TITLE VI
PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

CHAPTER 100-A
NEW HAMPSHIRE RETIREMENT SYSTEM

Section 100-A:3

    100-A:3 Membership. –
I. (a) Any person who becomes an employee, teacher, permanent policeman, or permanent fireman after the date of establishment, working in a position for an employer under this chapter as determined by common law standards, shall become a member of the retirement system as a condition of employment. In addition, employees appointed to an unclassified position with no fixed term on or after July 1, 2011 shall become members of the retirement system as a condition of employment, if they are receiving benefits from the retirement system. Any retirement benefit collected by such an unclassified employee shall be suspended during the period of employment. Membership in the retirement system shall be optional in the case of elected officials, officials appointed for fixed terms, employees appointed to an unclassified position with no fixed term prior to July 1, 2011, or those employees of the general court who are eligible for membership in the retirement system. Elected officials and officials appointed for fixed terms shall, however, be eligible for membership in the retirement system only under the following conditions:
(1) The office held is a full-time position with eligibility for the same fringe benefits as other full-time employees of the employer;
(2) The office held is the primary occupation of the person holding the office;
(3) The base rate of annual compensation for the office held is at least $15,000, and requires at least 1,700 hours of employment; and
(4) The official satisfies the condition under subparagraphs (1)-(3) by using only one elected or appointed office to qualify.
(5) Notwithstanding subparagraph (4), an official who concurrently holds the offices of town clerk and tax collector for the same employer, and who is eligible for the same fringe benefits as other full-time employees of the employer, may satisfy the conditions under subparagraphs (2)-(3) by using both offices to qualify. Such official shall be allowed to continue membership in the retirement system if already enrolled, if the hours and salary of the combined offices meet the requirements for membership.
(b) Any employee who is currently an employee of the general court who works on a full-time basis and who is eligible for other state benefits, but whose salary was or is calculated on a per diem basis shall be eligible to exercise those buy-back provisions set forth in RSA 100-A:3, VI(a), (b), and (c) for such previous service, only if the employee is currently a member in the retirement system.
(c) [Repealed.]
(d) The option in subparagraph (a) shall not be available in the case of any newly created positions for unclassified employees or officials whether appointed with fixed terms or with no fixed terms nor in the case of any newly appointed positions created by political subdivisions after July 1, 2011.
I-a. Any person who is elected or appointed for a fixed term on or after July 1, 1989, and for whom membership in the retirement system is optional under paragraph I, shall be given by his employer written notice within a reasonable time after election or appointment of his option to join the retirement system.
II, II-a. [Repealed.]
II-b. If any employment position is changed in classification from group I to group II for any reason, such change shall not apply to any service in such position rendered prior to the effective date of the action effecting the change in classification, but the person holding such position shall thereafter be a group II member of the retirement system and upon retirement, death, or termination of service shall be entitled to split benefits as provided in RSA 100-A:19-a through 19-h.
II-c. If any employment position is changed in classification from group II to group I for any reason, a person holding such position who has completed 5 years creditable service in group II shall continue to be a group II member of the retirement system for as long as the member holds that position or a related position reached through normal career-path promotion. Any other person who has less than 5 years creditable service in group II and whose position is reclassified from group II to group I shall thereafter be a group I member of the retirement system and upon retirement, death, or termination of service shall be entitled to split benefits as provided in RSA 100-A:19-a through 19-h. Any other person holding the position or who may hold it thereafter shall be a group I member of the retirement system.
III. The board of trustees may, in its discretion, accept as members any class of employees, teachers, permanent policemen or permanent firemen whose compensation is only partly paid by an employer or who are serving on a temporary or other than per annum basis, and it may also, in its discretion, make optional with employees, teachers, permanent policemen or permanent firemen in any such class their individual entrance into membership.
III-a. [Repealed.]
III-b. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 100-A:1, VII, any permanent police officer certified under RSA 106-L as a full-time police officer, who has been a group II member for at least 5 years and who becomes a law enforcement training specialist or who has been a group II member for at least 10 years and becomes assistant director or director of the police standards and training council and as a job requirement has satisfied minimum standards as determined by the police standards and training council for physical condition, education and training shall be construed to be a permanent policeman for purposes of membership in group II and shall remain in the system for the duration of his or her service in that capacity with the police standards and training council.
III-c. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 100-A:1, VIII, any permanent fireman who has been a group II member and who has 10 years' fire service experience, or any person included in the definition of "fire service personnel" as defined in RSA 21-P:25, II(c) who has 10 years' fire service experience, who is or becomes the director of the division of fire safety, the director of the division of homeland security and emergency management, the director of the division of fire standards and training and emergency medical services, any fire instructor, supervisor, instructor, or other technical specialist who has hazardous materials, firefighting, or rescue training functions and who has as a job requirement satisfied the fire standards and training commission's entrance and certification requirements for physical condition, education, and training shall be construed to be a permanent fireman for the purposes of membership in group II and shall remain in the system for the duration of service in that capacity with the fire standards and training commission.
IV. The board of trustees shall require from any employer of employees, teachers, permanent policemen or permanent firemen covered by the retirement system such information relative to name, title, compensation, date of birth and length of service of each of its employees, teachers, permanent policemen and permanent firemen as the board may deem necessary.
V. A member shall cease to be a member if (a) he or she withdraws his or her accumulated contributions; or (b) he or she becomes a beneficiary or dies. The board of trustees shall continue the membership of a member while in the armed forces of the United States provided such member does not withdraw his or her accumulated contributions.
V-a. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, if any member who is an employee of a political subdivision withdraws his accumulated contributions and ceases to be a member within 6 months of the initial date of his employment, the accumulated contributions of the employer made during that 6-month period shall be returned to that political subdivision.
VI. (a) If a member of this system or a predecessor system ceases to be a member and withdraws his accumulated contributions, and later again becomes a member and wishes to receive prior service credit for the previous time served as a member, or if a member wishes to receive prior service credit for a period during which he was employed in a temporary, unclassified, or nonclassified capacity, or in any nonpermanent full-time employment prior to becoming a member, the member may petition the board of trustees to obtain an actuary's statement indicating the costs, provided that such prior service shall have a duration of 6 months or more and further provided that the member agrees to pay for the statement.
(b) In the case of prior service credit for time served as a member for which the member's accumulated contributions have been withdrawn, the amount of creditable service purchased may be the full length of service relating to the withdrawn contributions or a partial share of such service. The amount determined by the actuary to reinstate full or partial service credit shall be the amount of withdrawn contributions, but not less than one month's contributions multiplied by the ratio of the service credit to be purchased to the full length of service relating to the withdrawn contributions, with this amount adjusted for interest from the date of withdrawal to the date of payment based on the interest rates in effect for each fiscal year. The amount determined by the actuary to purchase prior service credit related to Peace Corps and AmeriCorps service shall be computed under RSA 100-A:4, VIII. For all other prior service credit the amount determined by the actuary shall be the full actuarial cost of service credit determined by the actuary based on methods and assumptions recommended by the actuary and approved by the board of trustees, unless another calculation methodology is otherwise specified. The member may be required to prepay all or part of the actuarial calculation fee, as determined by the board. Credit shall not be granted until the active member has fully paid for such service credit in a lump sum or by installment payments as permitted by the board. The member's payment shall be credited to the member annuity savings fund.
(c) Except for service described in subparagraph (d), in no case shall prior service purchased as credible service in the New Hampshire retirement system under the provisions of this section be deemed to be creditable service for the purposes of eligibility for medical benefits after retirement under the provisions of RSA 21-I:30, RSA 100-A:52, RSA 100-A:52-a, or RSA 100-A:52-b.
(d)(1) In the case of an employer which through its own fault, and not the fault of the employee, failed to enroll an eligible employee at the time such employee became eligible for membership in this retirement system or a predecessor system, the employer and not the employee shall pay the cost of the actuary's statement obtained under this subparagraph. The actuary's statement shall be based on: (A) the member rate attributable to the period multiplied by the earnable compensation attributable to the oversight period which shall be paid by the member, plus (B) the current employer rate multiplied by the earnable compensation attributable to the oversight period which shall be paid by the employer. Upon payment, and with the approval of the board, the member shall receive credit for prior service. The amount paid by the employee for prior service credit under this subparagraph shall be credited to the member annuity savings fund, and the amount paid by the employer shall be credited to the state annuity accumulation fund.
(2) For the purposes of subparagraph (d) with respect to service rendered after June 30, 1989, only, any case of failure to enroll a person after June 30, 1989, for whom membership is compulsory under the provisions of this chapter shall be presumed to be the fault of the employer. With respect to prior service rendered after June 30, 1989, only, any case of failure to enroll a person for whom membership is optional under the provisions of this chapter shall be presumed to be the fault of the employer in the absence of documentary evidence of the person's election.
(3) In any case under subparagraph (d) in which the employee is required to pay a portion of the amount determined by the actuary, if the employee demonstrates to the satisfaction of the board that the employee is financially incapable of paying the employee portion of the amount determined by the actuary, then the employer shall pay the employer portion of the amount determined by the actuary directly to the employee, and the employee shall not receive credit for such prior service. The employee shall be eligible to receive such payment directly from the employer only if and when the employee would have been eligible for present or vested future benefits resulting from such period of prior service if the prior service had been membership service. If the employee is in service with the employer and is not eligible for such direct payment from the employer when a petition under this subparagraph is granted, then the employer shall hold the amount payable in escrow and shall pay it to the employee when the employee becomes so eligible, but upon termination of service with the employer, if the employee is still not eligible for such direct payment, the obligation to pay and all rights relating thereto shall terminate.
(e) A petition for prior service credit under subparagraph (a) shall be filed by a member and shall be filed prior to said member's retirement or death. A petition for prior service credit under subparagraph (d) shall be filed within 3 years after the end of the period for which prior service credit is requested.
(f) The board of trustees shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to permitting employees to pay the amount determined by the actuary under subparagraph (d) on an installment basis.
VII. Temporary Assignment to Another Department; Compensation. Any permanent policeman in service who is, at the time of his death or disability, working for some other than his own police department or a component of the state or federal government on a temporary assignment shall be compensated as though he was working for his own department and shall receive the same benefits that would have accrued to him if he had been working for his own department, provided that the policeman was working with the knowledge and approval of his commanding officer, police chief, selectmen, or city or town manager. This section shall apply to any permanent policeman working under cover, on emergency duty or in a training capacity. In the event such temporary assignment should exceed 10 working days, it shall be the obligation of the receiving agency of the assignee to insure that all member and employer contributions as required by RSA 100-A are properly transmitted to the New Hampshire retirement system.
VIII. [Repealed.]
IX. If there is any doubt as to the proper classification of a job in the retirement system, the trustees shall determine whether the person holding the job is an employee, teacher, permanent policeman, or permanent fireman as defined in RSA 100-A:1; provided, however, that a 2/3 vote shall be required to classify the job in group II, and further provided that in the case of a newly-created job held by more than one person, the job shall be classified in group I unless it is explicitly placed in group II by the legislation creating the job in the case of a state job, or by a majority vote of the legislative body of the political subdivision in the case of a political subdivision job. For the purposes of this paragraph, an increase in the number of persons holding a given job with a given employer shall not be considered as creation of a new job. No job shall be reclassified from group I to group II of the retirement system without legislation specifically authorizing a transfer from group I to group II.

Source. 1967, 134:1; 405:3. 1969, 354:3. 1974, 33:4; 35:19. 1977, 389:2; 546:2. 1981, 536:8. 1983, 304:2. 1985, 415:11. 1987, 335:4, 5. 1988, 53:1; 161:4, 5. 1989, 187:1; 238:9, I; 323:1, 2, 4; 388:8. 1990, 249:1, 7. 1991, 142:1; 313:2. 1994, 389:19. 1997, 135:10. 2001, 105:2; 165:1. 2002, 137:6; 140:1; 257:3. 2003, 124:1; 319:123. 2004, 171:31. 2005, 52:1. 2006, 120:5; 178:1. 2008, 233:2; 300:2; 361:15. 2011, 224:177, eff. July 1, 2011. 2013, 251:4, eff. July 24, 2013; 257:32, eff. July 24, 2013 at 12:01 a.m. 2014, 183:4, eff. July 1, 2014. 2017, 206:8, eff. Sept. 8, 2017. 2019, 38:1, 2, eff. July 14, 2019; 147:1, eff. Aug. 30, 2019; 339:2, eff. July 1, 2020; 346:149, III, eff. July 1, 2019.