Texas Vernon’s Civil Statutes
Sec. § 1.02
Definitions


In this Act:

(1)

"Accumulated contributions" means all sums of money, including interest, in the individual account of a member or former firefighter, as shown on the books and records of the fund.

(2)

"Actuarial equivalent" means a benefit that, at the time that it begins being paid, has the same present value as the benefit it replaces, based on the recommendations of the actuary.

(3)

"Board of trustees" means the board of firefighters relief and retirement fund trustees of the fund existing pursuant to this Act.

(4)

"Boards actuary" means the actuary employed under Section 12.03 of this Act.

(5)

"Compensation" means a firefighters monthly salary, excluding overtime pay, any temporary pay in higher classifications, educational incentive pay, assignment pay, Christmas Day bonus pay, and pay for automobile and clothing allowances.

(6)

"Dependent child" or "dependent children" means a deceased members unmarried children under the age of 22, other than a child who has been determined by the board of trustees not to have been dependent on the deceased member.

(7)

"Fire department" means a regularly organized fire department of a city to which this Act applies.

(8)

"Firefighter" means a commissioned civil service and Texas state-certified member of a fire department.

(9)

"Fund" means the firefighters relief and retirement fund existing pursuant to this Act.

(10)

"Internal Revenue Code" means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(11)

"Member" means any firefighter or retiree included in a fund under this Act.

(12)

"Retiree" means a person who has retired under Article 5 or 6 of this Act and is receiving or is entitled to receive an annuity from the fund.

(13)

"Spouse" means an individual to whom a member is legally married under Subtitle A, Title 1, Family Code, or a comparable law of another jurisdiction, provided that, in the case of an informal marriage in this state, the marriage must be evidenced by a declaration of informal marriage recorded in accordance with Subchapter E, Chapter 2, Family Code.

(1)

"Administrative rules" means the rules adopted to govern a public retirement system, including rules regarding the participation in, contributions to, and benefits from the public retirement system.

(2)

"Board of trustees" means the persons elected or appointed to administer the public retirement system.

(3)

"Governing body" means the governing body of a municipality to which this article applies.

(4)

"Participating member" means a person who makes contributions to the public retirement system as an employee of a municipality to which this article applies.

(5)

"Participating retiree" means a person who receives or who is eligible to receive a service retirement annuity from the retirement fund.

(6)

"Pension office" means the administrative office of the public retirement system.

(7)

"Public retirement system" means a continuing, organized program or plan of service retirement, disability retirement, or death benefits for employees of a municipality to which this article applies but does not include:

(A)

a program for which benefits are administered by a life insurance company;

(B)

a program providing only workers compensation benefits;

(C)

a program administered by the federal government;

(D)

an individual retirement account or individual retirement annuity within the meaning of Section 408, or a retirement bond within the meaning of Section 409, of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

(E)

a plan described by Section 401(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

(F)

an individual account plan consisting of an annuity contract described by Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

(G)

an eligible state deferred compensation plan described by Section 457(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(8)

"Retirement fund" means the trust fund established by or in conjunction with the public retirement system for the purpose of holding assets to be used to provide benefits payable by the public retirement system.

(9)

"Rule amendment" includes any amendment of, repeal of, addition to, deletion of, modification of, or change to an administrative rule.

(10)

"Survivor" means a person, including the surviving spouse or dependent, who receives survivor benefits from a retirement fund.

(11)

"Vested" means the accrued right of a participating member who has met the age and length-of-service requirements for service retirement required by the public retirement system. A member whose retirement rights are vested may withdraw from employment with the municipality, leave the members accumulated contributions on deposit with the public retirement system, and begin to receive the members service retirement annuity.

(1)

"Accumulated deposits" means the amount standing to the credit of a member derived from the deposits required to be made by the member to the police retirement system or to the predecessor system. Accumulated deposits also include interest that is credited annually to the account of a vested member at a rate of five percent or the rate determined by the board and that is credited as of December 31 to amounts standing to the credit of the member on January 1 of the same calendar year. Accumulated deposits also include interest credited to the account of a member before September 1, 2007, without regard to whether the member is vested at the time the interest is credited to the members account.

(2)

"Actuarial equivalent" means any benefit of equal present value to a standard benefit when computed as specified by this Act.

(3)

"Actuary" means a technical advisor of the police retirement board regarding the operations which are based on mortality, service, and compensation experience who makes periodic valuations of the assets and liabilities of the funds and other evaluations as requested by the board.

(4)

"Average final compensation" means the monthly average of basic hourly earnings of a member during, as applicable:

(A)

if the member has 120 months or more of service during which the member made contributions to the system or the predecessor system, the 36 months which yielded the highest average during the last 120 months of membership service during which the member contributed to the system or the predecessor system;

(B)

if the member has less than 120 months of membership service during which the member contributed to the system or the predecessor system, but has at least 36 months of membership service during which the member made contributions to the system or the predecessor system, the average of the 36 months which yielded the highest average; or

(C)

if the member does not have 36 months of membership service during which the member contributed to the system or the predecessor system, the average of the members months of membership service during which the member made contributions to the system or the predecessor system.

(5)

"Basic hourly earnings" means the hourly rate of the sum of base pay plus longevity pay but does not include any other type of pay.

(6)

"Beneficiary" means any person, trust, or estate properly designated by a member or retired member to receive benefits from the system.

(7)

"Creditable service" means the number of months during which a member pays into and keeps on deposit the amounts of money prescribed by this Act to be paid by the member into the system or into the predecessor system, including certain military service and certain probationary service in excess of six months for which a member has purchased creditable service in accordance with Article V of this Act, and excluding a month in which service amounted to fewer than 15 days. The months beyond attained age 62 are included within the meaning of creditable service, regardless of payments into this system or into the predecessor system if the police officer is otherwise eligible for membership in the system, is a police officer employed by the city, and did not contribute for the months only if they occurred before September 1, 1995.

(8)

"Death benefit" means a single sum payable as a result of the death of a member or retired member.

(9)

"Deposits" means the amount required to be paid by members in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(10)

"Disability retirement" means the employment termination of a member from service with a disability retirement benefit as provided under this Act.

(11)

"Employment termination" means:

(A)

the voluntary termination of employment with the city or the system; or

(B)

the involuntary termination of employment with the city or the system of a member who does not appeal the termination through arbitration or through the civil service commission or whose appeal has been denied by arbitration or by the civil service commission.

(12)

"Fund No. 1" means the part of the trust assets consisting of all accumulated deposits of members who have not withdrawn from the system.

(13)

"Fund No. 2" means the part of the trust assets consisting of all money contributed by the city, interest earned thereon, and all accumulations and earnings of the system except those of Fund No. 1.

(14)

"Investment consultant" means a person who monitors the investment performance of the system and provides other services as requested by the board.

(15)

"Investment manager" means a person or persons who monitor and manage any portion of the investment portfolio for the system making specified investment decisions on behalf of the system.

(16)

"Life annuity," "retirement annuity," or "annuity" means a series of equal monthly payments, payable for life after retirement.

(17)

"Life annuity (modified cash refund)" means a series of equal monthly payments, payable for life after retirement. In the event of death of the retired member before that member has received monthly payments equal to the amount of that members accumulated deposits at the date of retirement, the excess, if any, of such accumulated deposits over the monthly payments shall be refunded in one sum to the members beneficiary.

(18)

"Member" means any police officer or employee of the police retirement system included in the system under this Act and approved for membership by the police retirement board. In any case of doubt regarding the eligibility of an employee to become or remain a member of the system, the decision of the police retirement board shall be final.

(19)

"Normal retirement date" means the last day of the earliest month in which the member has satisfied the eligibility requirements of Section 6.02 of this Act.

(20)

"Predecessor system" means the retirement system for police officers in effect before January 1, 1980.

(21)

"Police officer" means any full-time commissioned police officer employed by the police department of the city pursuant to Chapter 143, Local Government Code.

(22)

"Police retirement board" or "board" means the board of trustees of the police retirement system created by Section 3.01 of this Act for the purpose of administering the system.

(23)

"Police retirement system" or " system" means a retirement and pensioning system for police officers of certain cities and for employees of the system established by Section 2.01 of this Act.

(24)

"Retired member" means a member who is receiving a service or disability retirement benefit.

(25)

"Retirement" means employment termination in order to receive an annuity in accordance with the provisions of the police retirement system under this Act.

(26)

"Retirement date" means the last day of the month of the retirement of the member.

(27)

"Service" or "active service" means service as a police officer of the city paid for by the city or service as a member of the police retirement systems administrative staff paid for by the system.

(28)

"Spouse" means a spouse as recognized under the laws of this state.

(29)

"Survivor benefit" means a series of equal monthly payments payable as a result of the death of a member after becoming eligible for service retirement but before retirement and computed as if the member had retired on the last day of the month of death.

(30)

"Vested" means a member has a right to leave the members accumulated deposits standing to the members credit with the system and receive a service retirement benefit on attaining the age at which service retirement benefits become payable. A member is vested on attaining 10 years of creditable service.

(31)

"Vested interest" means the amount of benefit to which a member has a nonforfeitable right in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

(32)

"Withdrawal" means employment termination for any cause whatsoever prior to retirement date and the subsequent receipt or direct rollover of the accumulated deposits standing to the members credit in the police retirement system.

(33)

"Withdrawal benefit" means the accumulated deposits of a member on withdrawal which have been made in one lump sum unless specifically provided otherwise in this Act.

(1)

"Active member" means a fire fighter or police officer who is a current contributing member of the fund.

(1-a)

"Alternate payee" has the meaning assigned by Section 804.001, Government Code, or any successor statute.

(2)

"Average total salary" means the aggregate total salary, as defined by Subdivision (17) of this section, received by a member during the three years of the five-year period ending on the date of the members service or disability retirement or death in which the members total salary is highest, divided by three.

(3)

"Beneficiary" means the surviving spouse, dependent child, or dependent parent of a deceased member or retiree.

(4)

"Board" means the board of trustees of a fund to which this Act applies.

(4-a)

"Catastrophic injury" means irreparable physical bodily injury sustained by a member as a direct and immediate result of the members engaging in an activity that:

(A)

constitutes the performance of the members duties as a firefighter or police officer;

(B)

involves an extraordinary degree of risk of bodily injury or death; and

(C)

does not result in death.

(4-b)

"Class" means the trainee class of a fire fighter or police officer training academy of a municipality to which this Act applies from which a member graduated, as determined by the board.

(4-c)

"Class graduation date" means the date the graduates of any class graduated, as determined by the board.

(5)

"Code" means the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(6)

"Department" means the fire department of a municipality to which this Act applies, the police department of a municipality to which this Act applies, or both the fire department and the police department of such a municipality.

(7)

"Dependent child" means:

(A)

a person who is less than 18 years of age and is a child of a deceased member or deceased retiree; or

(B)

a person:

(i)

who is at least 18 years of age;

(ii)

who is mentally or physically disabled to the extent that the person is not capable of being self-supporting; and

(iii)

whose natural or adoptive parent is a deceased member or deceased retiree, provided that, for the year immediately preceding the death of the member or retiree, the deceased member or retiree claimed the person as a dependent on the members or retirees federal income tax return.

(8)

"Dependent parent" means a person who is the natural parent of a deceased member or deceased retiree or who adopted a deceased member or deceased retiree before the deceased members or retirees 18th birthday if, for the year immediately preceding the death of the member or retiree, the deceased member or retiree claimed the person as a dependent on the members or retirees federal income tax return.

(8-a)

"Disability" means a regular disability under Section 5.03(a) of this Act or a catastrophic injury disability under Section 5.03(a-1) of this Act.

(9)

"Fire fighter" means an employee of the fire department who is classified as a fire fighter by the personnel department of the municipality.

(10)

"Fund" means the fire fighters and police officers pension fund of a municipality to which this Act applies.

(11)

"Member" means a fire fighter or police officer who has become a member of the fund as provided by Section 4.01(a) or 4.011 of this Act and has not retired, died, or forfeited the persons interest in the fund.

(11-a)

"Member buyback contribution amount" means the amount of the first contribution by a member to the fund for a full pay period, multiplied by 26, divided by 12, and multiplied by 3.

(12)

"Police officer" means an employee of the police department who is classified as a police officer by the personnel department of the municipality.

(12-a)

"Probationary period" means the period beginning on the graduation date of a graduate of a class and ending on the date the graduate becomes a member.

(12-b)

"Qualified funds" means pretax funds that are part of an eligible rollover distribution, as described in Section 402(f)(2) of the code, or funds that have been transferred to the fund in accordance with Section 403(b)(13) or Section 457(e)(17) of the code to purchase years or fractions of years of service.

(12-c)

"Qualified mayoral designee" means an individual designated by the mayor of a municipality to which this Act applies who is a member or former member of the city council of, or an employee of, a municipality to which this Act applies.

(13)

"Retiree" means a member who has terminated employment with the department with a right to a service retirement pension as provided by Section 5.01 of this Act or a disability retirement pension as provided by Section 5.03 of this Act.

(14)

"Retirement" means the period that a retiree is entitled to receive service retirement benefits or disability retirement benefits.

(15)

"Retirement annuity" means pension benefits payable to a retiree on an annual basis in accordance with this Act.

(16)

"Surviving spouse" means a widow or a widower of a member or retiree who was married to the member or retiree at the time of the members or retirees death.

(17)

"Total salary" means all salary of a member, except:

(A)

overtime pay, field training officers pay, bomb squad pay, SWAT team pay, K-9 pay, and hostage team pay; and

(B)

pay for unused accrued vacation and sick leave, holiday pay, compensatory time pay, and bonus days leave, or any similar items of compensation that may be paid in the future.

(18)

"Years of service" means a members total years of service, including fractional years or full months of service, computed as provided by Section 5.01 of this Act.

(1)

"Actuary" means an actuary selected by the board to conduct an actuarial study who is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries, or a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

(1-a)

"Annual member payroll" means the amount computed on the first payroll date in June of the applicable fiscal year that equals the product of the base pay plus additional compensation for employment longevity paid to all members for services rendered multiplied by the total number of payroll dates in the fiscal year.

(1-b)

"Average member salary" means the amount computed on the first payroll date in June of the applicable fiscal year that equals the quotient of the annual member payroll for the fiscal year divided by the number of members.

(2)

"Board" means the board of trustees of a fund established under Section 1.04 of this Act.

(3)

"Beneficiary" means a retiree, or the spouse or other eligible dependent of a retiree, who is entitled to receive retiree health benefits under Section 5.01(a) of this Act.

(4)

"Collective bargaining agreements" means the collectively bargained agreements in effect on January 1, 2004, between a municipality to which this Act applies and the exclusive bargaining agents of the firefighters and police officers of the municipality under Chapter 174, Local Government Code.

(5)

"Firefighter" means an employee of the fire department who is classified as a firefighter by the personnel department of a municipality to which this Act applies.

(6)

"Fund" means the firefighters and police officers retiree health care fund of a municipality to which this Act applies.

(6-a)

"Master contract document" means the master contract in effect on January 1, 2004, containing the terms and conditions of the health and medical benefits plan established under the collective bargaining agreements.

(6-b)

"Member" means a firefighter or police officer, except as provided by Section 4.011 of this Act.

(6-c)

"Payroll date" means the date every other week on which a municipality to which this Act applies pays regular compensation to members.

(6-d)

"Pension act" means Chapter 824, Acts of the 73rd Legislature, Regular Session, 1993 (Article 6243o, Vernons Texas Civil Statutes).

(6-e)

"Pension fund" means the firefighters and police officers pension fund of a municipality to which the pension act applies.

(7)

"Police officer" means an employee of the police department who is classified as a police officer by the personnel department of a municipality to which this Act applies.

(8)

"Retiree" means an individual who was a firefighter or police officer whose retirement date is after September 30, 1989.

(8-a)

"Retiree health plan" means the group family health plan for retirees and other beneficiaries established by the collective bargaining agreements and the master contract document.

(9)

"Trustee" means a member of the board.

(10)

"Years of service" means the number of full years beginning on the date the firefighter or police officer becomes a member of the fund until the date the firefighter or police officer retires or otherwise terminates employment as a firefighter or police officer less any service credit for the amount of time the member is engaged in active service with any uniformed service of the United States that the member does not purchase in accordance with Section 4.023 of this Act.

(1)

the quality of water in Gaines County may be materially affected by the management of solid waste throughout the county;

(2)

a countywide or regional effort to provide for the management of solid waste in accordance with state and federal law is far more effective than each incorporated or unincorporated community providing solid waste management services;

(3)

solid waste, as well as other waste, may impair water quality by seepage or drainage; and

(4)

creation of the Gaines County Solid Waste Management District would advance the established policy of this state to maintain the quality of the water in the state consistent with:

(A)

the public health and public enjoyment;

(B)

the propagation and protection of terrestrial and aquatic life;

(C)

the operation of existing industries; and

(D)

the economic development of the state.

(b)

The legislature finds that this Act is in compliance with Article XVI, Sections 59(d) and (e), of the Texas Constitution and that the legislature has the power and authority to enact this Act.

(c)

The legislature finds that all of the area included in the district is benefited by the exercise of the power conferred by this Act.
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Oct. 17, 2019