Texas Vernon’s Civil Statutes
Sec. § 5.08
Members in Uniformed Services


(a)

In this section, "service in the uniformed services" has the meaning assigned by the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (38 U.S.C. Section 4301 et seq.), as amended.

(a-1)

A member who is reemployed by the city after an absence due to service in the uniformed services shall receive contributions, benefits, and pension service that are no less favorable than those required by Section 414(u) of the code in accordance with the procedure described by Subsection (c) of this section.

(b)

To the extent a provision of this section that was in effect before November 25, 1996, would provide a member who was on active service with the pension system before November 25, 1996, with greater rights, the prior provision of this section applies.

(c)

Payment for credit for pension service under this section shall be made in accordance with Section 5.07 of this article and a uniform and nondiscriminatory procedure adopted by the board.
Sec. 5.09. NON-UNIFORMED LEAVE OF ABSENCE. (a) An "authorized non-uniformed leave of absence" means any leave of absence that meets one of the following requirements:

(1)

the leave of absence was unpaid and granted by the members department in accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. Section 2601 et seq.); or

(2)

the leave of absence was unpaid and was an official leave authorized and certified by the chief of the members department as being beneficial to the department.

(b)

Subject to the requirements of this section and any procedures adopted by the board, a member may receive pension service for time spent away from the members department on an authorized non-uniformed leave of absence. To receive pension service under this section, the member must file with the executive director a written application to pay to the fund both:

(1)

the member contributions the member would have made to the fund had the member remained on active service and had there been no change in the members position or hours of work during the period of the authorized non-uniformed leave of absence; and

(2)

the contributions the city would have made to the fund on the members behalf had the member remained on active service and had there been no change in the members position or hours of work during the period of the authorized non-uniformed leave of absence.

(b-1)

Contributions made under Subsection (b)(2) of this section may not be refunded to the member.

(b-2)

The written application described by Subsection (b) of this section must be filed before the members authorized non-uniformed leave of absence begins, unless the pension system determines that it would not be reasonable to expect the member to file the application before the authorized non-uniformed leave of absence begins, in which case the application must be filed as soon as circumstances permit, as determined by the pension system.

(b-3)

To receive pension service under this section, the following additional conditions must also be met:

(1)

if the members contribution rate, the citys contribution rate, or both the members and citys contribution rates change before the end of the members authorized non-uniformed leave of absence, the percentage required to be paid by the member also changes, so that the amount paid by the member in accordance with this section always equals the amount that would have been contributed by the member, and by the city on the members behalf had the member remained on active service;

(2)

payment of contributions as set forth in Subsection (b) of this section shall begin coincident with the beginning of the applicable authorized non-uniformed leave of absence and shall be made monthly to the executive director for deposit in the fund, unless the board authorizes the deferment of the payments, in which case the payments must include interest calculated in accordance with Subsection (b-4) of this section;

(3)

no pension service will be granted to the member until the member returns to active service, and if the member does not return to active service, the contributions paid, including any interest paid, will be returned to the member except as provided by Subsection (c) of this section;

(4)

if the board authorizes the deferment of the payments under Subdivision (2) of this subsection, the payment must be made either by authorizing the deduction of pro rata portions of the total amount due from the members salary over a one-year period, or by cash payment made to the executive director within one year after the date of the members return to active service, except that the board may approve a longer period for making the payment if it finds that the one-year limit would work a financial hardship on the member;

(5)

the member must return to active service within 90 days after the date the members authorized non-uniformed leave of absence expires, or if the members authorized non-uniformed leave of absence does not have a fixed expiration date, within a reasonable time to be determined by the board, or the member forfeits the right to pay for the leave time; and

(6)

no member may ever be allowed to pay leave of absence contributions under this section for any time in excess of the time actually spent on an authorized non-uniformed leave of absence.

(b-4)

For purposes of Subsection (b-3)(2) of this section, interest is calculated from the date the members payment was first due, at the interest rate from time to time used in the pension systems actuarial rate of return assumptions, compounded annually until the date the principal and accrued interest are repaid in full.

(c)

(1) If a member of the combined pension plan is disabled or dies while on an authorized non-uniformed leave of absence, the member or the members designee is entitled to a refund of contributions pursuant to Section 4.04 of this article or the member or the members qualified survivors are entitled to benefits under the provisions of this article, to the extent applicable.

(2)

A member who is disabled or dies while on an authorized non-uniformed leave of absence pursuant to this section may receive no pension service for any portion of the period of the leave, except that if the member had, before the members disability or death, paid for contributions while on an authorized non-uniformed leave of absence in accordance with this section, the member shall receive pension service for the leave time actually paid for at the time of the members disability or death. The member may receive no pension service for any portion of the period of leave for which contributions were not paid to the executive director for deposit in the fund.

(1)

determines that the emergency exists and approves the proposed amendment by the unanimous vote of all members of the governing body; and

(2)

provides written notice to the administrative head of the public retirement system at least five business days before the date the proposed amendment takes effect.

(b)

On the 90th day after the date an amendment under this section takes effect and for each subsequent 90-day period while the amendment is in effect, the governing body shall determine whether the emergency continues to exist. If the governing body does not determine by a unanimous vote that the emergency continues to exist or if the governing body fails to vote on whether the emergency exists as required by this subsection, the amendment automatically expires on the date the vote is taken or on the date the vote should have been taken, as applicable.

(b)

A determination under this section is solely within the discretion of the department chief and must be reasonably exercised.
Sec. 5.09. COST-OF-LIVING INCREASES. (a) At or before its regular meeting in the month of March, the board annually shall review the Consumers Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), U.S. City Average or the nearest equivalent published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for the preceding calendar year. If that index shows an increase during the preceding calendar year in the cost of living as compared with that index at the close of the previous year, the board shall order an increase of all service, disability, and death benefit retirement annuities by a percentage that varies by the date of the members service or disability retirement, or, in the case of a member who died before retirement, the date on which the member died. If the members service retirement, disability retirement, or death before retirement occurred before August 30, 1971, the annuity shall be increased by a percentage equal to the percentage increase in the cost of living index. If the members service retirement, disability retirement, or death before retirement occurred on or after August 30, 1971, but before October 1, 1999, the annuity shall be increased as follows: if the percentage increase in the cost of living index is eight percent or less, the annuity shall be increased by a percentage equal to the percentage increase, and if the percentage increase in the cost of living index is more than eight percent, the annuity shall be increased by eight percent plus a percentage equal to 75 percent of the percentage increase that is more than eight percent. If the members service retirement, disability retirement, or death before retirement occurred on or after October 1, 1999, the annuity shall be increased by a percentage equal to 75 percent of the percentage increase in the cost of living index. A percentage increase in annuities shall be rounded to the nearest one-tenth percentage point for a cost of living increase.

(a-1)

The cost of living increases described by this section do not apply to an annuity payable under Section 6.02(g-3) of this Act until the annuity becomes effective.

(b)

The annuities to which this section applies shall be computed as of the month of January before that March board meeting and shall continue in effect for at least one full year until there has been an additional increase to that cost-of-living index and the board enters another order as provided by this section.

(c)

The cost-of-living increase paid to any retiree or beneficiary during the first full year after the effective date of the service retirement, disability retirement, or death shall be prorated on the basis of full months from the date of the members service retirement, disability retirement, or death.

(b)

Funds of the district may be placed in certificates of deposit of state or national banks or state or federal savings and loan associations within the state provided that funds are secured in the manner required for the security of the funds of counties of the state.

(c)

The board by resolution may provide that an authorized representative of the district may invest and reinvest the funds of the district and provide for money to be withdrawn from the appropriate accounts of the district for investments on terms the board considers advisable.
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Oct. 23, 2019