Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, as used in this chapter, the terms defined in this section have the meanings given.
"Ancillary benefit" means a benefit payable from the special fund of the relief association other than a service pension that is permitted by law and that is provided for in the relief association bylaws.
"Defined benefit relief association" means a volunteer firefighters relief association that provides a lump-sum service pension, provides a monthly benefit service pension, or provides a lump-sum service pension as an alternative to the monthly benefit service pension.
"Defined contribution relief association" means a volunteer firefighters relief association that provides a service pension based solely on an individual account balance rather than a specified annual lump-sum or monthly benefit service pension amount.
"Fire department" includes a municipal fire department, an independent nonprofit firefighting corporation, and a fire department established as or operated by a joint powers entity under section 471.59.
"Municipal" means of a city or township.
"Municipality" means a city or township which has established a fire department with which the relief association is directly associated, a city or township which has entered into a contract with the independent nonprofit firefighting corporation of which the relief association is directly associated, or a city or township that has entered into a contract with a joint powers entity established under section 471.59 of which the relief association is directly associated.
(a) "Relief association" or "volunteer firefighters relief association" means a volunteer firefighters relief association or a volunteer firefighters division or account of a partially salaried and partially volunteer firefighters relief association that is:
(1) organized and incorporated as a nonprofit corporation to provide retirement benefits to volunteer firefighters under chapter 317A and any laws of the state;
(3) directly associated with:
(i) a fire department established by municipal ordinance;
(ii) an independent nonprofit firefighting corporation that is organized under the provisions of chapter 317A and that operates primarily for firefighting purposes; or
(iii) a fire department operated as or by a joint powers entity that operates primarily for firefighting purposes.
(b) "Relief association" or "volunteer firefighters relief association" does not mean:
(1) the Bloomington Fire Department Relief Association governed by Laws 2013, chapter 111, article 5, sections 31 to 42; Minnesota Statutes 2000, chapter 424; and Laws 1965, chapter 446, as amended; or
(2) the voluntary statewide lump-sum volunteer firefighter retirement plan governed by chapter 353G.
(c) A relief association or volunteer firefighters relief association is a governmental entity that receives and manages public money to provide retirement benefits for individuals providing the governmental services of firefighting and emergency first response.
"Special fund" means the special fund of a volunteer firefighters relief association or the account for volunteer firefighters within the special fund of a partially salaried and partially volunteer firefighters relief association.
"Firefighting service," if the applicable municipality approves for a fire department that is a municipal department, or if the applicable contracting municipality or municipalities approve for a fire department that is an independent nonprofit firefighting corporation, includes fire department service rendered by fire prevention personnel.
"Separate from active service" means that a firefighter permanently ceases to perform fire suppression duties with a particular volunteer fire department, permanently ceases to perform fire prevention duties, permanently ceases to supervise fire suppression duties, and permanently ceases to supervise fire prevention duties.
"Break in service" means temporarily ceasing all of the following with a particular fire department:
(1) performing fire suppression duties;
(2) performing fire prevention duties;
(3) supervising fire suppression duties; and
(4) supervising fire prevention duties.
"Volunteer firefighter" means a person who is a member of the applicable fire department or the independent nonprofit firefighting corporation and is eligible for membership in the applicable relief association and:
(i) is engaged in providing emergency response services or delivering fire education or prevention services as a member of a fire department;
(ii) is trained in or is qualified to provide fire suppression duties or to provide fire prevention duties under subdivision 8; and
(iii) meets any other minimum firefighter and service standards established by the fire department or specified in the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the relief association.
The fiscal year for a volunteer firefighter relief association begins on January 1 of each calendar year and ends on December 31 of the same calendar year.
Membership in a volunteer firefighter relief association begins upon the date of hire by a municipality, a joint powers board, or an independent nonprofit firefighting corporation with which the relief association is directly associated, unless otherwise specified in the relief association bylaws.
1983 c 219 s 4; 1986 c 359 s 18,19; 1Sp1986 c 3 art 2 s 40; 1989 c 304 s 137; 1989 c 319 art 8 s 26; 1996 c 438 art 8 s 1,2; 2000 c 461 art 15 s 4; 2006 c 271 art 13 s 2,7; 2008 c 349 art 14 s 6,7; 2009 c 169 art 10 s 8-19; 2012 c 286 art 12 s 9; 2013 c 111 art 5 s 77,80; art 6 s 4; 2015 c 68 art 9 s 3; art 13 s 63; 2018 c 211 art 14 s 2-5; 1Sp2019 c 8 art 4 s 2