TESRS

Texas Emergency Services Retirement System

TESRS Seeking Public Comments on Proposed Rule Changes


TESRS is seeking public comments about proposed administrative rule changes. These changes were made necessary by the enactment of H.B. 3247 during the 86th Texas Legislature and by the changes made to the Internal Revenue Code as a result of the enactment of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (Secure Act). The proposed rules were published in the Texas Register on April 24, 2020, and are available for viewing using the following link:


45 TexReg April 24, 2020 Texas Register (Pages 2692-2698)


https://www.sos.texas.gov/texreg/pdf/backview/0424/0424is.pdf


Public comments on the amended rules must be submitted in writing to Kevin Deiters, Executive Director, Texas Emergency Services Retirement System, P.O. Box 12577, Austin, TX 78711-2577, submitted electronically to outreach@tesrs.texas.gov, or faxed to (512)-936-3480. Comments must be received no later than thirty days from the date of publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.


The proposed rules changes include:


Chapter 302, General Provisions Relating to the Texas Emergency Services Retirement System


  • Proposed Amended Rule §302.2. Benefit Distributions:

The proposed amended rule clarifies the Board rule regarding benefit distributions to satisfy the plan qualification requirements under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

Chapter 304, Membership in the Texas Emergency Services Retirement System


  • Proposed New Rule §304.2. Departmental Revocation of Participation in the Pension System

The proposed new rule would allow a participating department to revoke its election to participate in TESRS in a manner that protects the actuarial soundness of the pension system and the accrued benefits of active fire fighters, EMS personnel, and support personnel in the pension system by requiring those departments that revoke participation in the pension system to pay within five years of the date of revocation a revocation charge equal to the department's allocated share of the TESRS net pension liability.

If adopted, the proposed new rule §304.2 would allow a participating department to revoke its election to participate in the pension system in a manner that the maintains an actuarially sound pension system.

The new rule would apply to the following five circumstances:
1. A department notifies the pension system of its intent to no longer participate;
2. A department ceases to exist or perform emergency services;
3. A department ceases to enroll eligible members or make required contributions;
4. A department is no longer funded or maintained by political subdivision; or
5. All members of a department become ineligible to continue participating (i.e., all become paid employees of a non-governmental entity or covered by another pension system).

  • Proposed New Rule § 304.3. Determination of Accrued Benefit

The proposed new rule will protect the pension benefits of members of a department that revokes its participation in the pension system by fully vesting their accrued benefits as of the date of the department's revocation. The proposed new rule provides a schedule detailing the calculation of vested accrued benefits for members.

  • Proposed New Rule §304.4. Employees of Participating Departments


The proposed new rule would allow paid employees of a participating department to participate in the pension system in a manner that ensures the participation of employees of participating departments, whether full-time or part-time, satisfies the plan qualification requirements under §401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (Code), and to maintain the status of the pension system as a governmental plan under §414(d) of the Code.


Chapter 310, Administration of the Texas Emergency Services Retirement System


  • Proposed Amended Rule § 310.5. Local Board of Trustees

The proposed amended rule would establish the staggered two-year terms served by trustees of the local board to begin March 1st and end the last day of February of the second year and would further describe the composition of the six-member local board.


  • Proposed New Rule §310.13. Delegation of Local Board Duties to Executive Director


The proposed new rule describes the delegation of local board duties to the executive director as provided under §865.0121, Texas Government Code, when the trustees of a local board have not been appointed or when the local board fails to perform its duties.


  • Proposed New Rule §310.1. Delegation of Duties Upon Discontinuance of Participation in the Pension System

The proposed new rule describes the delegation of duties to the executive director upon the discontinuance of department participation in the pension system as provided under §864.010 when a department ceases to exist or withdraws from the pension system.


Stay Safe

 

Though efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 have restricted our travel for on-site meetings, TESRS staff are available to support our members, departments, and Local Boards. Call TESRS at 800-919-3372 if you need assistance.