Art. 6243j. POLICE OFFICERS' PENSION SYSTEM IN CITIES OF 50,000 TO 400,000.
Section 1. CREATION OF SYSTEM. There is hereby created in this State a Police Officers' Pension System in all cities having a population of not less than fifty thousand (50,000) inhabitants, nor more than four hundred thousand (400,000) inhabitants, according to the last preceding or any future Federal Census; provided, however, that once such pension system becomes operative in any city, any right or privilege accruing to any member thereunder shall be a vested right and the same shall not be denied or abridged thereafter through any change in population of any such city taking such city out of the population bracket as herein prescribed, and said pension system shall continue to operate and function regardless of whether or not any future population exceeds or falls below said population bracket.
Sec. 2. DEFINITIONS. The following words and phrases when used in this Act are defined as follows, to wit:
(a) "Pension System" means the retirement, allowance, disability and pension system for employees of any Police Department coming within the provisions of this Act.
(b) "Member" means any and all employees in the Police Department who are engaged in law enforcement duties except janitors, car washers, cooks, and secretaries. Member may include reserve, special, or part-time officers as provided in Subsections (d), (e), and (f), Section 3 of this Act.
(c) "Pension Board" or "Board" means the Pension Board of the Pension System created under the Act for the purpose of administering the Pension System.
(d) "Service" means the services and work performed by a person employed in the Police Department.
(e) "Pension" means payments for life to the Police Department member out of the Pension Fund provided for herein upon becoming disabled or reaching retirement as provided herein and becoming eligible for such payments.
(f) "Separation from service" means cessation of work for the city in the Police Department, whether caused by death, discharge or resignation, or transfer to any other department of the city.
(g) The use of the masculine gender includes the feminine gender.
(h) "Prior-service credit" means credit for service rendered a city by an employee in the Police Department prior to his becoming a member of the Pension System.
(i) "Performance of duty" means the duties usually performed by a policeman during his regular working hours and at other times when he is called upon to perform emergency duties within the regular scope of his employment.
Sec. 3. MEMBERSHIP. (a) Any person except as herein provided, who is an employee of such city in the Police Department on the effective date hereof, shall be eligible for membership in the Pension System, and shall automatically become a member upon the expiration of ninety (90) days from the effective date hereof, unless the employee has filed with the Pension Board his written election not to become a member, which shall constitute a waiver of all present and prospective benefits which otherwise would inure to him by participation in the System. But any member of the Police Department of such city, whose membership in the Pension System is contingent upon his own election and who elects not to participate, may later become a member provided he passes such medical examination as the Pension Board may require. If such employee becomes a member within six (6) months after the effective date of this Act, the employee shall be eligible for prior-service credit, but if he does not become a member within such period, he shall not be eligible for prior-service credit. Written notice shall be given each and every member of the Police Department eligible for membership in the Pension System by the Secretary of the Pension Board within sixty (60) days from the passage of this Act informing him of the terms and provisions of this paragraph.
(b) Any person who hereafter becomes an employee of such city in the Police Department after the passage of this Act shall automatically become a member of the Pension System as a condition of his employment, and he will be required to sign a letter making application for Pension benefits.
(c) Part-time, seasonal, or other temporary employees shall not become, nor be eligible as, members of the Pension System except as provided in Subsections (d), (e), and (f).
(d) A city that has adopted the Pension System in this Act may make reserve, special, or part-time officers eligible as members of the Pension System by vote of the city's governing body, or the city's governing body may call an election to submit the question to the qualified voters of the city.
(e) If a special election is called, the election must be advertised by publication in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the city once each week for four consecutive weeks. The question shall be submitted to the qualified voters as follows:
"FOR: Including reserve, special, or part-time officers in the Police Pension System."
"AGAINST: Including reserve, special, or part-time officers in the Police Pension System."
(f) A city that adopts the Pension System in this Act may include reserve, special, or part-time officers in the Pension System by vote of the city's governing body, by calling a special election as provided in Subsection (e) of this Section, or by joining the question of whether or not to include those officers on the ballot which submits the proposed Police Pension System to the city's qualified voters as provided in Section 25 of this Act.
Sec. 4. PENSION BOARD. (a) There is hereby created in any city within this Act a Pension Board for the Police Officers' Pension System. Said Board is hereby vested with the general administration, management and control of the Pension System herein established for said city.
(b) The Board shall be composed of seven (7) members, as follows:
(1) The Mayor, to serve for the term of office to which he was elected;
(2) The Chief of Police, to serve until his successor is qualified;
(3) The City Treasurer, to serve until his successor is qualified;
(4) Three (3) active policemen who shall be selected by a majority vote of the members of the Pension System; said policemen members shall serve for a period of two (2) years and until their successors are elected and qualified. Vacancies occurring by reason of expiration of term of office, death, resignation or removal shall be filled by an election by a majority vote of the members of said Pension System;
(5) One (1) legally qualified taxpaying voter of the city, who has been a resident thereof for the preceding three (3) years; such member, being neither officer nor employee of the city, shall be chosen by the other six (6) members of the Board, and he shall serve for a period of two (2) years and until his successor is selected and qualified.
Said Board, as herein provided, shall be selected and organized upon the passage of this Act and shall hold its office until the next general election in such city for municipal officers, at which time a permanent Board shall be selected, as herein provided. The said Board shall organize by choosing one (1) member as Chairman; one (1) member as Vice-Chairman; and one (1) member as Secretary. Beginning with the first day of January, 1952, and annually thereafter, the Board shall elect its Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Secretary for the ensuing year.
(c) Each member of the Pension Board within ten (10) days after his appointment and election shall take an oath of office that he will diligently and honestly administer the affairs of the Pension System and that he will not knowingly violate, or willingly permit to be violated, any of the provisions of this law.
(d) Pursuant to the powers granted under the charter of such city, the mayor shall appoint one or more employees whose positions and salaries shall be fixed by the governing body of such city and who, acting under direction of the Pension Board, shall keep all of the records of and perform all of the clerical services for the Pension System. The salaries of such employees shall be paid by the city.
(e) Five (5) members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, and a majority vote of those members present shall be necessary for a decision of said Board.
(f) No moneys shall be paid out of the Pension System Fund except by warrant, check, or draft signed by the Treasurer and countersigned by either the Chairman or Secretary, upon an order by said Pension Board duly entered in the minutes.
(g) The Pension Board shall determine the prior service to be credited to each present employee of the Police Department who becomes a member of the Pension System. The Board shall rely upon the personnel records of such city in determining such prior-service credit. After obtaining the necessary information such Board shall furnish each member of the Pension System a certificate showing all prior-service credits authorized and credited to such member. Such member may, within one (1) year from the date of issuance or modification of such certificate, request the board to modify or change his prior-service certificate, otherwise such certificate shall be final and conclusive for retirement purposes as to such service.
Sec. 5. TREASURER. The City Treasurer is hereby designated as the Treasurer of said Pension System Fund for said city Police Officers' Pension System, and his official bond to said city shall operate to cover his position as Treasurer of such Pension System Fund and his sureties shall be liable in connection with the Treasurer's actions pertaining to such Fund as fully as they are liable under the terms of said bond for the other actions and conduct of said Treasurer. All moneys of every kind and character collected or to be collected for said Pension System shall be paid over to the said Treasurer and shall be administered and paid out only in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
Sec. 6. PAYMENTS BY MEMBERS. Commencing with the first day of the month after the expiration of ninety (90) days from the passage of this Act, each member of the Pension System shall pay monthly into the Pension System Fund not less than four per cent (4%) nor more than seven per cent (7%) of his statutory minimum and longevity pay. Subject to this limitation, the Pension Board shall set the amount that each member shall pay into said Pension System Fund. Said payments into the Pension System Fund shall be effected by the city deducting the amount to be contributed by each member of said Pension System from his wages earned. Said deduction shall be paid into the Pension System Fund by the city.
Sec. 7. PAYMENTS INTO FUND BY CITY. In addition to the payments in the next preceding Section such city shall pay monthly into such Pension System Fund, from the general or other appropriate fund of any such city, an amount equal to the total sum paid into such Fund by salary deductions of members as set out in the next preceding Section.
Sec. 8. DEPLETION OF FUND; REDUCTION OF BENEFITS. In the event the Pension System Fund becomes seriously depleted, in the opinion of the Pension Board, said Pension Board may proportionately and temporarily reduce the benefits of all pensioners and beneficiaries, but such reduction of benefits shall continue only for such time as such depleted condition continues to exist, and after such time of depletion has ceased to exist and the Pension Board finds said Pension System Fund is in condition to warrant, it shall thereafter restore the benefits and resume payment of all pensioners and beneficiaries as though such preceding reductions had not occurred.
Sec. 9. INVESTMENT OF SURPLUS. Whenever in the opinion of the said Pension Board there is on hand in said Pension System Fund a surplus over and above a reasonably safe amount to take care of current demands upon such funds, such surplus, or so much thereof as in the judgment of the said Pension Board is deemed proper, may be invested in bonds or other interest bearing obligations and securities of the United States, the State of Texas or any city or any county.
Sec. 10. TRANSFER OF PRO RATA SHARE OF EXISTING FUND. Immediately upon this Act becoming a law, there shall be transferred to the Police Officers' Pension System the prorata share of any pension fund heretofore existing to which police officers have contributed, including the prorata part of the fund paid by the city and all accumulated interest on the money which both the policemen and the city have heretofore contributed to the fund. It shall be the duty of the city official or officials responsible for said existing fund to make such transfer immediately.
Sec. 11. RETIREMENT PENSION. From and after the passage of this Act, any member of such Pension System who has been in the service of the city Police Department for a period of twenty-five (25) years shall receive from the Pension Board a pension certificate. Any person who holds a pension certificate and who has attained fifty-five (55) years of age shall be entitled to a monthly retirement pension equal to one half (1/2) of his statutory minimum pay plus one half (1/2) of his longevity pay, which he received when such certificate was awarded, each month for the rest of his life upon his retirement from the services of said city Police Department; provided, however, said monthly retirement pension shall not exceed the sum of One Hundred and Twenty-five Dollars ($125). However, when a member has served twenty-five (25) years or more in the Police Department and has attained the age of fifty-five (55) years, if he desires and if the physicians employed by the Pension Board agree that said member is physically fit to continue his active duties in the Police Department, he may continue such duties until he is not over sixty-five (65) years of age, and when he retires he will receive in addition to his monthly retirement pension set out above, a service bonus of One Dollar ($1) per month for each year of service over and above the amount per month payable if he had retired when he attained the age of fifty-five (55) years. It shall be compulsory for any member to retire from service upon attaining sixty-five (65) years of age; failure of any member of the Pension System to comply with this provision shall deprive the member or his dependents of any of the benefits provided for herein. If at the time of retirement such member has completed less than twenty-five (25) years of service, but more than twenty (20) years of service, his retirement pension shall be prorated. For example, if the employee has completed only twenty (20) years of service, his monthly pension would be four-fifths (4/5) of one half (1/2) of his statutory minimum pay and one half (1/2) his longevity pay. No member shall be required to make any payments into the Pension System Fund after he has been issued a pension certificate and who has retired from active service in the Police Department. However, if he continues to work for the city Police Department after receiving a pension certificate, he shall continue his monthly payments into the Pension System Fund until he retires.
Sec. 12. PENSIONS TO WIDOW AND DEPENDENTS. If any member of the Police Department, who has been retired on allowance because of length of service or disability, shall thereafter die from any cause whatsoever or shall die from any cause whatsoever after he has become entitled to an allowance or pension certificate, or if while in service any member shall die from any cause growing out of or in consequence of the performance of his duty, and shall leave surviving a widow, a child or children under the age of eighteen (18) years or a dependent parent, said Board shall order paid a monthly allowance as follows: (a) To the widow so long as she remains a widow, sixty per cent (60%) of the pension per month that said member would have received if living and had retired with twenty-five (25) years of service, provided she shall have married such member prior to his retirement; (b) to the guardian of each child the sum of Six Dollars ($6) per month until such child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years or marries; (c) to the dependent parent, only in case no widow is entitled to allowance, the sum the widow would have received to be paid to but one parent and such parent to be determined by the Pension Board, and (d) in the event the widow dies after being entitled to her allowance as herein provided, or in the event there be no widow or dependent parent to receive such allowance, then the amount to be paid to the guardian of any dependent minor child or children under the age of eighteen (18) years shall be increased to the sum of Twelve Dollars ($12) per month for each said dependent minor child; and provided that such minor child under eighteen (18) years of age is unmarried. Allowance or benefits payable to any minor child shall cease when such child becomes eighteen (18) years of age or marries.
If a member of this Pension System is killed while performing his official duties, or dies from injuries received while performing such duties, the same benefits payable under the provisions of this Act to Pension System members who hold a pension certificate and have attained fifty-five (55) years of age, shall be paid to the persons designated in this Section.
Sec. 13. DEATH FROM NATURAL CAUSES OR CAUSES NOT COVERED. If a member of this Pension System dies from natural causes or from any cause not covered under the provisions of this Act, the Pension Board shall pay to his estate all of the exact amount of money he has heretofore paid into the Pension System Fund in lieu of any other benefit provided for herein.
Sec. 14. RETIREMENT FOR DISABILITY. Any member of this Pension System who becomes incapacitated for performance of his duty by reason of any bodily injury received in, or illness caused by the performance of his duty, shall be retired upon presentation to the Pension Board of proof of the disability, and shall receive a retirement allowance equal to the percentage of his disability; for example, if he is fifty per cent (50%) incapacitated, he shall receive fifty per cent (50%) of the amount he would receive if retired after completion of twenty-five (25) years service per month during the remainder of his life or so long as he remains incapacitated. Provided, however, that if, at that time, he is qualified as to age and service for retirement, he shall receive the full amount of pension per month, or in the event he is past fifty-five (55) years of age and has more service than the minimum of twenty-five (25) years, and becomes incapacitated he shall receive the full amount of pension per month plus One Dollar ($1) for each additional year as his service bonus. When any member has been retired for permanent, total or partial disability, he shall be subject at all times to re-examination by the Pension Board and shall submit himself to such further examination as the Pension Board may require. If any member shall refuse to submit himself to any such examination, the Pension Board may, within its discretion, order said payment stopped. If a member who has been retired under the provisions of this Section should thereafter recover, so that in the opinion of the Pension Board he is able to perform the usual and customary duties formerly handled by him for said city in the Police Department, and such member is reinstated or tendered reinstatement to the position he held at the time of his retirement, then the Pension Board shall order such pension payment stopped. No person shall be retired either for total or partial disability unless there shall be filed with the Pension Board an application for pension benefit, at which time the Pension Board shall have him examined by no fewer than three (3) physicians, to be chosen by the Pension Board and to make their report to the Pension Board. If a policeman is hurt while working on a regular shift or tour of duty, or if he is at home or some other place and an emergency arises wherein he has to perform the official duties of a policeman and is injured, he shall receive the benefits of this Act. In all cases where a policeman seeks benefits under this Section, it shall be the duty of the Pension Board to determine if the policeman did receive his injuries in the performance of his duty.
Sec. 15. COMPUTATION OF PERIOD OF SERVICE. In computing the twenty-five (25) years of service required for a retirement pension, twenty-five (25) years of continuous service shall be required; provided, however, that in case of interruption of less than two (2) years, credit shall be given for previous service if out of service more than two (2) years; no service prior to said interruption shall be counted, other than provided in Section 21.
Sec. 16. LEAVING EMPLOYMENT BEFORE BECOMING ELIGIBLE. When any member of such Pension System shall leave the employment of such Police Department except as specifically provided for herein, either voluntarily or involuntarily, before becoming eligible for a retirement or disability pension, he shall cease to be a member of such Pension System. When a member has left the service of the city Police Department as aforesaid and has therefore ceased to be a member of such Pension System, if such person shall thereafter be re-employed by the city Police Department he shall thereupon be reinstated as a member of such Pension System provided he is in good physical and mental condition as evidenced by a written certificate executed under oath by a duly licensed and practicing physician or physicians in the city, satisfactory to the Pension Board. Prior service of such member with such city Police Department shall not be counted toward his retirement pension unless such member returns to the service within two (2) years from his separation therefrom, and also shall, within six (6) months after his re-employment by the city in the Police Department, make a written application to the Pension Board for reinstatement in the Pension System.
Sec. 17. TRANSFERS FROM OTHER CITY DEPARTMENTS. No prior credit shall be allowed for service to any person who may hereafter transfer from some other department in the city to the Police Department. Policemen now serving who have heretofore transferred from some other city department may be given credit for such prior service by the Pension Board. The prior-service credits shall all be granted within sixty (60) days after this Act becomes law. For example, if one is transferred from some other department of the city to the city Police Department, sixty-one (61) days after this Act becomes law, such person's service will be computed only from the day he enters the city Police Department.
Sec. 18. GIFTS AND DONATIONS. The Police Officers' Pension System may accept gifts and donations and such gifts or donations shall be added to the Pension Fund for the use of such System.
Sec. 19. LEGAL MATTERS. The city attorney of such city shall handle all legal matters for the Pension System which are referred to him by the Pension Board or city without additional compensation therefor. The Pension Board may, however, employ an attorney, or attorneys, to handle its legal matters and shall pay reasonable compensation therefor out of said Pension System Fund.
Sec. 20. EXEMPTION FROM LEGAL PROCESS; ASSIGNMENT OR TRANSFER. No portion of any such Pension System Fund, either before or after its order of disbursement by said Pension Board, and no amounts due or to become due any beneficiary or pensioner, under this Act, shall ever be held, seized, taken, subjected to, detained, or levied upon by virtue of any execution, attachment, garnishment, injunction, or other writ, and no order or decree, and no process or proceedings whatsoever, shall issue out of or by any court of this State for the payment of satisfaction, in whole or in part, out of said Pension System Fund, of any debt, damage, claim, demand, or judgment against any such members, pensioners, dependents, or any person whomsoever, nor shall such Pension System Fund or any part thereof, or any claim thereto, be directly or indirectly assigned or transferred. Any attempt to transfer or assign the same or any part thereof or any claim thereto shall be void. Said funds shall be sacredly held, kept, and disbursed for the purposes provided by this Act, and for no other purpose whatsoever.
Sec. 21. MILITARY SERVICE. Members of the Pension System engaged in active military service required because of a National Emergency shall not be required to make the monthly payments into the Pension System Fund provided for in this Act, nor shall they lose any previous years of service with the Police Department caused by such military service. Such military service shall count as continuous service in the Police Department, provided that when the member is discharged from the military service he shall immediately return to his former duties with the city Police Department. The city, however, shall be required to make its regular monthly payments into the Pension System Fund on each member while he is so engaged in such military service. In the event of death of a member of this Pension System, either directly or indirectly caused from such military service, his widow or dependent parent or other dependents shall not be entitled to receive any benefits from this Fund.
Sec. 22. CIVIL ACTIONS. The Pension Board of any city as herein created and constituted shall have the power and authority to recover by civil action from any offending party, or from his bondsmen, if any, any moneys paid out or obtained from said Pension Fund through fraud, misrepresentation, theft, embezzlement, or misapplication, and may institute, conduct and maintain such action in the name of said Board for the use and benefit of such Fund.
Sec. 23. PARTIAL INVALIDITY. If any provision, section, part, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or paragraph of this Act be declared invalid or unconstitutional, the same shall not affect any other portion or provision hereof, and all other provisions shall remain valid and unaffected by such invalid portion, if any.
Sec. 24. FORMER EMPLOYEES NOW RECEIVING PENSION. Immediately upon this Act becoming a law, the former employees of any such Police Department who are now being paid a pension from a pension fund, shall hereafter be paid a monthly pension of One Hundred Dollars ($100) per month out of the Pension Fund provided for herein. Any such city shall have the right and option to pay such former employees any amount over and above those hereinabove provided for, but such additional payments, if any, shall be borne by such city and not the Pension Fund.
Sec. 25. ELECTION; ADOPTION WITHOUT ELECTION. The city is authorized to call an election to determine if the city desires to adopt this Act after a petition has been presented to the governing body of the city, signed by five per cent (5%) of the qualified voters of the city who voted in the last municipal election. Such election must be advertised by publication in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation in said city once each week for four (4) consecutive weeks. The question shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the city at a special election to be held for such purpose at which all ballots shall have printed thereon:
"FOR: The proposed Police Pension System."
"AGAINST: The proposed Police Pension System."
No other issues shall be joined with the proposition submitted at this election on the same ballot except as provided in Subsection (f), Section 3 of this Act.
Nothing herein is to prevent the city governing body from adopting the proposed pension plan without an election.
Sec. 26. WITHDRAWAL OF MONEYS; RETURN ON REINSTATEMENT. Any policeman who has been relieved from duty or voluntarily quits shall have the right to withdraw all moneys paid in by him into the Pension System. If he is reinstated in the Police Department with full seniority, he shall return to the Pension Fund the amount of money previously withdrawn when his services were terminated.
Acts 1951, 52nd Leg., p. 397, ch. 254. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1396, ch. 562, Sec. 1 to 5, eff. Aug. 29, 1977.Article: Previous 6243e-2 6243e-3 6243f-1 6243g-4 6243h 6243h-2 6243i 6243j 6243k 6243l 6243m 6243n 6243n-1 6243o 6243p Next
Last modified: September 28, 2016