JRS provides retirement, disability and death benefits to all Montana judges of the district courts, justices of the Supreme Court, and the Chief Water Judge and their beneficiaries.

In a defined benefit plan, both the amount you contribute and your future benefit is known. Your benefit will be calculated using a formula based on your salary and years of service.


Monthly Benefit Formula: 3 1/3% of CS or HAC per year of service for the first 15 years, plus 1.785% per year for each year after 15 years.

Current Salary (CS): For members hired prior to June 30, 1997 and not electing GABA - the current salary for the office retired from.

Highest Average Compensation (HAC)*: For members hired after June 30, 1997, or electing GABA: 36 months

Required age and years of service to be eligible for a benefit:

  • Any age with 5 years of service - involuntary termination, actuarially reduced
  • Age 60 with 5 years of service

Vesting: 5 years

Guaranteed Annual Benefit Adjustment (GABA): If you were hired after July 1, 1997, or elected GABA - after you have completed 12 full months of retirement, your benefit will increase by a maximum of 3% each January, inclusive of all other adjustments to your benefit.

Minimum Benefit Adjustment (non-GABA): If you were hired prior to July 1, 1997 - your current salary is used in the calculation of the monthly benefit each time the Legislature increases salaries for active judges. This benefit is awarded only to non-GABA members or eligible contingent annuitants.


* HAC Capped: There is now a 110% cap on compensation considered as part of a member's highest average compensation. This applies to members of all systems who are hired on or after July 1, 2013. Also, bonuses have been removed from the definition of compensation for all retirement systems effective for bonuses paid on or after July 1, 2013.