The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 54th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 55th Legislature, 1st Regular Session, which convenes in January 2021.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
38-893. Local boards; powers and duties; rules; hearings; administrative review
A. The administration of the plan and the responsibility for making the provisions of the plan effective for each employer are vested in a local board. The state department of corrections, the department of juvenile corrections, the department of public safety, each participating county sheriff's department, each participating city or town, each participating employer of full-time dispatchers for eligible groups as defined in section 38-842 and the judiciary shall have a local board. Each local board is constituted as follows:
1. For the state departments, two members who are elected by secret ballot by members employed by that department in a designated position and two citizens who are appointed by the governor. The director of each state department shall appoint one member to the local board who is knowledgeable in personnel actions. Each state department local board shall elect a chairman.
2. For each participating county, the chairman of the board of supervisors, or the chairman's designee who is approved by the board of supervisors, as chairman, two members who are elected by secret ballot by members employed by the participating county in a designated position and two citizens, one of whom shall be the head of the merit system if it exists for the group of members, who are appointed by the chairman of the board of supervisors with the approval of the board of supervisors.
3. For political subdivisions, the mayor or chief elected official or a designee of the mayor or chief elected official approved by the respective governing body as chairman, two members elected by secret ballot by members employed by the appropriate employer and two citizens, one of whom shall be the head of the merit system if it exists for the group of members, appointed by the mayor or chief elected official and with the approval of the city council or governing body of the employer.
4. For the judiciary, two members who are elected by secret ballot by members who are employed as a probation, surveillance or juvenile detention officer, a designee of the chief justice of the Arizona supreme court and two citizens, one of whom shall be the head of a human resource department for the group of members, appointed by the chief justice.
B. The appointments and elections of local board members shall take place with one elective and one appointive board member, as designated by the appointing authority, serving a term ending two years after the date of appointment or election and the other local board members serving a term ending four years after the date of appointment or election. Thereafter, every second year, and as a vacancy occurs, an office shall be filled for a term of four years in the same manner as provided in this section. Each local board shall meet at least twice each year.
C. Each local board shall be fully constituted pursuant to subsection A of this section within sixty days after the employer's effective date of participation in the plan. If the deadline is not met, on the written request of any member who is covered by the local board or the employer to the board of trustees, the board of trustees shall appoint all vacancies of the local board pursuant to subsection A of this section and designate whether each appointive position is for a two year or four year term. If the board of trustees cannot find individuals to serve on the local board who meet the requirements of subsection A of this section, the board of trustees may appoint individuals to serve as interim local board members until qualified individuals are appointed or elected. Within ten days after the member's appointment or election, each member of a local board shall take an oath of office that, so far as it devolves on the member, the member shall diligently and honestly administer the affairs of the local board and shall not knowingly violate or willingly permit to be violated any of the provisions of law applicable to the plan.
D. Except as limited by subsection E of this section, a local board shall:
1. Decide all questions of eligibility and service credits and determine the amount, manner and time of payment of any benefit under the plan.
2. Make a determination as to the right of a claimant to a benefit and afford a claimant or the board of trustees, or both, a right to a rehearing on the original determination. Except as otherwise required by law, unless all parties involved in a matter presented to the local board for determination otherwise agree, the local board shall commence a hearing on the matter within ninety days after the date the matter is presented to the local board for determination. If a local board fails to commence a hearing as provided in this paragraph, on a matter presented to the local board for determination, the relief demanded by the party petitioning the local board is deemed granted and approved by the local board. The granting and approval of this relief is considered final and binding unless a timely request for rehearing or appeal is made as provided in this article, unless the board of trustees determines that granting the relief requested would violate the internal revenue code or threaten to impair the plan's status as a qualified plan under the internal revenue code. If the board of trustees determines that granting the requested relief would violate the internal revenue code or threaten to impair the plan's status as a qualified plan, the board of trustees may refuse to grant the relief by issuing a written determination to the local board and the party petitioning the local board for relief. The decision by the board of trustees is subject to judicial review pursuant to title 12, chapter 7, article 6.
3. Request and receive from the employers and from members information as is necessary for the proper administration of the plan and action on claims for benefits and forward the information to the board of trustees.
4. Distribute, in the manner the local board determines to be appropriate, information explaining the plan that is received from the board of trustees.
5. Furnish the employer, the board of trustees and the legislature, on request, with annual reports with respect to the administration of the plan that are reasonable and appropriate.
6. Appoint a medical board that is composed of a designated physician or physicians working in a clinic other than the employer's regular employee or contractor. If required, the local board may employ other physicians to report on special cases. The examining physician or clinic shall report the results of examinations made to the local board, and the secretary of the local board shall preserve the report as a permanent record.
7. Sue and be sued to effectuate the duties and responsibilities set forth in this article.
8. Prescribe procedures to be followed by claimants in filing applications for benefits.
9. Receive and review the actuarial valuation of the plan for its group of members.
10. Receive and review reports of the financial condition and of the receipts and disbursements of the fund from the board of trustees.
E. A local board has no power to add to, subtract from, modify or waive any of the terms of the plan, change or add to any benefits provided by the plan or waive or fail to apply any requirement of eligibility for membership or benefits under the plan. Notwithstanding any limitations periods imposed in this article, including subsections G and H of this section, if the board of trustees determines a local board decision violates the internal revenue code or threatens to impair the plan's status as a qualified plan under the internal revenue code, the local board's decision is not final and binding and the board of trustees may refrain from implementing or complying with the local board decision.
F. A local board, from time to time, shall establish and adopt rules as it deems necessary or desirable for its administration. All rules and decisions of a local board shall be uniformly and consistently applied to all members in similar circumstances. If a claim or dispute is presented to a local board for determination but the local board has not yet adopted uniform rules of procedure for adjudication of the claim or dispute, the local board shall adopt and use the model uniform rules of local board procedure that are issued by the board of trustees' fiduciary counsel to adjudicate the claim or dispute.
G. Except as otherwise provided in this article, an action by a majority vote of the members of a local board that is not inconsistent with the provisions of the plan and the internal revenue code is final, conclusive and binding on all persons affected by it, unless a timely application for a rehearing or appeal is filed as provided in this article. No later than twenty days after taking action, the local board shall submit to the board of trustees the minutes from the local board meeting that include the name of the member affected by its decision, a description of the action taken and an explanation of the reasons and all documents submitted to the local board for the action taken, including the reports of a medical board. The board of trustees may not implement and comply with any local board action that does not comply with the internal revenue code or that threatens to jeopardize the plan's status as a qualified plan under the internal revenue code.
H. A claimant or the board of trustees may apply for a rehearing before the local board within the time periods prescribed in this subsection, except that if a decision of a local board violates the internal revenue code or threatens to jeopardize the plan's status as a qualified plan under the internal revenue code, no limitation period for the board of trustees to seek a rehearing of a local board decision applies. A claimant or the board of trustees shall file an application for rehearing in writing with a member of the local board or its secretary within sixty days after:
1. The claimant receives notification of the local board's original action by certified mail, by attending the meeting at which the action is taken or by receiving benefits from the plan pursuant to the local board's original action, whichever occurs first.
2. The board of trustees receives notification of the local board's original action as prescribed by subsection G of this section by certified mail.
I. A hearing before a local board on a matter remanded from the superior court is not subject to a rehearing before the local board.
J. Decisions of local boards are subject to judicial review pursuant to title 12, chapter 7, article 6.
K. When making a ruling, determination or calculation, the local board is entitled to rely on information furnished by the employer, the board of trustees, independent legal counsel or the actuary for the plan.
L. Each member of a local board is entitled to one vote. A majority is necessary for a decision by the members of a local board at any meeting of the local board.
M. The local board shall adopt bylaws as it deems necessary. The local board shall elect a secretary who may, but need not, be a member of the local board. The secretary of the local board shall keep a record and prepare minutes of all meetings in compliance with chapter 3, article 3.1 of this title and forward the minutes and all necessary communications to the board of trustees as prescribed by subsection G of this section.
N. The employer and not the board of trustees or plan shall pay the fees of the medical board and of the local board's legal counsel and all other expenses of the local board necessary for the administration of the plan at rates and in amounts as the local board approves.
O. The local board shall issue directions to the board of trustees concerning all benefits that are to be paid from the employer's account pursuant to the provisions of the fund. The local board shall keep on file, in the manner it deems convenient and proper, all reports from the board of trustees and the actuary.
P. The local board and the individual members of the local board are indemnified from the assets of the fund for any judgment against the local board or its members, including attorney fees and costs, arising from any act, or failure to act, made in good faith pursuant to the provisions of the plan.