19-20-403. Creditable service for employment while on leave. (1) (a) Subject to 19-20-405, a member who is eligible under subsection (1)(b) and who contributes to the retirement system as provided in subsection (2) may receive up to 2 years of creditable service for employment while on leave following a break in service.
(b) To be eligible to purchase the service, a member:
(i) must be vested in the retirement system;
(ii) must have been an active member prior to the leave; and
(iii) must have earned at least 1 full year of creditable service in active membership in the retirement system subsequent to the member's leave.
(2) (a) For each period of service to be credited, a member who became a member before July 1, 1989, shall contribute an amount equal to the combined employer and employee contributions for the member's first full year's salary earned in a position reportable to the retirement system after the member's return from leave, plus interest.
(b) For each period of service to be credited under this section, a member who became a member on or after July 1, 1989, shall contribute the actuarial cost of the service based on the most recent actuarial valuation of the system.
(c) The interest on contributions required under subsection (2)(a) must be paid:
(i) if a written application to purchase service was signed prior to July 1, 2012, at the rate that the contributions would have earned had the contributions been in the member's account from the date the member was eligible to purchase the service; or
(ii) if a written application to purchase service is signed on or after July 1, 2012, at the actuarially assumed interest rate in effect on the date the written application is signed.
(d) The contributions and interest may be made in a lump-sum payment or in installments as agreed between the member and the retirement board.
(3) Subject to 19-20-405, a member who is eligible under subsection (5) and who contributes to the retirement system as provided in subsection (6) may receive up to 2 years of creditable service for unpaid inservice leave.
(4) (a) To be eligible for purchase as inservice leave, the leave must be:
(i) a period of temporary absence from work in a position reportable to the retirement system, whether full leave or intermittent leave and whether the leave is provided solely at the discretion of the employer or is required to be provided pursuant to generally applicable state or federal law; and
(ii) unpaid. Inservice leave is unpaid to the extent that the employer is not compensating the member for the period of absence from work. If the inservice leave is intermittent leave or is partially paid full leave, the leave is unpaid to the extent that any compensation received for the day, week, or month that includes the leave is less than the amount of compensation the member would have earned but for the leave.
(b) Inservice leave does not include:
(i) a period of leave or other absence from work that is included as part of the member's regular term of employment, such as personal days, vacation leave, sick leave, summer break, or other nonwork days;
(ii) a period of time for which creditable service may be purchased or credited under any other section of this part;
(iii) a period designated as a leave of absence pursuant to an oral or written settlement agreement or other agreement between the member and the employer to resolve an employment dispute and resulting in:
(A) termination of the member's employment; or
(B) other circumstances in which the member and employer do not actually intend for the member to return to regular employment in the preleave position; or
(iv) a leave of absence after which the member does not actually return to regular employment in the preleave position.
(5) A member is eligible to purchase inservice leave if the member:
(a) was regularly employed by the preleave employer with a regular work schedule in a position reportable to the retirement system;
(b) remained either employed or in a job-attached status with the preleave employer with a definite date specified to return to work with the preleave employer; and
(c) returned to regular work with the preleave employer at the end of the inservice leave.
(6) (a) An eligible member may purchase inservice leave at any time after returning to regular work with the preleave employer in a position reportable to the retirement system, subject to the following:
(i) A service purchase agreement for the inservice leave must be established for all leave that may be purchased for a fiscal year following the end of that fiscal year.
(ii) The service must be purchased and will be credited beginning with the earliest date of the leave.
(iii) The amount of leave that may be purchased may not exceed the amount of time that the member would have worked but for the leave as specified in a written employment contract. If the member was not employed under a written employment contract, the amount of leave purchased may not result in the member receiving total creditable service in the fiscal year in which the service is being purchased that exceeds the amount of creditable service the member accrued in the last fiscal year preceding the inservice leave during which the member accrued membership service that did not include purchased service.
(b) To purchase inservice leave, the member shall contribute the actuarial cost of the service based on the most recent actuarial valuation of the system subject to the following:
(i) Upon completing the purchase, the member must receive earned compensation credit equal to the sum of any earned compensation reported by the employer plus the amount of compensation attributable to the purchased leave.
(ii) Failure to return for any reason to regular work in the preleave position on the specified return date or at the end of the inservice leave must be considered a break in service subject to the leave purchase requirements of subsections (1) and (2).