Fire State Aid in "Combination" Communities

Fire departments in some communities consist of both volunteer firefighters and paid full-time firefighters. These fire departments are frequently referred to as “combination” departments. Questions regarding the division of fire state aid sometimes arise in these communities.

If a volunteer fire relief association exists to provide service pensions to the volunteer firefighters of a combination department, all fire state aid received by the affiliated municipality must be transferred to the relief association. If the volunteer firefighters are covered by the statewide volunteer firefighter retirement plan, all fire state aid is transferred to the Public Employees Retirement Association for deposit in the entity’s account.

Fire state aid may only be used for other purposes in instances where the municipality or independent nonprofit firefighting corporation is not covered by the voluntary statewide retirement plan, where there is no relief association organized, or where the association has dissolved or has been removed as trustees of state aid. Under these circumstances, the treasurer of the municipality must deposit the fire state aid in the municipal treasury and the money may be disbursed only for the purposes authorized under Minn. Stat. § 424A.08 or for the payment of the employer contribution requirement with respect to firefighters covered by the Public Employees Police and Fire Retirement Plan.

Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 09/28/2018