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  H.B. No. 155
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to correcting errors in the distribution of benefits by a
  public retirement system.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 802.1024, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsections (a-1) and
  (a-2) to read as follows:
         (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), if an error in the
  records of a public retirement system results in a person receiving
  more or less money than the person is entitled to receive under this
  subtitle, the [governing body of the] retirement system shall
  correct the error and so far as practicable adjust any future
  payments so that the actuarial equivalent of the benefit to which
  the person is entitled is paid.  If no future payments are due, the
  [governing body of the] retirement system may recover the
  overpayment in any manner that would be permitted for the
  collection of any other debt.
         (a-1)  On discovery of an error described by Subsection (a),
  the public retirement system shall as soon as practicable, but not
  later than the 90th day after the date of discovery, give written
  notice of the error to the person receiving an incorrect amount of
  money.  The notice must include:
               (1)  the amount of the correction in overpayment or
  underpayment;
               (2)  how the amount of the correction was calculated;
               (3)  a brief explanation of the reason for the
  correction;
               (4)  a statement that the notice recipient may file a
  written complaint with the retirement system if the recipient does
  not agree with the correction;
               (5)  instructions for filing a written complaint; and
               (6)  a payment plan option if no future payments are
  due.
         (a-2)  Except as provided by this subsection and Section
  802.1025, the public retirement system shall begin to adjust future
  payments or, if no future payments are due, institute recovery of an
  overpayment of benefits under Subsection (a) not later than the
  90th day after the date the notice required by Subsection (a-1) is
  delivered by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the
  system does not receive a signed receipt evidencing delivery of the
  notice on or before the 30th day after the date the notice is
  mailed, the system shall mail the notice a second time by certified
  mail, return receipt requested.  Except as provided by Section
  802.1025, not later than the 90th day after the date the second
  notice is mailed, the system shall begin to adjust future payments
  or, if no future payments are due, institute recovery of an
  overpayment of benefits.
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), a public
  retirement system:
               (1)  may correct the overpayment of benefits to a
  person entitled to receive payments from the system by the method
  described by Subsection (a) only for an overpayment made during the
  three years preceding the date the [governing body of the] system
  discovers or discovered the overpayment; [and]
               (2)  may not recover from the recipient any overpayment
  made more than three years before the discovery of the overpayment;
  and
               (3)  may not recover an overpayment if the system did
  not adjust future payments or, if no future payments are due,
  institute recovery of the overpayment within the time prescribed by
  Subsection (a-2) or Section 802.1025.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter B, Chapter 802, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 802.1025 to read as follows:
         Sec. 802.1025.  COMPLAINT PROCEDURE.  (a)  Not later than the
  20th day after the date of receiving notice under Section
  802.1024(a-1) or, if applicable, the second notice under Section
  802.1024(a-2), the notice recipient may file a written complaint
  with the retirement system. The recipient shall include any
  available supporting documentation with the complaint.
         (b)  Not later than the 30th day after the date of receiving a
  complaint under Subsection (a), the retirement system shall respond
  in writing to the complaint by confirming the amount of the proposed
  correction or, if the retirement system determines the amount of
  the proposed correction is incorrect, by modifying the amount of
  the correction. If the retirement system modifies the amount of the
  correction, the response must include:
               (1)  how the modified correction was calculated;
               (2)  a brief explanation of the reason for the
  modification; and
               (3)  a payment plan option if no future payments are
  due.
         (c)  Subject to Subsection (d), if a complaint is filed under
  this section, the retirement system may not adjust future payments
  or recover an overpayment under Section 802.1024 until:
               (1)  the 20th day after the date the notice recipient
  receives the response under Subsection (b), if the recipient does
  not file an administrative appeal by that date; or
               (2)  the date a final decision by the retirement system
  is issued, if the recipient files an administrative appeal before
  the date described by Subdivision (1).
         (d)  If the retirement system has begun the adjustment of
  future payments or the recovery of an overpayment under Section
  802.1024(a-2), the system shall discontinue the adjustment of
  future payments or the recovery of the overpayment beginning with
  the first pay cycle occurring after the date the complaint is
  received by the system. The system may not recommence the
  adjustment of future payments or the recovery of an overpayment
  until the date described by Subsection (c)(1) or (2), as
  applicable. If a complaint is resolved in favor of the person
  filing the complaint, not later than the 30th day after the date of
  the resolution, the system shall pay the person the appropriate
  amount.
         (e)  A person whose complaint is not resolved under this
  section must exhaust all administrative procedures provided by the
  retirement system.  Not later than the 30th day after the date a
  final administrative decision is issued by the retirement system, a
  person aggrieved by the decision may appeal the decision to an
  appropriate district court.
         SECTION 3.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b) of this
  section, the change in law made by this Act applies to an
  underpayment or overpayment of benefits by a public retirement
  system regardless of whether the underpayment or overpayment was
  made before, on, or after the effective date of this Act.
         (b)  The change in law made by this Act does not apply to a
  correction, adjustment, or recovery of an overpayment that
  commenced before the effective date of this Act or an overpayment
  that was resolved by an agreement made before the effective date of
  this Act between a public retirement system and the recipient of the
  overpayment.  A correction, adjustment, or recovery of an
  overpayment that commenced before the effective date of this Act is
  governed by the law as it existed immediately before the effective
  date of this Act, and the former law is continued in effect for that
  purpose.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2007.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 155 was passed by the House on May 1,
  2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 140, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting; that the House refused to concur in Senate amendments to
  H.B. No. 155 on May 23, 2007, and requested the appointment of a
  conference committee to consider the differences between the two
  houses; and that the House adopted the conference committee report
  on H.B. No. 155 on May 27, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 140,
  Nays 0, 2 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 155 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 21, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0; at the request of the House, the Senate appointed a conference
  committee to consider the differences between the two houses; and
  that the Senate adopted the conference committee report on H.B. No.
  155 on May 26, 2007, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor