The Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee met Wednesday and heard HB 1585 by Rep. Stan Lambert. The legislation is the result of the Sunset Advisory Commission review of TRS over the past several months, and includes the recommendations adopted by SAC.
Among its provisions:
- The penalty for violating return-to-work limitations was modified slightly so that a person who worked more hours in a month than legally allowed would be penalized the lesser of their compensation for the month or their TRS annuity. (Other bills filed this session would make the penalties much milder in certain circumstances.)
- TRS will create an ombudsman position to advocate for members with regard to complaints against the agency.
- TRS must make "all reasonable efforts" to locate and notify members (or their heirs) who are eligible for a refund of accumulated contributions.
- TRS rules regarding appeals of a decision by staff on a member issue must ensure that the member has at least the same amount of time to file the appeal as TRS has to issue the decision.
- The TRS Board must develop an outreach plan to help members effectively plan for retirement. The plan must involve improving communications and updating outreach materials.
- TRS must distribute informational materials to members enrolled in a TRS-administered health plan regarding their right to appeal an adverse determination.
The bill was left pending.
The committee voted out HB 1461 by Rep. Tan Parker, which would require TRS to conduct a study of whether a program involving the use of health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) in conjunction with Medicare plans available through the public marketplace would be a beneficial option for the state and for Medicare-eligible retirees.