Governor Walz signed Senate File 3540 into law on May 22, 2022. This bill contained a few provisions that impact MSRS plans.
Military leave and service purchases
The law extends the period during which a member may purchase service credit for a military leave.This allows returning military personnel more time to transition back into civilian life and address their retirement accounts post-service.
- If the uniformed leave of absence is shorter than 3 years, the purchase window is 3 years from the discharge date.
- If the uniformed leave of absence is 3 years or longer, the purchase window is 5 years from the discharge date.
This change applies prospectively beginning May 23, 2022. The member’s timeline to purchase the service credit is determined by the statute in effect on the date they returned from the leave.
The legislation creates a new section of law that permits an employee who has been a member of MSRS General, State Patrol, or Correctional Plan for at least 3 years to purchase up to 5 years of service credit for the following periods of uniformed service:
- Any period of military service prior to becoming a state employee; or
- The same service that could have been purchased under Section 352.27, except that the returning employee failed to meet the deadline for payment.
The minimum service purchase under this section is 1 year. Additional service may be purchased in six-month increments.
To purchase service credit under this section, a member must submit an application and a $250 fee. The fee is meant to off-set the cost of calculating the purchase amount. If the member proceeds, the fee is applied to their purchase. Otherwise, the fee is retained by MSRS. The member has up to the date of their retirement to pay the purchase amount, which is defined in statute.
MSRS staff are currently developing the process and form to respond to member requests.
New positions added to Correctional Plan coverage
The bill provides Correctional Plan coverage for employees of Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) as a Dental Hygienist or Residential Program Lead. DHS must certify for each employee that they meet the 75% patient contact time requirement.
Individuals who are certified for Correctional Plan coverage under this legislation may transfer their prior qualifying General Plan service credit as permitted under current law.