Texas Vernon’s Civil Statutes
Sec. § 6.14
Deferred Retirement Option Plan


(a)

A member who remains on active service after becoming eligible to receive a retirement pension under either Section 6.01 or 6.02 of this article may become a participant in the deferred retirement option plan in accordance with Subsections (b) and (c) of this section, and defer the beginning of the persons retirement pension. Once an election to participate in the DROP has been made, the election continues in effect at least as long as the member remains in active service. On leaving active service, the member may:

(1)

apply for a retirement pension under Sections 6.01(b) and (c), Section 6.01(e), or Section 6.02(b), (c), (d), or (e) of this article, whichever is applicable, together with any DROP benefit provided under this section; or

(2)

continue to participate in DROP except the member is ineligible for disability benefits described by Subsection (g-1) of this section.

(b)

The election to participate in the DROP shall be made in accordance with procedures set forth in any uniform and nondiscriminatory election form adopted by the board and in effect from time to time. To determine the proper amount to be credited to a members DROP account, the election shall indicate whether the member desires to receive a retirement pension under Sections 6.01(b) and (c), Section 6.01(e), or Section 6.02(b), (c), (d), or (e) of this article, whichever is applicable. The election may be made at any time on or after the date the member becomes eligible for a retirement pension as provided by this subsection. The election becomes effective on the first day of the first month on or after the date on which the member makes the election, except that an election that would otherwise have been effective on October 1, 1993, and every October 1 after that date, is considered, for purposes of this section and Section 6.12 of this article, to be effective on September 30 of the year in which it would otherwise have been effective. On and after the effective date of the election, the member will no longer be eligible for any refund of contributions. The election by one or more members to participate in the DROP has no effect on the amount of city contributions to the fund under Section 4.02 of this article.

(c)

Each month after a member has made an election to participate in the DROP and indicated a desire to receive a retirement pension under Sections 6.01(b) and (c), Section 6.01(e), or Section 6.02(b), (c), (d), or (e) of this article, whichever is applicable, and through the month before the month in which the member leaves active service, an amount equal to the retirement pension the member would have received under the applicable subsection for that month if the member had left active service and been granted a retirement pension by the board on the effective date of DROP participation shall be credited to a separate DROP account maintained within the fund for the benefit of the member. Amounts held in the DROP account of a member shall be credited at the end of each calendar month. Notwithstanding this section, effective January 1, 2018, a member on active service who has 10 years or more of participation in DROP shall no longer have the amount of the members retirement pension credited to the members DROP account while the member is on active service.

(d)

A member may not receive a distribution from the members DROP account while the member is on active service.

(e)

Except as provided by Subsections (e-1) and (l) of this section, the balance in the DROP account of a member who terminated from active service on or before September 1, 2017, or who terminates from active service shall be distributed to the member in the form of an annuity, payable either monthly or annually at the election of the member, by annuitizing the amount credited to the DROP account over the life expectancy of the member as of the date of the annuitization using mortality tables recommended by the pension systems qualified actuary. The annuity shall be distributed beginning as promptly as administratively feasible after the later of, as applicable:

(1)

the date the member retires and is granted a retirement pension; or

(2)

September 1, 2017.

(e-1)

The board may adopt a shorter period for annuitizing DROP account balances under Subsection (e) of this section if the pension systems qualified actuary determines that the shorter period will not cause the pension systems amortization period to exceed 25 years.

(e-2)

The annuitization of a DROP account under Subsection (e) of this section must reflect the accrual of interest on the amount in the DROP account as of September 1, 2017, over the annuitization period applied to the account under this section. The interest rate applied under this subsection must be a rate as reasonably equivalent as practicable to the interest rate on a note issued by the United States Department of the Treasury or other federal treasury note with a duration that is reasonably comparable to the annuitization period applied to the account, as determined by the board. The portion of an annuity attributable to amounts credited to a members DROP account on or after September 1, 2017, may not reflect the accrual of this interest on annuitization.

(e-3)

The board may by rule allow a DROP participant who has terminated active service and who is eligible for a retirement pension to:

(1)

assign the distribution from the participants annuitized DROP account to a third party provided the pension system receives a favorable private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service ruling that such an assignment will not negatively impact the pension systems qualified plan status; and

(2)

subject to Subsection (e-4) of this section, in the event of a financial hardship that was not reasonably foreseeable obtain a lump-sum distribution from the participants DROP account resulting in a corresponding reduction in the total number or in the amount of annuity payments.

(e-4)

The board shall adopt rules necessary to implement Subsection (e-3)(2) of this section, including rules regarding what constitutes a financial hardship for purposes of that subdivision. In adopting the rules, the board shall provide flexibility to members.

(f)

The board may adopt rules and policies relating to the administration of Subsections (e), (e-1), and (e-2) of this section if the rules and policies are:

(1)

consistent with the qualification of the plan under Section 401 of the code; and

(2)

in the best interest of the pension system.

(f-1)

The DROP account of a member who begins participating in DROP on or after September 1, 2017, does not accrue interest.

(g)

The provisions of Sections 6.06, 6.061, 6.062, 6.063, 6.07, and 6.08 of this article pertaining to death benefits of a qualified survivor do not apply to amounts held in a members or pensioners DROP account. Instead, a member or pensioner who participates in DROP may designate a beneficiary to receive the annuity payments under this section over the remaining annuitization period in the event of the members or pensioners death subject to any rights provided under Subsection (e-3) of this section and in the manner allowed by Section 401(a)(9) of the code and any policy adopted by the board. A member or pensioner who is or becomes married is considered to have designated the members or pensioners spouse as the members or pensioners beneficiary, notwithstanding any prior beneficiary designation, unless the member or pensioner has made a different designation in accordance with a policy adopted by the board. If a member or pensioner does not have a spouse or the spouse predeceases the member or pensioner, the members or pensioners, as applicable, DROP account will be distributed to the members or pensioners, as applicable, designee. Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, if a member or pensioner has previously designated the members or pensioners spouse as the beneficiary or co-beneficiary of the DROP account and the member or pensioner and spouse are subsequently divorced, the divorce automatically results in the invalidation of the designation of the spouse as a beneficiary and, if there is no additional beneficiary designated, the members or pensioners DROP account shall be distributed as provided by Subsection (e) of this section. If there are beneficiaries who survive the deceased member or pensioner, the surviving beneficiaries share equally in that portion that would have otherwise been payable to the former spouse.

(g-1)

A member who becomes a DROP participant is ineligible for any disability benefits described by Section 6.03, 6.04, or 6.05 of this article, but is entitled to a retirement pension in accordance with Sections 6.01(b) and (c), Section 6.01(e), or Section 6.02 of this article, whichever is applicable, on termination from active service, and is also entitled to receive annuity payments in accordance with Subsection (e) of this section.

(h)

The base pay or computation pay, whichever is applicable, in effect as of the effective date of a members participation in DROP shall be used in calculating the members retirement pension under Section 6.01 or 6.02 of this article. A member who elects to participate in DROP does not accrue additional pension service for purposes of computing a retirement pension for any period after the effective date of the election.

(i)

Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 318 (H.B. 3158), Sec. 1.52(6), eff. September 1, 2017.

(j)

Except as provided by Subsection (l) of this section, if a pensioner who has been a DROP participant returns to active service, the person must become a participant in DROP under the terms and conditions in effect at the time of return to active service.

(k)

Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 318 (H.B. 3158), Sec. 1.52(6), eff. September 1, 2017.

(l)

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section and except as provided by Subsection (o) of this section, a member who has entered DROP before June 1, 2017, may revoke the DROP election at any time on or after September 1, 2017, and before the earlier of:

(1)

February 28, 2018; or

(2)

the members termination of active service.

(m)

If a member revokes participation in DROP under Subsection (l) of this section:

(1)

the members DROP account balance is eliminated; and

(2)

the member shall receive pension service credited for all or a portion of the period of the revoked DROP participation on payment of the required contributions for the period of the revoked DROP participation in accordance with a uniform and nondiscriminatory procedure adopted by the board that results in the payment of the amount of member contributions that would have been made if the member had never participated in DROP.

(n)

A member who revokes the members DROP election under Subsection (l) of this section is entitled to only a monthly pension computed on the basis of the members pension service, including pension service purchased under Subsection (m) of this section:

(1)

that is based on the members average computation pay at the time of leaving active service, if the member is a Group B member; or

(2)

as provided by Section 6.01(b) of this article, if the member is a Group A member.

(o)

A member may not revoke DROP participation under Subsection (l) of this section if any money has been transferred out of the members DROP account.
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Last accessed
Nov. 19, 2019