Texas Vernon’s Civil Statutes
Sec. § 2.01
Definitions


In this article:

(1)

"415 compensation" means a members wages, salary, and other amounts received for personal services rendered in the course of employment with the city during a limitation year and permitted to be treated as compensation for purposes of Section 415(c) of the code, including differential wage payments described in Section 414(u)(12) of the code. The term does not include amounts picked up under Section 4.03(i) of this article.

(2)

"Active service" means any period that a member receives compensation as a police officer or fire fighter from either department for services rendered.

(3)

"Actuarial equivalent" means a form of benefit differing in time, duration, or manner of payment from a standard benefit payable under this article but having the same value when computed using the assumptions set forth in this article.

(4)

"Alternate payee" has the meaning given the term by Section 414(p) of the code or any successor provision.

(5)

"Alternative investment" means an investment in an asset other than a traditional asset. The term includes an investment in private equity funds, private real estate transactions, hedge funds, and infrastructure.

(6)

"Annual additions" means the sum of the following amounts credited to a members account under any defined contribution plan maintained by the city for the limitation year:

(A)

city contributions;

(B)

member contributions, other than rollover contributions from a plan maintained by any employer other than the city;

(C)

forfeitures; and

(D)

amounts allocated after March 31, 1984, to an individual medical benefit account, as defined in Section 415(l)(2) of the code, that is part of a pension or annuity plan maintained by the city.
For any limitation year beginning before January 1, 1987, only that portion of member contributions equal to the lesser of member contributions in excess of six percent of 415 compensation or one-half of member contributions to the combined pension plan or any qualified defined contribution plan maintained by the city is treated as annual additions.

(7)

"Annual benefit" means the aggregate benefit attributable to city and member contributions payable annually under the combined pension plan, or any plan maintained by the city, exclusive of any benefit not required to be considered for purposes of applying the limitations of Section 415 of the code to the combined pension plan, payable in the form of a straight life annuity beginning at age 62 with no ancillary benefits. Solely for purposes of computing the limitations under the combined pension plan, benefits actually payable to a pensioner are adjusted to the actuarial equivalent of a straight life annuity pursuant to Section 415(b) of the code even though no member may actually receive a benefit in the form of a straight life annuity.

(8)

"Article 6243a" means Chapter 4, Acts of the 43rd Legislature, 1st Called Session, 1933 (former Article 6243a, Vernons Texas Civil Statutes), pertaining to a pension system for police officers, fire fighters, and fire alarm operators in certain cities.

(9)

"Assignment pay" means monthly pay, in addition to salary, granted to a Group B member and authorized by the city council for the performance of certain enumerated duty assignments.

(10)

"Base pay" means the maximum monthly civil service pay from time to time established by the city for a person who holds the rank of "police officer" in the citys police department or the rank of "fire and rescue officer" in the citys fire department, exclusive of any other form of compensation. The term does not include compensation paid by the city to a person for prior periods of service or compensation that otherwise constitutes back pay unless the compensation is eligible back pay. The board may adopt rules and procedures necessary to include eligible back pay as base pay for purposes of this definition, including rules regarding how increases in benefits will be determined and administered.

(11)

"Base pension" means the amount of retirement, death, or disability benefits as determined at the earliest of the time a Group B member and, solely for the purposes of Section 6.12 of this article, a Group A member:

(A)

begins participation in DROP;

(B)

leaves or left active service;

(C)

dies; or

(D)

becomes entitled to a disability pension under the combined pension plan.
Solely for purposes of this definition, when a member becomes entitled to a disability pension, the base pension shall be determined as of the date on which the disability pension begins.

(12)

"Board" means the board of trustees created under Section 3.01 of this article for the purpose of administering the pension system.

(13)

"Child" means a person whose parent, as recognized under the laws of this state, is a primary party.

(14)

"City" means each municipality having a population of more than 1.18 million and located predominantly in a county that has a total area of less than 1,000 square miles.

(15)

"City attorney" means the chief legal officer of a city.

(16)

"City council" means the governing body of the city.

(17)

"City manager" means the city manager of a city or the city managers designee and includes, to the extent of any designation, an interim or acting city manager, chief financial officer, budget director, or assistant city manager. If a city does not have an individual serving in a position otherwise described by this subdivision, "city manager" means the mayor of that city.

(18)

"City service incentive pay" means annual incentive pay, adjusted by the city from time to time, in addition to the salary of a member granted to the member under the authority of the city charter and received by the member during active service.

(19)

"Code" means the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

(20)

"Combined pension plan" means any pension plan created pursuant to this article before September 1, 2017.

(21)

"Computation pay" shall be used in determining the amount of the citys contribution under Section 4.02(d) of this article and a Group B members contribution under Section 4.03(d) of this article and in determining the base pension to be paid to a Group B member or the benefits to be paid to the members qualified survivors and means the sum of the following:

(A)

the biweekly rate of pay of a member for the highest civil service rank the person holds, from time to time, as a result of a competitive examination; plus

(B)

the educational incentive pay of a member, computed on a biweekly basis; plus

(C)

the longevity pay of a member, as authorized by the legislature, computed on a biweekly basis; plus

(D)

the city service incentive pay, computed on a biweekly basis, of a member.
The term includes only amounts actually paid in salary or payments made instead of salary to the member and member contributions picked up by the city, and does not include any imputed pay. Furthermore, any compensation received by a member, other than that noted in Paragraphs (A)-(D) of this subdivision (for example, compensation for overtime work, certification pay, and the pay a member would receive from the city in the form of assignment pay), will not be considered in determining the computation pay of a member. Any lump-sum payments for compensatory time, unused sick leave, unused vacation time, or city service incentive pay payable after a member leaves active service, dies, becomes disabled, or resigns, or after any other type of termination may not be considered in determining the computation pay of any member. Computation pay for a member for any given period is determined on the biweekly rates of pay due the member for the entire period. The term does not include compensation paid by the city to a person for prior periods of service or compensation that otherwise constitutes back pay unless the compensation is eligible back pay. The board may adopt rules and procedures necessary to include eligible back pay as computation pay for purposes of this definition, including rules regarding how increases in benefits will be determined and administered.

(22)

"Department" means either the police department of the city, the fire department of the city, or both the police and fire departments of the city together.

(23)

"Dependent parent" means a natural parent or parent who adopted a primary party and who immediately before the death of a primary party received over half of the parents financial support from the primary party.

(24)

"Disability retirement" means any period that a pensioner receives periodic disability compensation or a disability pension.

(25)

"DROP" means the deferred retirement option plan established in accordance with Section 6.14 of this article.

(26)

"Educational incentive pay" means incentive pay designed to reward completion of certain hours of college credit, adjusted by the city from time to time, that is paid to a member in addition to the members salary.

(27)

"Eligible back pay," except as otherwise provided by this definition, means additional compensation paid by the city to a member or pensioner:

(A)

that constitutes back pay to the members or pensioners prior period of service and is otherwise considered taxable wages paid by the city to the member or pensioner for federal income tax purposes; and

(B)

for which the pension system receives:

(i)

an amount equal to the aggregate member and city contributions that the pension system would have collected with respect to the compensation for all time periods relating to the back pay compensation; and

(ii)

interest, calculated using the pension systems actuarial rate of return assumptions in effect for the periods relating to the back pay, compounded annually, on the contribution amounts for the period from the date that the contributions would have been received if the back pay compensation had been paid during the relevant periods of prior service through the date the amount relating to the contributions for back pay is actually received by the pension system.
The term does not include any additional compensation paid by the city to a member or pensioner wholly or partly or directly or indirectly as the result of litigation instituted to recover back pay.
The pension system is not obligated to collect the additional contributions or interest described in Paragraph (B) of this subdivision from the member, pensioner, or city. The pension system may not recognize back pay as eligible back pay until the contributions and interest described in Paragraph (B) of this subdivision have been received.

(28)

"Executive director" means the person designated by the board to supervise the operation of the pension system.

(29)

"Fund" means all funds and property held to provide benefits to all persons who are or who may become entitled to any benefits under any plan within the pension system, together with all income, profits, or other increments.

(30)

"Group A member" means any police officer or fire fighter included in Group A membership under Section 5.01(a)(1) of this article.

(31)

"Group B member" means any police officer or fire fighter included in Group B membership under Section 5.01(a)(2) of this article.

(32)

"Health director" means any qualified physician designated from time to time by the board.

(33)

"Limitation year" means the plan year of the combined pension plan and any defined benefit plan or defined contribution plan of the city in which a member participates.

(34)

"Longevity pay" means pay in addition to the salary of a member granted under Section 141.032, Local Government Code, for each year of active service completed by a member in either department.

(35)

"Member" means both Group A and Group B members.

(36)

"Members account" means an account established and maintained for a member with respect to the members total interest in one or more defined contribution plans under this article or maintained by the city resulting in annual additions.

(37)

"Nominations committee" means the nominations committee established under Section 3.011 of this article.

(38)

"Old plan" means any pension plan created pursuant to Section 1 of Article 6243a.

(39)

"Pensioner," "Group A pensioner," or "Group B pensioner" means a former member of the pension system who is on either a service or disability retirement.

(40)

"Pension service" means the time, in years, and prorated for fractional years, that a member has contributed to the fund under the terms of the combined pension plan or any plan within the pension system, reduced to reflect refunds that have been received and not fully repaid.

(41)

"Pension system" means the fund and any plans created pursuant to this article or Article 6243a and that are intended to be qualified under Section 401(a) of the code.

(42)

"Plan A" means any plan created pursuant to Section 11A of Article 6243a.

(43)

"Plan B" means any plan created pursuant to Section 11B of Article 6243a.

(44)

"Police officer" or "fire fighter" means, as appropriate, a police officer, fire fighter, fire and rescue officer, fire alarm operator, fire inspector, apprentice police officer, apprentice fire fighter, or similar employee of either department as defined in the classifications of the human resources department of the city.

(45)

"Primary party," "Group B primary party," or "Group A primary party" means a member or pensioner.

(46)

"Qualified actuary" means either:

(A)

an individual 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; or

(B)

a firm that employs one or more persons who are Fellows of the Society of Actuaries, Fellows of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries, or members of the American Academy of Actuaries and are providing services to the pension system.

(47)

"Qualified domestic relations order" has the meaning provided by Section 414(p) of the code.

(48)

"Qualified survivor" means a person who is eligible to receive death benefits after the death of a primary party and includes only:

(A)

a surviving spouse, if the spouse was continuously married to the primary party from the date when the primary party either voluntarily or involuntarily left active service as a member through the date of the primary partys death;

(B)

all surviving, unmarried children who are either under 19 years of age or have a disability, as determined by the board under Section 6.06(o-2) of this article, and who were:

(i)

born or adopted before the primary party either voluntarily or involuntarily left active service; or

(ii)

born after the primary party left active service if the mother was pregnant with the child before the primary party left active service; and

(C)

a surviving dependent parent of a primary party if the primary party is not survived by a spouse or child eligible for benefits.

(49)

"Service retirement" means any period that a pensioner receives a retirement pension but does not include any period of disability retirement.

(50)

"Spouse" means the person to whom a primary party is legally married under the laws of this state or any other state.

(51)

"Traditional asset" includes stocks, bonds, and cash.

(52)

"Trustee" means a member of the board.

(53)

"Two-thirds vote," in reference to a vote of all the trustees, means a vote of 8 of the 11 trustees of the board.

(b)

A person employed by the municipality is not eligible to be a participating member if the person is:

(1)

an independent contractor or an employee of an independent contractor doing work for the municipality;

(2)

an elected officer or a nonsalaried, appointed member of an administrative board or commission of the municipality, except an employee who serves as a member of the board or commission;

(3)

an employee serving on a part-time basis of less than one-half the time required to serve as a full-time employee;

(4)

an employee who is paid in part by the municipality and in part by a county, state, or other governmental agency; or

(5)

a temporary employee, as determined by the records of the municipality, on the payroll of the municipality.

(c)

A person may appeal a determination regarding the persons eligibility to be a participating member to the board of trustees. The boards decision regarding eligibility is final.

(1)

the mayor of a municipality to which this Act applies or a qualified mayoral designee;

(2)

two members of the governing body of a municipality to which this Act applies, appointed by that governing body;

(3)

two active members who are fire fighters below the rank of fire chief, elected by secret ballot by a majority of the votes cast by the members of the fire department;

(4)

two active members who are police officers below the rank of police chief, elected by secret ballot by a majority of the votes cast by the members of the police department;

(5)

a retiree representative of the fire department, elected by secret ballot by a majority of the votes cast by the retirees of the fire department and the surviving spouses who are receiving benefits with respect to deceased members or retirees of the fire department; and

(6)

a retiree representative of the police department, elected by secret ballot by a majority of the votes cast by the retirees of the police department and the surviving spouses who are receiving benefits with respect to deceased members or retirees of the police department.

(b)

The board, through its secretary, shall administer the required elections of the active member and retiree representatives by mailing ballots to all eligible members, retirees, or beneficiaries. Only retirees and surviving spouses who are currently receiving benefits from the fund are eligible to vote for the retiree representatives. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for any trustee position, the board shall hold a run-off election in which the only candidates are the candidates who received the highest and second-highest number of votes cast. If a candidate for trustee is unopposed in an election, the board shall certify the candidate as elected to the board on the executive directors certification that the candidate is eligible and is unopposed for election.

(1)

the mayor of the municipality or the mayors designee;

(2)

two members of the municipal governing body, appointed by that governing body;

(3)

two members of the fund who are firefighters below the rank of fire chief, elected by secret ballot by a majority of the votes cast by the members of the fund who are firefighters;

(4)

two members of the fund who are police officers below the rank of police chief, elected by secret ballot by a majority of the votes cast by the members of the fund who are police officers;

(5)

a retiree representative of the fire department, elected by secret ballot by a majority of the votes cast by the retirees of the fire department who are beneficiaries of the fund and the surviving spouses of deceased firefighters who are beneficiaries of the fund; and

(6)

a retiree representative of the police department, elected by secret ballot by a majority of the votes cast by the retirees of the police department who are beneficiaries of the fund and the surviving spouses of deceased police officers who are beneficiaries of the fund.

(b)

The board, through its secretary, shall administer the required elections of the members and retiree trustees. The board shall hold a runoff election between the two candidates receiving the most votes if no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for a trustee position. On the executive directors certification that a candidate for trustee is eligible for office and is unopposed for election, the board shall certify the candidate as elected to the board.

(c)

The fund is independent of the control of the municipality.
Source
Last accessed
Oct. 17, 2019