Gov. Abbott Expected to Sign Two Pension-related Bills

  • By: admin
  • On: 05/29/2019 12:09:45
  • In: News
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott could soon be signing legislation establishing a new investment report for public pension systems to provide, and another bill requiring the retirement plans to adopt written funding policies is already awaiting his signature. 

TEXPERS Staff Report - Updated 5.29.19

SB 322 Progress

Texas Legislature Online as of May 23, 2019. Click image to enlarge. 

Senate Bill 322 would require certain public retirement systems to report, by asset class, direct and indirect commissions and fees paid by the funds during the prior fiscal year for the sale, purchase, or management of system assets along with the names of investment managers hired by the funds. Funds required to compile the report will have to select an "independent firm" to evaluate investment practices and make recommendations for improvement. 

"Systems that already are currently required by law to submit such a report as well as systems that have a book value of $30 million or less are exempt from the bill," says Eddie Solis, of lobbying firm HillCo Partners and TEXPERS' lobbyist at the state Capitol. 

On May 22, the House passed the Senate bill after making changes suggested by the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems. An amended bill returned to the Senate for final approval before heading to the governor's office to be signed. 

Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, and Rep. Jim Murphy, R-Houston, sponsored SB 322 and filed it Jan. 10. If signed into law, the requirements would take effect Sept. 1. 

TEXPERS has been tracking the bill and working with legislators on amendments. 

"TEXPERS discussed concerns with the bill with both Senate and House authors and proposed language allowing a system to utilize a consultant already contracted with by the system to minimize or avoid costs as well as proposed language to move the date out to accommodate the timing of the report," Solis says. "Both Senate and House authors were understanding to the benefit of these amendments and accepted the language."

You can follow the bill's progression on TEXPERS' legislative advocacy website. Click here to read the current text.

SB 2224 Progress

Texas Legislature Online as of May 23, 2019. Click image to enlarge.

Another bill, SB 2224, sponsored by Huffman and Murphy, also is awaiting the governor's signature. If signed, the law would require public retirement systems to adopt a written funding policy that details the fund's plan for achieving 100 percent funding. Also, the legislation would require public pension plans to make the policy publicly available and file it with its associated governmental entity. 

"This bill was discussed by TEXPERS' Legislative Committee and with the State Pension Review Board and found to be workable to systems," Solis says. 

If signed by the governor, SB 2224 would become law Sept. 1. You can find the text of the law here

As SB 322 and SB 2224 make their final rounds toward becoming law, TEXPERS will provide additional updates.


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