TRS Legislative Updates


The 65th session of the Montana Legislature convened on January 2, 2017 and concluded on April 28, 2017.

TRS currently is preparing more detailed updates for TRS employers, members, and benefit recipients about changes in the law that may affect them. Information will be distributed in the near future by regular mail and/or email, as appropriate.

A brief summary of legislation impacting TRS members, benefit recipients or employers is provided below. To review the text of each bill and any associated fiscal notes, please visit the LAWS website.

Note: HB indicates House Bill, SB indicates Senate Bill, MPERA is the Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration, and PERS is the Public Employees' Retirement System.

Last updated: May 22, 2017.

As reported previously, two bills requested by the TRS board, HB 67 and HB 68, were signed into law by Gov. Bullock. We thank Representative Marilyn Ryan of Missoula for sponsoring these bills.

Image of Rep. Marilyn Ryan with Governor Bullock

Bills Introduced at the Request of the TRS Board

HB 67: Generally Revise Teachers' Retirement System (link to HB 67)
Clarify certain aspects of current law with more concise definitions and language. Of note, this legislation provides a statutory framework for calculating service credit related to extra duty service; clarifies that "in service leave" such as maternity leave or FMLA leave is available to be purchased; eliminates the conversion of fringe benefits to cash as an exception to earned compensation; and bases discontinuation of benefits for disabled retirees that are re-employed by a TRS employer on their actual earnings instead of their FTE status.

  • Primary Sponsor: Marilyn Ryan (D) HD 99
  • Current Status: Passed Legislature and signed into law by Governor Bullock.

HB 68: Revise University System Retirement Plan Participation Requirements (link to HB 68)
Clarify that an individual with previous TRS and PERS service who is hired by the Montana University System or the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education can only elect to remain an active member of TRS or PERS in lieu of participating in the MUS-RP if the position they are hired into is in and of itself a TRS or PERS reportable position.

  • Primary Sponsor: Marilyn Ryan (D) HD 99
  • Current Status: Passed Legislature and signed into law by Governor Bullock.

HB 72: Increase University System Supplemental Contribution to TRS (link to HB 72)
Increase the supplemental contribution necessary to amortize the unfunded liability created when TRS was closed to all new hires of the MUS by 2033 as required by 19-20-721, MCA. The supplemental contribution would need to increase from 4.72% of MUS-RP participant salaries to 10.22%.

  • Primary Sponsor: Ryan Lynch (D) HD 76
  • Current Status: Missed deadline for general bill transmittal.

Introduced Bills That Directly Impact TRS

SB 115: Revise Stipends for National Board Certified Teachers
(link to SB 115)
Provide that stipends paid pursuant to 20-4-134, MCA, for national board certification are not reportable to TRS as earned compensation.

  • Primary Sponsor: Mary Moe (D) SD 12
  • Current Status: Passed Legislature and signed into law by Governor Bullock.

SB 121: Provide that Volunteer Positions are not Reportable to TRS
(link to SB 121)
Allow TRS retirees to provide service in a bona fide volunteer position under limited circumstances as long as the position was not a paid position in the previous 12 months and does not become a paid position for at least 12 months after service in the position begins.

  • Primary Sponsor: Edward Buttrey (R) SD 11
  • Current Status: Passed Legislature and signed into law by Governor Bullock.

Archives: 2015 and 2013 sessions


Three bills affecting TRS were passed by the 64th Montana Legislature. These bills are summarized in this Legislative Update (pdf).



Three bills passed by the 63rd Montana Legislature created significant changes to TRS. In addition, a bill passed during the 2009 session became effective. This Legislative Update summary (pdf) describes the changes.




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