Texas Vernon’s Civil Statutes
Sec. § 6.06
General Rules Governing Death Benefits


(a)

Any award of a death benefit is subject to the conditions required by this section.

(b)

A written application for benefits must be filed with the executive director.

(c)

The application will be considered at the meeting of the board held during the month death benefits are to become effective, or as soon as possible after the date the benefits become effective. No benefits may be paid, however, until the board has approved the application.

(d)

The board may require the applicant to provide proof of eligibility, such as marriage licenses, birth certificates, adoption papers, or sworn statements. The board may withhold any death benefit until the eligibility of the applicant has been confirmed.

(e)

If surviving children of a primary party are not qualified survivors entitled to death benefits, the spouse of the primary party who is a qualified survivor is entitled only to receive a share of the death benefits in the amount calculated under Section 6.07(a) or Section 6.08(b)(1), (c)(1), (d)(1), or (e)(1) of this article, whichever is applicable, and is not entitled to what otherwise would be the surviving childrens share.

(e-1)

If a primary party had no surviving spouse, any surviving child who is a qualified survivor shall receive only the amount calculated under Section 6.07(a) or Section 6.08(b)(2), (c)(2), (d)(2), or (e)(2) of this article, whichever is applicable, and is not entitled to what otherwise would be the surviving spouses share.

(e-2)

If a primary party does not have a spouse or children who are qualified survivors, any dependent parent of the primary party who is a qualified survivor shall receive only the amount calculated under Section 6.07(c) or Section 6.08(b)(3), (d)(3), or (e)(3) of this article, whichever is applicable, and is not entitled to what otherwise would be the surviving spouses or surviving childrens share.

(f)

The total monthly death benefits received by the qualified survivors of a primary party under this article, including the primary partys spouse, children, or dependent parents, may not exceed the pension to which the deceased primary party was entitled per month.

(g)

If there is no surviving spouse or legal guardian for the surviving children of a primary party who are qualified survivors and if the board determines that the surviving children lack the discretion to handle money, or in other appropriate circumstances, notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the board may request a court of competent jurisdiction to appoint a suitable person to receive and administer the surviving childrens money or in those circumstances described in Subsection (n) of this section, appoint a new trustee to administer the surviving childrens trust.

(h)

With the exception of a trust described in Subsection (n) of this section, no death benefits awarded to surviving children may be used for any purpose other than to benefit the surviving children.

(i)

Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 318 (H.B. 3158), Sec. 1.52(4), eff. September 1, 2017.

(j)

With the exception of those circumstances described in Subsection (n) of this section, death benefits payable to surviving children shall be delivered to the legal guardian of the estate of the surviving children if one has been appointed and the pension system has been provided proof of the appointment. If no legal guardian has been appointed, death benefits shall be delivered to one of the following persons, provided there is evidence that the person is a suitable person to receive and administer the benefits:

(1)

the surviving spouse with whom the child resides; or

(2)

the adult head of the household with whom the child resides, if the child does not reside with the surviving spouse.

(j-1)

In accordance with Subsection (h) of this section, the recipient of a surviving childs death benefits under Subsection (j) of this section must use the death benefits to benefit the child. The board may withhold payment of benefits to anyone, if presented with evidence that the death benefits are not being used to benefit the surviving child.

(k)

Dependent parents of a primary party who are entitled to receive death benefits provided by this article may only receive the benefits for the remainder of the dependent parents lives.

(l)

The pension system may require all qualified survivors receiving death benefits to file a sworn statement with the executive director concerning the qualified survivors eligibility to continue to receive death benefits at least once every two years, or at any other time the executive director considers a sworn statement to be appropriate to evidence the continued eligibility of the qualified survivor. The board may withhold death benefits from any person who fails or refuses to file a statement when requested to do so.

(m)

When the last qualified survivor of any primary party becomes ineligible to continue to receive death benefits, an amount equal to the excess, if any, of the total amount of all contributions made to the fund by the primary party while a member over the sum of all benefits paid to the primary party and all of the primary partys qualified survivors shall be paid in a lump sum to the last person to receive benefits as a qualified survivor or, if none exists, to the members designee. The total amount to be paid in benefits to the primary party and all qualified survivors shall never be less than the total amount of contributions the primary party made to the fund while a member.

(n)

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section:

(1)

death benefits awarded to an unmarried child who is a qualified survivor who is determined by the board to be disabled under the terms of Subsection (o-2) of this section may be paid to the trustee of a management trust, supplemental needs or special needs trust, or comparable trust established for the benefit of the child, if the trust meets the requirements set forth in a procedure adopted from time to time by the board; and

(2)

as soon as practicable after the pension system has knowledge of an event listed in this subdivision, the pension system shall terminate payment of death benefits to a trust described by Subdivision (1) of this subsection effective on the earlier occurrence of the following events:

(A)

the date as of which the child is determined by the board to no longer be disabled under the terms of this section;

(B)

the date on which the child is lawfully married;

(C)

the date on which the child is deceased;

(D)

the date on which the pension system becomes aware that the assets of the trust are deemed to be the resources of the child under applicable federal or state laws or regulations; or

(E)

if the trustee of the childs trust fails to provide a court of competent jurisdiction with an annual accounting of the childs trust, the date occurring six months after the date of the close of the trusts fiscal year.

(o)

When a child who, as a qualified survivor, is entitled to receive death benefits under this article reaches the age of 19, the child may no longer participate in the division of the benefits, but the same undiminished childs share as determined by this section shall be paid to any remaining children who are qualified survivors who remain eligible to continue to receive death benefits.

(o-1)

If benefits are no longer payable to the trust described in Subsection (n)(1) of this section in accordance with Subsection (n)(2) of this section, the benefits are divisible and payable to any remaining children who are qualified survivors who remain eligible to receive death benefits.

(o-2)

If an unmarried child, after cessation of entitlement to death benefitsbecause of attainment of age 19, becomes disabled before age 23, the child is entitled to participate in the division of death benefits under this article. Notwithstanding the preceding, all death benefits granted under this subsection are conditioned on the board finding that:

(1)

the child is so physically or mentally disabled, either congenitally or through injury suffered or disease contracted, as to be unable to be self-supporting or to secure and hold gainful employment or pursue an occupation;

(2)

the child is not married;

(3)

the disability was not the result of an occupational injury for which the child received compensation equal to or greater than that provided under this article;

(4)

the disability was not the result of an intentional self-inflicted injury or a chronic illness itself resulting from an addiction of the child through a protracted course of indulgence in alcohol, narcotics, or other substance abuse that was not coerced; and

(5)

the disability did not occur as a result of the childs participation in the commission of a felony.

(p)

If a child with a disability received or is receiving workers compensation resulting from an occupational injury equal to an amount less than the death benefit to be provided under this section, the difference shall be paid out of the assets of the fund in the form otherwise payable as monthly benefits. For purposes of Subsections (o), (o-1), and (o-2) of this section, if a lump sum is awarded for an injury, the funds actuary may compute a corresponding monthly equivalent. A finding relating to a childs disability is subject to periodic review and modification by the board.

(q)

On the death or marriage of a child granted death benefits under this article, the death benefits shall cease being paid to that child; however, the same undiminished childs share as determined by this section shall be uniformly distributed among any remaining unmarried children who are:

(1)

under 19 years of age; or

(2)

disabled as described by Subsection (o-2) of this section and entitled to death benefits as qualified survivors.

(r)

A spouse of a primary party who married the primary party after the date the primary party terminated active service is not a qualified survivor and is entitled only to those death benefits, if applicable, provided under Section 6.063 of this article.

(s)

Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 318 (H.B. 3158), Sec. 1.52(4), eff. September 1, 2017.

(t)

A surviving spouse who first remarried on or after April 21, 1988, is eligible to receive death benefits for the remainder of the spouses life provided the surviving spouse is a qualified survivor. This subsection may not be applied retroactively.

(u)

The eligibility of a surviving spouse who first remarried before April 21, 1988, is governed by Section 6.061 of this article.

(v)

The qualified survivors of a member who dies while performing qualified military service are entitled to any additional benefits, other than benefits relating to the qualified military service, that qualified survivors would have received if the member had returned from qualified military service the day before death, resumed employment, and then died.

(2)

After filing the written statement selecting one of the optional benefits, the member may continue in service and thereafter retire any time after eligibility by filing a written application for service retirement. If the member dies before retirement but after becoming eligible for service retirement, the members survivor benefit is calculated as if the member had retired on the last day of the calendar month of death under the optional benefit selected.

(3)

In the event a member who is eligible for service retirement dies without making a written selection of one of the options listed in Section 6.03 of this Act and if the member leaves a spouse surviving, then the surviving spouse of such member may select the optional form of the survivor benefit in the same manner as if the member had made the selection or may select a lump-sum payment equal to the accumulated deposits standing to the members credit in Fund No. 1 plus an equivalent amount from Fund No. 2. If the member leaves no spouse surviving, then the members beneficiary, or if no beneficiary exists, the executor or administrator of the estate of the member, is entitled to elect either an Option V survivor benefit (15-Year Certain and Life Annuity), effective the last day of the calendar month in which the death of the member occurs, or a lump-sum payment equal to the accumulated deposits standing to the members credit in Fund No. 1 plus an equivalent amount from Fund No. 2. In the event of the death of the surviving spouse before having received survivor benefits equal to the amount of the members accumulated deposits at date of the members death, the excess of such accumulated deposits over the survivor benefits paid shall be refunded in one sum to the members estate.

(4)

When monthly survivor benefits are payable as a result of the death of a member before retirement, an additional sum of $10,000 shall be payable as a death benefit to the members beneficiary or, if no beneficiary exists, to the members estate.

(b)

In the event of death of the retired member under any retirement option and the death of the person irrevocably designated by the retired member when Option I, Option II, Option III, Option IV, or Option VI, as that option existed before the amendment of Section 6.03(a) of this Act by H.B. No. 1242 or S.B. No. 588, Acts of the 75th Legislature, Regular Session, 1997, as described in Section 6.03 of this Act is in effect, before monthly retirement benefits have been received that are equal to or greater than the retired members accumulated deposits, then the members estate will receive the excess of the retired members accumulated deposits over the retirement benefits paid.

(1)

registered under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 (15 U.S.C. Section 80b-1 et seq.), as amended;

(2)

a bank as defined by that Act; or

(3)

an insurance company qualified to perform investment services under the law of more than one state.

(b)

If the attorney general finds that the bonds have been authorized in accordance with the law, the attorney general shall approve them, and the comptroller of public accounts shall register the bonds.

(c)

Following approval and registration, the bonds are incontestable and are binding obligations according to their terms.
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Last accessed
Oct. 17, 2019