For Immediate Release
The Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems (TEXPERS), which represents 75+ Texas public employee pensions for police, firefighters and municipal employees across the state, praised passage of House Bill 13 in the House and Senate last week and recommended its acceptance by Governor Rick Perry.
The bill further expands the transparency which retirement systems already provide their members and the public. It establishes requirements for state and local pensions' reporting on websites, requires the development and postings of ethical standards and conflict-of-interest policies, and mandates development and administration of an educational training program for pension board trustees and system administrators.
TEXPERS executive director Max Patterson said the following:
"From the outset, when State Comptroller Susan Combs indicated her desire in December 2012 for additional transparency and accountability at all levels of Texas government, we believed that House Bill 13 would be favorably viewed by TEXPERS' member systems and that passage would not be opposed."
"While local pensions already transmit considerable information to the Pension Review Board, we quickly saw the benefit of adding transparency components to existing requirements, like publishing information on the pensions' websites for their constituencies to access."
"And, as the leading provider of pension trustee training programs in Texas, we recognized the value in the Pension Review Board establishing some expectations for Board member's knowledge of pension investments and operations."
"What made HB 13 unique, in comparison to previous years' efforts at sweeping statewide pension changes, was the collaborative process and positive tone initiated by Ms. Combs and executed by the billâ€™s legislative sponsors, State Senator Robert Duncan and State Representative Bill Callegari."
"It is our hope that any future pension adjustments requiring legislative attention will imitate HB 13 in its procedural, collaborative approach with inputs from our members, the municipal employees, police, and firefighter pensions of Texas."
-- 30 --