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HOUSE BILL NO. 612
INTRODUCED BY B. RYAN
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT ALLOWING CERTAIN FIRE DEPARTMENTS PARTICIPATING IN THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM TO ELECT TO JOIN THE FIREFIGHTERS' UNIFIED RETIREMENT SYSTEM; SPECIFYING CONDITIONS THAT MUST APPLY TO CURRENT AND FUTURE FIREFIGHTERS IF THE ELECTION IS MADE; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 19-13-104 AND 19-13-210, MCA."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 19-13-104, MCA, is amended to read:
"19-13-104. Definitions. Unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions apply in this chapter:
(1) Any reference to "city" or "town" includes those jurisdictions that, before the effective date of a county-municipal consolidation, were incorporated municipalities, subsequent districts created for urban firefighting services, or the entire county included in the county-municipal consolidation.
(2) "Compensation" means:
(a) for a full-paid firefighter, the regular remuneration, excluding overtime, holiday payments, shift differential payments, compensatory time payments, and payments in lieu of sick leave, paid by an employer for the firefighter's service as a firefighter;
(b) for a part-paid firefighter employed by a city of the second class:
(i) 15% of the regular remuneration, excluding overtime, holiday payments, shift differential payments, compensatory time payments, and payments in lieu of sick leave, paid on July 1 of each year to a newly confirmed, full-paid firefighter of the city that employs the part-paid firefighter; or
(ii) if that city does not employ a full-paid firefighter, 15% of the average regular remuneration, excluding overtime, holiday payments, shift differential payments, compensatory time payments, and payments in lieu of sick leave, paid on July 1 of each year to all newly confirmed, full-paid firefighters employed by cities of the second class.
(3) "Dependent child" means a child of a deceased member who is:
(a) unmarried and under age 18; or
(b) unmarried, under age 24, and attending an accredited postsecondary educational institution as a full-time student in anticipation of receiving a certificate or degree.
(4) "Employer" means any city that is of the first or second class or that elects to join this retirement system under 19-13-211.
(5) "Final average compensation" means the monthly compensation of a member averaged over the last 36 months of the member's active service or, if the member has not been a member that long, over the period of the member's service. Lump-sum payments for annual leave paid to the member upon termination of service may be used to replace, on a month-for-month basis, the normal compensation for a month or months included in the calculation of final average compensation.
(6) "Firefighter" means a person employed as a full-paid or part-paid firefighter by an employer.
(7) "Full-paid firefighter" means a person appointed as a firefighter under 7-33-4106.
(8) "Minimum retirement date" means the first day of the month coinciding with or immediately following, if none coincides, the date on which a member becomes both age 50 or older and completes 10 or more years of membership service.
(9) "Part-paid firefighter" means a person employed under 7-33-4109 who receives compensation in excess of $300 a year for service as a firefighter.
(10) "Prior plan" means the fire department relief association plan of a city that elects to join the retirement system under 19-13-211 or the fire department relief association plan of a city of the first or second class.
(11) "Retirement date" means the date on which the first payment of benefits is payable.
(12) "Retirement system" means the firefighters' unified retirement system provided for in this chapter.
(12)(13) "Surviving spouse" means the spouse married to a member at the time of the member's death."
Section 2. Section 19-13-210, MCA, is amended to read:
"19-13-210. Participation in retirement system
by first- and second-class cities. (1) Cities of the first and second
class that employ full-paid firefighters shall participate in the retirement system. If a city of the first or second class is
reduced to a city of the third class or a town under 7-1-4118, it shall continue to participate in the retirement system as long
as it has retired firefighters or survivors eligible to receive retirement benefits.
(2) (a) A city that is not covered under subsection (1) and that has full-paid firefighters covered by the public employees' retirement system, any rural fire district department with full-paid firefighters covered by the public employees' retirement system, and the Montana air national guard fire department may elect to be covered under the retirement system.
(b) (i) An election by a city fire department or a rural fire department to be covered by the retirement system must be made through adoption of a resolution stating that the governing body of the city or the fire district agrees to be bound by the provisions of the retirement system. The resolution must specify the effective date of the department's election. The provisions of the retirement system become applicable on the effective date specified in the adopted resolution. A certified copy of the resolution must be provided to the board.
(ii) An election by the Montana air national guard to join the retirement system must be made in a manner prescribed by the board and must demonstrate the consent of the department of military affairs to be bound by the provisions of the retirement system.
(3) The following are the terms and conditions of an election by a fire department to join the retirement system pursuant to subsection 2:
(a) Each firefighter employed by the fire department before the effective date of the department's election must be given 180 days from the effective date of the department's election to make an individual, one-time, irrevocable election to remain in the public employees' retirement system or to join the retirement system. Failure to make an election under this subsection (3)(a) must be considered an election to remain in the public employees' retirement system.
(b) Each firefighter employed by the fire department who is hired on or after the effective date of the department's election must be covered by the retirement system.
(c) A firefighter electing to join the retirement system may retain prior service in the public employees' retirement system or qualify the prior service in the retirement system as provided for in 19-13-404."
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Latest Version of HB 612 (HB0612.01)
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