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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

CHAPTER 3A. LEGISLATORS RETIREMENT PLAN

Table of Sections
Section Headnote
3A.01 DEFINITIONS.
3A.011 ADMINISTRATION OF PLANS.
3A.02 RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE.
3A.021 OPTIONAL DIVISION OF RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE.
3A.03 CONTRIBUTIONS.
3A.031 [Repealed, 1989 c 319 art 16 s 8]
3A.04 SURVIVOR BENEFIT.
3A.05 APPLICATION FOR SURVIVOR BENEFIT.
3A.06 [Repealed, 1993 c 307 art 7 s 1]
3A.07 APPLICATION.
3A.08 [Repealed, 1979 c 303 art 3 s 41]
3A.09 [Repealed, 2006 c 271 art 10 s 33]
3A.10 SERVICE CREDIT.
3A.11 [Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 1 art 2 s 136]
3A.115 RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE APPROPRIATION; POSTRETIREMENT ADJUSTMENT.
3A.12 COVERAGE BY MORE THAN ONE RETIREMENT SYSTEM OR ASSOCIATION.
3A.13 EXEMPTION FROM PROCESS AND TAXATION; HEALTH PREMIUM DEDUCTION.
3A.15 PROGRAMS OF THE LEGISLATORS RETIREMENT PLAN.
3A.17 CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS.

3A.01 DEFINITIONS.

Subdivision 1.Purposes.

Each of the terms defined in this section, for the purposes of this chapter has the meaning ascribed.

Subd. 1a.Actuarial equivalent.

(a) "Actuarial equivalent" means the condition of one allowance or benefit having an equal actuarial present value to another allowance or benefit, determined by the actuary retained under section 356.214 as of a given date at a specified age with each actuarial present value based on the mortality table applicable for the plan 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.

(b) For purposes of computing a joint and survivor annuity, the postretirement interest rate assumption specified in section 356.461 must be used, rather than the postretirement interest rate specified in section 356.215, subdivision 8.

Subd. 1b.Average monthly salary.

"Average monthly salary" means the average of the member's highest five successive years of salary that was received as a member of the legislature and upon which the member has made contributions under section 3A.03, subdivision 1, or for which the member of the legislature has made payments for past service under Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 3A.02, subdivision 2, or has made, before July 1, 1994, payments in lieu of contributions under Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 3A.031.

Subd. 1c.Constitutional officer.

"Constitutional officer" means a person who was duly elected, qualifies for, and serves as the governor, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the secretary of state, or the state auditor of the state of Minnesota.

Subd. 2.Dependent child.

(a) "Dependent child" means any natural or adopted child of a deceased member of the legislature or a former legislator who is under the age of 18, or who is under the age of 22 and is a full-time student, and who, in either case, is unmarried and was actually dependent for more than one-half of support upon the legislator for a period of at least 90 days immediately before the legislator's death.

(b) The term also includes any child of the member of the legislature or former legislator who was conceived during the lifetime of, and who was born after the death of, the member or former legislator.

Subd. 3.

[Repealed, 2006 c 271 art 10 s 33]

Subd. 4.

[Repealed, 2006 c 271 art 10 s 33]

Subd. 5.

[Repealed, 1971 c 928 s 11]

Subd. 6.Director.

"Director" means the executive director of the Minnesota State Retirement System who was appointed under section 352.03, subdivision 5.

Subd. 6a.

[Repealed, 2006 c 271 art 10 s 33]

Subd. 6b.Former legislator.

"Former legislator" means a legislator who has ceased to be a member of the legislature for any reason, including, but not limited to, the expiration of the term for which a member of the legislature was elected or the death of the member.

Subd. 6c.Member of the legislature.

"Member of the legislature" means a person who was a member of the house of representatives or of the senate of the state of Minnesota who has subscribed to the oath of office after July 1, 1965, and who was first elected to a legislative office before July 1, 1997, and retained coverage by the plan under Laws 1997, chapter 233, article 2, section 15.

Subd. 7.

[Repealed, 2006 c 271 art 10 s 33]

Subd. 8.Normal retirement age.

"Normal retirement age" means the age of 62 years.

Subd. 9.Retirement.

"Retirement" means the period of time after which a former legislator is entitled to a retirement allowance.

Subd. 10.Salary.

(a) "Salary" means the regular compensation payable under law to a member of the legislature and paid to the person for service as a legislator.

(b) The term includes the monthly compensation paid to the member of the legislature and the per diem payments paid during a regular or special session to the member of the legislature.

(c) The term does not include per diem payments paid to a member of the legislature other than during the regular or special session; additional compensation attributable to a leadership position under section 3.099, subdivision 3; living expense payments under section 3.101; and special session living expense payments under section 3.103.

3A.011 ADMINISTRATION OF PLANS.

The executive director and the board of directors of the Minnesota State Retirement System shall administer the plans specified in this chapter consistent with this chapter and chapters 356 and 356A.

3A.02 RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE.

Subdivision 1.Qualifications.

(a) A former legislator is entitled, upon written application to the director, to receive a retirement allowance monthly, if the person:

(1) has either served at least six full years, or has served during all or part of four regular sessions as a member of the legislature, which service need not be continuous;

(2) has attained the normal retirement age;

(3) has retired as a member of the legislature; and

(4) has made all contributions provided for in section 3A.03, has made payments for past service under subdivision 2, or has made payments in lieu of contributions under Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 3A.031, before July 1, 1994.

(b) Unless the former legislator has legislative service before January 1, 1979, the retirement allowance is an amount equal to 2-1/2 percent per year of service of that member's average monthly salary and adjusted for that person on an actuarial equivalent basis to reflect the change in the postretirement interest rate actuarial assumption under section 356.215, subdivision 8, from five percent to six percent. The adjustment must be calculated by or, alternatively, the adjustment procedure must be specified by, the actuary retained under section 356.214. The purpose of this adjustment is to ensure that the total amount of benefits that the actuary predicts an individual member will receive over the member's lifetime under this paragraph will be the same as the total amount of benefits the actuary predicts the individual member would receive over the member's lifetime under the law in effect before enactment of this paragraph. If the former legislator has legislative service before January 1, 1979, the person's benefit must include the additional benefit amount in effect on January 1, 1979, and adjusted as otherwise provided in this paragraph.

(c) The retirement allowance accrues following the receipt by the director of a retirement application on a form prescribed by the director, but not before the normal retirement age, except as specified in subdivision 1b. The annuity is payable for the remainder of the former legislator's life, if the former legislator is not serving as a member of the legislature or as a constitutional officer as defined in section 3A.01, subdivision 1c. The annuity does not begin to accrue before the person's retirement as a legislator. No annuity payment may be made retroactive for more than 180 days before the date that the annuity application is filed with the director.

(d) Any member who has served during all or part of four regular sessions is considered to have served eight years as a member of the legislature.

(e) The retirement allowance ceases with the last payment that accrued to the retired legislator during the retired legislator's lifetime, except that the surviving spouse, if any, is entitled to receive the retirement allowance of the retired legislator for the calendar month in which the retired legislator died.

Subd. 1a.

[Repealed, 1973 c 653 s 47]

Subd. 1b.Reduced retirement allowance.

(a) Upon separation from service after the beginning of the 1981 legislative session, a former member of the legislature who has attained the age set by the board of directors of the Minnesota State Retirement System and who is otherwise qualified under subdivision 1 is entitled, upon making written application on a form prescribed by the director, to a reduced retirement allowance. The reduced retirement allowance is an amount equal to the retirement allowance specified in subdivision 1, paragraph (b), that is reduced so that the reduced allowance is the actuarial equivalent of the allowance that would be payable if the former member of the legislature deferred receipt of the allowance and the allowance amount was augmented at an annual rate of three percent compounded annually from the date the allowance begins to accrue until age 62.

(b) The age set by the board of directors under paragraph (a) cannot be an earlier age than the early retirement age under section 352.116, subdivision 1a.

(c) If there is an actuarial cost to the plan of resetting the early retirement age under paragraph (a), the retired legislator is required to pay an additional amount to cover the full actuarial value. The additional amount must be paid in a lump sum within 30 days of the certification of the amount by the executive director.

(d) The executive director of the Minnesota State Retirement System shall report to the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement on the utilization of this provision annually on or before September 1.

Subd. 2.

[Repealed, 2006 c 271 art 10 s 33]

Subd. 3.

[Repealed, 2013 c 111 art 2 s 33]

Subd. 4.Deferred annuities augmentation.

(a) The deferred retirement allowance of any former legislator must be augmented as provided herein.

(b) The required reserves applicable to the deferred retirement allowance, determined as of the date the benefit begins to accrue using an appropriate mortality table and an interest assumption of six percent, must be augmented from the first of the month following the termination of active service, or July 1, 1973, whichever is later, to the first day of the month in which the allowance begins to accrue, at the following annually compounded rate or rates:

(1) five percent until January 1, 1981;

(2) three percent from January 1, 1981, or from the first day of the month following the termination of active service, whichever is later, until January 1 of the year in which the former legislator attains age 55 or until January 1, 2012, whichever is earlier;

(3) five percent from the period end date under clause (2) until the effective date of retirement or until January 1, 2012, whichever is earlier; and

(4) two percent after December 31, 2011.

Subd. 5.Optional annuities.

(a) The board of directors shall establish an optional retirement annuity in the form of a joint and survivor annuity and an optional retirement annuity in the form of a period certain and life thereafter. Except as provided in paragraph (b), these optional annuity forms must be actuarially equivalent to the normal allowance computed under this section, plus the actuarial value of any surviving spouse benefit otherwise potentially payable at the time of retirement under section 3A.04, subdivision 1. An individual selecting an optional annuity under this subdivision and the person's spouse waive any rights to surviving spouse benefits under section 3A.04, subdivision 1.

(b) If a retired legislator selects the joint and survivor annuity option, the retired legislator must receive a normal single-life allowance if the designated optional annuity beneficiary dies before the retired legislator and no reduction may be made in the annuity to provide for restoration of the normal single-life allowance in the event of the death of the designated optional annuity beneficiary.

(c) The surviving spouse of a legislator who has attained at least age 55 and who dies while a member of the legislature may elect an optional joint and survivor annuity under paragraph (a), in lieu of surviving spouse benefits under section 3A.04, subdivision 1.

(d) The surviving spouse of a deceased former legislator may elect an optional joint and survivor annuity under paragraph (a) in lieu of surviving spouse benefits under section 3A.04, subdivision 1, on or after the date the former legislator would have reached age 55.

Subd. 6.Postretirement adjustment eligibility.

A retirement allowance under this section is eligible for postretirement adjustments under section 356.415.

3A.021 OPTIONAL DIVISION OF RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE.

Subdivision 1.Election of division.

Notwithstanding section 518.58, subdivision 4, paragraph (a), clause (5), a former legislator or the former spouse of a former legislator, if a portion of the former legislator's retirement allowance is awarded to the former spouse under a marriage dissolution property division decree by a court of competent jurisdiction, may elect to have payment of the portion of the legislator's retirement allowance designated in the decree as payable to the former spouse beginning as of the first day of the month following the date on which the former legislator attains the age of 62, even if the former legislator has not applied for the receipt of retirement allowance as of that date. In all other respects, the optional retirement allowance division is governed by section 518.58, subdivision 4.

Subd. 2.Subsequent retirement allowance calculation.

Upon the eventual application for a retirement allowance under this chapter by a former legislator who elected or was affected by the election of a benefit under subdivision 1, the subsequent retirement allowance must be adjusted to be the actuarial equivalent of the balance of the present value of the retirement allowance of the former legislator upon the effective date of the application remaining after a reduction equal to the present value of the partial benefit previously paid and subsequently payable to the former spouse, as calculated by the actuary retained under section 356.214 or as calculated under a procedure specified by the actuary. The retirement allowance present value calculations must include the effect of section 356.30.

Subd. 3.No optional annuity form.

Section 3A.02, subdivision 5, does not apply to a partial retirement allowance payable under subdivision 1.

3A.03 CONTRIBUTIONS.

Subdivision 1.Percentage.

(a) Every member of the legislature shall contribute nine percent of total salary.

(b) The contribution must be made by payroll deduction and must be paid into the state treasury and deposited in the general fund.

(c) The director must record the periodic contributions of each member of the legislature and must credit each contribution to the member's account.

Subd. 2.Refund.

(a) A former member who has made contributions under subdivision 1 and who is no longer a member of the legislature is entitled to receive, upon written application to the executive director on a form prescribed by the executive director, a refund from the general fund of all contributions credited to the member's account with interest computed as provided in section 352.22, subdivision 2.

(b) The refund of contributions as provided in paragraph (a) terminates all rights of a former member of the legislature and the survivors of the former member under this chapter.

(c) If the former member of the legislature again becomes a member of the legislature after having taken a refund as provided in paragraph (a), the member is a member of the unclassified employees retirement program of the Minnesota State Retirement System.

(d) However, the member may reinstate the rights and credit for service previously forfeited under this chapter if the member repays all refunds taken, plus interest at the rate of 8.5 percent until June 30, 2015, and eight percent thereafter compounded annually from the date on which the refund was taken to the date on which the refund is repaid.

(e) No person may be required to apply for or to accept a refund.

Subd. 3.Legislators retirement fund.

(a) The legislators retirement fund, a special retirement fund, is created within the state treasury. The legislators retirement fund must be credited with any investment proceeds on the assets of the retirement fund.

(b) The payment of annuities under section 3A.115, paragraph (b), is appropriated from the legislators retirement fund.

3A.031 [Repealed, 1989 c 319 art 16 s 8]

3A.04 SURVIVOR BENEFIT.

Subdivision 1.Surviving spouse.

(a) Upon the death of a member of the legislature while serving as a member, or upon the death of a former member of the legislature with at least six full years of service or service in all or part of four regular legislative sessions, if section 3A.02, subdivision 5, paragraph (c), does not apply, the surviving spouse is entitled to a survivor benefit.

(b) The surviving spouse benefit is one-half of the retirement allowance of the member of the legislature computed as though the member were at least normal retirement age on the date of death and based upon the member's allowable service or upon eight years, whichever is greater. The augmentation provided in section 3A.02, subdivision 4, if applicable, must be applied for the period up to, and including, the month of death.

(c) Upon the death of a former legislator receiving a retirement allowance, the surviving spouse is entitled to one-half of the amount of the retirement allowance being paid to the legislator.

(d) The surviving spouse benefit is payable for the lifetime of the surviving spouse.

Subd. 1a.

[Repealed, 2006 c 271 art 10 s 33]

Subd. 2.Dependent children.

(a) Upon the death of a member of the legislature while serving as a member, or upon the death of a former member of the legislature who has rendered at least six full years of service or service in all or part of four regular legislative sessions and who was not receiving a retirement allowance, each dependent child of the member or former legislator is entitled to receive a survivor benefit in the following amount:

(1) for the first dependent child, a monthly benefit equal to 25 percent of the monthly retirement allowance of the member of the legislature or the former legislator computed as though the member or the former legislator had attained at least the normal retirement age on the date of death and based upon the average monthly salary as of the date of death or as of the date of termination, whichever applies, and the member's allowable service or eight years, whichever is greater;

(2) for each additional dependent child, a monthly benefit equal to 12-1/2 percent of the monthly retirement allowance of the member or the former legislator computed as provided in clause (1); and

(3) the total amount paid to the surviving spouse and to the dependent child or children may not exceed, in any one month, 100 percent of the monthly retirement allowance of the member or of the former legislator computed as provided in clause (1).

(b) The augmentation provided in section 3A.02, subdivision 4, if applicable, applies from the first day of the month next following the date of the termination of the person from service as a member of the legislature to the month of the death of the person.

(c) Upon the death of a former legislator who was receiving a retirement allowance, a surviving dependent child is entitled to the applicable percentage specified in paragraph (a), clause (1) or (2), whichever applies, of the amount of the allowance which was paid to the former legislator for the month immediately before the date of death of the former legislator.

(d) The payments for dependent children must be made to the surviving spouse or to the guardian of the estate of the dependent children, if there is one.

Subd. 2a.Postretirement adjustment eligibility.

A survivor benefit under this section is eligible for postretirement adjustments under section 356.415.

Subd. 3.Payment.

The surviving spouse and dependent child or children survivor benefits payable under this section are payable by the director monthly in the same manner as retirement allowances are authorized to be paid by this chapter.

Subd. 4.Death refunds.

(a) Upon the death of a member of the legislature or of a former legislator who was not receiving a retirement allowance without leaving either a surviving spouse or a dependent child or dependent children, the last designated beneficiary named on a form that was filed with the director before the death of the legislator, or if no designation is filed, the estate of the member or the former legislator, upon application, is entitled to a refund.

(b) The refund is the amount of contributions credited to the person's account plus interest as provided in section 3A.03, subdivision 2, paragraph (a).

Subd. 5.Appropriation.

The survivor benefits and the death refunds authorized by this section are appropriated to the director from the general fund when they are due and payable.

3A.05 APPLICATION FOR SURVIVOR BENEFIT.

(a) Applications for survivor benefits under section 3A.04 must be filed with the director by the surviving spouse and dependent child or children entitled to benefits under section 3A.04, or by the guardian of the estate, if there is one, of the dependent child or children.

(b) Survivor benefits accrue as of the first day of the month following the death of the member of the legislature or former legislator and payments commence as of the first of the month next following the filing of the application, and are retroactive to the date the benefit accrues or the first of the month occurring 12 months before the month in which the application is filed with the director, whichever is later.

3A.06 [Repealed, 1993 c 307 art 7 s 1]

3A.07 APPLICATION.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) and section 3A.17, this chapter applies to members of the legislature in service after July 1, 1965, who otherwise meet the requirements of this chapter.

(b) Members of the legislature who were elected for the first time after June 30, 1997, or members of the legislature who were elected before July 1, 1997, and who, after July 1, 1998, elect not to be members of the plan established by this chapter are covered by the unclassified employees retirement program governed by chapter 352D.

(c) The post-July 1, 1998, coverage election under paragraph (b) is irrevocable and must be made on a form prescribed by the director. The second chance referendum election under Laws 2002, chapter 392, article 15, also is irrevocable.

3A.08 [Repealed, 1979 c 303 art 3 s 41]
3A.09 [Repealed, 2006 c 271 art 10 s 33]

3A.10 SERVICE CREDIT.

Subdivision 1.Service credit for legislative term.

(a) In the case of a member of the house of representatives, one full term of office must be considered two full years of service, notwithstanding the fact that the oath of office was taken on different days each biennium.

(b) In the case of a member of the senate, one full term of office must be considered four full years of service, notwithstanding the fact that the oath of office was taken on different days at the start of each term.

(c) For purposes of this chapter, a legislative term must be deemed to commence on January 1 and to end on December 31.

Subd. 2.

[Repealed, 1995 c 262 art 1 s 26]

3A.11 [Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 1 art 2 s 136]

3A.115 RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE APPROPRIATION; POSTRETIREMENT ADJUSTMENT.

(a) The amount necessary to fund the retirement allowance granted under this chapter to a former legislator retiring after June 30, 2003, or to that legislator's survivor, and the retirement allowance granted under section 3A.17 to a former constitutional officer or the survivor of that constitutional officer is appropriated from the general fund to the director to pay pension obligations due to the retiree.

(b) The amount necessary to fund the retirement allowance granted under this chapter to a former legislator retiring before July 1, 2003, must be paid from the legislators retirement fund created under section 3A.03, subdivision 3, until the assets of the fund are exhausted and at that time, the amount necessary to fund the retirement allowances under this paragraph is appropriated from the general fund to the director to pay pension obligations to the retiree and survivor.

(c) Retirement allowances payable to retired legislators and their survivors under this chapter must be adjusted as provided in sections 3A.02, subdivision 6, and 356.415.

3A.12 COVERAGE BY MORE THAN ONE RETIREMENT SYSTEM OR ASSOCIATION.

Subdivision 1.Entitlement to annuity.

(a) Any legislator who has been a member of a retirement plan listed in paragraph (b) is entitled, when otherwise qualified, to a retirement allowance or annuity from each plan if the total allowable service in all plans or in any two of these plans totals ten or more years.

(b) This section applies to any retirement plan or program administered by the Minnesota State Retirement System, or any retirement plan administered by the Public Employees Retirement Association, including the Public Employees Retirement Association police and fire fund, or the Teachers Retirement Association, or the Minneapolis employees retirement plan, or the State Patrol retirement plan, or any other public employee retirement system in the state of Minnesota having a like provision.

(c) This section does not apply to other retirement plans providing benefits for police or firefighters.

(d) No portion of the allowable service upon which the retirement annuity from one plan is based is again used in the computation for benefits from another plan. The annuity from each plan must be determined by the appropriate provisions of the law, except that the requirement that a person must have a minimum number of years of allowable service in the respective system or association does not apply for the purposes of this section if the combined service in two or more of these plans equals ten or more years. The augmentation of deferred annuities provided in section 3A.02, subdivision 4, applies to the annuities accruing under this section.

Subd. 2.Refund repayment.

A former legislator who has received a refund as provided in section 3A.03, subdivision 2, who is a currently contributing member of a retirement plan specified in subdivision 1, paragraph (b), may repay the refund as provided in section 3A.03, subdivision 2. A member of the legislature who has received a refund from any of the retirement plans specified in subdivision 1 may repay the refund to the respective plan under such terms and conditions consistent with the law governing the retirement plan if the law governing the plan permits the repayment of refunds. If the total amount to be repaid, including principal and interest exceeds $2,000, repayment maybe made in three equal installments over a period of 18 months, with the interest accrued during the period of the repayment added to the final installment.

3A.13 EXEMPTION FROM PROCESS AND TAXATION; HEALTH PREMIUM DEDUCTION.

(a) The provisions of section 356.401 apply to the plans specified in this chapter.

(b) The executive director of the Minnesota State Retirement System must, at the request of a retired legislator or constitutional officer who is enrolled in a health insurance plan covering state employees, deduct the person's health insurance premiums from the person's annuity and transfer the amount of the premium to a health insurance carrier covering state employees.

3A.15 PROGRAMS OF THE LEGISLATORS RETIREMENT PLAN.

The provisions of sections 3A.01 to 3A.13 apply to the coordinated and basic programs of the legislators retirement plan.

3A.17 CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS.

Subdivision 1.Application.

(a) This section specifies the retirement plan applicable to a former constitutional officer who was first elected to a constitutional office after July 1, 1967, and before July 1, 1997. The plan includes the applicable portions of chapters 352C and 356 in effect on the date on which the person terminated active service as a constitutional officer.

(b) Nothing in this section, this act, or Laws 2006, chapter 271, article 10, section 33, subdivision 2, is intended to increase or reduce the benefits of former constitutional officers or their survivors or to adversely modify their eligibility for benefits in effect as of June 30, 2012.

Subd. 2.Benefit adjustments.

Retirement allowances payable to retired constitutional officers and surviving spouse benefits payable must be adjusted under section 356.415.