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59-1302.  DEFINITIONS. (1) As used in this chapter, each of the terms defined in this section shall have the meaning given in this section unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context.

(2)  "Active member" means any employee who is not establishing the right to receive benefits through his or her employer’s participation in any other retirement system established for Idaho public employees, if such participation is mandated by applicable Idaho statutes other than this chapter. In no case will an employee be entitled to any benefit under this chapter for public service if such employee is establishing retirement benefit entitlements by other Idaho statutes or federal statutes other than military service or social security for that same service.

(3)  "Accumulated contributions" means the sum of amounts contributed by a member of the system, together with regular interest credit thereon.

(4)  "Actuarial equivalent" means a benefit equal in value to another benefit, when computed upon the basis of the actuarial tables in use by the system.

(5)  "Actuarial tables" means such tables as shall have been adopted by the board in accordance with recommendations of the actuary.

(5A) "Alternate payee" means a spouse or former spouse of a member who is recognized by an approved domestic retirement order as having a right to all or a portion of the accrued benefits in the retirement system with respect to such member.

(5B) "Approved domestic retirement order" means a domestic retirement order which creates or recognizes the existence of an alternate payee’s right or assigns to an alternate payee the right to all or a portion of the accrued benefits of a member under the retirement system, which directs the system to establish a segregated account or disburse benefits to an alternate payee, and which the executive director of the retirement system has determined meets the requirements of sections 59-1319 and 59-1320, Idaho Code.

(5C) "Average monthly salary" means the member’s average salary during the base period as calculated pursuant to rules adopted by the retirement board.

(5D) (a) "Base period" means the period of fifty-four (54) consecutive calendar months during which the member earned:

(i)   The highest average salary; and

(ii)  Membership service of at least one-half (1/2) the number of months in the period, excluding months of service attributable to:

A.  Military service;

B.  Service qualifying as minimum benefit pursuant to section 59-1342(5), Idaho Code; and

C.  Worker’s compensation income benefits.

(b)  Effective October 1, 1993, the consecutive calendar months shall be forty-eight (48). Effective October 1, 1994, the consecutive calendar months shall be forty-two (42).

(c)  Entitlement to a base period shall not vest until the effective date of that base period. The retirement benefits shall be calculated on the amounts, terms and conditions in effect at the date of the final contribution by the member.

(d)  If no base period exists for a member, the member’s average monthly salary shall be determined by the board, using standards not inconsistent with those established in this subsection.

(e)  To assure equitable treatment for all members, salary increments inconsistent with usual compensation patterns may be disallowed by the board in determining average monthly salary and base period.

(6)  "Beneficiary" means the person who is nominated by the written designation of a member, duly executed and filed with the board, to receive the death benefit.

(7)  "Calendar year" means twelve (12) calendar months commencing on the first day of January.

(7A) "Contingent annuitant" means the person designated by a member under certain retirement options to receive benefit payments upon the death of the member. The person so designated must be born and living on the effective date of retirement.

(8)  "Credited service" means the aggregate of membership service, prior service and disabled service.

(9)  "Date of establishment" means July 1, 1965, or a later date established by the board or statute.

(10) "Death benefit" means the amount, if any, payable upon the death of a member.

(11) "Disability retirement allowance" means the periodic payment becoming payable upon an active member’s ceasing to be an employee while eligible for disability retirement.

(12) "Disabled" means:

(a)  That the member is prevented from engaging in any occupation or employment for remuneration or profit as a result of bodily injury or disease, either occupational or nonoccupational in cause, but excluding disabilities resulting from service in the armed forces of any country other than the United States, or from an intentionally self-inflicted injury; and

(b)  That the member will likely remain so disabled permanently and continuously during the remainder of the member’s life.

It is not necessary that a person be absolutely helpless or entirely unable to do anything worthy of compensation to be considered disabled. If the person is so disabled that substantially all the avenues of employment are reasonably closed to the person, that condition is within the meaning of "disabled." In evaluating whether a person is disabled, medical factors and nonmedical factors including, but not limited to, education, economic and social environment, training and usable skills may be considered.

Refusal to submit to a medical examination ordered by the board before the commencement of a disability retirement allowance or at any reasonable time thereafter shall constitute proof that the member is not disabled. The board shall be empowered to select for such medical examination one (1) or more physicians or surgeons who are licensed to practice medicine and perform surgery. The fees and expenses of such examination shall be paid from the administration account of the fund. No member shall be required to undergo such examination more often than once each year after he has received a disability retirement allowance continuously for two (2) years.

(12A) "Disabled service" means the total number of months elapsing from the first day of the month next succeeding the final contribution of a member prior to receiving a disability retirement allowance to the first day of the month following the date of termination of such disability retirement allowance. During such period, the member shall