1(1) A member may purchase creditable service for up to 2 work years of authorized leaves of absence, including any leaves of absence covered under the Family Medical Leave Act, if:
(a) The member has completed the years of creditable service required for vesting, excluding periods for which a leave of absence was authorized;
(b) The leave of absence is authorized in writing by the employer of the member and approved by the administrator;
(c) The member returns to active employment performing service with a Florida Retirement System employer in a regularly established position immediately upon termination of the leave of absence and remains on the employer’s payroll for 1 calendar month, except that a member who retires on disability while on a medical leave of absence may not be required to return to employment. A member whose work year is less than 12 months and whose leave of absence terminates between school years is eligible to receive credit for the leave of absence if he or she returns to the employment at the beginning of the next school year and remains on the employer’s payroll for 1 calendar month; and
(d) The member makes the required contributions for service credit during the leave of absence, which shall be 8 percent until January 1, 1975, and 9 percent thereafter of his or her rate of monthly compensation in effect immediately before the commencement of such leave for each month of such period, plus 4 percent interest until July 1, 1975, and 6.5 percent interest thereafter on such contributions, compounded annually each June 30 from the due date of the contribution to date of payment. 1. Effective July 1, 1980, any leave of absence purchased pursuant to this section is at the contribution rates specified in s. 121.071 or s. 121.71 in effect at the time the leave is granted for the class of membership from which the leave of absence was granted; however, any member who purchased leave-of-absence credit before July 1, 1980, for a leave of absence from a position in a class other than the regular membership class, may pay the appropriate additional contributions plus compound interest thereon and receive creditable service for such leave of absence in the membership class from which the member was granted the leave of absence. 2. Effective July 1, 2011, any leave of absence purchased by the member pursuant to this section shall be at the employer and employee contribution rates specified in s. 121.71 in effect during the leave for the class of membership from which the leave of absence was granted. (2) A member who is required to resign his or her office as a subordinate officer, deputy sheriff, or police officer because he or she is a candidate for a public office which is currently held by his or her superior officer who is also a candidate for reelection to the same office, in accordance with s. 99.012(4), shall, upon return to covered employment, be eligible to purchase retirement credit for the period between his or her date of resignation and the beginning of the term of office for which he or she was a candidate as a leave of absence without pay, as provided in subsection (1). 1Note.—Section 41, ch. 2011-68, provides that:
“(1) Effective upon this act becoming a law, the State Board of Administration and the Department of Management Services shall request, as soon as practicable, a determination letter and private letter ruling from the United States Internal Revenue Service. If the United States Internal Revenue Service refuses to act upon a request for a private letter ruling, then a legal opinion from a qualified tax attorney or firm may be substituted for such private letter ruling.
“(2) If the board or the department receives notification from the United States Internal Revenue Service that this act or any portion of this act will cause the Florida Retirement System, or a portion thereof, to be disqualified for tax purposes under the Internal Revenue Code, then the portion that will cause the disqualification does not apply. Upon receipt of such notice, the state board and the department shall notify the presiding officers of the Legislature.”