Unless the language or context clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended, each of the following terms, for the purposes of this chapter, has the meaning given it.
"Public employee" means a governmental employee or a public officer performing personal services for a governmental subdivision defined in subdivision 6, whose salary is paid, in whole or in part, from revenue derived from taxation, fees, assessments, or from other sources. For purposes of membership in the association, the term includes the classes of persons listed in subdivision 2a and excludes the classes of persons listed in subdivision 2b. The term also includes persons who elect association membership under subdivision 2d, paragraph (a), and persons for whom the applicable governmental subdivision had elected association membership under subdivision 2d, paragraph (b).
(a) Public employees whose salary exceeds $425 in any month and who are not specifically excluded under subdivision 2b or who have not been provided an option to participate under subdivision 2d, whether individually or by action of the governmental subdivision, must participate as members of the association with retirement coverage by the general employees retirement plan under this chapter, the public employees police and fire retirement plan under this chapter, or the local government correctional employees retirement plan under chapter 353E, whichever applies. Membership commences as a condition of their employment on the first day of their employment or on the first day that the eligibility criteria are met, whichever is later. Public employees include but are not limited to:
(1) persons whose salary meets the threshold in this paragraph from employment in one or more positions within one governmental subdivision;
(2) elected county sheriffs;
(3) persons who are appointed, employed, or contracted to perform governmental functions that by law or local ordinance are required of a public officer, including, but not limited to:
(i) town and city clerk or treasurer;
(ii) county auditor, treasurer, or recorder;
(iii) city manager as defined in section 353.028 who does not exercise the option provided under subdivision 2d; or
(iv) emergency management director, as provided under section 12.25;
(5) full-time employees of the Dakota County Agricultural Society; and
(6) employees of the Minneapolis Firefighters Relief Association or Minneapolis Police Relief Association who are not excluded employees under subdivision 2b due to coverage by the relief association pension plan and who elected general employee retirement plan coverage before August 20, 2009.
(b) A public employee or elected official who was a member of the association on June 30, 2002, based on employment that qualified for membership coverage by the public employees retirement plan or the public employees police and fire plan under this chapter, or the local government correctional employees retirement plan under chapter 353E as of June 30, 2002, retains that membership for the duration of the person's employment in that position or incumbency in elected office. Except as provided in subdivision 28, the person shall participate as a member until the employee or elected official terminates public employment under subdivision 11a or terminates membership under subdivision 11b.
(c) If the salary of an included public employee is less than $425 in any subsequent month, the member retains membership eligibility.
(d) For the purpose of participation in the MERF division of the general employees retirement plan, public employees include employees who were members of the former Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund on June 29, 2010, and who participate as members of the MERF division of the association.
(a) The following public employees are not eligible to participate as members of the association with retirement coverage by the general employees retirement plan, the local government correctional employees retirement plan under chapter 353E, or the public employees police and fire retirement plan:
(1) persons whose salary from one governmental subdivision never exceeds $425 in a month;
(2) public officers who are elected to a governing body, city mayors, or persons who are appointed to fill a vacancy in an elective office of a governing body, whose term of office commences on or after July 1, 2002, for the service to be rendered in that elective position;
(3) election officers or election judges;
(4) patient and inmate personnel who perform services for a governmental subdivision;
(5) except as otherwise specified in subdivision 12a, employees who are hired for a temporary position as defined under subdivision 12a, and employees who resign from a nontemporary position and accept a temporary position within 30 days in the same governmental subdivision;
(6) employees who are employed by reason of work emergency caused by fire, flood, storm, or similar disaster;
(7) employees who by virtue of their employment in one governmental subdivision are required by law to be a member of and to contribute to any of the plans or funds administered by the Minnesota State Retirement System, the Teachers Retirement Association, the Duluth Teachers Retirement Fund Association, the St. Paul Teachers Retirement Fund Association, or any police or firefighters relief association governed by section 69.77 that has not consolidated with the Public Employees Retirement Association, or any local police or firefighters consolidation account who have not elected the type of benefit coverage provided by the public employees police and fire fund under sections 353A.01 to 353A.10, or any persons covered by section 353.665, subdivision 4, 5, or 6, who have not elected public employees police and fire plan benefit coverage. This clause must not be construed to prevent a person from being a member of and contributing to the Public Employees Retirement Association and also belonging to and contributing to another public pension plan or fund for other service occurring during the same period of time. A person who meets the definition of "public employee" in subdivision 2 by virtue of other service occurring during the same period of time becomes a member of the association unless contributions are made to another public retirement fund on the salary based on the other service or to the Teachers Retirement Association by a teacher as defined in section 354.05, subdivision 2;
(8) persons who are members of a religious order and are excluded from coverage under the federal Old Age, Survivors, Disability, and Health Insurance Program for the performance of service as specified in United States Code, title 42, section 410(a)(8)(A), as amended through January 1, 1987, if no irrevocable election of coverage has been made under section 3121(r) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended;
(9) employees of a governmental subdivision who have not reached the age of 23 and are enrolled on a full-time basis to attend or are attending classes on a full-time basis at an accredited school, college, or university in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional-technical program, or a public or charter high school;
(10) resident physicians, medical interns, and pharmacist residents and pharmacist interns who are serving in a degree or residency program in public hospitals or clinics;
(11) students who are serving in an internship or residency program sponsored by an accredited educational institution;
(12) persons who hold a part-time adult supplementary technical college license who render part-time teaching service in a technical college;
(13) except for employees of Hennepin County or Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., foreign citizens who are employed by a governmental subdivision under a work permit, or an H-1b visa initially issued or extended for a combined period less than three years of employment. Upon extension of the employment beyond the three-year period, the foreign citizens must be reported for membership beginning the first of the month thereafter provided the monthly earnings threshold as provided under subdivision 2a is met;
(14) public hospital employees who elected not to participate as members of the association before 1972 and who did not elect to participate from July 1, 1988, to October 1, 1988;
(15) except as provided in section 353.86, volunteer ambulance service personnel, as defined in subdivision 35, but persons who serve as volunteer ambulance service personnel may still qualify as public employees under subdivision 2 and may be members of the Public Employees Retirement Association and participants in the general employees retirement plan or the public employees police and fire plan, whichever applies, on the basis of compensation received from public employment service other than service as volunteer ambulance service personnel;
(16) except as provided in section 353.87, volunteer firefighters, as defined in subdivision 36, engaging in activities undertaken as part of volunteer firefighter duties, but a person who is a volunteer firefighter may still qualify as a public employee under subdivision 2 and may be a member of the Public Employees Retirement Association and a participant in the general employees retirement plan or the public employees police and fire plan, whichever applies, on the basis of compensation received from public employment activities other than those as a volunteer firefighter;
(17) pipefitters and associated trades personnel employed by Independent School District No. 625, St. Paul, with coverage under a collective bargaining agreement by the pipefitters local 455 pension plan who were either first employed after May 1, 1997, or, if first employed before May 2, 1997, elected to be excluded under Laws 1997, chapter 241, article 2, section 12;
(18) electrical workers, plumbers, carpenters, and associated trades personnel who are employed by Independent School District No. 625, St. Paul, or the city of St. Paul, who have retirement coverage under a collective bargaining agreement by the Electrical Workers Local 110 pension plan, the United Association Plumbers Local 34 pension plan, or the pension plan applicable to Carpenters Local 87 who were either first employed after May 1, 2000, or, if first employed before May 2, 2000, elected to be excluded under Laws 2000, chapter 461, article 7, section 5;
(19) bricklayers, allied craftworkers, cement masons, glaziers, glassworkers, painters, allied tradesworkers, and plasterers who are employed by the city of St. Paul or Independent School District No. 625, St. Paul, with coverage under a collective bargaining agreement by the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 pension plan, the Cement Masons Local 633 pension plan, the Glaziers and Glassworkers Local L-1324 pension plan, the Painters and Allied Trades Local 61 pension plan, or the Twin Cities Plasterers Local 265 pension plan who were either first employed after May 1, 2001, or if first employed before May 2, 2001, elected to be excluded under Laws 2001, First Special Session chapter 10, article 10, section 6;
(20) plumbers who are employed by the Metropolitan Airports Commission, with coverage under a collective bargaining agreement by the Plumbers Local 34 pension plan, who either were first employed after May 1, 2001, or if first employed before May 2, 2001, elected to be excluded under Laws 2001, First Special Session chapter 10, article 10, section 6;
(21) employees who are hired after June 30, 2002, to fill seasonal positions under subdivision 12b which are limited in duration by the employer to 185 consecutive calendar days or less in each year of employment with the governmental subdivision;
(22) persons who are provided supported employment or work-study positions by a governmental subdivision and who participate in an employment or industries program maintained for the benefit of these persons where the governmental subdivision limits the position's duration to three years or less, including persons participating in a federal or state subsidized on-the-job training, work experience, senior citizen, youth, or unemployment relief program where the training or work experience is not provided as a part of, or for, future permanent public employment;
(23) independent contractors and the employees of independent contractors;
(24) reemployed annuitants of the association during the course of that reemployment; and
(25) persons appointed to serve on a board or commission of a governmental subdivision or an instrumentality thereof.
(b) Any person performing the duties of a public officer in a position defined in subdivision 2a, paragraph (a), clause (3), is not an independent contractor and is not an employee of an independent contractor.
(a) Membership in the association is optional by action of the individual employee for the following public employees who meet the conditions set forth in subdivision 2a:
(1) members of the coordinated plan who are also employees of labor organizations as defined in section 353.017, subdivision 1, for their employment by the labor organization only, if they elect to have membership under section 353.017, subdivision 2;
(2) persons who are elected or persons who are appointed to elected positions other than local governing body elected positions who elect to participate by filing a written election for membership;
(3) members of the association who are appointed by the governor to be a state department head and who elect not to be covered by the general state employees retirement plan of the Minnesota State Retirement System under section 352.021;
(5) employees of the Port Authority of the city of St. Paul on January 1, 2003, who were at least age 45 on that date, and who elected to participate by filing a written election for membership.
(b) Membership in the association is optional by action of the governmental subdivision for the employees of the following governmental subdivisions under the conditions specified:
(1) the Minnesota Association of Townships if the board of that association, at its option, certifies to the executive director that its employees who meet the conditions set forth in subdivision 2a are to be included for purposes of retirement coverage, in which case the status of the association as a participating employer is permanent;
(2) a county historical society if the county in which the historical society is located, at its option, certifies to the executive director that the employees of the historical society who meet the conditions set forth in subdivision 2a are to be considered county employees for purposes of retirement coverage under this chapter. The status as a county employee must be accorded to all similarly situated county historical society employees and, once established, must continue as long as a person is an employee of the county historical society; and
(3) Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a public corporation, with respect to employees other than paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and protection officers, if the corporate board establishes alternative retirement plans for certain classes of employees of the corporation and certifies to the association the applicable employees to be excluded from future retirement coverage.
(c) For employees who are covered by paragraph (a), clause (1), (2), or (3), or covered by paragraph (b), clause (1) or (2), if the necessary membership election is not made, the employee is excluded from retirement coverage under this chapter. For employees who are covered by paragraph (a), clause (4), if the necessary election is not made, the employee must become a member and have retirement coverage under the applicable provisions of this chapter. For employees specified in paragraph (b), clause (3), membership continues until the exclusion option is exercised for the designated class of employee.
(d) The option to become a member, once exercised under this subdivision, may not be withdrawn until the termination of public service as defined under subdivision 11a.
"Head of department" means the head of any department, institution, office, or branch of service of any governmental subdivision which directly pays salaries out of its revenue or is empowered to authorize the payment of such salaries.
"Accumulated deductions" means the total of the amounts deducted from the salary of a member, exclusive of interest, and the total of the amounts paid by a member in lieu of such deductions and credited to the member's individual account in the retirement fund.
(a) "Governmental subdivision" means a county, city, town, school district within this state, or a department, unit or instrumentality of state or local government, or any public body established under state or local authority that has a governmental purpose, is under public control, is responsible for the employment and payment of the salaries of employees of the entity, and receives a major portion of its revenues from taxation, fees, assessments or from other public sources.
(b) Governmental subdivision also means the Public Employees Retirement Association, the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Metropolitan Municipalities, charter schools formed under section 124D.10, service cooperatives exercising retirement plan participation under section 123A.21, subdivision 5, joint powers boards organized under section 471.59, subdivision 11, paragraph (a), family service collaboratives and children's mental health collaboratives organized under section 471.59, subdivision 11, paragraph (b) or (c), provided that the entities creating the collaboratives are governmental units that otherwise qualify for retirement plan membership, public hospitals owned or operated by, or an integral part of, a governmental subdivision or governmental subdivisions, the Association of Minnesota Counties, the Minnesota Inter-county Association, the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association, the Metropolitan Airports Commission, the University of Minnesota with respect to police officers covered by the public employees police and fire retirement plan, the Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund for employment initially commenced after June 30, 1979, the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools, soil and water conservation districts, economic development authorities created or operating under sections 469.090 to 469.108, the Port Authority of the city of St. Paul, the Spring Lake Park Fire Department, incorporated, the Lake Johanna Volunteer Fire Department, incorporated, the Red Wing Environmental Learning Center, the Dakota County Agricultural Society, Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., and the Minneapolis Firefighters Relief Association and Minneapolis Police Relief Association with respect to staff covered by the Public Employees Retirement Association general plan.
(c) Governmental subdivision does not mean any municipal housing and redevelopment authority organized under the provisions of sections 469.001 to 469.047; or any port authority organized under sections 469.048 to 469.089 other than the Port Authority of the city of St. Paul; or any hospital district organized or reorganized prior to July 1, 1975, under sections 447.31 to 447.37 or the successor of the district; or the board of a family service collaborative or children's mental health collaborative organized under sections 124D.23, 245.491 to 245.495, or 471.59, if that board is not controlled by representatives of governmental units.
(d) A nonprofit corporation governed by chapter 317A or organized under Internal Revenue Code, section 501(c)(3), which is not covered by paragraph (a) or (b), is not a governmental subdivision unless the entity has obtained a written advisory opinion from the United States Department of Labor or a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service declaring the entity to be an instrumentality of the state so as to provide that any future contributions by the entity on behalf of its employees are contributions to a governmental plan within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code, section 414(d).
(e) A public body created by state or local authority may request membership on behalf of its employees by providing sufficient evidence that it meets the requirements in paragraph (a).
(f) An entity determined to be a governmental subdivision is subject to the reporting requirements of this chapter upon receipt of a written notice of eligibility from the association.
"Member" means a person who accepts employment as a "public employee" under subdivision 2, who is an employee who works in one or more positions that require or allow membership in the association under subdivision 2a or 2d, for whom contributions have been withheld from salary and who is not covered by the plan established in chapter 353D or excluded under subdivision 2b. A person who is a member remains a member while performing services as a public employee and while on an authorized leave of absence or an authorized temporary layoff.
"Former member" means a member of the association who terminates public service under subdivision 11a or membership under subdivision 11b.
"Association" means the Public Employees Retirement Association.
(a) Subject to the limitations of section 356.611, "salary" means:
(1) the periodic compensation of a public employee, before deductions for deferred compensation, supplemental retirement plans, or other voluntary salary reduction programs, and also means "wages" and includes net income from fees;
(2) for a public employee who is covered by a supplemental retirement plan under section 356.24, subdivision 1, clause (8), (9), or (10), which require all plan contributions be made by the employer, the contribution to the applicable supplemental retirement plan when an agreement between the parties establishes that the contribution will either result in a mandatory reduction of employees' wages through payroll withholdings, or be made in lieu of an amount that would otherwise be paid as wages; and
(3) for a public employee who has prior service covered by a local police or firefighters relief association that has consolidated with the Public Employees Retirement Association or to which section 353.665 applies and who has elected coverage either under the public employees police and fire fund benefit plan under section 353A.08 following the consolidation or under section 353.665, subdivision 4, the rate of salary upon which member contributions to the special fund of the relief association were made prior to the effective date of the consolidation as specified by law and by bylaw provisions governing the relief association on the date of the initiation of the consolidation procedure and the actual periodic compensation of the public employee after the effective date of consolidation.
(b) Salary does not mean:
(1) the fees paid to district court reporters, unused annual vacation or sick leave payments, in lump-sum or periodic payments, severance payments, reimbursement of expenses, lump-sum settlements not attached to a specific earnings period, or workers' compensation payments;
(2) 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 director to be ineligible;
(3) the amount equal to that which the employing governmental subdivision would otherwise pay toward single or family insurance coverage for a covered employee when, through a contract or agreement with some but not all employees, the employer:
(i) discontinues, or for new hires does not provide, payment toward the cost of the employee's selected insurance coverages under a group plan offered by the employer;
(ii) makes the employee solely responsible for all contributions toward the cost of the employee's selected insurance coverages under a group plan offered by the employer, including any amount the employer makes toward other employees' selected insurance coverages under a group plan offered by the employer; and
(iii) provides increased salary rates for employees who do not have any employer-paid group insurance coverages;
(5) the amount of compensation that exceeds the limitation provided in section 356.611; and
(6) amounts paid by a federal or state grant for which the grant specifically prohibits grant proceeds from being used to make pension plan contributions, unless the contributions to the plan are made from sources other than the federal or state grant.
(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.
"Public service" means service as an officer or employee of a governmental subdivision.
(a) "Termination of public service" occurs (1) when a member resigns or is dismissed from public service by the employing governmental subdivision and the employee does not, within 30 days of the date the employment relationship ended, return to an employment position in the same governmental subdivision; or (2) when the employer-employee relationship is severed due to the expiration of a layoff under subdivision 12 or 12c.
(b) The termination of public service must be recorded in the association records upon receipt of an appropriate notice from the governmental subdivision.
(c) A termination of public service does not occur if, prior to termination of service, the member has an agreement, verbal or written, to return to a governmental subdivision as an employee, independent contractor, or employee of an independent contractor.
(a) "Termination of membership" means the conclusion of membership in the association for a person who has not terminated public service under subdivision 11a and occurs:
(1) when a person files a written election with the association to discontinue employee deductions under section 353.27, subdivision 7, paragraph (a), clause (1);
(2) when a city manager files a written election with the association to discontinue employee deductions under section 353.028, subdivision 2;
(3) when a member transfers to a temporary position and becomes excluded from membership under subdivision 2b, clause (5); or
(4) when a member is approved to participate in the postretirement option authorized under section 353.371.
(b) The termination of membership under paragraph (a), clauses (3) and (4), must be reported to the association by the governmental subdivision.
"Authorized temporary or seasonal layoff," including seasonal leave of absence, means a suspension of public service for a limited period during a year that is authorized by the employing governmental subdivision for a member who is expected at the start of the period to return to the same position at the end of the layoff period and for whom there has been no termination of public service under subdivision 11a.
(a) "Temporary position" means an employment position predetermined by the employer at the time of hiring to be a period of six months or less. Temporary position also means an employment position occupied by a person hired by the employer as a temporary replacement who is employed for a predetermined period of six months or less.
(b) "Temporary position" does not mean an employment position for a specified or unspecified term in which a person serves a probationary period as a requirement for subsequent employment on a permanent or unlimited basis.
(c) If employment in a temporary position extends beyond six consecutive months, the head of the department shall report the employee for membership if salary in any month exceeds the salary threshold specified in subdivision 2a. The membership eligibility of an employee who resigns or is dismissed from a temporary position and accepts another temporary position in the same governmental subdivision within 30 days must be determined on the total length of employment rather than on each separate position.
"Seasonal position" means a position where the nature of the work or its duration are related to a specific season or seasons of the year, regardless of whether or not the employing agency anticipates that the same employee will return to the position each season in which it becomes available. The entire period of employment in a year must be used to determine whether or not a position may be excluded as seasonal when there is less than a 30-day break between one seasonal position and a subsequent seasonal position for employment with the same governmental employer. Seasonal positions include, but are not limited to, coaching athletic activities or employment to plow snow or to maintain roads or parks, or to operate skating rinks, ski lodges, golf courses, or swimming pools.
"Indefinite layoff" occurs when a member is placed on a layoff that is not a temporary or seasonal layoff under subdivision 12, for which no date has been specified by the employing governmental subdivision for the employee's return to work, and there has been no termination of public service under subdivision 11a.
"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 trustees 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.
For the purpose of survivor benefit eligibility under sections 353.31, subdivision 1, and 353.657, subdivision 3, "dependent child" means a biological or adopted child of a deceased member who is unmarried, and under the age of 18, or age 18 to 23, so long as the child submits evidence of full-time enrollment in an accredited educational institution. "Dependent child" also includes a child of the member conceived during the member's lifetime and born after the member's death. It also means a dependent child who is the subject of adoption proceedings filed by a member, and who within two years after death of the member, by judgment and decree duly entered, is adjudged to be the adopted child of the deceased member; subject, however, to the qualifying conditions of age and dependency under this subdivision. The dependency of the child dates from the decree of adoption. "Dependent child" also includes a child age 18 to 23 who had submitted evidence of full-time enrollment in an accredited educational institution but was determined to be medically unable to continue school on a full-time basis. The board of trustees shall adopt written procedures to make determinations regarding eligibility based on a student being medically unable to continue school, and may not continue a benefit for medical reasons for a period greater than one year.
For the purpose of survivor benefit eligibility under section 353.32, subdivision 1c, "dependent child" means any biological or adopted child of a deceased member who has not reached the age of 20 and is dependent for more than one-half of support upon the member. It also includes any child of the member conceived during the member's lifetime and born after the member's death.
(a) "Allowable service" means:
(1) service during years of actual membership in the course of which employee deductions were withheld from salary and contributions were made at the applicable rates under section 353.27, 353.65, or 353E.03;
(3) service in years during which the public employee was not a member but for which the member later elected, while a member, to obtain credit by making payments to the fund as permitted by any law then in effect;
(4) a period of authorized leave of absence with pay from which deductions for employee contributions are made, deposited, and credited to the fund;
(5) a period of authorized personal, parental, or medical leave of absence without pay, including a leave of absence covered under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, that does not exceed one year, and for which a member obtained service credit for each month in the leave period by payment under section 353.0161 to the fund made in place of salary deductions. An employee must return to public service and render a minimum of three months of allowable service in order to be eligible to make payment under section 353.0161 for a subsequent authorized leave of absence without pay. Upon payment, the employee must be granted allowable service credit for the purchased period;
(6) a periodic, repetitive leave that is offered to all employees of a governmental subdivision. The leave program may not exceed 208 hours per annual normal work cycle as certified to the association by the employer. A participating member obtains service credit by making employee contributions in an amount or amounts based on the member's average salary, excluding overtime pay, that would have been paid if the leave had not been taken. The employer shall pay the employer and additional employer contributions on behalf of the participating member. The employee and the employer are responsible to pay interest on their respective shares at the rate of 8.5 percent a year, compounded annually, from the end of the normal cycle until full payment is made. An employer shall also make the employer and additional employer contributions, plus 8.5 percent interest, compounded annually, on behalf of an employee who makes employee contributions but terminates public service. The employee contributions must be made within one year after the end of the annual normal working cycle or within 30 days after termination of public service, whichever is sooner. The executive director shall prescribe the manner and forms to be used by a governmental subdivision in administering a periodic, repetitive leave. Upon payment, the member must be granted allowable service credit for the purchased period;
(7) an authorized temporary or seasonal layoff under subdivision 12, limited to three months allowable service per authorized temporary or seasonal layoff in one calendar year. An employee who has received the maximum service credit allowed for an authorized temporary or seasonal layoff must return to public service and must obtain a minimum of three months of allowable service subsequent to the layoff in order to receive allowable service for a subsequent authorized temporary or seasonal layoff;
(8) a period during which a member is absent from employment by a governmental subdivision by reason of service in the uniformed services, as defined in United States Code, title 38, section 4303(13), if the member returns to public service with the same governmental subdivision upon discharge from service in the uniformed service within the time frames required under United States Code, title 38, section 4312(e), provided that the member did not separate from uniformed service with a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or under other than honorable conditions. The service must be credited if the member pays into the fund equivalent employee contributions based upon the contribution rate or rates in effect at the time that the uniformed service was performed multiplied by the full and fractional years being purchased and applied to the annual salary rate. The annual salary rate is the average annual salary, excluding overtime pay, during the purchase period that the member would have received if the member had continued to be employed in covered employment rather than to provide uniformed service, or, if the determination of that rate is not reasonably certain, the annual salary rate is the member's average salary rate, excluding overtime pay, during the 12-month period of covered employment rendered immediately preceding the period of the uniformed service. Payment of the member equivalent contributions must be made during a period that begins with the date on which the individual returns to public employment and that is three times the length of the military leave period, or within five years of the date of discharge from the military service, whichever is less. If the determined payment period is less than one year, the contributions required under this clause to receive service credit may be made within one year of the discharge date. Payment may not be accepted following 30 days after termination of public service under subdivision 11a. If the member equivalent contributions provided for in this clause are not paid in full, the member's allowable service credit must be prorated by multiplying the full and fractional number of years of uniformed service eligible for purchase by the ratio obtained by dividing the total member contributions received by the total member contributions otherwise required under this clause. The equivalent employer contribution, and, if applicable, the equivalent additional employer contribution must be paid by the governmental subdivision employing the member if the member makes the equivalent employee contributions. The employer payments must be made from funds available to the employing unit, using the employer and additional employer contribution rate or rates in effect at the time that the uniformed service was performed, applied to the same annual salary rate or rates used to compute the equivalent member contribution. The governmental subdivision involved may appropriate money for those payments. The amount of service credit obtainable under this section may not exceed five years unless a longer purchase period is required under United States Code, title 38, section 4312. The employing unit shall pay interest on all equivalent member and employer contribution amounts payable under this clause. Interest must be computed at a rate of 8.5 percent compounded annually from the end of each fiscal year of the leave or the break in service to the end of the month in which the payment is received. Upon payment, the employee must be granted allowable service credit for the purchased period; or
(9) a period specified under subdivision 40.
(b) For calculating benefits under sections 353.30, 353.31, 353.32, and 353.33 for state officers and employees displaced by the Community Corrections Act, chapter 401, and transferred into county service under section 401.04, "allowable service" means the combined years of allowable service as defined in paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (6), and section 352.01, subdivision 11.
(c) For a public employee who has prior service covered by a local police or firefighters relief association that has consolidated with the Public Employees Retirement Association or to which section 353.665 applies, and who has elected the type of benefit coverage provided by the public employees police and fire fund either under section 353A.08 following the consolidation or under section 353.665, subdivision 4, "applicable service" is a period of service credited by the local police or firefighters relief association as of the effective date of the consolidation based on law and on bylaw provisions governing the relief association on the date of the initiation of the consolidation procedure.
(d) No member may receive more than 12 months of allowable service credit in a year either for vesting purposes or for benefit calculation purposes.
(e) MS 2002 [Expired]
MS 2008 [Renumbered 353.013]
"Approved actuary" means any actuary who is 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.
(a) "Average salary," for purposes of calculating a retirement annuity under section 353.29, subdivision 3, means an amount equivalent to the average of the highest salary of the member, police officer, or firefighter, whichever applies, upon which employee contributions were paid for any five successive years of allowable service, based on dates of salary periods as listed on salary deduction reports. Average salary must be based upon all allowable service if this service is less than five years.
(b) "Average salary" may not include any reduced salary paid during a period in which the employee is entitled to benefit payments from workers' compensation for temporary disability, unless the average salary is higher, including this period.
"Year of allowable service" means any 12 calendar months not necessarily consecutive in which a public employee received compensation from the governmental subdivision or was eligible to credit for service. It also means 12 months credit each year for employees who are paid on a yearly basis and who may or may not receive compensation in every calendar month in the year.
"Total and permanent disability" means the inability 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. Long-continued and indefinite duration means that the disability has been or is expected to be for a period of at least one year.
"Surviving spouse" means the spouse of a deceased member or disabilitant who was legally married to the member at the time of death.
"Retirement annuity" means the amount paid or payable by the fund to a former member after retirement.
"Optional annuity" means the allowance paid or payable by the fund to the designated optional annuity beneficiary of a member or former member, pursuant to an optional annuity form selected at or before retirement, or to the spouse of a deceased member under section 353.32, subdivision 1a.
"Benefit" means a monthly survivor benefit paid or payable by the fund to a surviving spouse or a dependent child and also includes a monthly disability benefit paid or payable by the fund to a member who is totally and permanently disabled.
(a) "Retirement" means the commencement of the payment of an annuity based on a date designated by the board of trustees. This date determines the rights under this chapter which occur either before or after retirement. A right to retirement is subject to termination of public service under subdivision 11a. A right to retirement requires a complete and continuous separation for 30 days from employment as a public employee and from the provision of paid services to that employer.
(b) An individual who separates from employment as a public employee and who, within 30 days of separation, returns to provide service to a governmental subdivision as an independent contractor or as an employee of an independent contractor, has not satisfied the separation requirements under paragraph (a).
(c) Notwithstanding the 30-day separation requirement under paragraph (a), a member of a defined benefit plan under this chapter, who also participates in the public employees defined contribution plan under chapter 353D for other public service, may be paid, if eligible, a retirement annuity from the defined benefit plan while participating in the defined contribution plan. A retirement annuity is also payable from a defined benefit plan under this chapter to an eligible member who terminates public service and who, within 30 days of separation, takes office as an elected official of a governmental subdivision.
(d) Elected officials included in association membership under subdivisions 2a and 2d meet the 30-day separation requirement under this section by resigning from office before filing for a subsequent term in the same office and by remaining completely and continuously separated from that office for 30 days prior to the date of the election.
"Designated beneficiary" means the person or organization designated by a member, former member, disabilitant, or retired member in writing, signed and filed with the association before the death of the member, former member, disabilitant, or retired member, to receive a refund of the balance of the member's accumulated deductions after death.
"Designated optional annuity beneficiary" means the person designated by a former member to receive a joint and survivor annuity or a modified joint and survivor annuity.
"Authorized leave of absence" means any period during which a member is authorized by an employer to refrain from active employment, with or without pay, evidenced by appropriate record of the employer and promptly transmitted to the association.
"Coordinated member" means a public employee, including a public hospital employee, who is covered by an agreement or modification made between the state and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, making the provisions of the federal Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Act applicable to the member if the membership eligibility criteria are met under this chapter. A coordinated member also is a former basic member who has a complete and continuous separation for at least 30 days from employment as a public employee meeting the requirements specified in subdivision 28, paragraphs (a) and (b), and who reenters public service as a public employee and meets the membership eligibility criteria under this chapter.
"Basic member" means a public employee, including a public hospital employee, who is not covered by any agreement or modification made between the state and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
"Volunteer ambulance service personnel," for purposes of this chapter, are basic and advanced life-support emergency medical service personnel employed by or providing services for any public ambulance service or privately operated ambulance service that receives an operating subsidy from a governmental entity.
For purposes of this chapter, a person is considered a "volunteer firefighter" for all service for which the person receives credit in an association or fund operating under chapter 424A.
(a) "Normal retirement age" means age 65 for a person who first became a public employee or a member of a pension fund listed in section 356.30, subdivision 3, clause (7), before July 1, 1989. For a person who first becomes a public employee 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.
(b) "Normal retirement age" means age 55 for a person who is a member of a pension fund listed in section 356.30, subdivision 3, clauses (8) and (9).
"Business year" means the first day of the first full pay period through the last day of the last full pay period of the 12-month fiscal year applicable to the respective governmental subdivision.
"Duty disability," physical or psychological, means a condition that is expected to prevent a member, for a period of not less than 12 months, from performing the normal duties of the position held by a person who is a member of the public employees police and fire plan, and that is the direct result of an injury incurred during, or a disease arising out of, the performance of normal duties or the actual performance of less frequent duties, either of which are specific to protecting the property and personal safety of others and that present inherent dangers that are specific to the positions covered by the public employees police and fire plan.
"Less frequent duties" means tasks which are designated in the applicant's job description as either required from time to time or as assigned, but which are not carried out as part of the normal routine of the applicant's job.
"Line of duty death" means a death that occurs while performing or as a direct result of performing normal or less frequent duties which are specific to protecting the property and personal safety of others and that present inherent dangers that are specific to the positions covered by the public employees police and fire plan.
"Normal duties" means specific tasks which are designated in the applicant's job description and which the applicant performs on a day-to-day basis, but do not include less frequent duties which may be requested to be done by the employer from time to time.
For purposes of survivor benefits under the public employees police and fire plan, a "not line of duty death" is any death not specified under subdivision 43.
"Regular disability," physical or psychological, means a condition that is expected to prevent a member, for a period of not less than 12 months, from performing the normal duties of the position held by a person who is a member of the public employees police and fire plan, and which results from a disease or an injury that arises from any activities while not at work, or while at work and performing those normal or less frequent duties that do not present inherent dangers that are specific to the occupations covered by the public employees police and fire plan.
(a) "Vesting" means obtaining a nonforfeitable entitlement to an annuity or benefit from a retirement plan administered by the Public Employees Retirement Association by having credit for sufficient allowable service under paragraph (b) or (c), whichever applies.
(b) For purposes of qualifying for an annuity or benefit as a basic or coordinated plan member of the general employees retirement plan of the Public Employees Retirement Association:
(1) a member who first became a public employee before July 1, 2010, is vested when the person has accrued credit for not less than three years of allowable service as defined under subdivision 16; and
(2) a member who first becomes a public employee after June 30, 2010, is vested when the person has accrued credit for not less than five years of allowable service as defined under subdivision 16.
(c) For purposes of qualifying for an annuity or benefit as a member of the police and fire plan or a member of the local government correctional employees retirement plan:
(1) a member who first became a public employee before July 1, 2010, is vested when the person has accrued credit for not less than three years of allowable service as defined under subdivision 16; and
(2) a member who first becomes a public employee after June 30, 2010, is vested at the following percentages when the person has accrued credited allowable service as defined under subdivision 16, as follows:
(i) 50 percent after five years;
(ii) 60 percent after six years;
(iii) 70 percent after seven years;
(iv) 80 percent after eight years;
(v) 90 percent after nine years; and
(vi) 100 percent after ten years.
"MERF division" means the separate retirement plan within the general employees retirement plan of the Public Employees Retirement Association containing the applicable provisions of Minnesota Statutes 2008, chapter 422A.
"MERF division account" means the separate account within the retirement fund of the general employees retirement fund of the Public Employees Retirement Association in which the actuarial liabilities of the former Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund are held, and in which the assets of the former Minneapolis Employees Retirement Fund are credited.
(254-23) 1931 c 307 s 1; 1933 c 374 s 1; 1937 c 466 s 1; 1941 c 285 s 1; 1945 c 78 s 1; 1947 c 18 s 1; 1949 c 84 s 1; 1951 c 22 s 1-8; 1953 c 78 s 1; 1955 c 815 s 11; 1957 c 815 s 1; 1957 c 935 s 1-5; 1959 c 650 s 1-7,39,43,58; 1961 c 482 s 1; 1961 c 595 s 1; 1961 c 746 s 1; 1963 c 440 s 1; 1963 c 641 s 3-12; 1965 c 104 s 1; 1965 c 880 s 1,2; Ex1967 c 26 s 1; Ex1967 c 37 s 1; 1969 c 940 s 1,2; 1971 c 106 s 1-8; 1971 c 503 s 1,2; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1973 c 753 s 3-18; 1974 c 229 s 1-8; 1975 c 102 s 1-3; 1975 c 359 s 23; 1976 c 329 s 12-15; 1977 c 347 s 52,53; 1977 c 429 s 19-22,63; 1978 c 471 s 1; 1978 c 720 s 6; 1978 c 796 s 23-26; 1979 c 216 s 1-4,21; 1979 c 303 art 6 s 5; 1980 c 609 art 5 s 20; 1981 c 68 s 16-18; 1981 c 180 s 1; 1981 c 224 s 73-75; 1981 c 298 s 11; 1982 c 404 s 1-4; 1982 c 424 s 64,115,125; 1983 c 286 s 6; 1985 c 261 s 3; 1Sp1985 c 7 s 12; 1986 c 399 art 2 s 9; 1986 c 400 s 9; 1986 c 444; 1986 c 458 s 11; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 2 s 41; 1987 c 49 s 9; 1987 c 258 s 12; 1987 c 259 s 25; 1987 c 284 art 5 s 1,2; 1987 c 291 s 215; 1987 c 296 s 1-3; 1987 c 372 art 1 s 5; 1988 c 709 art 2 s 1; art 5 s 1-7; 1989 c 209 art 2 s 36; 1989 c 246 s 2; 1989 c 319 art 3 s 1-6; art 5 s 1; art 13 s 29; 1989 c 335 art 3 s 5; 1990 c 556 s 7; 1990 c 570 art 8 s 1; art 11 s 1-3; art 12 s 19; 1991 c 269 art 2 s 5; 1991 c 341 s 1-6; 1992 c 432 art 2 s 2-5; 1992 c 598 art 2 s 1; 1993 c 307 art 4 s 1-15; 1993 c 336 art 6 s 5,6; 1994 c 528 art 2 s 1-4; 1994 c 572 s 5; 1997 c 233 art 1 s 37; 1997 c 241 art 2 s 1; 1998 c 254 art 1 s 87; 1999 c 222 art 4 s 4-6; 2000 c 260 s 93; 2000 c 461 art 3 s 7-12; art 4 s 3; art 7 s 1; 1Sp2001 c 10 art 6 s 3,21; art 10 s 1-3; art 11 s 1-12; 2002 c 392 art 2 s 2; art 3 s 1-5; art 7 s 3; art 11 s 52; 1Sp2003 c 12 art 4 s 1,2; art 6 s 5; 2004 c 267 art 1 s 2-4; art 2 s 3; art 3 s 3; art 15 s 1; art 17 s 3; 2005 c 10 art 5 s 1,4,5; 2005 c 125 art 3 s 1-3; 1Sp2005 c 8 art 1 s 9,10; art 3 s 2; art 4 s 5; art 10 s 38,39; 2006 c 271 art 3 s 5-11; 2007 c 6 s 1; 2007 c 134 art 1 s 4; art 2 s 13-17; art 4 s 1-7; 2008 c 349 art 5 s 14-17; 2009 c 169 art 4 s 5,6; art 5 s 1; art 12 s 4-6; 2010 c 359 art 1 s 23; art 5 s 1-5; art 11 s 1-4