Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 4. Eligibility, Membership, and Vesting

Optional Membership -- Elected Officials

19-3-413. Optional membership -- elected officials. (1) (a) Except as provided in 5-2-304, 19-20-302(1)(g) and (2), and subsection (2) of this section, a person who is elected or appointed to an elected office and paid a salary or wage by an employer shall elect either to become an active member of the retirement system or to decline this optional membership by filing an irrevocable, written application with the board in the manner prescribed in subsection (3).

(b) If the elected official is a retired member, the elected official may make an election under this section to become an active member or to decline membership and remain a retired member with no limitation on the number of hours worked or wages earned in the elected office.

(2) An elected official who works more than 960 hours in a fiscal year in that elected office and who was an active or inactive member before becoming an elected official is not eligible to make an election under subsection (1). An active member remains an active member for all covered employment, and an inactive member shall become an active member.

(3) (a) The board shall prescribe the form of the written application required pursuant to this section and provide the form to each employer.

(b) An election form must be completed and returned to the board within 90 days after the elected official assumes office. Failure to file the written application form within 90 days is considered an election to decline membership.

(c) The employer shall retain a copy of the elected official's written application.

(4) Except as provided in subsection (5), an elected official who declines optional membership may not receive membership service or service credit for any employment in the position for which membership was declined.

(5) An elected official who declined optional membership under this section but who later becomes a member may purchase service credit for the period of time the person was employed in the optional position and declined membership. Purchase of service credit pursuant to this subsection must comply with 19-3-505.

(6) An elected official who has made an election under this section and who is reelected or reappointed to the same office is not eligible to make a new election.

(7) For purposes of this section, "elected official" means all persons covered by subsection (1)(a).

History: En. Sec. 9, Ch. 248, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 195, L. 2017.