WSR 04-05-017

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

RETIREMENT SYSTEMS

[ Filed February 9, 2004, 3:57 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 03-22-070.

Title of Rule: WAC 415-04-040 What will the department do after receiving my petition?

Purpose: The Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) is proposing making minor changes to the wording of this WAC to help distinguish the petition process from the appeals process under chapter 415-08 WAC.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 41.50.050(5).

Summary: Minor changes to the wording of this WAC to help distinguish the petition process from the appeals process under chapter 415-08 WAC.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Distinguish the petition process from the appeals process under chapter 415-08 WAC on behalf of the petitioners, attorneys, and judges in the judicial system. Unlike the appeals process, the petition process is not under the Washington State Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Merry A. Kogut, P.O. Box 48380, Olympia, WA 98504-8380, (360) 664-7291; Implementation and Enforcement: John Charles, P.O. Box 48380, Olympia, WA 98504-8380, (360) 664-7312.

Name of Proponent: Department of Retirement Systems, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Please see above. In addition, this change will allow eliminating the terms "findings of fact" and "conclusions of law" from petition decisions. The information will still be provided on the decisions, but in a different format. The different format will distinguish petition decisions from appeals decisions.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Primarily, eliminates "findings of fact" and "conclusions of law" from the WAC.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. These amendments have no affect on businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. DRS is not one of the named departments in RCW 34.05.328.

Hearing Location: Department of Retirement Systems, 6835 Capitol Boulevard, Conference Room 115, Tumwater, WA, on April 6, 2004, at 3:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact the rules coordinator by seven days before the hearing, if possible, phone (360) 664-7291, TTY (360) 586-5450, e-mail joeo@drs.wa.gov.

Submit Written Comments to: Identify WAC Numbers, Rules Coordinator, Department of Retirement Systems, P.O. Box 48380, Olympia, WA 98504-8380, e-mail joeo@drs.wa.gov, fax (360) 753-3166, by 5:00 p.m. on April 6, 2004.

Date of Intended Adoption: No sooner than April 7, 2004.

February 6, 2004

Merry A. Kogut

Rules Coordinator

OTS-6916.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-18-018, filed 8/24/01, effective 9/24/01)

WAC 415-04-040   What will the department do after receiving my petition?   (1) A petition examiner will review your petition.

(2) Within fourteen days from the date that you file a petition with the department, the petition examiner will determine whether you have a sufficient stake in the outcome of the proceeding to have the department consider the issues in your petition.

(a) If the petition examiner determines that you do not have a sufficient stake in the outcome, the petition examiner:

(i) May refer the matter back to the plan administrator for further investigation.

(ii) Will notify you of this decision within fourteen days of the date you file the petition. You may appeal this decision to the presiding officer under WAC 415-04-050.

(b) If the petition examiner determines that you do have a sufficient stake in the outcome, the petition examiner:

(i) Will notify interested parties, such as the member, current or former employer(s), designated beneficiaries, former spouse or the department, that you filed a petition;

(ii) Will request that the interested parties submit any written response to the petition no later than twenty days from the date of receipt of the notice;

(iii) May extend the time limit for response if the interested party shows a good reason to need more time.

(3) The petition examiner may request additional information at any time.

(4) The petition examiner will forward a copy of an interested party's response to you.

(a) You will have ten days to reply.

(b) The petition examiner may extend your time to respond if you demonstrate that you need more time for good reason.

(c) If an extension is not granted and you do not reply within ten days, you waive the right to reply.

(5) The petition examiner will issue a written decision within sixty days of:

(a) The end of your final period to reply under subsection (4) of this section; or

(b) Receipt of additional information from the department or the office of the attorney general necessary to make a decision.

(6) ((The written decision will include the findings of fact and conclusions of law necessary to decide the matter. The decision will be sent to you and to other interested parties.)) In the written decision, the petition examiner will state facts and sources of law used to make the decision. The petition examiner will send a copy to you and to the other parties.

(7) The petition examiner may refer the petition back to the plan administrator for an administrative determination without issuing a petition decision if:

(a) The petition adds new issues or facts that have not been addressed in the plan administrator's final determination; or

(b) The plan administrator did not have access to a petition decision or final order of the department that would have changed the outcome of the administrative determination.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050(5), 41.50.050, 41.50.060. 01-18-018, 415-04-040, filed 8/24/01, effective 9/24/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 41.50.050 and 41.50.780(11). 96-16-020, 415-04-040, filed 7/29/96, effective 7/29/96.]

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