not duty-related;
(3) has credit for at least one-half year of allowable service with the current public safety
employee retirement plan before the commencement of the disability; and
(4) was not receiving a retirement annuity or disability benefit from any covered public
safety employee retirement plan at the time of the commencement of the disability.
    Subd. 5. General and public safety plan eligibility requirements. A disabled member of a
covered retirement plan who has credit for allowable service in a combination of both a public
safety employee retirement plan and general employee retirement plan must meet the qualifying
requirements in subdivisions 3 and 4 to receive a combined service disability benefit from the
applicable general employee and public safety employee retirement plans, except that the person
need only be a member of a covered retirement plan at the time of the commencement of the
disability and that the minimum allowable service requirements of subdivisions 3, clauses (3) and
(5), and 4, clauses (3) and (4), may be met in any combination of covered retirement plans.
    Subd. 6. Combined service disability benefit computation. (a) The combined service
disability benefit from each covered retirement plan must be based on the allowable service in
each retirement plan, except as specified in paragraphs (b) to (f).
(b) The disability benefit must be governed by the law in effect for each covered retirement
plan on the date of the commencement of the member's most recent qualifying disability as a
member of a covered retirement plan.
(c) All plans must base the disability benefit on the same average salary figure to the extent
practicable.
(d) If the method of the covered retirement plan used to compute a disability benefit varies
based on the length of allowable service credit, the benefit accrual formula percentages used by
the plan must recognize the allowable service credit in the plan as a continuation of any previous
allowable service credit with other covered retirement plans.
(e) If the covered retirement plan is a defined benefit or formula plan and the method used
to compute a disability benefit does not vary based on the length of allowable service credit,
the portion of the specified benefit amount from the plan must bear the same proportion to the
total specified benefit amount as the allowable service credit in that plan bears to the total
allowable service credit in all covered retirement plans. If the covered retirement plan is a defined
contribution or nonformula plan, the disability benefit amount for allowable service under the plan
is not affected, but the service and the covered salary under the plan must be used as applicable in
calculations by other covered retirement plans.
(f) A period for which a person has allowable service credit in more than one covered
retirement plan must be used only once in determining the total allowable service credit for
calculating the combined service disability benefit, with any period of duplicated service credit
handled as provided in section 356.30, subdivision 1, paragraphs (g) and (h).
(g) If a person is entitled to a minimum benefit payable from one of the public pension plans
enumerated in section 356.30, subdivision 3, the person may receive additional credit for only
those years of service in another covered pension plan that, when added to the years of service in
the pension plan that is paying the minimum benefit, exceed the years of service on which the
minimum benefit is based.
(h) A partially employed recipient of a disability benefit must have any current reemployment
income plus the total disability payments from all plans enumerated in subdivision 7 added
together, and then compared to their final salary rate as a public employee. If current income
plus the total disability payments exceed the final salary of the person at the time of retirement,
then disability benefit payments from all the plans must be reduced on a prorated basis relative
to the years of service in each fund so that earnings plus benefit payments do not exceed the
final salary rate.
    Subd. 7. Covered retirement plans. This section applies to the following retirement plans:
(1) the general state employees retirement plan of the Minnesota State Retirement System,
established by chapter 352;
(2) the unclassified state employees retirement program of the Minnesota State Retirement
System, established by chapter 352D;
(3) the general employees retirement plan of the Public Employees Retirement Association,
established by chapter 353;
(4) the Teachers Retirement Association, established by chapter 354;
(5) the Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund Association, established by chapter 354A;
(6) the St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association, established by chapter 354A;
(7) the Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund, established by chapter 422A;
(8) the state correctional employees retirement plan of the Minnesota State Retirement
System, established by chapter 352;
(9) the State Patrol retirement plan, established by chapter 352B;
(10) the public employees police and fire plan of the Public Employees Retirement
Association, established by chapter 353;
(11) the local government correctional service retirement plan of the Public Employees
Retirement Association, established by chapter 353E; and
(12) the judges retirement plan, established by chapter 490.
History: 1987 c 284 art 8 s 1; 1988 c 709 art 5 s 39,40; 1989 c 319 art 5 s 5; 1990 c 570
art 12 s 56,57; 1992 c 432 art 2 s 46; 1993 c 307 art 2 s 18; art 4 s 51; 1995 c 141 art 3 s 20;
1999 c 222 art 2 s 18; 2000 c 461 art 3 s 46; 2002 c 392 art 11 s 20; 2004 c 267 art 8 s 33;
2006 c 271 art 11 s 48; 2006 c 277 art 3 s 36