(1) A group may be formed by:
(a) employees in an office, department, board, commission, attached agency, county, incorporated city or town, school district, unit of the university system, and the judicial and legislative branches of state government;
(b) employees in an organizational subdivision of an employer, such as a division, bureau, work unit, institution, etc.;
(c) employees in a bargaining unit; or
(d) other groups of employees defined by an employer that are not designed to provide individual decision-making regarding participation.
(2) A group may consist of employees who are:
(a) all currently eligible to retire;
(b) all currently ineligible to retire; or
(c) a mix of those eligible and ineligible to retire.
(3) No group may be formed with fewer than five employees.
(4) No group may be formed to benefit a select group of the highest paid employees. "Highest paid" means an annual compensation in the top 25% of employees ranked on the basis of total compensation paid during the year.
(5) Members in a group must be:
(a) eligible for sick leave;
(b) eligible for benefits with the employer;
(c) receiving an employer contribution for group benefits under 2-18-703, MCA, or other employer contribution to benefits; and
(d) active in the employer's retirement system.
(6) When a group is formed:
(a) members may not opt out of the group;
(b) current employees of the same employer not already in the group may not opt into the group;
(c) a participant may return to work but does not become a new member of a group unless hired into a job position eligible for the Montana VEBA HRA and meets all requirements in (5); and
(d) if an employee's circumstances change such that the employee becomes eligible to be a member of an existing group, the employee automatically becomes a member of this group.