TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 1. TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD

CHAPTER 25. OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PROGRAM

SUBCHAPTER A. OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PROGRAM

19 TAC §25.4

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) adopts on an emergency basis, amendments to §25.4 concerning the Optional Retirement Program. The amendments incorporate into existing rules changes and provisions enacted by SB 1954, 85th Texas Legislature, R.S.

The amendments are being adopted on an emergency basis pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.034, which allows a state agency to adopt an emergency rule if a requirement of state or federal law requires adoption of the rule on less than 30 days' notice. The Coordinating Board made the finding that these amendments should be adopted on an emergency basis, pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.034, because the new statutory provisions, which will go into effect on September 1, 2017, affect eligibility for benefits.

The amendments to §25.4 strike current provisions regarding the extension of an ORP-eligible employee's 90-day ORP Election Period when an institution fails to notify the employee of his or her eligibility to elect ORP on a timely basis. The amendments incorporate provisions regarding the extension enacted by SB 1954, 85th Texas Legislature, R.S.

The amended section is adopted under Texas Education Code, §61.027, which provides the Coordinating Board with general rulemaking authority; Texas Government Code, §830.002(c), which provides the Coordinating Board with authority to develop policies, practices, and procedures to provide greater uniformity in the administration of ORP; and Texas Government Code, §830.101(b), which provides the Coordinating Board with specific rulemaking authority to establish eligibility for participation in ORP.

§25.4.Eligibility to Elect ORP.

(a) - (n) (No change.)

(o) Administrative Errors.

(1) - (3) (No change.)

(4) Failure to Notify Error. If an ORP employer fails to notify an ORP-eligible employee of his or her eligible status on or before the employee's initial ORP eligibility date, the ORP employer shall notify the eligible employee as soon as the oversight is discovered.

(A) An employee who becomes eligible to participate in ORP and is notified by the ORP employer of the opportunity to participate in the program after the first day and before the 91st day after the date the employee becomes eligible must elect to participate in the program before the later of:

(i) the 91st day after the date the employee becomes eligible; or

(ii) the 31st day after the date the employee receives notice of the opportunity to participate in the program.

(B) An employee who becomes eligible to participate in ORP and is notified by the ORP employer of the opportunity to participate in the program on or after the 91st day after the date the employee becomes eligible must be notified by the employer before the 151st day after the date the employee becomes eligible. The employee must elect to participate in the program before the later of:

(i) the 151st day after the date the employee becomes eligible; or

(ii) the 31st day after the date the employee receives notice of the opportunity to participate in the program.

(C) The [The 90-day ORP election period for the eligible employee shall begin on the date that the employee is notified, and the] participation start date shall be determined in accordance with subsection (g) of this section.

(p) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the emergency adoption and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 1, 2017.

TRD-201702886

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: August 1, 2017

Expiration date: November 28, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 427-6104