MFPRSI. Municipal Fire & Police Retirement System of Iowa

2024 Legislative Update

The Iowa General Assembly passed legislation modifying Iowa Code Chapter 411. The new law makes multiple changes to the disability program, including a change to the active member contribution rate. House File 2680 (HF 2680) was signed into law by the governor on May 3, 2024, and will become effective July 1, 2024. Some of the major changes are outlined below:

Member Contribution Rate: The member’s contribution rate increases from 9.4% to 9.55%.

Mental Health Evaluations: Mental health evaluations will be added to the entrance exam process. MFPRSI will modify its existing protocols in the coming months to comply with the new requirements.

Member in Good Standing: While applying for a disability benefit, members will remain in good standing until the member has been terminated and exhausted all appeals available under any applicable collective bargaining agreement or applicable law. If a member is ultimately determined not to be in good standing, the member will have an obligation to return benefits paid in error plus interest. 

Right to Apply for Accidental Disability Benefit after Ordinary Disability Retirement: Members retired on ordinary disability will be able to apply for accidental disability up to three years following retirement.

Definite Time and Place: HF 2680 removes the “definite time and place” requirement for accidental disability benefits and accidental death benefits under Iowa Code Chapter 411. So long as the other requirements for eligibility are satisfied, a member will be able to receive accidental disability benefits (and the member’s beneficiary can receive accidental death benefits) if the member can connect the disabling injury or disease to the actual performance of duty, even if not at a particular time or times. Cumulative job-related injuries could give rise to an accidental disability benefit (or accidental death benefit) with these changes. (An exception is for mental injuries, which received a new statutory legal causation standard under HF 2680, described in more detail below).

Mental Injuries: To establish a mental injury is eligible for an accidental disability benefit, the member must be able to trace the injury to a readily identifiable work event. Additionally, the work event must be a manifest happening of a sudden traumatic nature from an unexpected cause or unusual strain in the workplace compared to other firefighters and police officers in Iowa. The “definite time and place” and unusual stress requirements continue to apply to mental injuries. Disabling mental injuries not qualifying for an accidental disability benefit will still be eligible for an ordinary disability benefit.

Medical Expenses: HF 2680 disconnects the employing city’s obligation to cover medical expenses from the type of benefit the member is receiving from MFPRSI. Cities must cover medical expenses for members injured on the job, regardless of the type of benefit the member is receiving from MFPRSI. Cities cannot cover medical expenses with medical insurance that requires members to pay premiums, co-pays, or deductibles. Cities may process claims concerning cancer, heart, and lung or respiratory illnesses through their group health insurance plan as long as the member is not responsible for any cost-sharing. HF 2680 defines “cost-sharing” as any coverage limit, copayment, coinsurance, deductible, or other out-of-pocket cost obligation related to an injury or disease incurred while in the performance of duties. To be eligible for medical expense coverage, the member must notify the city (or the city must have actual knowledge) within 90 days of the occurrence of the injury or disease. A member must take action to have the employing city cover medical expenses before the later of: two years from the date of occurrence of the injury or disease; or, two years from the date the city denies a claim for medical expenses. Cities will not be responsible for a claim for a newly discovered work-related injury if it is filed more than three years from the member’s last date of employment.

Questions related to medical expenses should be directed to the employing City.

Retirement Income Exclusion: HF 2680 clarifies that the retirement income exclusion for tax purposes applies to all surviving spouses of a Chapter 411 member, regardless of the age or disability status of the member or the member’s surviving spouse. This change will apply retroactively to tax years beginning on January 1, 2024, and going forward.

MFPRSI will incorporate all changes into its forms and communications. The new legislation can be reviewed at the Iowa Legislature’s website,