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24.16.6901    REQUIREMENTS OF A "BONA FIDE THRIFT OR SAVINGS PLAN"

(1) Scope and effect of part.

(a) The regulations in this part set forth the requirements of a "bona fide thrift or savings plan". In determining the total remuneration for employment which requires to be included in the regular rate at which an employee is employed, it is not necessary to include any sums paid to or on behalf of such employee, in recognition of services performed by him during a given period which are paid pursuant to a bona fide thrift or savings plan meeting the requirements set forth herein.

(b) Where a thrift or savings plan is combined in a single program (whether in one or more documents) with a plan or trust for providing profit-sharing payments to employees, or with a plan or trust for providing old age, retirement, life, accident or health insurance or similar benefits for employees, contributions made by the employer pursuant to such thrift or savings plan may be excluded from the regular rate if the plan meets the requirements of the regulations in this part and the contributions made for the other purposes may be excluded from the regular rate if they meet the tests set forth in regulations in subsections (6) and (7) of ARM 24.16.2517.

(2) Essential requirements of qualification.

(a) A "bona fide thrift or savings plan" is required to meet all the standards set forth in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section and must not contain the disqualifying provisions set forth in subsection (4) .

(b) The thrift or savings plan constitutes a definite program or arrangement in writing, adopted by the employer or by contract as a result of collective bargaining and communicated or made available to the employees, which is established and maintained, in good faith, for the purpose of encouraging voluntary thrift or savings by employees by providing an incentive to employees to accumulate regularly and retain cash savings for a reasonable period of time or to save through the regular purchase of public or private securities.

(c) The plan specifically shall set forth the category or categories of employees participating and the basis of their eligibility. Eligibility may not be based on such factors as hours of work, production, or efficiency of the employees; Provided, however, That hours of work may be used to determine eligibility of part-time or casual employees.

(d) The amount any employee may save under the plan shall be specified in the plan or determined in accordance with a definite formula specified in the plan, which formula may be based on one or more factors such as the straight-time

earnings or total earnings, base rate of pay, or length of service of the employee.

(3) The employer's total contribution in any year may not exceed 15 percent of the participating employees' total earnings during that year. In addition the employer's total contribution in any year may not exceed the total amount saved or invested by the participating employees during that year: Provided, however, that a plan permitting a greater contribution may be submitted to the Administrator and approved by him as a "bona fide thrift or savings plan"; if

(a) The plan meets all the other standards of this section;

(b) The plan contains none of the disqualifying factors enumerated in subsection (4) of this section;

(c) The employer's contribution is based to a substantial degree upon retention of savings; and

(d) The amount of the employer's contribution bears a reasonable relationship to the amount of savings retained and the period of retention.

(e) The employer's contributions shall be apportioned among the individual employees in accordance with a definite formula or method of calculation specified in the plan, which formula or method of calculation is based on the amount saved or the length of time the individual employee retains his savings or investment in the plan: Provided, that no employee's share in accordance with the plan may be diminished because of any other remuneration received by him.

(4) Disqualifying provisions.

(a) No employee's participation in the plan shall be on other than a voluntary basis.

(b) No employee's wages or salary shall be dependent upon or influenced by the existence of such thrift or savings plan or the employer's contributions thereto.

(c) The amounts any employee may save under the plan, or the amounts paid by the employer under the plan may not be based upon the employee's hours or work, production or efficiency.

History: Sec. 39-3-403, MCA; IMP, Sec. 39-3-402, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72.

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