Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 9. Management of Benefit Payments

Time Of Commencement Of Benefit -- Rulemaking

19-2-908. Time of commencement of benefit -- rulemaking. (1) (a) The board shall grant a benefit to any active or inactive member who is vested, or the member's statutory or designated beneficiary, who has fulfilled all eligibility requirements, terminated service, and filed the appropriate written application with the board. However, the board may, on its own accord and without a written application, begin benefit payments to a member or beneficiary in order to comply with section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(b) A member may apply for retirement benefits before termination from employment, but commencement of the benefits must be as provided in this section.

(2) (a) Except as provided in subsection (2)(b), the service retirement benefit may commence on the first day of the month following the eligible member's last day of employment or, if requested by the member in writing, on the first day of a later month.

(b) If an elected official's term of office expires before the 15th day of the month, the official may elect that service retirement benefits from a defined benefit plan commence on the first day of the month following the official's last full month in office. An official electing this option shall file a written application with the board. An official electing this option may not earn membership service, service credit, or compensation for purposes of calculating highest average compensation or final average compensation, as defined under the provisions of the appropriate retirement system, in the partial month ending the official's term, and compensation earned in that partial month is not subject to employer or employee contributions.

(3) (a) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3)(b), the disability retirement benefit payable to a member must commence on the day following the member's termination from employment.

(b) If a disabled member continues with a purchase of service or chooses to purchase service following termination of employment, the member's disability benefit may not commence until the service purchase is completed.

(4) If a member begins receiving retirement benefits payments later than when the member is initially eligible, the guaranteed annual benefit adjustment payable pursuant to 19-3-1605, 19-5-901, 19-6-710, 19-6-711, 19-7-711, 19-8-1105, 19-9-1009, 19-9-1010, 19-9-1013, 19-13-1010, and 19-13-1011 does not commence until January 1 of the year after the year in which the member has received a monthly retirement benefit payment in each of the year's 12 months. The guaranteed annual benefit adjustment may not be paid retroactively.

(5) A designated beneficiary eligible to receive a death payment may instead elect a survivorship benefit if the designated beneficiary is a natural person and notifies the board of the designated beneficiary's election in writing within 90 days after the designated beneficiary receives notice that the designated beneficiary is eligible to receive a death payment. Monthly survivorship benefits from a defined benefit plan must commence on the day following the death of the member.

(6) Estimated and finalized benefit payments must be issued as provided in rules adopted by the board.

(7) With respect to the defined contribution plan, the board shall adopt rules regarding the commencement of benefits that are consistent with applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and its implementing regulations.

History: En. Sec. 3, Ch. 370, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 13, Ch. 58, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 21, Ch. 471, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 99, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 15, Ch. 429, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 329, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 128, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 283, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 99, L. 2011; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 248, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 172, L. 2021.