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(1) A legislator has three options with respect to retirement system membership.

(a) A legislator may elect membership in PERS.

(b) A legislator who is a member, but not a retiree, of JRS, GWPORS, HPORS, SRS, MPORS, or FURS due to their nonlegislative employment may elect to continue participation in their current public retirement system rather than electing PERS.

(c) A legislator may decline membership in any public retirement system.

(2) A legislator's application to join PERS, to join their existing public retirement system, or to decline retirement system membership must be filed with MPERA within 90 days of the first day of the legislator's term of office.

(3) A retired PERS member who is elected to a state or local government public office covered by PERS may elect to become an active member of PERS or remain a retired member, with no limitation on the number of hours worked in the elected position.

(4) A legislator who becomes a member of PERS must pay regular contributions on all compensation for service in office. PERS DBRP members may pay contributions for their entire term of office.

(a) Contributions must be paid through payroll deduction during a legislative session.

(b) Contributions for DBRP members may be paid directly to MPERA when the Legislature is not in session.

(c) The total contribution required for each term will be based on the statutory salary prescribed in 5-2-301, MCA, for that term, less any previous contributions.

(d) All contributions must be paid to MPERA no later than the last day of the legislator's final term in that office.

(e) Service credit and membership service will be granted pursuant to 19-3-521, MCA.

(5) A legislator who elects to continue participation in their nonlegislative retirement system pursuant to (1)(b):

(a) must pay contributions into their nonlegislative retirement system as provided for in 5-2-304, MCA; and

(b) may not retire from that system until their legislative service terminates.

(6) A senator who is subsequently elected to serve as a representative, or a representative who is subsequently elected to serve as a senator, is considered to have started a new term of office and has a new 90-day election period under (1) if they previously declined participation in any public service retirement system.

(7) A senator or representative whose district changes as a result of redistricting is not considered to have started a new term of office and does not have a new 90-day election period.

(8) A PERS DBRP member who elects to purchase into PERS previous service as a legislator must comply with 19-3-505, MCA, except the cost will not include interest for any contributions due on service prior to July 1, 1993.

(9) A PERS DCRP member cannot purchase noncompensated legislative service into the DCRP as service purchases are not available in the DCRP plan.

History: 19-2-403, MCA; IMP, 5-2-304, 19-2-715, 19-3-412, 19-3-521, 19-3-522, MCA; NEW, 2008 MAR p. 2467, Eff. 12/1/08; AMD, 2011 MAR p. 1678, Eff. 8/26/11.

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