Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration

Joining PERS and Other Retirement Systems


Prospective PERS Employer Questionnaire, Local Government Contracting Procedure, PERS Summary for Employees and PERS Employer Summary

The potential PERS employer must file a completed and signed Prospective PERS Employer Questionnaire (provided). This will be reviewed to determine if the employer qualifies as a governmental employer and is eligible to contract for PERS coverage. An adverse staff decision can be appealed to the PER Board pursuant to ARM 2.43.1501 through 2.43.1503. The employer is also provided a copy of the Local Government Contracting Procedure (with attached statutes), a PERS Employer Summary and a PERS Summary for Employees.

Information and Forms
If the employer qualifies as a governmental agency, the employer will receive a packet of information and forms concerning the application process. The packet contains a summary of PERS coverage and an explanation of the procedure and the forms necessary to apply for PERS coverage.

Agency Resolution of Intention
The legislative body of the agency (school board, board of directors, town council, etc.) must adopt a resolution of intention to approve a PERS coverage contract, which must include provision for an approval ballot by the employees. A sample resolution will be provided.

Ballot (for employee election)
The employee election must be held by secret ballot. A majority of the agency’s employees (which may be more than a majority of those voting) must approve of PERS coverage. A sample ballot will be provided.

Clerk’s Certification
The clerk (or other agent) of the agency legislative body needs to certify the results of the election to the legislative body and to the Public Employees’ Retirement Board. A sample certification form will be provided.

Motion to Adopt Contract
A sample motion will be provided. The legislative body must adopt the contract for PERS coverage by a 2/3 majority within 40 days of the original legislative body resolution and after receiving certification from the clerk that a majority of employees approve the PERS coverage contract.

Two original contracts will be provided. Once adopted by the legislative body, return the completed contracts to MPERA.

Submission for PER Board Approval
The agency must send the following completed documents for the PER Board’s consideration and approval:
• Agency resolution of intention (original)
• Certified copy of signed minutes of meeting at which the agency resolution was adopted
• Clerk’s certification of election results (original)
• Certified copy of signed minutes of meeting at which the contract was adopted
• Two original signed contracts

Board Approval and Notification of Effective Date
MPERA staff will notify you when they approve your contract. The PER Board meets on the second Thursday of every other month. The contract must be effective the first regular pay period that begins one month after PER Board approval or with the pay period specified in the contract. When you are approved, MPERA Staff will contact you with additional information regarding payroll reporting, employee/employer education and implementation.

Online reporting and electronic payment of contributions is required. To initiate proper reporting and contribution payment, you must return:
• MPERA application for online payroll reporting (Portal Access Manager Form)
• Authorization agreement for direct payments (ACH debits)
• Membership roster (all employees must be listed)
• Link to Okta electronic membership forms (and/or, if appropriate, optional membership election forms) for all employees

If your agency contracts with MPERA for retirement coverage, you are automatically eligible to participate in the 457(b) Deferred Compensation plan.

If you do not currently have a contract with MPERA, we can provide a questionnaire to determine your agency's eligibility.

A political subdivision can contract with the Board to allow its employees to participate in the state-administered Deferred Compensation plan (§19-50-201, MCA). There is no cost to an employer to participate in this plan.

The first step is to have your governing body pass a resolution to enter into an agreement with MPERA to provide a deferred compensation option to your employees. MPERA will provide drafts of the resolution and contract language to you. After passing a resolution, you would then enter into a contract, which will be reviewed by the MPERA Board for approval. Information about the contract requirements can be found in §19-50-201, MCA.

We are also happy to talk with the Board regarding the plan. It is an excellent benefit for employees looking for ways to supplement their retirement.

If your organization decides to contract with MPERA to offer the 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan, we will create a draft resolution and adoption agreement and send them to you. Please provide the following information:
• The official name of your agency
• The name and title of your authorized contracting representative
• The name and title of your clerk or other like officer
• Date of upcoming Board or Commission meeting in which the resolution and adoption agreement will be adopted.

Contact MPERA at: 406-444-3154 (Helena) or 1-877-275-7372 (toll free) or Email: