Texas Vernon’s Civil Statutes
Sec. § 6.01
Group a Retirement Pension


(a)

A Group A member must have 20 years of pension service to be eligible for a Group A retirement pension under this section. A members benefit election under this section, once approved, is irrevocable.

(a-1)

If a Group A pensioner returns to active service as a police officer or fire fighter with the city, the persons Group A retirement pension ceases until that person again leaves active service with the city.

(a-2)

If a Group A pensioner resumes employment with the city in a capacity other than as a police officer or fire fighter, the pensioners Group A retirement pension continues during the period of employment, except the pensioner may not accrue additional credit for pension service during this period. Additional credit for pension service does not accrue during any period in which a Group A pensioner becomes employed by the city unless the additional credit is attributable to active service as a police officer or fire fighter with the city.

(b)

At age 50 a Group A member is eligible to begin drawing a monthly Group A retirement pension. A monthly Group A retirement pension equals 50 percent of the base pay per month, plus 50 percent of any longevity pay the Group A member was receiving at the time the member left active service. Although the number of years used in the computation of longevity pay remains fixed at the earlier of the time a Group A member leaves active service or begins participation in DROP, the monthly rate of longevity pay used in this computation is subject to change in the event of an amendment to the state law governing longevity pay. The monthly Group A retirement pension benefits of Group A pensioners shall be adjusted from time to time in a like manner.

(c)

In addition to the amount computed under Subsection (b) of this section, at age 50, a Group A member is eligible to begin drawing an annual Group A retirement pension. An annual retirement pension equals 50 percent of the difference between the annualized amount of city service incentive pay and longevity pay. In determining city service incentive pay and longevity pay for purposes of this element of the annual Group A retirement pension only the following apply:

(1)

City service incentive pay is calculated in the same manner as the city service incentive pay is calculated for members currently on active service except:

(A)

the annual salary of a Group A pensioner used in calculating city service incentive pay is determined on the basis of the last city civil service rank held by the Group A pensioner when the person was on active service; however, if the rank no longer exists, its closest equivalent shall be determined by the board and applied; and

(B)

the annual salary of a Group A pensioner as determined under Paragraph (A) of this subdivision shall be that amount in effect on the last day of September of each year the Group A pensioners annual retirement pension is calculated.

(2)

Longevity pay shall be calculated as 12 times the amount of monthly longevity pay the Group A pensioner was receiving at the time such person left active service, except that the monthly rate of longevity pay used in this computation is subject to change if an amendment to state law governing longevity pay is enacted.

(d)

The element of annual retirement pension computed under Subsection (c)(1) of this section is subject to the following limitations:

(1)

it shall be prorated for the year in which the pensioner begins receiving a retirement pension;

(2)

it shall be payable only to those Group A pensioners who, as Group A members on active service, received city service incentive pay and who receive a monthly Group A retirement pension as determined under Subsection (b) of this section on the last day of September of each year; and

(3)

it shall be paid to Group A pensioners as long as the city continues to pay city service incentive pay to Group A members on active service.

(4)

Notwithstanding Subsections (b) and (c) of this section, a Group A member with a minimum of 20 years of pension service may apply for an actuarially reduced retirement pension to begin no earlier than when the member attains age 45 but before the member attains age 50. The Group A member who has made an application may receive a retirement pension calculated under Subsections (b) and (c) of this section reduced by two-thirds of one percent per month for each whole calendar month the benefit is payable before the month in which the Group A member attains age 50.

(e)

At age 55 a Group A member is eligible to begin drawing a monthly retirement pension computed as follows:

(1)

(A) at the rate of three percent of base pay for each year, prorated for fractional years, of pension service, with a maximum of 32 years of pension service, or 96 percent of base pay; or

(B)

if the Group A member had 34 or more years of pension service as of April 30, 1990, then the members retirement pension is calculated at the rate calculated under the terms of the combined pension plan in effect on April 30, 1990, if the resulting amount would be greater than the amount calculated under Paragraph (A) of this subdivision; plus

(2)

one-half of the longevity pay the Group A member was receiving at the time the person left active service; plus

(3)

1/24th, without subsequent adjustment, of the annualized amount of the city service incentive pay the Group A member received at the time the person left active service.

(f)

For purposes of Subsection (e) of this section, base pay and longevity pay are the amounts in effect on the earlier of the date the member begins participation in DROP or the date benefits are to begin, without subsequent adjustment.

(g)

Notwithstanding Subsection (e) of this section, a Group A member with 20 or more years of pension service may apply for an actuarially reduced Group A retirement pension beginning on or after the date the Group A member attains age 50 but before the person attains age 55. The Group A member may receive a retirement pension calculated under Subsection (e) of this section reduced by two-thirds of one percent per month for each whole calendar month the benefit is payable before the month in which the Group A member attains age 55.

(h)

Entitlement to the Group A retirement pension described by this section is subject to the following conditions:

(1)

a written application must be filed with the executive director;

(2)

the grant of a Group A retirement pension by the board must be made at a meeting of the board held during the month the retirement pension is to become effective, or as soon after that as administratively possible; and

(3)

the Group A member must no longer be on active service.

(1)

application for retirement is made by the member or the members legal representative or if the board of trustees determines that, although no application has been filed, retirement is for the good of the fire department;

(2)

the medical board certifies that the member is unable to perform the duties of the members occupation as a firefighter and sends the members application to the board of trustees; and

(3)

the board of trustees approves the disability retirement.
Sec. 6.02. NO REQUIREMENT OF ON-THE-JOB INJURY. To qualify for disability retirement, a persons disability does not have to be incurred in connection with the persons performance of duties as a firefighter and may be incurred while employed by some person or entity other than the fire department.

(1)

the change is approved by the boards actuary;

(2)

the change is adopted by the board as a board rule;

(3)

the change applies to all present members, all retired members, and all who become members after the effective date of the change in the retirement benefit percent;

(4)

a members vested interest as of the last day of the month immediately preceding the effective date of the change in the retirement benefit percent is not reduced; and

(5)

a retirement annuity being paid by the police retirement system to members or to the surviving spouses or beneficiaries of members who retired before the effective date of the change in the retirement benefit percent is changed as prescribed by Subsection (d)(6) of this section, except that a reduction in annuities may not cause the members, surviving spouses, or beneficiarys annuity payment to be reduced below the base retirement amount calculated under this Act.

(b)

An annuity shall be considered as a life annuity (modified cash refund) with the first monthly payment due at the end of the month immediately following the members retirement date, but the amounts of these and all other benefits payable under this Act shall be subject at all times to such adjustments as may be required to ensure actuarial soundness as may be approved by the actuary and adopted by the board, except that annuities already granted may not be reduced below the base retirement amount granted at time of retirement.

(c)

Subject to the conditions, limitations, and restrictions set forth in this subsection, as well as all other pertinent conditions, limitations, and restrictions set forth elsewhere in this Act, the board shall have the power to authorize an annual cost of living adjustment (hereinafter referred to as "adjustment") payment which, once authorized, shall be paid out monthly and which shall be added to the current monthly payment of all retirement annuities of each and every member of the police retirement system who has retired or those of the members surviving spouses or beneficiaries who have become entitled to benefits on or before December 31 of any preceding year. Before January 1 of each year, the board shall make a separate determination of whether to authorize the payment of an annual adjustment and the amount of the adjustment, if any. These adjustments shall be paid monthly beginning January 31 of the succeeding calendar year.

(d)

In determining whether to authorize the payment and the amount of any annual adjustment, the board shall be governed by the following conditions, considerations, limitations, and restrictions:

(1)

Any and all determinations to authorize the payment of any amount must be based on the ability of the system to pay such an amount and shall not be based upon the individual needs of any particular retired members, surviving spouses, or beneficiaries.

(2)

Prior to the boards authorizing the payment of an annual adjustment, the actuary must approve and recommend such an adjustment to the board and certify in writing to the board that based on the sound application of actuarial assumptions and methods consistent with sound actuarial principles and standards, it is demonstrable that the system has and will continue to have the ability to pay such an amount out of its realized income after all other obligations of the system have been paid.

(3)

The amount of the adjustment payment to the retirement benefit for each retired member, surviving spouse, or beneficiary shall be increased or decreased by an amount, not to exceed six percent, determined by the board and the actuary based on the consumer price index, actuarial experience of the system, investment experience of the system, and cost-of-living increases granted in the past. Such increases shall be prorated for a member who retired during the year in the ratio that the number of the members completed months after the members retirement in that year bears to 12. The cost-of-living increase presented for approval by the board must be approved by the systems actuary.

(4)

The board shall have the authority and the duty, at any and all times and without notice to anyone, to decrease the amount of the adjustment payment as much as is necessary to protect the continuity of the police retirement system and to protect the corpus of the system should the ability of the system to continue to pay the adjustment be threatened by a change in the economic situation of the United States, the State of Texas, the city, or the system itself such as would dictate that a prudent trustee should authorize such a decrease; provided that if the threatened change should prove not to have had the predicted harmful effect on the system, then the board shall have the authority to reinstate the payment of all or any portion of the amount of the previously decreased adjustment payments. If at any time the actuary in the actuarys discretion shall deem the continuity of the system to be threatened by whatever cause, the actuary shall have the power and authority to order the board to make no further adjustment payments and the board shall have the power and authority to see to it that no further adjustment payments are made unless and until the actuary shall order either that the same adjustment payments which were discontinued by the actuarys order be reinstated retroactively, or that the adjustment payments (of the same amount as those which were discontinued) be reinstated prospectively from the date of the actuarys order to reinstate or the actuary may recommend to the board that the adjustment payments be decreased by whatever amount the actuary may deem to be sufficient to protect the continuity of the system. The board shall not have the power or authority to authorize or permit the payment of any adjustment payments in excess of that recommended by the actuary.

(5)

Provided that the adjustment payments, if any, shall be in addition to the benefits to which a retired member, surviving spouse, or beneficiary is otherwise entitled under this Act, and in no event shall a reduction in the adjustment payments cause the retired members, surviving spouses, or beneficiarys benefits to be reduced below the actual base retirement amount calculated under the provisions of this Act.

(6)

Service and disability retirement annuities and survivor benefits being paid by the police retirement system to members or to the surviving spouses or beneficiaries of members who retire before the effective date of any change in the retirement benefit percent under this section that occurs after 1995 shall be changed beginning with the first payment due after the effective date of the change in the retirement benefit percent. The amount of the change for a member or the surviving spouse or beneficiary of the member is equal to a percentage multiplied by the annuity payment otherwise due. The percentage is equal to the new retirement benefit percentage divided by the retirement benefit percent in effect immediately before the effective date of the new retirement benefit percent, minus one, and multiplied by 100.

(e)

The following terms and definitions shall be used in construing the meaning of this section:

(1)

"Base retirement amount" means that monthly retirement amount calculated under this Act at the time of actual retirement, reduced for the optional form selected under Section 6.03(a) of this Act, and further reduced, if appropriate for the optional form selected, if the member or the members beneficiary has died.

(2)

"Consumer price index" means the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor, or its successor in function.

(3)

"Continuity of the system" means the ability of the police retirement system to continue to meet all of its purposes, to continue to thrive and grow along with the economy of the United States, the State of Texas, and the city, or to be able to sustain itself and its beneficiaries during and throughout periods of deflation or recession in that economy.

(f)

For purposes of this section, compensation of each noneligible member taken into account under this Act may not exceed $200,000 per calendar year, indexed pursuant to Section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. Section 401). The $200,000 limit does not apply to an eligible member. For purposes of this subsection, an eligible member is any individual who first became a member before January 1, 1996. For purposes of this subsection, a noneligible member is any other member.
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Last accessed
Oct. 17, 2019