Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 8. Service Credit

Absence Because Of Illness Or Injury

19-6-810. Absence because of illness or injury. (1) Time, not to exceed 5 years, during which a member is absent from service because of injury or illness is considered membership service if, within 1 year after the end of the absence, the injury or illness is determined by the board to have arisen out of and in the course of the member's employment. However, the member may not purchase service credit for this period unless the member complies with subsections (2) through (4), in which case the absence is considered as time spent in service for both service credit and membership service.

(2) After returning to service and while still in service, a member desiring service credit for the period of time referred to in subsection (1) shall file with the board a written application to pay the contributions under subsection (3).

(3) (a) A member eligible to purchase service credit pursuant to subsection (1) shall contribute to the retirement system an amount equal to the contributions that would have been made by the member to the system during the member's period of absence on the basis of the member's compensation immediately prior to the commencement of the member's absence plus regular interest accruing from 1 year from the date after the member returns to service to the date the member contributes for the period of absence.

(b) If a member elects to contribute under subsection (3)(a), the employer shall contribute employer contributions for the period of absence based on the salary as calculated in subsection (3)(a) and shall pay interest on the employer's contribution calculated in the same manner as interest on the employee's contribution under subsection (3)(a). An employer electing to make an interest payment shall do so for all employees similarly situated. If the employer elects not to pay the interest costs, this amount must be paid by the employee.

(4) A member loses the right to contribute for an absence under this section if all of the member's accumulated contributions have been refunded pursuant to 19-2-602. The member loses the right to contribute for the period of time during which retirement benefits have been received if the member retires during the absence.

History: En. Sec. 55, Ch. 562, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 66, Ch. 99, L. 2001.