Texas Laws - Vernons Civil Statutes
TITLE 109. PENSIONS
PART 8. TREATMENT UNDER FEDERAL AND STATE LAW

Art. 6243e-2. FIREMEN'S PENSIONS IN CITIES OF 350,000 TO 400,000. Any city having a population of three hundred fifty thousand (350,000) or more, but less than four hundred thousand (400,000) according to the last preceding Federal Census and having a full time regularly organized fire department and having an established municipal employees retirement plan shall be authorized to provide for the retirement of its firemen by appropriate ordinance under the terms and provisions of such employees retirement plan if the benefits provided by such employees retirement plan are substantially as advantageous as the benefits provided by Chapter 125, Acts of the 45th Legislature, as amended (Article 6243e, Vernon's Civil Statutes of the State of Texas). (6724)(1-click HTML)

(6725)

Upon adoption of an appropriate ordinance, all of the assets of the Firemen's Relief and Retirement Fund shall be transferred to the Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund and thereafter those persons serving as active firemen duly enrolled or contributing to the fund shall be subject to all provisions of such Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund and the Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund of such city shall assume all liabilities and obligations of the Firemen's Relief and Retirement Fund at the date of transfer. Thereafter such Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund as combined shall not be subject to the provisions of Chapter 125, Acts of the 45th Legislature, as amended (Article 6243e, Vernon's Civil Statutes of the State of Texas). (6726)

Provided, however, nothing contained in this Act shall be held or construed to affect or impair any act done or right vested or accrued under Article 6243e, V.A.C.S., pending in any proceeding, suit, or prosecution had or commenced in any cause thereunder, be it before the courts, the Firemen's Pension Commissioner, or the Board of Firemen's Relief and Retirement Fund Trustees; but every act done, or right vested or accrued, or proceeding, suit or prosecution had or commenced shall remain in full force and effect to all intents as if Article 6243e, V.A.C.S., were applicable thereto and any and all liabilities existing under this proviso, be they vested, accrued or contingent, shall be the obligations of the Municipal Employees' Retirement Fund. (6727)

Acts 1963, 58th Leg., p. 54, ch. 36, eff. April 1, 1963. (6728)

Section 1. The Board of Trustees of any firemen's pension fund in any incorporated city or town in this State may, upon fulfilling requirements hereinafter stated, establish benefit eligibility for a fulltime employee who has been employed for as long as six (6) years, and thereafter becomes disabled or dies from heart or lung disease, based on a presumption that such death or disease was a consequence of his duties as a fireman, if the fireman shall have successfully passed a physical examination prior to the claimed disability or death, or upon entering upon his employment as a fireman, and the examination failed to reveal any evidence of the condition or disease of the lungs, hypertension or heart disease. (6729)

Sec. 2. Before any such Board shall adopt as part of its plan for retirement benefits the presumption, together with qualifications, set forth in Section 1 hereof, it shall take the following preliminary step(s): (6730)

(a) Obtain an actuarial study showing how the proposed change in benefit eligibility standards will affect the financial condition of the fund. (6731)

(b) In the event that such actuarial study shows that inclusion of the proposed change in benefit eligibility standards will not make the fund financially unsound, then said Board shall, within thirty days after receipt of such actuarial study, hold an election in which the active participants contributing to the fund shall vote on the question of whether such benefit eligibility standard should be instituted, said Board being bound by the results of such election. (6732)

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 2392, ch. 747, eff. Aug. 30, 1971. (6733)

Sec. 1. No member of a fire department in any city or town in this state having a population of not less than 700,000 nor more than 750,000 shall be involuntarily retired prior to reaching the mandatory retirement age set for such cities' employees unless he is physically unable to perform his duties. In the event he is physically unable to perform his duties, he shall be allowed to use all of his accumulated sick leave, before retirement. (6734)

Sec. 2. As used in this Act, "the last preceding federal census" means the 1970 census or any future decennial federal census. This is despite any legislation that has been or may be enacted during any session of the 62nd Legislature delaying the effectiveness of the 1970 census for general State and local governmental purposes. (6735)

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 863, ch. 103, eff. April 30, 1971. Amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 593, ch. 237, Sec. 125, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 597, Sec. 49, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 167, eff. Sept. 1, 2001. (6736)

Amended by: (6737)

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163, Sec. 193, eff. September 1, 2011. (6738)

Purpose (6739)

Sec. 1. The purpose of this article is to restate and amend the provisions of former law creating and governing a police officers pension system in each city in this state having a population of 1.5 million or more, according to the most recent federal decennial census, and to reflect changes agreed to by the city and the board of trustees of the pension system under Section 27 of this article. The pension system shall continue to operate regardless of whether the city's population falls below 1.5 million. (6740)

Definitions (6741)

Sec. 2. In this article: (6742)

(1) "Active member" means a person employed as a classified police officer by the police department of a city subject to this article, except for a person who is a part-time, seasonal, or temporary employee or a person who elected to remain a member of a pension system described by Chapter 88, Acts of the 77th Legislature, Regular Session, 2001 (Article 6243h, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes). The term does not include a person who is a member of another pension system of the same city, except to the extent provided by Section 15(j) or 18 of this article. (6743)

(2) "Average total direct pay" means an amount determined by dividing the following sum by 12: (6744)

(A) the highest biweekly pay received by a member for any single pay period in the last 26 pay periods in which the member worked full-time, considering only items of total direct pay that are included in each paycheck, multiplied by 26; plus (6745)

(B) the total direct pay, excluding all items of the type included in Paragraph (A) received during the same last 26 biweekly pay periods. (6746)

(3) "Base salary" means the monthly base pay provided for the classified position in the police department held by the member. (6747)

(4) "Board" means the board of trustees of the pension system. (6748)

(4-a) "Catastrophic injury" means a sudden, violent, life-threatening, duty-related injury sustained by an active member that is due to an externally caused motor vehicle accident, gunshot wound, aggravated assault, or other external event or events and results, as supported by evidence, in one of the following conditions: (6749)

(A) loss of sight in one or both eyes; (6750)

(B) loss of one or both feet at or above the ankle; (6751)

(C) loss of one or both hands at or above the wrist; (6752)

(D) injury to the spine that results in permanent and complete paralysis of both arms, both legs, or one arm and one leg; or (6753)

(E) an externally caused physical traumatic injury to the brain rendering the member physically or mentally unable to perform the member's duties as a police officer. (6754)

(5) "Code" means the federal Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any successor, as amended. (6755)

(6) "Dependent" means a dependent child or a dependent parent. (6756)

(7) "Dependent child" means a deceased member's unmarried natural or adopted child who: (6757)

(A) has not attained age 18; (6758)

(B) has attained age 18 but not age 24 and is attending school on a full-time basis; or (6759)

(C) has attained age 18 and is permanently disabled as the result of a disability that began before the child attained age 18. (6760)

(8) "Dependent parent" means a natural parent of a deceased member or an adoptive parent who adopted the member before the member attained age 18 and at least 50 percent of whose support was received from the member during the one-year period preceding the date of death of the member. (6761)

(9) "DROP" means the deferred retirement option plan described by Section 14 of this article. (6762)

(10) "Employee" means an individual who holds a classified position in the police department of a city subject to this article. (6763)

(11) "Former member" means a person who was once an active member, vested or not, but who terminated active member status and received a refund of member contributions. (6764)

(12) "Fund" means the fund originally established by Chapter 76, Acts of the 50th Legislature, Regular Session, 1947 (Article 6243g-1, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes). (6765)

(13) "Inactive member" means a person who has separated from service and has a vested right to a service pension from the pension system but is not eligible for an immediate service pension. The term does not include a former member. (6766)

(14) "Member" means an active member, inactive member, or retired member, as the context may require. The term does not include a former member. (6767)

(14-a) "Normal retirement age" means the earlier of: (6768)

(A) the age at which the member attains 20 years of service; or (6769)

(B) the age at which the member first attains both the age of at least 60 and at least 10 years of service. (6770)

(15) "Normal retirement date" means the date at which a member is eligible for an immediate service pension under Section 12 of this article. (6771)

(16) "Pension" means a monthly payment for life from the fund to a retired member. (6772)

(17) "Pension system" or "system" means the retirement and disability plan for employees of any police department subject to this article. (6773)

(17-a) "Retired member" means a member who has separated from service and who is eligible to receive an immediate service or disability pension under this article. (6774)

(18) "School" means any public or private school through the 12th grade or any trade school, junior college, college, or university beyond the 12th grade that is accredited by a generally recognized accrediting authority. (6775)

(19) "Retired member" means a member who has separated from service and who is eligible to receive an immediate service or disability pension under this article. (6776)

(20) "Separation from service" means cessation of work for the police department of a city subject to this article, whether caused by death, discharge, resignation, or transfer to an unclassified position. (6777)

(21) "Service" means the period of time a person is employed in the police department of a city subject to this article, except for any period of DROP participation, and includes any period that the person is receiving a disability pension under Section 15 of this article or is on a military leave of absence described by Section 23 of this article, but only if the person returns to active service after the period of disability or military leave. The term does not include periods in which a person is suspended from duty without pay, on leave of absence without pay, or separated from service. (6778)

(22) "Surviving spouse" means a person who was married to an active, inactive, or retired member at the time of the member's death and, in the case of an inactive or retired member, before the member's separation from service or for a period of at least five years before the retired or inactive member's death. (6779)

(22-a) "Survivor" means a surviving spouse, a dependent child, or a dependent parent. (6780)

(23) "Total direct pay" means wages as defined by Section 3401(a) of the code, plus any amounts that are not included in gross income by reason of workers' compensation claims under Section 104(a)(1), 125, 402(g)(2), or 457 of the code, member contributions picked up pursuant to Section 414(h)(2) of the code, and any portion of a motorcycle allowance that is not considered wages, less any pay received for overtime work. The term does not include nontaxable payments not expressly described by this subdivision. However, the compensation included in applying the limits under Sections 26(c) and (d) of this article shall include overtime pay and exclude any amount that is excluded from gross income under Section 104(a)(1) of the code and the portion of any motorcycle allowance that is excluded from gross income by any other provision of the code not mentioned in this subdivision. (6781)

Pension board (6782)

Sec. 3. (a) The board of trustees of the pension system that was created under Chapter 76, Acts of the 50th Legislature, Regular Session, 1947 (Article 6243g-1, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), and that operates under Section 67, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, continues to be responsible for the general administration, management, and operation of the pension system, including the direction of investment and oversight of the fund's assets. (6783)

(b) The board is composed of seven members as follows: (6784)

(1) the administrative head of the city or the administrative head's authorized representative; (6785)

(2) three employees of the police department having membership in the pension system, elected by the active, inactive, and retired members of the pension system; (6786)

(3) two retired members who are receiving pensions from the system and are not officers or employees of the city, elected by the active, inactive, and retired members of the pension system; and (6787)

(4) the treasurer of the city or the person discharging the duties of the city treasurer. (6788)

(c) The terms of office of the board members elected as described by Subsection (b)(2) of this section shall be three years, beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31, with one board member being elected every year at an election called by the board and held in December. If a vacancy occurs among the three elected active board members, the board shall hold an election within 60 days after the date the vacancy occurred. At that election, an active member shall be elected to serve for the remainder of the term of the vacant position or for a full term if the term of the board member that caused the vacancy would have ended in that year. (6789)

(d) The terms of office of the board members elected as described by Subsection (b)(3) of this section shall be three years, beginning on January 1 and ending on December 31. Beginning in 1999, and each third succeeding year, one board member shall be elected at an election called by the board and held in December. Beginning in 2000, and each third succeeding year, a second board member shall be elected at an election called by the board and held in December. If a vacancy occurs among the two elected retired members of the board, the board shall hold an election within 60 days after the date the vacancy occurred. At that election, a retired member shall be elected to serve for the remainder of the term of the vacant position or for a full term if the term of the board member that caused the vacancy would have ended in that year. A board member who is a retired member and who was appointed to the board before January 1999 shall serve the remainder of the board member's term. On expiration of the appointed term, the appointed board member is eligible to run for the board position described by Subsection (b)(3) of this section in the same manner as any other retired member. (6790)

(e) A board member vacates the member's seat on the board if the member is removed under Section 7 of this article or ceases to meet the qualifications for the seat. (6791)

(f) An individual who is an officer or employee of any employee organization or retiree organization or an employee of the pension system is prohibited from being elected to the board, appointed to the board, or in any other way serving as a member of the board. (6792)

(g) Each board member shall, within 30 days after taking office, take an oath of office: (6793)

(1) to diligently and honestly administer the affairs of the pension system by: (6794)

(A) being loyal exclusively to all members; (6795)

(B) being prudent in protecting and managing the trust's property; (6796)

(C) defending the trust's assets; and (6797)

(D) acting under the terms of the plan; and (6798)

(2) to not knowingly violate, or willingly permit to be violated, this article. (6799)

(h) Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, if a candidate for an elected trustee position is unopposed in an election, the election may not be held for that position. The board shall certify the candidate as elected to the board on the executive director's certification that the candidate is eligible to be a trustee under this section and is unopposed for election. The certified candidate shall take the oath of office as soon as practicable in January, after being declared elected in December. (6800)

Board member leave and compensation (6801)

Sec. 4. (a) Elected members of the board who are employees of the city's police department are entitled to leave from their employer to attend to the official business of the pension system and are not required to report to the city or any other governmental entity regarding travel or the official business of the pension system, except when on city business. (6802)

(b) If the city employing an elected board member would withhold any portion of the salary of the member who is attending to official business of the pension system, the pension system may elect to adequately compensate the city for the loss of service of the member. If the board, by an affirmative vote of at least four board members, makes this election, the amounts shall be remitted from the fund to the city, and the city shall pay the board member's salary as if no loss of service had occurred. (6803)

(c) The board, by an affirmative vote of at least four board members, may elect to reimburse board members who are not employees of the city for their time while attending to official business of the pension system. The amount of any reimbursement may not exceed $350 a month for each affected board member. (6804)

Officers; meetings; employees (6805)

Sec. 5. (a) The board annually shall elect from its active and retired membership a chairman. The board also annually shall elect from its membership a vice chairman and a secretary. (6806)

(b) The board may hire one or more employees whose positions and salaries shall be set by the board and who, acting under the direction of the board, shall keep all of the records of and perform all of the clerical services for the pension system. (6807)

(b-1) The board may hire an executive director. The executive director, acting under the direction of the board, shall handle the operations of the plan and shall perform other duties as the board may assign. The executive director shall also serve as the plan administrator for purposes of complying with Subchapter A, Chapter 804, Government Code. (6808)

(c) The board may employ professional investment managers and advisors to manage, or advise the board regarding the management and investment of, the fund. These professional services may include investment counseling, evaluation of fund performance, investment research, and other comparable services. (6809)

(d) The board may employ one or more actuaries, legal counsel, accountants, or other professionals and pay the compensation for these services from the fund. (6810)

(e) The board shall hold regular monthly meetings at the time and place it designates by resolution. The chairman, secretary, or any four board members may call a special meeting of the board. (6811)

(f) Each board member is entitled to one vote. (6812)

(g) Notice shall be given to all board members, unless waived in writing, of any proposed meeting, by any method reasonably calculated to provide adequate notice of the meeting. The notice may be delivered by mail, in-hand personal delivery, or facsimile or other electronically transmitted notice with recordation of receipt by the receiving board member. If all board members attend a meeting, however, failure to give notice as required by this subsection is excused. (6813)

(h) The board shall keep accurate minutes of its meetings and records of its proceedings. (6814)

General powers and duties (6815)

Sec. 6. (a) The board shall retain control over all money collected or to be collected for the pension system, shall keep separate from all other funds all money for the use and benefit of the system, and shall keep a record of all claims, receipts, and disbursements in one or more books maintained for that purpose. (6816)

(b) The board shall establish the policies and procedures for disbursements from the fund that it considers appropriate. (6817)

(c) The board may reimburse a board member or an officer or employee of the board for liability imposed as damages because of an alleged act, error, or omission committed in the individual's capacity as a fiduciary or co-fiduciary of assets of the fund or as an officer or employee of the board and for costs and expenses incurred by a fiduciary or co-fiduciary officer or employee in defense of a claim of an alleged act, error, or omission, or may purchase from an insurer licensed to do business in this state one or more policies of insurance that provide for the reimbursement. However, no reimbursement may be provided and no policy of insurance may be purchased under this subsection that would provide for reimbursement of a board member or an officer or employee of the board for liability imposed or expenses incurred because of the individual's personal dishonesty, fraudulent breach of trust, lack of good faith, intentional fraud or deception, or intentional failure to act prudently. The cost of reimbursement or insurance coverage purchased under this subsection shall be paid from money in the fund. (6818)

(d) The board shall administer the pension system consistent with the applicable provisions of the code. (6819)

(e) The board is vested with the power to adopt for the administration of the pension system written rules and guidelines consistent with this article, including rules or guidelines to ensure that the pension system and the fund meet the qualification requirements of the code and regulations and rulings issued under the code and that are applicable to governmental plans. (6820)

(e-1) The board may sue on behalf of the pension system in any court with proper subject matter jurisdiction regardless of location. The board has sole authority to litigate matters on behalf of the pension system. (6821)

(f) The board has full discretion and authority to administer the pension system, to construe and interpret this article, and to do all other acts necessary to carry out the purpose of this article in a manner and to the extent that the board considers expedient to administer this article for the greatest benefit of all members. All decisions of the board are final and binding on all affected parties. (6822)

(g) The board, if reasonably necessary in the course of performing a board function, may subpoena a witness or the production of a book, record, or other document. The presiding officer of the board may issue, in the name of the board, a subpoena only if a majority of the board approves. The presiding officer of the board, or the presiding officer's designee, shall administer an oath to each witness. A peace officer shall serve a subpoena issued by the board. If the person to whom a subpoena is directed fails to comply, the board may bring suit to enforce the subpoena in a district court of the county in which the person resides or in the county in which the book, record, or other document is located. If the district court finds that good cause exists for issuance of the subpoena, the court shall order compliance. The district court may modify the requirements of a subpoena that the court finds are unreasonable. Failure to obey the order of the district court is punishable as contempt. (6823)

(h) The board is not subject to Title 6, Property Code. (6824)

Removal of board member (6825)

Sec. 7. (a) An elected board member may be removed from the board either by a vote of the membership of the pension system at a removal election initiated and held as provided by this section or by a vote of five board members together with a decision to remove the board member made by a hearing examiner as provided by this section. (6826)

(b) An appointed member of the board may be removed from the board by the administrative head of the city. (6827)

(c) To initiate an election for removal of an elected board member, a petition for removal signed by at least one-third of the members and retired members of the pension system must be filed with the board not later than the 45th day after the date the first signature on the petition is obtained. Each signature must be legible and accompanied by the signer's printed name and employee payroll number, if any. A member's payroll number may not be publicly disclosed. A removal election must be held not later than the 30th day after the date the board certifies that a petition for removal satisfies the requirements for a petition under this subsection. The results of a removal election are binding only if a majority of the active and retired members participate in the election. A board member's service on the board ends on the declaration by the board that a majority of those voting in the removal election voted in favor of removal. (6828)

(d) On the date the board makes a declaration under Subsection (c) of this section, the board shall call a special election to be held not earlier than the 20th or later than the 60th day after that date to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term of the person who was removed. The person who was removed is not eligible to run in the special election but is eligible to run in all subsequent board elections. (6829)

(e) Except as otherwise provided by Subsections (a) and (b) of this section, a board member may be removed only as provided by this subsection and Subsections (f) and (g) of this section. After an affirmative vote of the board to remove a board member under Subsection (a) of this section, the board or its designee and the board member whose removal is proposed shall attempt to agree on the selection of an impartial hearing examiner. If the parties do not agree on the selection of a hearing examiner not later than the 10th day after the date the board votes to remove the board member, on the next workday the parties involved shall request a list of seven qualified neutral arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service or another arbitration organization with similarly stringent standards. The board member whose removal is proposed and the board or their designees may agree on one of the seven neutral arbitrators on the list. If the parties fail to agree before the 26th day after the date the board first votes to remove the board member, each party or the party's designee shall alternate striking a name from the list, and the name remaining is the hearing examiner. The board member whose removal is proposed or the board member's designee is entitled to strike the first name. If the 25th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the parties must strike names from the list on the next workday. The parties or their designees must agree on a date for the hearing that is within the period prescribed by Subsection (f) of this section. (6830)

(f) The hearing must begin as soon as the hearing examiner can be scheduled but not later than the 60th day after the date the board votes to remove the board member. In a hearing conducted under this subsection, the hearing examiner may issue subpoenas. The parties may agree to an expedited hearing procedure. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, in an expedited procedure, the hearing examiner must issue a decision not later than the 10th day after the date the hearing ends. Unless operating under an expedited hearing procedure, the hearing examiner shall make a reasonable effort to issue a decision not later than the 30th day after the date the hearing ends. The hearing examiner's inability to meet the time requirements imposed by this subsection does not affect the hearing examiner's jurisdiction or final decision. The final decision of the hearing examiner may be either to remove the board member or not to remove the board member from the board. The hearing examiner's fees and expenses shall be paid by the pension system. The costs of a witness shall be paid by the party who calls the witness. (6831)

(g) If the hearing examiner's decision is to remove a board member, the person removed is entitled to an opportunity to have the hearing examiner's decision reviewed. To have the decision reviewed, not later than the 30th day after the date of a decision under Subsection (f) of this section, the person removed must obtain signatures of at least one-third of the active and retired members of the pension system requesting an election to overrule the removal decision under Subsection (f). If the 30th day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the following workday is considered the 30th day. Each signature must indicate the signing date beside the signature, be legible, and be accompanied by the signer's printed name and employee payroll number, if any. A member's payroll number may not be publicly disclosed. The board shall verify the list not later than the 10th day after the date the board receives it. Not later than the 30th day after the date the board has verified the signatures, the board shall hold an election among the active and retired members. If a majority of the votes cast at an election in which a majority of the active and retired members of the pension system participate favor overruling the hearing examiner's decision, the board member shall be reinstated. If a majority do not vote to overrule the decision to remove a board member, a replacement election must be held not later than the 30th day after the date of the preceding election. (6832)

(h) During the period beginning on the date of the board vote to remove a board member and ending on the date the board member is reinstated under this section, the person's privileges as a board member, including voting privileges, are suspended. (6833)

Contributions by members (6834)

Sec. 8. (a) Each active member of the pension system shall pay into the system each month 8-3/4 percent of the member's total direct pay. The payments shall be deducted by the city from the salary of each active member each payroll period and paid to the pension system. Except for the repayment of withdrawn contributions under Section 17(f) or 18(c)(3) of this article and rollovers permitted by Section 17(h) of this article, a person may not be required or permitted to make any payments into the pension system after the person separates from service. (6835)

(b) This article does not increase or decrease the contribution obligation of any member that arose before September 1, 1999, or give rise to any claim for refund for any contributions made before that date. (6836)

Contributions by the City (6837)

Sec. 9. (a) The city shall make substantially equal contributions to the fund as soon as administratively feasible after each payroll period. For each fiscal year ending after June 30, 2005, the city's minimum contribution shall be the greater of 16 percent of the members' total direct pay or the level percentage of salary payment required to amortize the unfunded actuarial liability over a constant period of 30 years computed on the basis of an acceptable actuarial reserve funding method approved by the board. However, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002, the city's contribution shall be $32,645,000, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003, the city's contribution shall be $34,645,000, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, the city's contribution shall be $36,645,000, and for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, the city's contribution shall be 16 percent of the members' total direct pay. (6838)

(b) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 24. (6839)

(c) The governing body of a city to which this article applies by ordinance or resolution may provide that the city pick up active member contributions required by Section 8 of this article so that the contributions of all active members of the pension system qualify as picked-up contributions under Section 414(h)(2) of the code. If the governing body of a city adopts an ordinance or resolution under this section, the city, the board, and any other necessary party shall implement the action as soon as practicable. Contributions picked up as provided by this subsection shall be included in the determination of an active member's total direct pay, deposited to the individual account of the active member on whose behalf they are made, and treated for all purposes, other than federal tax purposes, in the same manner and with like effect as if they had been deducted from the salary of, and made by, the active member. (6840)

Investment of surplus (6841)

Sec. 10. (a) If the board determines that a surplus of funds exists in an amount exceeding the current demands upon the pension system, the board shall invest the surplus funds in the manner provided for by Chapter 802, Government Code. (6842)

(b) The board may select an investment manager or investment advisor if the board determines the service is desirable. Selection of managers or advisors must be made from firms that have made presentations in person or in writing to the board. (6843)

(c) The board may terminate a contract with an investment advisor at any time. The board may terminate a contract with an investment manager on notice the board considers appropriate. A contract may not require the pension system to pay a penalty for early termination. The costs of investment management or advisory services shall be paid from the fund. (6844)

Service credit (6845)

Sec. 11. (a) A member who returns to service after an interruption in service is entitled to credit for the previous service to the extent provided by Section 19 of this article. (6846)

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a) of this section, if a member has withdrawn the contributions made during any previous period of service, the previous period of service may not be counted in determining years of service unless the contributions are repaid to the pension system in accordance with Section 17 of this article. (6847)

(c) A member may not have any service credited for unused sick leave, vacation pay, or accumulated overtime until the date the member retires, at which time the member may apply some or all of the service to satisfy the requirements for retirement, although the member otherwise could not meet the service requirement without the credit. (6848)

(d) The board shall determine the prior service to be credited to each employee of the police department who becomes an active member of the pension system. The board shall rely on the personnel records of the city or the police department in determining prior service credits. (6849)

Retirement; amount of pension; annual adjustments (6850)

Sec. 12. (a) A member who separates from service after earning 20 or more years of service is eligible to receive a monthly service pension, beginning in the month of separation from service. A member who separates from service with the city after November 23, 1998, after earning 10 or more but less than 20 years of service in any of the city's pension systems and who complies with all applicable requirements of Section 19 of this article is eligible to receive a monthly service pension, beginning in the month the individual attains 60 years of age. An individual may not receive a pension under this article while still an active member, except as provided by Subsection (f) of this section. All service pensions end with the month in which the retired member dies. The city shall supply all personnel, financial, and payroll records necessary to establish the member's eligibility for a benefit, the member's credited service, and the amount of the benefit. The city must provide those records in the format specified by the pension system. (6851)

(b) Except as otherwise provided by this section, the monthly service pension of a member that becomes due after May 1, 2001, is equal to 2.75 percent of the member's average total direct pay or, if the member retired before November 24, 1998, 2.75 percent of the member's base salary, for each of the member's first 20 years of service, plus an additional two percent of the member's average total direct pay for each of the member's subsequent years of service, computed to the nearest one-twelfth of a year. A member who separates from service after November 23, 1998, including a member who was a DROP participant, and begins to receive a monthly service pension shall also receive a one-time lump-sum payment of $5,000 at the same time the first monthly pension payment is made. The lump-sum payment under this subsection is not available to a member who has previously received a $5,000 payment under this section or Section 16 of this article. (6852)

(c) The pension payable to each retired member of the pension system shall be adjusted annually, effective April 1 of each year, upward at a rate equal to two-thirds of any percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the preceding year. The amount of the annual adjustment may not be less than three percent or more than eight percent of the pension being paid immediately before the adjustment, notwithstanding a greater or lesser increase in the consumer price index. (6853)

(d) A retired member who receives a service pension under this article is entitled to receive an additional amount each month equal to $150, beginning on the later of the date the retired member's pension begins or the date the first monthly payment becomes due after June 18, 2001, and continuing until the end of the month in which the retired member dies. This amount is intended to defray the retired member's group medical insurance costs and will be paid directly by the fund to the retired member for the retired member's lifetime. (6854)

(e) At the end of each calendar year beginning after 1998, and subject to the conditions provided by this subsection, the pension system shall make a 13th benefit payment to each person who is receiving a service pension. The amount of the 13th payment shall be the same as the last monthly payment received by the retiree or survivor before issuance of the payment, except the payment received by any person who has been in pay status for less than 12 months shall be for a prorated amount determined by dividing the amount of the last payment received by 12 and multiplying this amount by the number of months the person has been in pay status. The 13th payment may be made only for those calendar years in which: (6855)

(1) the assets held by the fund will equal or exceed its liabilities after the 13th payment is made; (6856)

(2) the rate of return on the fund's assets exceeded 9.25 percent for the last fiscal year ending before the payment; and (6857)

(3) the payment will not cause an increase in the contribution the city would have been required to make if the 13th payment had not been made. (6858)

(f) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this article, an active or inactive member who is eligible to participate in the executive official pension plan established by Chapter 358, Acts of the 48th Legislature, Regular Session, 1943 (Article 6243g, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), or a successor statute, may, while continuing employment with the police department, participate in the executive official pension plan and elect: (6859)

(1) if an active member: (6860)

(A) to begin receiving an immediate pension benefit and be considered a retired member eligible for all rights and privileges afforded any other retired member under this article, if the member has 20 years or more of service and is eligible for retirement under this section except for the continuing employment; or (6861)

(B) to enter DROP if the member satisfies all requirements of this article for DROP membership; or (6862)

(2) if an inactive member, to begin receiving an immediate pension benefit equal to 2.75 percent of the member's average total direct pay at the time the member became inactive for the member's first 20 years of service and be entitled to all rights and privileges afforded a retired member under this article. (6863)

(g) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this article, service pensions that began before May 1, 2001, shall continue to be paid in accordance with applicable prior law, subject only to the adjustments that are specifically provided by this section. (6864)

(h) Average total direct pay for a member who retires after participating in a phase-down program in which the member receives a periodic payment that is generated from the member's accumulated sick time, vacation time, and overtime balances shall be based on the highest pay period, excluding any pay for overtime work, in the periods during which the member worked full-time before participating in the phase-down program. (6865)

(i) The computation of average total direct pay shall be made in accordance with procedures and policies adopted by the board. (6866)

Resumption of service as department head after retirement (6867)

Sec. 13. (a) The pension system shall suspend all pension payments to a retired member who has separated from service and is subsequently appointed as the department head of the police department. The suspension of payments begins on the effective date of the person's appointment. (6868)

(b) Pension benefits based on the person's previous period of service do not accrue during the period of pension payment suspension described by Subsection (a) of this section, but the person again becomes an active member during this period, and contributions of the city and the department head for the subsequent service are payable during the period. The department head retains credit for all previous service and acquires credit for the subsequent service unless the department head is or becomes a DROP participant. (6869)

(c) Once the department head again separates from service, pension benefits under this article shall resume based on both periods of service. (6870)

Deferred retirement option plan (6871)

Sec. 14. (a) In this section "DROP benefit" means the total amount credited to a member's notional DROP account, payable as described by this section, plus a monthly retirement pension. (6872)

(b) An active member who has at least 20 years of service with the police department may file with the pension system an election to participate in DROP and receive a DROP benefit instead of the standard form of pension provided by this article. The election may be made, under procedures established by the board, by an active member who has attained the required years of service. A DROP election that is made and accepted by the board may not be revoked before the member's separation from service. (6873)

(c) The monthly service pension and death benefits of an active member who becomes a DROP participant will be determined as if the active member had separated from service and begun receiving a pension on the effective date of the DROP election. The active member does not retire but does not accrue additional service credit beginning on the effective date of the election, and increases in pay that occur on or after that date may not be used in computing the active member's monthly service pension, except as provided by Subsection (l) of this section, but cost-of-living adjustments that occur on or after that date and that otherwise would be applicable to the pension will be made. (6874)

(d) The member's DROP benefit is determined as provided by this subsection and Subsection (e) of this section. Each month an amount equal to the monthly service pension the active member would have been entitled to receive if the active member had separated from service on the effective date of entry into DROP, less any amount that is intended to help defray the active member's group medical insurance costs as described by Section 12(d) of this article, shall be credited to a notional DROP account for the active member, and each month an amount equal to the monthly contributions the active member makes to the fund on and after the effective date of entry into DROP also shall be credited to the same notional DROP account. In any year in which a 13th payment is made to retired members under Section 12(e) of this article, an amount equal to the amount of the 13th payment that would have been made to the DROP participant if the DROP participant had retired on the date of DROP entry will be credited to the DROP account. (6875)

(e) As of the end of each month an amount is credited to each active member's notional DROP account at the rate of one-twelfth of a hypothetical earnings rate on amounts in the account. The hypothetical earnings rate is determined for each calendar year based on the average of the aggregate annual rate of return on investments of the pension system for the five consecutive fiscal years ending June 30 preceding the calendar year to which the earnings rate applies. The rate may not be less than zero. (6876)

(f) At the time of a DROP participant's separation from service, the DROP participant or, if separation from service was due to the DROP participant's death, the person entitled to receive benefits under Sections 16 and 16A of this article shall be afforded a one-time election to revoke the DROP election and substitute either the annuity that would have been paid if the member had never elected DROP or an annuity and notional DROP account equal to the annuity and notional DROP account that would have been received if the member had entered DROP on a date elected by the member or survivor. The date elected by the member or survivor may not be earlier than the earliest date the member could have elected to enter DROP or later than the date of the member's death or other separation from service. The computation of the value of the annuity and DROP account of a member or survivor who makes a Back DROP election shall be subject to the policies and procedures adopted by the board. For purposes of this subsection, "Back DROP" means the option to make this one-time election. (6877)

(f-1) If a DROP participant separates from service due to death and the person entitled to receive benefits under Sections 16 and 16A of this article does not revoke the DROP election, the DROP benefit may be received in the form of an additional annuity over the life expectancy of the surviving spouse. (6878)

(g) In lieu of receiving a lump-sum DROP benefit on separation from service, a retired member who has been a DROP participant or, if separation from service was due to the DROP participant's death, the surviving spouse may leave the retired member's DROP account with the pension system, in which case interest will be credited to the DROP account in the manner described by Subsection (e) of this section. (6879)

(h) Instead of beginning to receive a service pension on separation from service in accordance with Section 12 of this article, a retired member who is a DROP participant may elect to have part or all of the amount that would otherwise be paid as a monthly service pension, less any amount required to pay the retired member's share of group medical insurance costs, credited to a DROP account, in which case the additional amounts will become eligible to be credited with hypothetical earnings in the same manner as the amounts described by Subsection (g) of this section. (6880)

(i) A retired member who has not attained age 70ֿ/2, whether or not a DROP participant before retirement, may elect to have part or all of an amount equal to the monthly service pension the retired member would otherwise be entitled to receive, less any amount required to pay the retired member's share of group medical insurance costs, credited to a DROP account, in which case the amounts will become eligible to be credited with hypothetical earnings in the same manner as the amounts described by Subsection (g) of this section. A retired member who has elected to have monthly service pension benefits credited to a DROP account under this subsection or Subsection (h) of this section may direct that the credits stop and the monthly service pension resume at any time. However, a retired member who stops the credits at any time after September 1, 1999, may not later resume the credits. (6881)

(j) A retired member who is a DROP participant, or a surviving spouse, may elect to receive distribution of the DROP account in a one-time lump-sum payment or in any other form of distribution that is approved by the board and satisfies the requirements of Section 401(a)(9) of the code. (6882)

(k) If a retired member who is or was a DROP participant is rehired as an employee of the police department, any pension or DROP distribution that was being paid shall be suspended and the monthly amount described by Subsection (d) of this section will again begin to be credited to the DROP account while the member continues to be an employee. If the member's DROP account has been completely distributed, a new notional account will be created to receive the member's monthly credits. If a retired member who was never a DROP participant is rehired as an employee of the police department, that member shall be eligible to elect participation in DROP on the same basis as any other member. (6883)

(l) The DROP account of each DROP participant who was an active member on May 1, 2001, shall be recomputed and adjusted, effective on that date, to reflect the amount that would have been credited to the account if the member's pension had been computed based on 2.75 percent of the member's average total direct pay, or base pay if applicable, for each of the member's first 20 years of service. The DROP account adjustment shall also include the assumed earnings that would have been credited to the account if the 2.75 percent multiplier for the first 20 years of service had been in effect from the time the member became a DROP participant. (6884)

(m) The DROP monthly service pension, as described by Subsection (c) of this section, of each DROP participant who retires after May 1, 2001, shall be recomputed as of the date of retirement, based on the DROP participant's average total direct pay at the time of retirement and changes to the benefit formula in Section 12(b) of this article that have occurred since the member's DROP entry date. If this recomputation would result in a greater monthly service pension, as described by Subsection (c) of this section, the DROP participant's monthly service pension shall be adjusted to the greater amount. (6885)

Disability benefits (6886)

Sec. 15. (a) An active member who becomes totally and permanently incapacitated for the performance of the member's duties as a result of a bodily injury received in, or illness caused by, the performance of those duties shall, on presentation to the board of proof of total and permanent incapacity, be retired and shall receive an immediate duty-connected disability pension equal to the greater of 55 percent of the member's average total direct pay at the time of retirement or the member's accrued service pension. If the injury or illness involves a traumatic event that directly causes an immediate cardiovascular condition resulting in a total disability, the member is eligible for a duty-connected disability pension. A disability pension granted by the board shall be paid to the member for the remainder of the member's life or for as long as the incapacity remains. If a member is a DROP participant at the commencement of the member's disability, the member shall have the option of receiving the DROP balance in any manner that is approved by the board and that satisfies the requirements of Section 401(a)(9) of the code and Treasury Regulation Section 1.104-1(b) (26 C.F.R. Section 1.104-1) and is otherwise available to any other member under this article. (6887)

(b) A member with 10 years or more of credited service who becomes totally and permanently incapacitated for the performance of the member's duties and is not eligible for either an immediate service pension or a duty-connected disability pension is eligible for an immediate monthly pension computed in the same manner as a service retirement pension but based on average total direct pay and service accrued to the date of the disability. The pension under this subsection may not be less than 27.5 percent of the member's average total direct pay. (6888)

(c) A member who becomes entitled to receive a disability pension after November 23, 1998, is entitled to receive a one-time lump-sum payment of $5,000 at the same time the first monthly disability pension payment is made, but only if the member has not previously received a $5,000 payment under this section or Section 12 of this article. The retired member shall also receive an additional amount each month equal to $150, beginning on the later of the date the pension begins or the date the first monthly payment becomes due after June 18, 2001, and continuing as long as the disability pension continues, to help defray the cost of group medical insurance. For any year in which a 13th payment is made to retired members under Section 12(e) of this article, a 13th payment, computed in the same manner, shall also be paid to members who have retired under this section. (6889)

(d) A person may not receive a disability pension unless the person files with the board an application for a disability pension not later than 180 days after the date of separation from service, at which time the board shall have the person examined by a physician chosen and compensated by the board. The physician shall make a report and recommendations to the board regarding the extent of any disability and whether any disability that is diagnosed is a duty-connected disability. Except as provided by Subsection (j) of this section, a person may not receive a disability pension for an injury received or illness incurred after separation from service. (6890)

(e) A retired member who has been retired for disability is subject at all times to reexamination by a physician chosen and compensated by the board and shall submit to further examination as the board may require. If a retired member refuses to submit to an examination, the board may order the payments stopped. If a retired member who has been receiving a disability pension under this section recovers so that in the opinion of the board the retired member is able to perform the usual and customary duties formerly performed for the police department, and the retired member is reinstated or offered reinstatement to the position, or to a position reasonably comparable in rank and responsibility to the position, held at the time of separation from service, the board shall order the member's disability pension stopped. (6891)

(f) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 24. (6892)

(g) For purposes of this section, a member is totally and permanently incapacitated from performing duties if the member is prevented by a physical or mental injury or illness from performing duties in the police department after any reasonable accommodation offered by the police department and this condition is expected to be permanent. (6893)

(h) As soon as administratively feasible after the later of June 18, 2001, or the date of the member's retirement because of disability, an additional monthly disability benefit may be provided to the member. The additional monthly benefit shall be equal to the difference between the monthly benefit the member is receiving under Subsection (a) or (b) of this section, whichever is applicable, and 100 percent of the member's average total direct pay at the time of retirement because of disability. The additional benefit will end on the earlier of the fourth anniversary of the date the benefit is first paid, the end of the last month the member is engaged in an education or training program approved in accordance with procedures adopted by the board, or the date the member is approved to return to active duty. This additional monthly benefit is not reduced by any DROP account distributions the member receives unless the member elects to receive the DROP distributions in the form of an annuity. This additional benefit is not available to a member who is receiving a disability benefit under Subsection (j) of this section. (6894)

(i) Effective for payments that become due after April 30, 2000, and instead of the disability benefit provided by Subsection (a), (b), or (h) of this section, a member who suffers a catastrophic injury shall receive a monthly benefit equal to 100 percent of the member's average total direct pay determined as of the date of retirement. (6895)

(j) A member who transfers from the police department of a city subject to this article to another department of the same city, or who separates from service and is rehired in another department, and who subsequently terminates employment with the city due to a duty-connected injury incurred while working as a non-police employee, shall be entitled to receive an immediate proportional nonduty-connected disability benefit computed in the same manner as provided by Subsection (b) of this section, but the benefit shall be based only on service earned as an employee of the police department. For purposes of this proportional disability benefit only, the 180-day application filing requirement in Subsection (d) of this section begins at the time of separation from the department that employed the member at the time the disability was incurred. A person may not receive a disability pension for an injury incurred after termination from service with the city or for a nonduty disability incurred after separation from service with the police department. This proportional nonduty-connected disability benefit is not available to a person who is already receiving a service retirement pension or disability pension under this article. (6896)

(k) A benefit payment that becomes due under this section is effective on the later of the first day the disabled member leaves the payroll of the city or the date the member signs the application for a disability pension. (6897)

Rights of survivors (6898)

Sec. 16. (a) For purposes of this article, a marriage is considered to exist only if the marriage is recorded in the records of the recorder's office in the county in which the marriage ceremony was performed. In the case of a common-law marriage, a marriage declaration must be signed by the member and the member's common-law spouse before a notary public and recorded in the records of the county clerk's office in the county in which the couple resides at the commencement of the marriage. In addition, a marriage that is evidenced by a declaration of common-law marriage signed before a notary public after December 31, 1999, may not be treated as effective earlier than the date on which it was signed before the notary public. (6899)

(b) If a retired member dies after becoming entitled to a service or disability pension, the board shall pay an immediate monthly benefit as follows: (6900)

(1) to the surviving spouse, if there is a surviving spouse, a sum equal to the pension that was being received by the retired member at the time of death; (6901)

(2) to the guardian of any dependent children, on behalf of the dependent children, if there is no spouse entitled to an allowance, the sum a surviving spouse would have received, to be divided equally among the dependent children if there is more than one dependent child; or (6902)

(3) to any dependent parents if no spouse or dependent child is entitled to an allowance, the sum the spouse would have received, to be divided equally between the two parents if there are two dependent parents. (6903)

(c) If a member of the pension system who has not completed 10 years of service in the police department is killed or dies from any cause growing out of or in consequence of any act clearly not in the actual performance of the member's official duty, the member's surviving spouse, dependent child or children, or dependent parent or parents are entitled to receive an immediate benefit. The benefit is computed in the same manner as a service retirement pension but is based on the deceased member's service and average total direct pay at the time of death. The monthly benefit may not be less than 27.5 percent of the member's average total direct pay. (6904)

(d) Repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 24. (6905)

(e) If any active member is killed or dies from any cause growing out of or in consequence of the performance of the member's duty, the member's surviving spouse, dependent child or children, or dependent parent or parents are entitled to receive immediate benefits computed in accordance with Subsection (b) of this section, except that the benefit payable to the spouse, or to the guardian of the dependent child or children if there is no surviving spouse, or the dependent parent or parents if there is no surviving spouse or dependent child, is equal to 100 percent of the member's average total direct pay, computed as of the date of death. (6906)

(f) A surviving spouse who receives a survivor's benefit under this article is entitled to receive an additional amount each month equal to $150, beginning with the later of the date the first payment of the survivor's benefit is due or the date the first monthly payment becomes due after June 18, 2001, and continuing until the end of the month in which the surviving spouse dies. (6907)

(g) A surviving spouse or dependent who becomes eligible to receive benefits with respect to an active member who dies in active service after November 23, 1998, is entitled to receive a one-time lump-sum payment of $5,000 at the time the first monthly pension benefit is paid, if the member has not already received a $5,000 lump-sum payment under Section 12 or 15(c) of this article. If more than one dependent is eligible to receive a payment under this subsection, the $5,000 shall be divided equally among the eligible dependents. This payment has no effect on the amount of the surviving spouse's or dependents' monthly pension and may not be paid more than once. (6908)

(h) The monthly benefits of surviving spouses or dependents provided under this section, except the $150 monthly payments described by Subsection (f) of this section, shall be increased annually at the same time and by the same percentage as the pensions of retired members are increased in accordance with Section 12(c) of this article. Also, for any year in which a 13th payment is made pursuant to Section 12(e) of this article, a 13th payment, computed in the same manner, shall also be made to survivors who are entitled to receive death benefits at that time. (6909)

(i) If a member or individual receiving a survivor's pension dies before monthly payments have been made for at least five years, leaving no person otherwise entitled to receive further monthly payments with respect to the member, the monthly payments shall continue to be made to the designated beneficiary of the member or survivor, or to the estate of the member or survivor if a beneficiary was not designated, in the same amount as the last monthly payment made to the member, survivor, or estate, until payments have been made for five years with respect to the member. If the member dies after becoming vested but before payments begin, leaving no survivors eligible for benefits, the amount of each monthly payment over the five-year period shall be the same as the monthly payment the member would have received if the member had taken disability retirement on the date of death. A member may designate a beneficiary in lieu of the member's estate to receive the remaining payments in the event the member and all survivors die before payments have been received for five years. The member's estate or a beneficiary who is not a survivor or dependent is not entitled to receive the payment described by Subsection (g) of this section. (6910)

Beneficiary Designation (6911)

Sec. 16A. (a) The provisions of Section 16 of this article pertaining to rights of survivors do not apply to an amount held in a member's DROP account. A member who participates in DROP may designate a beneficiary to receive the balance of the member's DROP account in the event of the member's death, as permitted by Section 401(a)(9) of the code and the board's policies. A member who is married is considered to have designated the member's spouse as the member's beneficiary unless the spouse consents, in a notarized writing delivered to the board, to the designation of another person as beneficiary. If no designated beneficiary survives the member, the board may pay the balance of the member's DROP account to the member's beneficiaries in the following order: (6912)

(1) to the member's spouse; (6913)

(2) if the member does not have a spouse, to each child of the member in equal shares; (6914)

(3) if the member does not have a spouse or any children, to each surviving parent of the member in equal shares; or (6915)

(4) if the member has no beneficiaries described by Subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection, to the estate of the member. (6916)

(b) If a member names a spouse as a beneficiary and is subsequently divorced from that spouse, the divorce voids the designation of the divorced spouse as the member's beneficiary. A designation of a divorced spouse will cause the board to pay any balance remaining in the member's DROP account in the order prescribed by Subsection (a) of this section. (6917)

Termination of employment; refunds; reemployment (6918)

Sec. 17. (a) When any active member of the pension system separates from service, either voluntarily or involuntarily, before becoming eligible for an immediate service retirement or disability pension, the member ceases to be an active member of the pension system. (6919)

(b) A member of the pension system who has not completed 20 years of service at the time of separation from service with the police department is entitled to a refund of the total of the contributions the member made to the pension system, plus any amount that was contributed for the member by the city and not applied in accordance with this section to provide the member with 10 years of service. The refund does not include interest, and neither the city nor the member is entitled to a refund of the contributions the city made on the member's behalf, except as expressly provided by this subsection. By receiving the refund, the member forfeits any service earned before separation from service, even if it is otherwise nonforfeitable. (6920)

(c) The board shall notify each member of the pension system of the right to a refund as authorized by this section. (6921)

(d) A member must apply to the board for a refund within one year after the date of separation from service. Failure to apply for the refund within the one-year period results in a forfeiture of the right to the refund except for an inactive member whose right to a pension is nonforfeitable. However, the board may reinstate any amount forfeited and allow the refund on application by the former member. (6922)

(e) Heirs, executors, administrators, personal representatives, or assignees are not entitled to apply for and receive the refund authorized by this section except as provided by Section 16(c) of this article. (6923)

(f) If a person who separates from service and receives a refund is subsequently reemployed as an employee of the police department, the person shall be reinstated as an active member of the pension system. Prior service of the active member with the police department may not be counted toward a retirement pension unless the member pays to the pension system, not later than the 90th day after the date of a subsequent separation from service, an amount equal to any contributions previously refunded to the member under this section. Except as provided by Section 18 of this article, a person is not eligible to repay any withdrawn contributions unless the person is reemployed by the police department of the city for which the prior service was performed. (6924)

(g) A member who is contesting an indefinite suspension action may, on application to the board, receive a return of the member's contributions and be separated from service on receipt of the contributions; otherwise, a suspended member is considered to have a separation from service when a final decision of the arbitrator adverse to the member is rendered. (6925)

(h) Subject to procedures adopted by the board, the pension system shall accept a direct cash transfer of funds from another plan that is an eligible rollover distribution within the meaning of Section 402(f)(2)(A) of the code. The transfer shall be accepted only for the purpose of repaying contributions the member has previously withdrawn or for other purposes expressly authorized by the board's procedures. (6926)

Employment by another department (6927)

Sec. 18. (a) Except as provided by this section: (6928)

(1) credit may not be allowed to any person for service with any department in the city other than the police department; and (6929)

(2) a person's service will be computed from the date of entry into the service of the police department until the date of separation from service with the police department. (6930)

(b) Solely for purposes of determining whether a person has a sufficient number of years of service to receive a retirement pension or to enter the DROP program, and not for purposes of determining the amount of the pension or DROP credit, a person who is employed in any full-time position with the city after June 18, 2001, and has or obtains any credited service with the pension system after that date, shall receive service credit for any period of full-time employment with the same city. However, a person may not receive credit for service with both the police department and any other department of the city for the same period. (6931)

(c) Notwithstanding Section 17 of this article and Subsection (b) of this section, a former member of the pension system shall be permitted to repay withdrawn contributions and restore service credit previously earned with the pension system, even if the former member is not reemployed by the police department, if the former member: (6932)

(1) is employed by the same city in which the service credit for employment with the police department was earned; (6933)

(2) is a participant in another pension plan maintained by the city; and (6934)

(3) repays to the pension system the withdrawn contributions not later than the 90th day after the date of separation from active employment with the city. (6935)

(d) Classified police officers who were formerly employed by a city as park police, airport police, or marshals, who were involuntarily transferred from another city department to the police department of the city, and who are current active members of the pension system shall have the option to receive credit with the pension system for previous service with another pension system of the city, provided that a person may not receive service credit for both pension systems for the same period of service. (6936)

Persons rejoining or transferred by city; service credit; double benefits; return to service (6937)

Sec. 19. (a) An employee of the city who has retired under this article or under former law governing the pension system and is or has been transferred by action of the city to a classified position in a police department included in the pension system again becomes an active member of the pension system as of the effective date of the transfer. (6938)

(b) A person who rejoins the pension system under this section is entitled to receive service credit for each day of service and work performed by the person in a classified position in the police department, except for any period during which the person is a DROP participant. The board shall add service earned after the transfer to the prior service the active member accrued in a classified position in the police department. However, the active member may not receive service credit under this article, except to the extent provided by Section 18, for service performed for the city other than in a classified position in the police department. (6939)

(c) After a transfer described by this section, contributions of the city and the active member become payable as for other active members of the pension system. (6940)

(d) When a member who has transferred as described by this section subsequently retires, the retired member is entitled to a pension computed on the basis of the combined service described by Subsection (b) of this section, after deducting any period in which the member was suspended from duty without pay, on leave of absence without pay, separated from service, or employed by the city in a capacity other than in a classified position in the police department. (6941)

(e) If a retired member receives both pension benefits from the pension system and a salary from a classified position in the police department that cover the same period, the retired member shall repay to the pension system the pension benefits received during that period. The board shall withhold payment of pension benefits under this article if it is determined that a retired member is receiving both pension benefits from the fund and a salary from the police department that cover the same period. On request of the board, the city attorney or a private attorney chosen by the board shall file suit in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover pension benefits owed to the pension system under this subsection. (6942)

(f) This article does not authorize the return to service with a police department or the resumption of active membership in the pension system by a retired member except as specifically provided by Section 13 or 14 of this article or this section. (6943)

Donations (6944)

Sec. 20. The pension system may accept gifts and donations, and the gifts and donations shall be added to the fund for the use of the pension system, including, but not limited to, for use for education programs and the related administrative expenses of the programs. (6945)

Determination of benefits; provision of information (6946)

Sec. 21. The board may require any member, survivor, or other person or entity to furnish information the board requires for the determination of benefits under this article. If a person or entity does not cooperate in the furnishing or obtaining of information required as provided by this section, the board may withhold payment of the pension or other benefits dependent on the information. (6947)

Legal Advice (6948)

Sec. 22. The city attorney of the city shall handle all legal matters for the pension system that are referred by the board without additional compensation for the service. The board may, however, as it considers necessary, employ outside legal counsel to the exclusion of, or to assist, the city attorney and pay reasonable compensation for the service of the additional legal counsel from the fund. (6949)

Members in Military Service (6950)

Sec. 23. (a) A member of the pension system engaged in active service in a uniformed service may not be required to make the monthly payments into the fund and may not lose any previous years' service with the city because of the uniformed service. The uniformed service shall count as continuous service in the police department if the member returns to the city police department after discharge from the uniformed service as an employee within the period required by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (38 U.S.C. Section 4301 et seq.), as amended, and the uniformed service does not exceed the period for which a person is entitled to have service counted pursuant to that Act. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, contributions and benefits shall be paid and qualified service for military service shall be determined in compliance with Section 414(u) of the code. (6951)

(b) The city is required to make its payments into the fund on behalf of each member while the member is engaged in a uniformed service. If a member who has less than 10 years of service in the pension system dies directly or indirectly as a result of the uniformed service, and without returning to active service, the spouse, dependent children, dependent parent, or estate of the member is entitled to receive a benefit in the same manner as described by Section 16(c) of this article. (6952)

Actions for funds misapplied (6953)

Sec. 24. (a) The board may recover by civil action from any offending party or from the party's bondsman, if any, any money paid out or obtained from the fund through fraud, misrepresentation, theft, embezzlement, or misapplication and may institute, conduct, and maintain the action in the name of the board for the use and benefit of the fund. (6954)

(b) Payments due on behalf of a dependent child shall be paid to the dependent child's guardian, if any, or if none to the person with whom the dependent child is living, except that the board may make payments directly to a dependent child in an appropriate case and withhold payments otherwise due on behalf of any person if the board has reason to believe the payments are not being applied on behalf of the person entitled to receive them. The board may request a court of competent jurisdiction to appoint a person to receive and administer the payments due to any dependent child or person under a disability. (6955)

Federal tax qualification of fund (6956)

Sec. 25. (a) The fund described by this article is intended to qualify under Section 401(a) of the code and is for the exclusive benefit of the members and their survivors. No part of the corpus or income of the fund may ever be used for, or diverted to, any purpose other than the benefit of members and their survivors as provided by this article. (6957)

(b) A member or survivor of a member of the pension system may not accrue a retirement pension, disability retirement allowance, death benefit allowance, DROP benefit, or any other benefit under this article in excess of the benefit limits applicable to the fund under Section 415 of the code. The board shall reduce the amount of any benefit that exceeds those limits by the amount of the excess. If total benefits under this fund and the benefits and contributions to which any member is entitled under any other qualified plans maintained by the city that employs the member would otherwise exceed the applicable limits under Section 415 of the code, the benefits the member would otherwise receive from the fund shall be reduced to the extent necessary to enable the benefits to comply with Section 415. (6958)

(c) Any member or survivor who receives any distribution that is an eligible rollover distribution as defined by Section 402(c)(4) of the code is entitled to have that distribution transferred directly to another eligible retirement plan of the member's or survivor's choice on providing direction to the pension system regarding that transfer in accordance with procedures established by the board. (6959)

(d) The total salary taken into account for any purpose for any member of the pension system may not exceed $200,000 for any year for an eligible participant, or for years beginning after 2001 for an ineligible participant, or $150,000 a year before 2001 for an ineligible participant. These dollar limits shall be adjusted from time to time in accordance with guidelines provided by the United States secretary of the treasury. For purposes of this subsection, an eligible participant is a person who first became an active member before 1996, and an ineligible participant is a member who is not an eligible participant. (6960)

(e) Accrued benefits under this article become 100 percent nonforfeitable for a member on the date the member has completed 10 years of service. If the pension system or the fund is terminated or partially terminated, or city contributions to the fund are discontinued completely, there may not be a reversion of funds to the employer. On complete or partial termination or discontinuance of city contributions, the fund held by the pension system shall be used exclusively for benefits for members and their surviving spouses and dependents, and the members' rights to the benefits, to the extent funded, shall be nonforfeitable if not already nonforfeitable under this subsection. (6961)

(f) Amounts representing forfeited nonvested benefits of terminated members may not be used to increase benefits payable from the fund. (6962)

(g) Distribution of benefits must begin not later than April 1 of the year following the calendar year during which the member entitled to the benefits becomes 70ֿ/2 years of age or terminates employment with the employer, whichever is later, and must otherwise conform to Section 401(a)(9) of the code. (6963)

(h) If the amount of any benefit is to be determined on the basis of actuarial assumptions that are not otherwise specifically set forth for that purpose in this article, the actuarial assumptions to be used are those earnings and mortality assumptions being used on the date of the determination by the pension system's actuary and approved by the board. The actuarial assumptions being used at any particular time shall be attached as an addendum to a copy of this article and treated for all purposes as a part of this article. The actuarial assumptions may be changed by the pension system's actuary at any time if approved by the board, but a change in actuarial assumptions may not result in any decrease in benefits accrued as of the effective date of the change. (6964)

(i) To the extent permitted by law, the board may adjust the benefits of retired members and survivors by increasing any benefit that was reduced because of Section 415 of the code. If Section 415 of the code is amended to permit the payment of amounts previously precluded under that section, the board may adjust the benefits of retired members or their surviving spouses or dependents, including the restoration of benefits previously denied. Benefits paid under this subsection are not considered as extra base salary earned after retirement but as the delayed payment of benefits earned before retirement. (6965)

(j) The board may make any change in this article to the extent that the change is necessary to assure compliance with the qualification requirements of Section 401 of the code or any other federal law. (6966)

Excess benefit plan (6967)

Sec. 26. (a) A separate, nonqualified, unfunded excess benefit plan is created outside the fund. (6968)

(b) In this section: (6969)

(1) "Excess benefit plan" or "plan" means the separate, nonqualified, unfunded excess benefit plan created by this section for the benefit of eligible members, as amended or restated from time to time, that is intended to be a "qualified governmental excess benefit arrangement" within the meaning of Section 415(m) of the code. (6970)

(2) "Qualified plan" means the pension system and any other plan maintained by the city for the exclusive benefit of some or all of the members of the pension system that has been found by the Internal Revenue Service to be qualified or has been treated by the city as a qualified plan under Section 401 of the code. (6971)

(3) "Maximum benefit" means the retirement benefit a retired member and the spouse, dependent child, or dependent parent of a retired member or deceased member or retiree are entitled to receive from all qualified plans in any month after giving effect to Section 25(b) of this article and any similar provisions of any other qualified plans designed to conform to Section 415 of the code. (6972)

(4) "Excess benefit participant" means any retired member whose retirement benefits as determined on the basis of all qualified plans without regard to the limitations of Section 25(b) of this article and comparable provisions of other qualified plans would exceed the maximum benefit permitted under Section 415 of the code. (6973)

(5) "Unrestricted benefit" means the monthly retirement benefit a retired member and the spouse, dependent child, or dependent parent of a retired member or deceased member would have received under the terms of all qualified plans except for the restrictions of Section 25(b) of this article and any similar provisions of any other qualified plans designed to conform to Section 415 of the code. (6974)

(c) An excess benefit participant who is receiving benefits from the pension system is entitled to a monthly benefit under this excess benefit plan in an amount equal to the lesser of: (6975)

(1) the member's unrestricted benefit less the maximum benefit; or (6976)

(2) the amount by which the member's monthly benefit from the fund has been reduced because of the limitations of Section 415 of the code. (6977)

(d) If a spouse, dependent child, or dependent parent is entitled to preretirement or postretirement death benefits under a qualified plan after the death of an excess benefit participant, the surviving spouse, dependent child, or dependent parent is entitled to a monthly benefit under the excess benefit plan equal to the benefit determined in accordance with this article without regard to the limitations under Section 25(b) of this article or Section 415 of the code, less the maximum benefit. (6978)

(e) Any benefit to which a person is entitled under this section shall be paid at the same time and in the same manner as the benefit would have been paid from the pension system if payment of the benefit from the pension system had not been precluded by Section 25(b) of this article. An excess benefit participant or any beneficiary may not, under any circumstances, elect to defer the receipt of all or any part of a payment due under this section. (6979)

(f) The board shall administer the plan, and the board's designee shall also carry out the business of the board with respect to the plan. Except as otherwise provided by this section, the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the board and the board's designee are the same for the plan as for the funds of the pension system. (6980)

(g) The consultants, independent auditors, attorneys, and actuaries selected to perform services for the fund also shall perform services for the plan, but the fees for their services may not be paid by the fund. The actuary engaged to perform services for the fund shall advise the board of the amount of benefits that may not be provided from the fund solely by reason of the limitations of Section 415 of the code and the amount of employer contributions that will be made to the plan rather than to the fund. (6981)

(h) Contributions may not be accumulated under the plan to pay future retirement benefits. Instead, each payment of city contributions that would otherwise be made to the fund under Section 9 of this article shall be reduced by the amount determined by the board or its designee as necessary to meet the requirements for retirement benefits under the plan, including reasonable administrative expenses, until the next payment of city contributions is expected to be made to the pension system. The city shall then pay to the plan, from the withheld contributions, not earlier than the 30th day before the date each distribution of monthly retirement benefits is required to be made from the plan, the amount necessary to satisfy the obligation to pay monthly retirement benefits from the plan. The board or its designee shall satisfy the obligation of the plan to pay retirement benefits from the employer contributions so transferred for that month. (6982)

(i) Employer contributions otherwise required to be made to the pension system under Section 9 of this article and any other qualified plan shall be divided into those contributions required to pay retirement benefits under this section and those contributions paid into and accumulated to pay the maximum benefits permitted under the qualified plan. Employer contributions made to provide retirement benefits under this section may not be commingled with the money of the fund forming part of the pension system or any other qualified plan. (6983)

Agreement to change benefits (6984)

Sec. 27. (a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the board or a designee of the board is responsible for representing the interests of the pension system and all pension issues and benefits affecting the pension system or its members and beneficiaries under this article. The board may enter into a written agreement with the city on behalf of the pension system and members and beneficiaries of the pension system if the agreement is approved by the board and signed by the mayor and the board or the board's designee. (6985)

(b) A pension benefit or allowance provided by this article may be increased if the increase: (6986)

(1) is first approved by a qualified actuary selected by the board; (6987)

(2) is approved by the board and the city in a written agreement as authorized by this section; and (6988)

(3) does not deprive a member, without the member's written consent, of a right to receive benefits that have become fully vested and matured in the member. (6989)

Nonreduction, nonalienation, and nonassignment of benefits (6990)

Sec. 28. (a) No portion of the funds held by the pension system, either before or after an order for its disbursement by the board, and no amounts due or to become due to any member or survivor under this article may be held, seized, taken, subject to, detained, or levied on by virtue of any execution, attachment, garnishment, injunction, or other writ, and no order or decree, and no process may issue out of or by any court of this state for the payment or satisfaction, in whole or in part, out of the funds held by or due from the pension system, of any debt, damage, claim, demand, or judgment against any member, survivor, dependent, or any other person. (6991)

(b) No part of the funds or any claim to the funds may be directly or indirectly assigned or transferred. Any attempt to transfer or assign any part of the funds or a claim to the funds is void. (6992)

(c) The funds shall be held, kept, and disbursed for the purposes provided by this article, and for no other purpose, except that a retired member, survivor, or dependent, at the person's discretion, may have deducted from the person's pension the monthly premium cost of any group insurance program in which the retired member is participating. (6993)

(d) A benefit payable under this article may not be reduced or discontinued for any person except under the terms applicable to the benefit at the time the person becomes eligible to receive the benefit. (6994)

(e) This section does not prevent the division of the benefits accrued by a member under any court order determined by the board or its designee to be a qualified domestic relations order and the payment of a share of a retired member's benefits or contributions to an alternate payee in accordance with the order. (6995)

Confidentiality of Information About Members or Beneficiaries (6996)

Sec. 29. (a) Information contained in a record that is in the custody of a fund established under this article concerning an individual member, retiree, survivor, or beneficiary is confidential for purposes of Sections 552.101, 552.102, and 552.117, Government Code. The information may not be disclosed in a form that identifies a specific individual unless the information is disclosed to: (6997)

(1) the individual; (6998)

(2) the individual's attorney, guardian, executor, administrator, or conservator; or (6999)

(3) a person who has written authorization from the individual to receive the information. (7000)

(b) This section does not prevent the disclosure of the status or identity of an individual as a member, former member, retiree, deceased member, survivor, beneficiary, or alternate payee of the system. (7001)

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 381, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. (7002)

Sec. 1 amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 2(1) and (2) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 2(4-a) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 2(7), (11) and (14) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 2(14-a), added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 2(19) renumbered Sec. 2(17-a) by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 2(22-a) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 2(23) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 3(a) to (d), (f) and (g) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 3(h) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 4(a) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 5(b-1) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 5(d) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 6(e-1) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 6(f) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 6(g) and (h) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 7(d) and (f) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 8(a) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 9 heading and sec. 9(a) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 9, 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 9(b) repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 11(a) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 12(a), (b), (d), (f) and (g) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 12(h) and (i) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 14(b) to (f) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 14(f-1) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 14(g), (j) and (l) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 14(m) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 15(a) to (d) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 15(f) repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 15(h) to (k) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 16(a) and (c) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 16(d) repealed by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 16(f) to (h) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 16A added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 17(h) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 18(a) and (b) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 18, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 18(d) added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, 18, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. Sec. 20 amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 19, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 22 amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 23 amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 25(d) and (e) amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Sec. 29 added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1267, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 2003. (7003)

Definitions (7004)

Sec. 1. In this Act: (7005)

(1) "Authorized absence" means: (7006)

(A) each day an employee is absent due to an approved holiday, vacation, accident, or sickness, if the employee is continued on the employment rolls of the city or the pension system, receives the employee's regular salary from the city or the pension system for each day of absence, and remains eligible to work on recovery or return; or (7007)

(B) any period that a person is on military leave of absence under Section 18(a) of this Act, provided the person complies with the requirements of that section. (7008)

(2) "Average monthly salary" means: (7009)

(A) the amount computed by dividing the sum of the 78 highest biweekly salaries paid to an employee during years of credited service by 36; or (7010)

(B) if there are fewer than 78 biweekly salaries paid to an employee during the employee's period of credited service, the amount computed by multiplying the average of all biweekly salaries paid to the employee during the period of credited service by 26 and dividing the product by 12. (7011)

(3) "Benefit accrual rate" means the percentage in Section 10(d) or (e) of this Act for each year of a member's credited service used to compute a pension or benefit. (7012)

(4) "City" means a municipality having a population of more than 1.5 million. (7013)

(5) "Credited service" means each day of service and prior service of a member for which: (7014)

(A) the city has and, for service in group A, the member has made required contributions to the pension fund that were not subsequently withdrawn; (7015)

(B) the member has purchased service credit or converted service credit from group B to group A by paying into the pension fund required amounts that were not subsequently withdrawn; (7016)

(C) the member has reinstated service under Section 7(g) of this Act; and (7017)

(D) the member has previously made payments to the pension fund that, under then existing provisions of law, make the member eligible for credit for the service and that were not subsequently withdrawn. (7018)

(6) "Deferred participant" means a person who: (7019)

(A) has separated from service; (7020)

(B) has at least five years of credited service in the pension system; (7021)

(C) has not met the eligibility requirements for a normal retirement pension; and (7022)

(D) has made an election under Section 17(c) of this Act. (7023)

(7) "Dependent child" means an unmarried natural or legally adopted child of a member, deferred participant, or retiree who: (7024)

(A) was supported by the member, deferred participant, or retiree; and (7025)

(B) is under 21 years of age or is totally and permanently disabled from performing any full-time employment because of an injury, illness, or retardation that began before the child became 18 years of age and before the death of the member, deferred participant, or retiree. (7026)

(8) "Disability" means the complete and permanent inability of a member to perform the usual and customary duties that the member has been performing as an employee, or any other full-time duties for which the member is reasonably suited by training or experience, as determined by the pension board on the basis of a medical examination and any other evidence the pension board determines is necessary. (7027)

(9) "Effective retirement date" means the first day retirement begins for a member or deferred participant who is eligible for retirement. If the pension system receives a member's application for normal retirement before the member's separation from service or not later than the 90th day after the date of the member's separation from service, the effective retirement date is the later of the first day of the month following the month of separation or the date specified in the application. If the pension system receives the member's application after the 90th day after the date of the member's separation from service, the effective retirement date is the later of the first day of the month after the pension system receives the application or the date specified in the application. The effective retirement date for a member who qualifies for a service or ordinary disability retirement is the later of the day following the member's last day of credited service or the date the pension system receives the member's request for disability retirement. (7028)

(10) "Eligible survivor" means a surviving spouse or dependent child. (7029)

(11) "Employee" means any person, including an elected official during the official's service to the city, who is eligible under this Act and: (7030)

(A) who holds a municipal position or a position with the pension system; (7031)

(B) whose name appears on a regular full-time payroll of a city or of the pension fund; and (7032)

(C) who is paid a regular salary for services. (7033)

(12) "Marriage" means a marriage in which: (7034)

(A) a marriage certificate is recorded in the records of the county clerk's office in the county in which the marriage ceremony was performed; or (7035)

(B) in the case of a common-law marriage, a marriage declaration is executed by the couple and recorded in the records of the county clerk's office in the county in which the couple resides. For separations from service after June 29, 2002, a marriage that is evidenced by a declaration of common-law marriage signed before a notary public after June 30, 2002, may not be treated as effective before the date it was signed before the notary public. (7036)

(13) "Member" means each active employee included in the pension system, except for an employee who is ineligible under Section 4 of this Act. (7037)

(14) "Military service" means active service in the armed forces of the United States or wartime service in the armed forces of the United States or in the allied forces, if credit for military service has not been granted under any federal or other state system or used in any other retirement system. (7038)

(15) "Pension" means a benefit payable to a retired member out of the pension fund based on a disability or service retirement. (7039)

(16) "Pension board" means the board of trustees of the pension system created under Chapter 358, Acts of the 48th Legislature, Regular Session, 1943 (Article 6243g, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), and reenacted and continued under this Act for the purpose of administering the pension system. (7040)

(17) "Pension fund" means assets consisting of the contributions made by the city, contributions made by any member, and any income, profits, or other amounts resulting from the investment of those contributions. (7041)

(18) "Pension system" means the retirement, disability, and survivor benefit plans for municipal employees of a city under this Act and employees under Section 3(d) of this Act. (7042)

(19) "Predecessor system" means the retirement system authorized by Chapter 358, Acts of the 48th Legislature, Regular Session, 1943 (Article 6243g, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes). (7043)

(20) "Previous service" means any service as an employee, other than prior service, that preceded a member's current period of employment. (7044)

(21) "Prior service" means any service performed as an employee before September 1, 1943. (7045)

(22) "Retiree" means a former member of the pension system who: (7046)

(A) has separated from service; (7047)

(B) has met the eligibility requirements for a deferred retirement pension, normal retirement pension, or disability pension under this Act; and (7048)

(C) is receiving a deferred retirement pension, normal retirement pension, or disability pension under this Act based on service that was credited to the person. (7049)

(23) "Salary" means base pay, longevity pay, and shift-differential pay paid to an employee and attributable to services rendered by the employee, regardless of how the employee was paid. (7050)

(24) "Separation from service" means the cessation of work for the city or the pension system in an eligible position covered by this Act for any reason involving the person's removal from the employment rolls of the city or the pension system, including death, discharge, resignation, or retirement, the effective date of which shall be certified by the city or the pension system. The term includes the termination of employment. (7051)

(25) "Service" means each day of services and work performed by an employee, including an authorized absence. The term does not include a period in which a person: (7052)

(A) is a DROP participant; (7053)

(B) is suspended from duty without pay; (7054)

(C) is on leave of absence without pay; (7055)

(D) is ineligible for membership under Section 4 of this Act; or (7056)

(E) is separated from service. (7057)

(26) "Surviving spouse" means a person who was married to a member, deferred participant, or retiree at the time of death of the member, deferred participant, or retiree and before separation from service by the member, deferred participant, or retiree. (7058)

(27) "Trustee" means a trustee of the pension board. (7059)

Pension board (7060)

Sec. 2. (a) The pension board of the predecessor system shall continue to administer, manage, and operate the pension system, including directing investments and overseeing the fund's assets. (7061)

(b) The pension system shall operate for the benefit of the employees of a city and the pension system. The pension system continues to operate regardless of whether the city's population falls below the population required for the city. The pension board is not subject to Title 9, Property Code. (7062)

(c) The pension board consists of nine trustees as follows: (7063)

(1) the mayor of the city, or the director of the civil service commission as the mayor's representative; (7064)

(2) the city treasurer or a person performing the duties of treasurer; (7065)

(3) four municipal employees of the city who are members of the pension system; (7066)

(4) two retirees, each of whom: (7067)

(A) has at least five years of credited service in the pension system; (7068)

(B) receives a retirement pension from the pension system; and (7069)

(C) is not an officer or employee of the city; and (7070)

(5) one person who: (7071)

(A) has been a resident of this state for the three years preceding the date of initial appointment; and (7072)

(B) is not a city officer or employee. (7073)

(d) To serve as a trustee under Subsection (c)(3) of this section, a person must be a member with at least five years of credited service and be elected by the active members of the pension system at an election called by the pension board. No more than two of the employee trustees may be employees of the same department. (7074)

(e) A person elected as an employee trustee under Subsection (d) of this section who retires during the trustee's term shall remain in office until the expiration of the term. Persons elected as employee trustees serve staggered four-year terms, with the terms of two of the trustees expiring in each even-numbered year. Each employee trustee shall continue to serve until a successor is qualified. (7075)

(f) A vacancy caused by an employee trustee's death, resignation, or removal shall be filled by an appointment made by a majority of the trustees elected by the members of the pension system on a notarized affidavit of appointment submitted to the executive director not later than the 10th day after the date the vacancy occurs. The appointee serves for the remainder of the unexpired term of the replaced trustee. If the notarized affidavit of appointment is not timely submitted, the executive director shall call an election to be held not later than the 90th day after the date of the vacancy to elect an employee trustee to fill the vacancy. (7076)

Suggested Topics for [accident motor vehicle]
Practice AreaTopicRelevance
Accident LawMotor Vehicle39
Accident LawVehicle Injury37
Accident LawBicycle Accident23
Injury LawBicycle Accident23
Accident LawDriving While Intoxicated21
Injury LawAuto Accident20
Accident LawBicycle Injury12
Accident LawAutomobile Injury10
Accident LawDrunk Driving10
Accident LawMotorcycle Accident10
Accident LawMotorcycle Injury10
Injury LawAutomobile10
Accident LawAuto Accident9
Accident LawAutomobile9
Injury LawAuto9
Accident LawCar Accident8
Injury LawCar Accident8
Family LawChild Endangerment4
  

Our Mission
Objective

Our mission is to provide citizens free access to the laws and codes of their state utilizing a unique search engine that matches clients with qualified legal professionals who can help with specific issues.

Our goal is to do this in a manner that promotes open government and freedom of information, while providing attorneys with valuable tools to connect with qualified prospects in need of professional services.

Ignorance Is No Excuse
Your Right To Know The Law

All citizens have a right to have access to the laws that govern them. Citizen awareness and participation in government is fundamental to ensuring a sound democracy.

Although unfettered access to the law is a fundamental right to all citizens, there is no substitute for experienced legal counsel.

We do not recommend self-representation. We do, however, recognize that in an age where people routinely research legal matters online using everything from a smartphone to their xbox, both attorneys and clients alike can benefit from this resource.