(1) Any member who is eligible for reemployment on or after December 12, 1994, pursuant to 38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq., as adopted under section 55-161, or who is eligible for reemployment under section 55-160 may pay to the retirement system after the date of his or her return from active military service, and within the period required by law, not to exceed five years, an amount equal to the sum of all deductions which would have been made from the salary which he or she would have received during the period of military service for which creditable service is desired. If such payment is made, the member shall be entitled to credit for membership service in determining his or her annuity for the period for which contributions have been made and the board of education shall be responsible for any funding necessary to provide for the benefit which is attributable to this increase in the member's creditable service. The member's payments shall be paid as the board of trustees may direct, through direct payments to the retirement system or on an installment basis pursuant to a binding irrevocable payroll deduction authorization between the member and the school district. Creditable service may be purchased only in one-tenth-year increments, starting with the most recent years' salary.
(2) Under such rules and regulations as the board of trustees may prescribe, any member who was away from his or her position while on a leave of absence from such position authorized by the board of education of the school district by which he or she was employed at the time of such leave of absence or pursuant to any contractual agreement entered into by such school district may receive credit for any or all time he or she was on leave of absence. Such time shall be included in creditable service when determining eligibility for death, disability, termination, and retirement benefits. The member who receives the credit shall earn benefits during the leave based on salary at the level received immediately prior to the leave of absence. Such credit shall be received if such member pays into the retirement system (a) an amount equal to the sum of the deductions from his or her salary for the portion of the leave for which creditable service is desired, (b) any contribution which the school district would have been required to make for the portion of the leave for which creditable service is desired had he or she continued to receive salary at the level received immediately prior to the leave of absence, and (c) interest on these combined payments from the date such deductions would have been made to the date of repayment determined by using the rate of interest for interest on such purchases of service credit. Such amounts shall be paid as the board of trustees may direct, through direct payments to the retirement system or on an installment basis pursuant to a binding irrevocable payroll deduction authorization between the member and the school district over a period not to exceed five years from the date of the termination of his or her leave of absence. Interest on any delayed payment shall be at the rate of interest for determining interest on delayed payments by members to the retirement system. Creditable service may be purchased only in one-tenth-year increments, starting with the most recent years' salary, and if payments are made on an installment basis, creditable service will be credited only as payment has been made to the retirement system to purchase each additional one-tenth-year increment. Leave of absence shall be construed to include, but not be limited to, sabbaticals, maternity leave, exchange teaching programs, full-time leave as an elected official of a professional association or collective-bargaining unit, or leave of absence to pursue further education or study. A leave of absence granted pursuant to this section shall not exceed four years in length, and in order to receive credit for the leave of absence, the member must have returned to employment with the school district within one year after termination of the leave of absence.
(3) Until one year after May 2, 2001, any member currently employed by the school district who resigned from full-time employment with the school district for maternity purposes prior to September 1, 1979, and was reemployed as a full-time employee by the school district before the end of the school year following the school year of such member's resignation may have such absence treated as though the absence was a leave of absence described in subsection (2) of this section. The period of such absence for maternity purposes shall be included in creditable service when determining the member's eligibility for death, disability, termination, and retirement benefits if the member submits satisfactory proof to the board of education that the prior resignation was for maternity purposes and the member complies with the payment provisions of subsection (2) of this section before the one-year anniversary of May 2, 2001.