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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 7

as introduced - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to retirement; defining the procedures to appeal administrative decisions
made by the chief administrative officers; proposing coding for new law in
Minnesota Statutes, chapter 356; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections
352.031; 354.071.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

new text begin [356.95] PENSION PLAN APPEAL PROCEDURES.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Definitions. new text end

new text begin Unless the language or context clearly indicates that a
different meaning is intended, for the purpose of this section, the following terms have
the meanings given them.
new text end

new text begin (a) "Chief administrative officer" means, for purposes of the statewide pension plans
identified in section 356A.01, subdivision 24, the executive director or the executive
director's designee or representative.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Covered pension plan" means a plan enumerated in section 356.20, subdivision
2, clauses (1) to (4), (10), and (12) to (14). Nothing in this section applies to the deferred
compensation plan administered under sections 352.96 and 352.97 or to the postretirement
health care savings plan administered under section 352.98.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Governing board" means, for purposes of the statewide plans identified
in section 356A.01, subdivision 24, the Board of Trustees of the Public Employees
Retirement Association, the Board of Trustees of the Teachers Retirement Association,
and the Board of Directors of the Minnesota State Retirement System.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Person" includes any employee participating in a covered pension plan subject
to this section, or beneficiary of that employee, and also includes any state agency or
other governmental unit that employs persons participating in the covered plans subject
to this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Right to review. new text end

new text begin A determination made by a covered pension plan
regarding a person's eligibility, benefits, or other rights under the plan, with which the
person does not agree, is subject to review under this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Notice of determination. new text end

new text begin If a chief administrative officer denies
an application or a written request, or terminates a benefit of any person claiming a
right or potential rights under a covered pension plan defined in this section, the chief
administrative officer shall notify that person through a written notice containing:
new text end

new text begin (1) the reasons for the determination;
new text end

new text begin (2) notice that the person may petition the governing board of the covered plan for a
review of the determination and that the petition for review must be filed in the offices of
the covered plan within 60 days of the receipt of the written notice of the determination,
including a statement that failure to petition for review within 60 days will preclude the
person from contesting in any other court procedure or administrative review the issues
determined by the chief administrative officer;
new text end

new text begin (3) a statement that all relevant materials, documents, affidavits, and other records
that the person wishes to be reviewed in support of the petition must be filed and received
in the offices of the covered plan at least 30 days before the date of the hearing prescribed
in subdivision 10; and
new text end

new text begin (4) a copy of this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Termination of benefits. new text end

new text begin If a covered plan proposes to terminate a benefit
that is being paid to any person, before terminating the benefit, the chief administrative
officer must, in addition to the other procedures prescribed herein, give the individual
written notice of the proposed termination by certified mail. The notice must explain
the reason for the proposed termination. The person must be given an opportunity to
explain, in writing, in person, by telephone, or by e-mail, why the benefit should not be
terminated. If the chief administrative officer is unable to contact the individual and
determines that a failure to terminate the benefit might result in unauthorized payment
by a covered plan, the chief administrative officer may terminate the benefit with only a
written notice containing the information required by subdivision 3, mailed to the address
to which the benefit was last sent and, if that address is a financial institution, to the
last known address of the person.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Petition for review. new text end

new text begin A person who claims a right under subdivision 2 may
petition for a review of that decision by the governing board of the covered plan. A petition
under this section must be served upon the chief administrative officer by mail postmarked
no later than 60 days after the person received the notice required by subdivision 3. The
petition must include the person's statement of the reasons the petitioner believes the
decision of the chief administrative officer should be reversed or modified and may
include all documentation and written materials the petitioner deems to be relevant. All
documents and materials the petitioner wishes to be part of the record for review must be
filed with the chief administrative officer and received in the offices of the covered plan at
least 30 days before the date of the meeting at which the petition is scheduled to be heard.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Failure to petition. new text end

new text begin If a timely petition for review pursuant to subdivision
5 is not filed with the chief administrative officer, the covered plan's determination is final
and is not subject to further judicial or administrative review.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Notice of hearing. new text end

new text begin (a) After receiving a petition, and no less than 30
calendar days from the date of the next regular board meeting, the chief administrative
officer must schedule a timely review of the petition before the governing board of the
covered plan. The review must be scheduled taking into consideration accommodations
for allowing the petitioner to participate in the governing board's review.
new text end

new text begin (b) No less than 15 calendar days before the scheduled hearing date, the chief
administrative officer must mail to the petitioner a follow-up notice of the time and place
of such meeting at which the governing board will consider the petition and a copy of
all relevant documents, evidence, summaries, and recommendations to be considered
by the governing board.
new text end

new text begin (c) A petitioner, within ten calendar days of the scheduled date of the board
meeting, may request a continuance on a petition that has already been scheduled. The
chief administrative officer must reschedule the review within 60 days of the date of the
withdrawal and only one continuance may be granted any petitioner.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Record for review. new text end

new text begin (a) All evidence, including all records, documents, and
affidavits in the possession of the covered plan of which the covered plan desires to avail
itself and be considered by the governing board, and all evidence which the petitioner
wishes to present to the governing board including any evidence which would otherwise
be classified by law as "nonpublic" shall be made part of the hearing record.
new text end

new text begin (b) Not later than seven days before the scheduled hearing date, the chief
administrative officer must provide a copy of the record to each member of the governing
board.
new text end

new text begin (c) At least five days prior to the hearing the petitioner shall submit to the chief
administrative officer, for submission to the governing board, any additional documents,
affidavits, or other relevant information not initially submitted with the petition.
new text end

new text begin (d) Each board member who participates in the decision on the petition must be
familiar with the record. If a board member cannot personally attend the hearing, that
board member may participate in the hearing by way of telephone, provided that the
board member is able to hear all testimony and argument and provided that the board
member participating by telephone state for the record the board member's views and
vote on any motion.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 9. new text end

new text begin Amended determination. new text end

new text begin At any time prior to the hearing before the
governing board, for good cause shown, the chief administrative officer may reverse, alter,
amend, or modify the decision which is subject to review by issuing an amended decision
and may cancel the governing board's review of the person's petition.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 10. new text end

new text begin Hearing. new text end

new text begin (a) The governing board shall hold a timely hearing on a
petition for review as part of a regularly scheduled board meeting, or a special meeting if
so scheduled. All governing board members that will participate in the decision-making
process must be familiar with the record. The governing board shall make its decision on
a petition solely on the record as submitted and the proceedings of the hearing. At the
hearing, the petitioner, the petitioner's attorney, and the chief administrative officer or
representative may state and discuss with the governing board their positions with respect
to the petition. The governing board may allow further documentation to be placed in the
record at the board meeting with the agreement of both the chief administrative officer and
the petitioner. The chief administrative officer, or designee or representative thereof, may
not otherwise participate in the board's decision-making process.
new text end

new text begin (b) When a petition presents a contested issue of law, for purposes of the statewide
plans identified under section 356A.01, subdivision 24, an assistant attorney general may
participate and argue on behalf of the legal position taken by the chief administrative
officer provided that the assistant attorney general so participating does not also serve as
the governing board's legal advisor during the board's decision-making process.
new text end

new text begin (c) Motion to deny or approve.
new text end

new text begin (1) Any motion by a board member to affirm or reverse the chief administrative
officer's decision shall be accompanied by a summary of the relevant facts, conclusions,
and reasons supporting the motion.
new text end

new text begin (2) A motion, as properly amended and approved by a majority of the governing
board, constitutes the board's final decision. A verbatim statement of the motion shall be
served upon the petitioner notifying the person of the governing board's decision. If
the decision is contrary to the petitioner's desired outcome, the notice shall inform the
petitioner of the appeal rights set forth in subdivision 13.
new text end

new text begin (3) In the event that a petitioner having received timely notice of a scheduled hearing
fails to appear, the governing board may nevertheless hear the petition and issue a decision.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 11. new text end

new text begin Disability medical issues. new text end

new text begin (a) If a person asks the governing board
to reverse or modify a determination which found that there exists no medical data
supporting a claim to disability benefits, the board may reverse that determination only if
there is in fact medical evidence supporting the claim. The board has the discretion to
resubmit a claim at any time to a medical advisor for reconsideration, with or without
instruction to obtain further medical examinations.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a covered pension plan requires the use of a medical advisor, the governing
board may make a determination contrary to the recommendation of the medical advisor
only if there is expert medical evidence in the record to support its contrary decision.
If there is no medical evidence contrary to the opinion of the medical advisor in the
record and the medical advisor attests that the decision was made in accordance with the
applicable disability standard, the board must follow the decision of the medical advisor
regarding the cause of the disability.
new text end

new text begin (c) A governing board may make a determination different from the recommendation
of the medical advisor on issues that do not involve medical issues.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 12. new text end

new text begin Referral for administrative hearing. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding sections 14.03,
14.06, and 14.57 to 14.69, a challenge to a determination of the chief administrative
officer of a covered plan must be conducted exclusively under the procedures in this
section. A governing board, in its sole discretion, may refer a petition brought under
this section to the Office of Administrative Hearings for a contested case hearing under
sections 14.57 to 14.69.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 13. new text end

new text begin Appeal of the governing board's decision; judicial review. new text end

new text begin Within 60
days of mailing of the notice of the governing board's decision, the petitioner may appeal
the decision by writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals pursuant to section 606.01.
Failure to appeal to the Court of Appeals within 60 days precludes the person from
later raising, in any court proceeding or administrative hearing, those substantive and
procedural issues that reasonably should have been raised upon appeal.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 14. new text end

new text begin Petitions without notice. new text end

new text begin Notwithstanding the petition notice and
requirements under this section, persons who believe their rights have been affected by a
decision made by a covered pension plan may request a review under this section by the
appropriate board, but the petition must be made within 45 days of the time the individuals
knew or should have known of the disputed decision.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 15. new text end

new text begin Governing board review panel. new text end

new text begin Any covered plan subject to this
section, by motion duly made and adopted, may appoint a panel of governing board
members to hear and determine any or all petitions brought under this section, provided
the panel consists of what would otherwise constitute a quorum of board members under
the governing body's rules and procedures.
new text end

Sec. 2. new text begin REPEALER.
new text end

new text begin Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 352.031; and 354.071, new text end new text begin are repealed.
new text end

Sec. 3. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin Sections 1 and 2 are effective the day following final enactment.
new text end