Questions sometimes arise regarding municipal ratification of relief association benefit levels. A relief association initiates a change in benefit levels by amending its bylaws. A city council or town board can choose to approve a relief association benefit change or choose not to approve the change. After the bylaws are ratified by the governing body, however, the benefit levels are guaranteed by the municipality.
In approving benefit levels, the city council or town board assumes responsibility for ensuring the relief association Special Fund has sufficient assets to cover approved benefit levels.
The Office of the State Auditor knows of no authority for a city council to ratify a relief association benefit level while simultaneously limiting any future contributions to the relief association to amounts less than those required by Minnesota law. Minnesota law is clear that a municipality is required to make any contributions that become due to the relief association at an approved benefit level.
For more information regarding municipal contribution requirements, see the Statement of Position on this topic at:
Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 07/19/2013