Fraud and Abuse - Exemptions

Each participating employer must prepare a list designating positions eligible for exemption under Utah Code Ann. 49-13-203 and 49-12-203. In accordance with the statute, a municipality, county, or political subdivision may not exempt more than 50 positions or a number equal to 10% of the employees of the municipality, county, or political subdivision (whichever is less).

If you are aware of an employee who does not qualify for exemption from Utah Retirement Systems and is currently exempt, please notify our office immediately. The following employees may exempt from membership in the retirement system by filing a URS exemption form with our office before the date of exemption.

State of Utah

Elected and appointed positions in accordance with Utah Code Ann. 67-22-2 who file a formal request to be excluded from coverage. A Request for Exemption (Form MERQ-5) must be completed and filed with our office;

Executive department heads of the state or legislative directors, senior executives employed by the governor's office, members of the State Tax Commission, members of the Public Service Commission, and members of full-time or part-time boards or commissions who file a formal request to be excluded from coverage. A Request for Exemption (Form MERQ-3) must be completed and filed with our office;

An at-will employee appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, the House of Representatives minority leader, the president of the Senate, or the Senate minority leader, or an employee of the Governor's Office of Economic Development who has been hired directly from a position not covered by a system who files a formal request to be excluded from coverage.

Elected Officials

Elected officials who are qualified for retirement coverage may file a formal request to be excluded from coverage. A Request for Exemption (Form MERQ-3) must be completed and filed with our office.

Appointed and Administrative Officials

Persons appointed as city managers or chief city administrators or other persons employed by a city, town, county, or other political subdivision who are not entitled to merit or civil service protection and who otherwise meet the membership qualifications for retirement coverage may be excluded from coverage according to the following limitations:

They must be employed in a position designated as exempt under an employee exemption plan developed by a city, town, county, or political subdivision.

The maximum number of appointed or administrative positions a city, town, county, or political subdivision may exempt is 50 positions or a number equal to 10% of the employees, whichever is less. However, every city, town, county, or political subdivision is entitled to a minimum exemption of one eligible employee.

A Request for Exemption (Form MERQ-3) must be completed and filed with our office for each position. The positions selected as exempt must be listed on the Employee Exemption Plan.

Note: Public Safety, Firefighters', and Elected Officials' exemptions are not part of the Employee Exemption Plan. They require a specific exemption form. For more information, refer to the Public Safety, Firefighters', and Elected Officials' Exemptions within this section.

Appointed or administrative officials choosing to exempt must remain in an exempt status for at least one year and may change their status only at the time their employers file their annual exemption plans.

Employees of an Interlocal Cooperative Agency

Employees of an interlocal cooperative agency created under Title 11, Chapter 13, Interlocal Cooperation Act, who are engaged in a specialized trade customarily provided through membership in a labor organization that provides retirement benefits to its members, may be excluded from coverage by filing a Request for Exemption (Form MERQ-3) with our office.

Student Exemptions

Full-time students or spouses of full-time students and persons employed in a trainee relationship may be excluded from coverage by filing a Request for Exemption (Form MERQ-3) with our office. Student exemptions are not part of an employee exemption plan.

Public Safety Noncontributory and Contributory Retirement Systems

The following employees may exempt from retirement coverage by filing a URS exemption form with our office before the date of exemption:

  • The commissioner of public safety
  • The executive director of the Department of Corrections
  • The elected sheriff or the appointed chief of police of a public safety organization

Firefighters Retirement Systems

The chief of any fire department may exempt from coverage. A Request for Exemption (form MERQ-1) must be filed with our office.


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