What are the Pension Review Board reporting requirements?
How do I determine if my pension plan is in compliance with State law?
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I received a Social Security Administration Potential Private Retirement Benefit Information notice. What does this mean?
The notice was sent to you by the Social Security Administration (SSA) because you filed a claim for Social Security benefits. It is a reminder about private employer retirement benefits that you may have earned. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided this information to SSA. The information is provided to the IRS by the plan administrators of the private retirement plans that you participated in while you were an employee. For more information about private employer retirement benefits click here or contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration at 866-444-3272.
Minimum Educational Training Program FAQs:
When will the new training requirements for trustees and administrators take effect?
The training requirements went into effect on January 1, 2015.
Where can I take courses for credit towards my required training hours?
Trustees and administrators have two avenues in which they may receive credit for training; either by completing training from an accredited sponsor or by attending training that has been approved to receive credit with the Individual Course Approval Application (ICAA). The ICAA may be used by either the sponsoring organization or by the system on the behalf of the trustees or system administrator. The form should be sent into the PRB 30 days prior to the course date; however exceptions to this rule may be made on a case-by-case basis. In addition to the avenues above the PRB is developing online training to be offered in the near future.
What courses can I take for credit towards my required training hours?
In a new trustee or administrator’s first year of service, they must take 7 hours of training from the core topic areas, which include: Fiduciary Matters, Governance, Ethics, Investments, Actuarial Matters, Benefits Administration, and Risk Management. In their subsequent years of service, all trustees and administrators can take their required 4 hours during every 2-year continuing education cycle in either the core areas or the non-core, which include: Compliance, Legal and Regulatory Matters, Pension Accounting, Custodial Issues, Plan Administration, Texas Open Meetings Act, and Texas Public Information Act. The Curriculum Guide for the Minimum Educational Training Program provides more guidance on what may be covered under each topic area.
If I am already a trustee or administrator, will I get credit for training I’ve already taken?
A trustee or administrator already in service as of Jan. 1, 2015 has 2 options for completing the core training requirement by Dec. 31, 2016. The trustee or administrator could either complete the 7 hours of core training or apply to the PRB for credit for previous training taken between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2014 and have that training approved. These two options can also be combined. For example, a trustee could take 4 hours of core training and apply for credit for 3 hours of previous training. To get credit for previous training, the training will have to meet the basic requirements of the core, and partial credit may be awarded.
What is the difference between a course from an accredited sponsor and an approved course from a non-accredited sponsor?
Accredited sponsors do not have to also apply for approval of each individual course they offer. This path is designed to meet the needs of frequent educational providers. Sponsors who do not wish to become accredited or who offer fewer or less frequent courses must apply for approval of each individual course they would like to offer. Please see the sponsor webpage for more information.
Will I be able to take my training online?
Yes, online training from accredited sponsors, as well as approved online courses from non-accredited sponsors, will be accepted. The PRB is developing online training to be offered in the near future.
How will I report my training hours to the PRB?
The PRB 2000 form was developed for systems to report their trustees’ and administrator’s training hours. The first PRB 2000 is due February 1, 2016; after that time systems will be required to submit a PRB 2000 every February 1 (for training completed September 1 of the previous year through January 31) and September 1 (for training completed February 1 through August 31).
How can our retirement system receive credit for in-house training we conduct?
Systems providing in-house training can either apply to become an accredited sponsor or can submit individual course offerings to the PRB for approval. Please visit the sponsor webpage (coming soon) for more information.
Our trustees serve two-year terms. How will we complete the 2-year continuing education requirement after completing the first year core requirement?
Trustees with even-numbered term-lengths (2, 4, 6 years, etc.) will be exempt from continuing education requirements during the last year of their term. If they are reappointed or re-elected, they will begin a new 2-year continuing education cycle on the first day of service of their new term.
For example, if a new trustee has a 2-year term, he or she must complete the core during their first year and then will not have to complete continuing education during their second and last year of that term. If reappointed or re-elected to a new term, the trustee will begin their 2-year continuing education cycle on the first day of the new term and continue on a 2-year continuing education cycle for each subsequent term.
Will a trustee have to repeat the core if they are reappointed or re-elected to serve an additional term(s)? What about a system administrator who is rehired?
A reappointed or re-elected trustee does not have to repeat the core and will instead continue on 2-year continuing education cycles until their service ends unless more than two years have passed since the last day of their last term of service. If more than two years have passed since the last day of the trustee’s last term, he or she must repeat the core as a new trustee. System administrators who are rehired must follow these same rules.
What if our retirement system does not have a system administrator?
Systems may apply for an exemption from the system administrator training requirement if the system has designated an outside entity (bank or financial institution) as the system administrator or if the system does not have an administrator that meets the statutory definition and affirms that a trustee performs this role and will be subject to the training. In both cases, a system is required to submit to the Board a request for exemption on a form provided by the Board.
A trustee attended training in 2015 from a non-accredited sponsor. Which application is used to submit his/her training for approval for credit hours?
Systems that have Trustees and administrators who wish to attend trainings from non-accredited sponsors after January 1, 2015 may apply to have the course count for credit hours with the Individual Course Approval Application. Whereas, current trustees and administrators who attended training in 2013/2014 and wish to have that training count towards credit hours must have their system fill out a Previous Training Application. Trustees and administrators who wish to attend a training conducted by an accredited sponsor do not need to fill out an application before attending the training.
Can trustees and administrators attend non-core subject trainings for credit hours toward their Continuing Education requirement during the time designated as core requirement?
Current trustees and administrators (those starting on or before 1/1/2015) have until December 31, 2016 to complete their Core requirement. Trustees and administrators may not receive credit for non-core training during the time they are completing the core requirement. On January 1, 2017, all current trustees and system will begin their Continuing Education cycle, and non-core training topics will be accepted for credit hours. New trustees and administrators (those starting after 1/2/2015) will have a year from the date they began their service to complete the core requirement and may not have non-core training topics count for credit hours during that time. After their first year of service, the core training requirement will be completed and non-core hours will count for credit.
An accredited system is offering a training course after one of their scheduled board meetings. May trustees and administrators from other systems attend the training for credit hours?
An accredited PRS may offer training to trustees and administrators from other systems for credit hours. The accredited sponsor is responsible for all of the same statutory requirements as any other accredited sponsor.
Is the PRB currently accepting sponsor applications?
Applications are currently being accepted and may be submitted at any time.
Where can I find the rules for potential sponsors?
The rules for potential sponsors are located in Subchapter C of Title 40 of Chapter 607 of the Texas Administrative Code and can be found here.
How often will I need to seek renewal of accredited sponsor status after my initial approval?
An accredited sponsor will need to be reaccredited 2 years after the initial accreditation. After the initial 2 years, the sponsor will need to reapply for accreditation every 4 years.
Do I need to submit records to the PRB for each class a trustee or administrator has completed?
No, however; all accredited sponsors must keep records for 5 years following the completion of the course. These records must include the following information: an agenda or outline that describes the course content; the name and title of the instructor(s) for each topic area; time devoted to each topic; each date and location of presentation; and finally, a record of participation that reflects the credit hours earned by the trustees or administrator and the number of non-trustee/non-administrator attendees.
How long will it take for PRB to process my application for accredited sponsor or individual course approval?
The PRB is accepting applications and will process them as received. If further documentation is required, the applicant will be notified as soon as possible.
What if my question is not answered here?Please contact the PRB at PRB@prb.state.tx.us, with any questions about the MET program or requirements.