19-3-108. Definitions. Unless the context requires otherwise, as used in this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(1) (a) "Compensation" means remuneration paid out of funds controlled by an employer in payment for the member's services or for time during which the member is excused from work because of a holiday or because the member has taken compensatory leave, sick leave, annual leave, banked holiday time, or a leave of absence before any pretax deductions allowed by state or federal law are made.
(b) Compensation does not include:
(i) the contributions made pursuant to 19-3-403(4)(a) for members of a bargaining unit;
(ii) in-kind goods provided by the employer, such as uniforms, housing, transportation, or meals;
(iii) in-kind services, such as the retraining allowance paid pursuant to 2-18-622, or employment-related services;
(v) lump-sum payments for compensatory leave, sick leave, banked holiday time, or annual leave paid without termination of employment; or
(vi) bonuses provided after July 1, 2013, that are one-time, temporary payments in addition to and not considered part of base pay.
(2) "Contracting employer" means any political subdivision or governmental entity that has contracted to come into the system under this chapter.
(3) "Defined benefit plan" means the plan within the public employees' retirement system established in 19-3-103 that is not the defined contribution plan.
(4) "Employer" means the state of Montana, its university system or any of the colleges, schools, components, or units of the university system for the purposes of this chapter, or any contracting employer.
(5) "Employer contributions" means payments to a pension trust fund pursuant to 19-3-316 from appropriations of the state of Montana and from contracting employers.
(6) (a) "Highest average compensation" means:
(i) for a member hired prior to July 1, 2011, the highest average monthly compensation during any 36 consecutive months of membership service;
(ii) for a member hired on or after July 1, 2011, the highest average monthly compensation during any 60 consecutive months of membership service; or
(iii) in the event a member has not served the minimum specified period of service, the total compensation earned divided by the months of membership service.
(b) Lump-sum payments for compensatory leave, sick leave, banked holiday time, and annual leave paid to the member upon termination of employment may be used in the calculation of a retirement benefit only to the extent that they are used to replace, on a month-for-month basis, the regular compensation for a month or months included in the calculation of the highest average compensation. A lump-sum payment may not be added to a single month's compensation.
(c) Excess earnings limits must be applied to the calculation of the highest average compensation pursuant to 19-2-1005(2).
(7) "System" or "retirement system" means the public employees' retirement system established in 19-3-103.