SL 30001.321 What a Retirement System Is for Majority Vote Referendum Purposes
When the 1954 Amendments authorized the coverage of employees in positions under a retirement system, it prescribed the mechanics for accomplishing this coverage. The amendments required that the employees be given an opportunity to vote to determine whether their services should be covered. The Federal law gives the State great flexibility in deciding what shall be the retirement system for referendum and coverage purposes and ultimately what shall be the retirement system coverage group.
A. STATE OPTIONS
If a retirement system covers the positions of employees of the State and positions of employees of one or more political subdivisions, or the employees of more than one political subdivision, the State has the following choices as to what may constitute the retirement system for referendum purposes:
the entire system;
employees of the State;
employees of each political subdivision;
employees of the State and employees of any one or more political subdivisions;
employees of any combination of political subdivisions;
employees of each institution of higher learning, which includes junior colleges and teachers' colleges. Institutions of higher learning which are not political subdivisions and which do not in themselves comprise the entire retirement system, cannot be combined for purposes of the referendum. If a State elects to hold a separate referendum for any such institution, a separate referendum must be held for each. Institutions of higher learning that are separate political subdivisions may be combined with other political subdivisions and/or with the State.
the employees of a hospital which is an integral part of a political subdivision or of two or more political subdivisions or the employees of two or more hospitals each of which is an integral part of the same political subdivision. The term "hospital" is used in the ordinary sense and refers to any institution organized and operated for the reception and medical or surgical care of the sick, injured, aged and infirm. If there are two or more hospitals that are integral parts of the same political subdivision(s), a separate referendum may be held for each or, in contrast to institutions of higher learning, the hospitals may be combined for a referendum
A retirement system that covers the positions of employees of a single political subdivision can only be further divided to treat employees of each institution of higher learning or employees of hospitals as separate retirement systems for referendum purposes. A retirement system which covers only the positions of employees of a State can be further subdivided to treat employees of each institution of higher learning as separate retirement systems; it cannot be subdivided to provide coverage for employees of different departments of the State.
NOTE: The State has additional options for police and firefighter positions under a retirement system. See SL 30001.345.
B. SEPARATE RETIREMENT SYSTEMS REQUIRED
Each class of position(s) under a retirement system, which are optionally excluded from the retirement system coverage group or which were optionally excluded from an absolute coverage group and subsequently came under a retirement system, constitutes a separate retirement system for referendum purposes. If the optional exclusion taken was "all classes" of the position involved, then "all classes" of the position constitute the retirement system for referendum purposes.
Example: All classes of part-time positions under a retirement system were excluded from coverage under the Section 218 Agreement. If later the State decides to cover these positions under its agreement, all classes of part-time positions under the retirement system would constitute a deemed separate retirement system for referendum purposes.
Different retirement systems cannot be combined for the purpose of conducting a referendum. For example, a State retirement system and a political subdivision retirement system (that is not a part of the State system), or, two different State systems, cannot be combined for the purpose of conducting a referendum for coverage under Section 218 of the Act.