Rep. Stan Lambert/Sen. Eddie Lucio
HB 1585 is the Teacher Retirement System Sunset legislation resulting from a months-long review of the agency.
The bill revises the sanctions for retirees who return to work without having sat out a full 12 months, and who exceed the half-time limitation on employment in a position other than a substitute.
Current law requires TRS to penalize the retiree the full month’s TRS check; the revised series of sanctions will begin with a written warning to the retiree, then after a subsequent violation a penalty of either the TRS check or the amount of salary earned during the month (at the retiree's choice). For further violations the penalty is the entire TRS check for the month.
Provides that a retiree employed in a school for more than 90 days in a school year is not eligible for disability retirement payments for the remaining months of the school year in which the retiree continues to be employed.
Requires the TRS Board to hire an ombudsman to assist members and retirees by performing protection and advocacy functions such as receiving and reviewing complaints and taking appropriate actions.
Requires the TRS Board to adopt a policy requiring the system to make all reasonable efforts to notify an inactive member or the member’s heirs of their entitlement to a return of accumulated contributions.
Requires the Board to develop an outreach plan to help members and employers plan for retirement, including improving communications with members, updating materials, providing annual estimates of benefits, enhancing training for districts and other employers, and implementing methods for maintaining up-to-date contact information for members and beneficiaries.
Requires the Board to provide information to individuals enrolled in health insurance through TRS regarding the right to appeal a denial of an adverse determination.