ETF 11.10 ETF 11.10 Ex parte communications.
ETF 11.10(1)(1)The secretary and department employees may respond to any request made by the board or a board member for information required in the ordinary course of exercising the board's regulatory and supervisory functions, even if the information requested may pertain to the subject matter of an appeal currently pending before the board or a hearing examiner.
ETF 11.10(2) (2)Except as provided in sub. (1), no person involved in an appeal proceeding or factually related matter as a party, an advocate for any party or as a witness may make any ex parte communication relative to the merits of the appeal to the hearing examiner or a board member prior to the final decision of the case.
ETF 11.10 History History: Cr. Register, June, 1992, No. 438, eff. 7-1-92.
ETF 11.105 ETF 11.105Board member conflict of interest.
ETF 11.105(1)(1)No board member or employee of the department may participate in any appeal directly related to a specific benefit, credit, claim or application of the person.
ETF 11.105(2) (2)No board member may participate in deciding an appeal to which the board member is a party. No board member who is the director of the office of state employment relations, or the director's designee, may participate in deciding an appeal to which the office of state employment relations is a party. No board member who is the chief executive, chairperson or member of the governing body of a participating employer may participate in deciding an appeal in which that particular participating employer is a party. A board member barred under this subsection from participating in the board's decision of an appeal shall not make any ex parte communications to the board or another board member concerning that appeal and shall not participate in any way in the board's quasi-judicial deliberations.
ETF 11.105 Note Note: See s. 40.01 (3), Stats.
ETF 11.105 History History: Cr. Register, June, 1992, No. 438, eff. 7-1-92.
ETF 11.11 ETF 11.11 Counsel for the board.
ETF 11.11(1)(1)In accordance with s. 40.03 (3), Stats., board staff shall arrange for legal counsel to advise the board during its consideration of a final decision.
ETF 11.11(2) (2)Any legal counsel asked to represent the board under sub. (1) shall fully disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest to the board chair and state whether counsel is able to render objective advice to the board. The board chair may waive the conflict on behalf of the board.
ETF 11.11(3) (3)Counsel appointed under sub. (1) shall provide legal representation to the board including all of the following:
ETF 11.11(3)(a) (a) Advising the board during its deliberations and making specific recommendations for action by the board.
ETF 11.11(3)(b) (b) Drafting findings of fact and conclusions of law.
ETF 11.11 History History: Cr. Register, June, 1992, No. 438, eff. 7-1-92; CR 09-047: am. (1) and (2), r. and recr. (3) Register May 2010 No. 653, eff. 6-1-10.
ETF 11.12 ETF 11.12 Final decision.
ETF 11.12(1)(1)Form. Final decisions, and proposed decisions to be considered by the board, shall be in writing and include:
ETF 11.12(1)(a) (a) Findings of fact, consisting of a concise and separate statement of the ultimate conclusion upon each material issue of fact, without recital of evidence. If the findings of fact do not include an ultimate conclusion on an issue raised by a party, a statement shall be made indicating why ch. 40, Stats., or this chapter do not authorize the hearing examiner to make such a ruling.
ETF 11.12(1)(b) (b) Conclusions of law based on the factual findings.
ETF 11.12(1)(c) (c) A list of names and addresses of all persons who are considered parties for purposes of judicial review.
ETF 11.12(1)(d) (d) An order stating either that the department determination is affirmed or, where the department determination is not affirmed, remanding the matter to the department with instructions to take necessary action on the matter, consistent with the final decision. In the following cases, the decision shall include the specified additional orders and findings:
ETF 11.12(1)(d)1. 1. `Disability; employer certification.' Where the appeal is of a determination denying a disability annuity under s. 40.63, Stats., and the sole basis of the denial was the absence of an employer certification that the employee's leave of absence or termination is the result of the disability, the decision shall include a finding whether the employer's negative certification or failure to certify was reasonable and correct. If the employer's action was unreasonable or incorrect, the decision shall include an order to the employer to make the certification and an order to the department to process the disability application when the certification is received.
ETF 11.12(1)(d)2. 2. `Participating employee; protective occupation.' Where the issue of the appeal is whether a person is a participating employee or protective occupation participant, an affirmative decision shall include an order to the participating employer to make the necessary report on that person as required by s. 40.06 (1) (e), Stats.
ETF 11.12(1)(d)3. 3. `Overpayment refund.' If the final decision concludes that the appellant has overpaid the Wisconsin retirement system and a refund is due, the final decision shall include an order to the appeals coordinator to compute the amount of the refund, as provided in this chapter. That computation shall be incorporated by reference into the final decision and order to the department to pay the refund.
ETF 11.12(1)(d)4. 4. `Group insurance.' If the appeal involves a right or benefit under a group insurance plan provided under ch. 40, Stats., and the insurer is not the public employee trust fund, a final decision favorable to the insured shall include the group insurance board decision of whether the insurer's continued failure to grant the right or benefit to the insured shall be regarded as a breach of the contract between the insurer and the board.
ETF 11.12(1)(e) (e) The final decision shall be signed by the board chair or designee.
ETF 11.12(2) (2) Standards. Final decisions of the board shall be drafted to meet the following standards:
ETF 11.12(2)(a) (a) Findings. Each finding of the final decision shall be based on evidence in the record which proves the findings to a reasonable certainty by the greater weight of the credible evidence, or to a higher standard of proof expressly required by this chapter or other law.
ETF 11.12(2)(b) (b) Factual basis. The factual basis of the final decision shall be solely the evidence and matters officially noticed. Hearsay evidence may be relied upon as the basis for factual findings to the same extent permitted in a Wisconsin court of law.
ETF 11.12(2)(c) (c) Specific statutory authorization. The final decision may not order or authorize any action solely to further a purpose of the public employee trust fund unless the action is specifically authorized by a provision of ch. 40, Stats., other than s. 40.01 (2), Stats.
ETF 11.12(2)(d) (d) Consistent with law. The final decision may not be contrary to law. Where the final decision concerns a benefit program qualifying for tax exempt or tax deferred treatment under federal law, the final decision shall be consistent with the applicable federal code and regulations to the extent necessary to preserve the qualified status of the program.
ETF 11.12(3) (3) Interpretation of ambiguous statute. If the final decision necessarily depends on the interpretation of a statute which is ambiguous as a matter of law, the board shall interpret the statute. As soon as possible after a statute is found ambiguous under this subsection, the department shall propose an administrative rule interpreting the ambiguous statute.
ETF 11.12(4) (4) Due deference to rule, attorney general opinion. In interpreting a provision of ch. 40, Stats., the board shall give great weight to a written opinion of the attorney general and to the interpretation of the department. The board shall give controlling weight to an administrative rule of the department interpreting the statute.
ETF 11.12(5) (5) Closed session deliberations. The board shall meet in closed session, in its quasi-judicial capacity to review the proposed decision of an appeal and take action on the appeal, as follows:
ETF 11.12(5)(a) (a) Parties to the appeal and their attorneys of record may not be present during the closed session, except that board staff and advisory staff of the department who were not involved in the proceedings or in making the underlying department determination may be present at the discretion of the board.
ETF 11.12(5)(b) (b) Following the closed session on the appeal, the board shall reconvene in open session to briefly summarize the board's action on the appeal for the minutes. The summary shall, so far as possible, respect the confidentiality of individual personal information.
ETF 11.12(5)(c) (c) As an alternative to agreeing upon a final decision to be reduced to writing, the board may order an appeal to be returned to a hearing examiner for additional fact finding.
ETF 11.12(6) (6) Variance from proposed decision. The board's final decision may vary from the proposed decision but, if so, the board's final decision shall include an explanation of the basis for each variance.
ETF 11.12(7) (7) Notice. The appeals coordinator shall mail a copy of the final decision to each party or that party's attorney of record by first class mail. Each party, or that party's attorney of record shall also be mailed notice of the right to petition the board for a rehearing, the right to judicial review of an adverse decision, the time limits for filing a petition for rehearing or judicial review and the name of the board to be named as respondent.
ETF 11.12(8) (8) Board contact with parties. Unless the board specifically requests information from the parties, no party to an appeal of a determination made by the department may contact any member of the board about that appeal prior to the issuance of a final decision by the board.
ETF 11.12 History History: Cr. Register, June, 1992, No. 438, eff. 7-1-92; CR 07-066: am. (2) (b), Register March 2008 No. 627, eff. 4-1-08; CR 11-040: am. (5) (a) Register July 2012 No. 679, eff. 8-1-12; CR 11-044: am. (1) (a), cr. (8) Register July 2012 No. 679, eff. 8-1-12; CR 19-126: am. (1) (d) 3., (7) Register May 2021 No. 785, eff. 6-1-21.
ETF 11.13 ETF 11.13 Record.
ETF 11.13(1)(1)The hearing examiner and appeals coordinator shall create a record of each appeal, which shall include all of the following:
ETF 11.13(1)(a) (a) All applications, pleading, motions, intermediate rulings and exhibits and appendices.
ETF 11.13(1)(b) (b) Evidence received or considered, stipulations and admissions.
ETF 11.13(1)(c) (c) Statement of matters officially noticed.
ETF 11.13(1)(d) (d) Questions and offers of proof, objections and rulings thereon.
ETF 11.13(1)(e) (e) Any proposed findings or decisions and exceptions.
ETF 11.13(1)(f) (f) Any decision, opinion or report by the board or hearing examiner.
ETF 11.13(1)(g) (g) A record of oral proceedings, whether a stenographic, electronic or other record.
ETF 11.13(1)(h) (h) Letters and e-mails sent to the hearing examiner or the board by a party.
ETF 11.13(2) (2)The written record shall be maintained as an adjunct to the appropriate participant file, as determined by the department, until a final decision has been rendered and the time limit for all further judicial review has expired without an appeal being filed. Thereafter, only the portions of the record as deemed necessary for the administration of the department shall be retained.
ETF 11.13(3) (3)The appeals coordinator shall arrange for a stenographic, electronic or other record of the hearing proceedings to be made. A written transcript of the hearing shall be prepared upon request of a party, the hearing examiner, the board or the department. If a written transcript is prepared, the stenographic, electronic or other record need not be retained.
ETF 11.13(4) (4)When no written transcript is prepared, any party to the appeal and, subject to s. 40.07, Stats., any other person may request a copy of the stenographic, electronic or other record of oral proceedings. The department shall provide a copy to authorized recipients and may charge fees as provided in s. ETF 10.71.
ETF 11.13 History History: Cr. Register, June, 1992, No. 438, eff. 7-1-92; CR 11-044: cr. (1) (h), am. (3) Register July 2012 No. 679, eff. 8-1-12; CR 19-126: am. (1) (intro.), (3) Register May 2021 No. 785, eff. 6-1-21; correction in (1) (intro.) made under s. 35.17, Stats., Register May 2021 No. 785.
ETF 11.14 ETF 11.14 Petition for rehearing.
ETF 11.14(1)(1)Time limits; address. A party aggrieved by the final decision may file a petition for rehearing within 20 days after notice of the final decision is mailed. The petition for rehearing is subject to the following requirements:
ETF 11.14(1)(a) (a) The petition shall be mailed to the appropriate board in care of the appeals coordinator, department of employee trust funds. Alternatively, the petition may be personally served on a person designated by the board as its agent to accept personal service.
ETF 11.14(1)(b) (b) The petition is deemed filed on the date it is received.
ETF 11.14(1)(c) (c) The petition shall be disposed of within 30 days of its filing. The petition is deemed denied if not otherwise disposed of within 30 days of its filing.
ETF 11.14(2) (2) Grounds. The board or, when delegated under sub. (4), the hearing examiner may grant a rehearing but only on the basis of one or more of the following:
ETF 11.14(2)(a) (a) A material error of law.
ETF 11.14(2)(b) (b) A material error of fact.
ETF 11.14(2)(c) (c) The discovery of new evidence no later than 20 days after notice of the final decision is mailed that is sufficiently strong to reverse or modify the original decision, which could not have been previously discovered by due diligence.
ETF 11.14(3) (3) Contents. The petition for rehearing shall specify, in detail, the grounds for the relief requested, including the specific, material error of fact or law or the newly discovered evidence and cite supporting legal authorities for granting the petition.
ETF 11.14 Note Note: The board requests that, whenever possible, a party limit the petition for rehearing to no more than 6 pages. Another party responding for or against the petition is requested, whenever possible, to limit the response to no more than 4 pages.
ETF 11.14(4) (4) Decision on petition. The board chair shall determine whether the petition shall be added to the agenda of the next board meeting or whether to delegate final authority to decide the petition to the hearing examiner who presided over the appeal. The parties to the appeal shall immediately be notified of the decision to grant or deny the petition. If the board itself considers and grants the petition, the appeal will be referred to a hearing examiner and proceedings conducted under sub. (6). If the decision is delegated to the hearing examiner:
ETF 11.14(4)(a) (a) The appeals coordinator shall immediately forward the petition for rehearing and the record to the hearing examiner, who shall consider and grant or deny the petition within 20 days.
ETF 11.14(4)(b) (b) No hearing on the petition is required.
ETF 11.14(4)(c) (c) If the hearing examiner grants the rehearing, the examiner shall proceed to rehear the case under sub. (6).
ETF 11.14(4)(d) (d) The examiner's decision to deny the petition is the final decision of the board.
ETF 11.14(5) (5) Board motion. The board may order a rehearing on its own motion within 20 days of service of the final order.
ETF 11.14(6) (6) Conduct of rehearing. A rehearing, if granted, shall be conducted as soon as practicable.
ETF 11.14(6)(a) (a) The proceedings shall conform to those for the original hearing, except as the board or hearing examiner may otherwise direct.
ETF 11.14(6)(b) (b) If, after the rehearing, the original decision appears unreasonable or unlawful, the hearing examiner shall prepare for the consideration of the board a proposed decision reversing, changing or modifying the original final decision. The board shall consider the examiner's proposed decision at a subsequent board meeting and issue a final decision as provided in s. ETF 11.12.
ETF 11.14 History History: Cr. Register, June, 1992, No. 438, eff. 7-1-92; CR 11-044: am. (2) (c), (4) (intro.) Register July 2012 No. 679, eff. 8-1-12; CR 19-126: am. (4) (a) Register May 2021 No. 785, eff. 6-1-21.
ETF 11.15 ETF 11.15 Judicial review.
ETF 11.15(1)(1)Interested parties. Each person included as a party by the hearing examiner who appeared before the hearing examiner in the proceedings, including the department, may seek judicial review of the final board decision. If, in the opinion of the secretary, the final decision of an appeal results in violation of a fiduciary duty owed to the public employee trust fund, the secretary shall seek judicial review of the board decision.
ETF 11.15(2) (2) Respondent for review of Wisconsin retirement board, teachers retirement board, group insurance board or deferred compensation board decision. Unless otherwise expressly provided by statute, final decisions of the Wisconsin retirement board, teachers retirement board, group insurance board and deferred compensation board are subject to judicial review as provided in s. 227.53, Stats., and as follows:
ETF 11.15(2)(a) (a) Board is respondent. The petition for review shall name the board as the sole respondent and shall be mailed by certified mail to the respective board or personally served on a person designated by the board to serve as its agent to accept personal service. The petitioner shall also serve copies of the petition for review upon each party to the appeal before the board, or that party's attorney of record.
ETF 11.15(2)(b) (b) Deadlines. The following time limits shall be observed:
ETF 11.15(2)(b)1. 1. The petition for review is timely only if filed with the court and served upon the board within 30 days. The 30 day period commences on the day after the earlier of personal service upon the party or mailing of the board's final decision to all parties. However, if the party has requested a rehearing, the deadline for filing and serving the petition for review is 30 days after the application for rehearing is finally disposed of whether by action of the hearing examiner, board action or operation of law.
ETF 11.15(2)(b)2. 2. Within 30 days of instituting review proceedings, the petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition for review upon each party to the appeal before the board, or that party's attorney of record. The court may dismiss the petition for failure to serve each party listed as a party for purposes of review in the board's final decision. Service shall be by certified mail or, when service is admitted in writing, by first class mail.
ETF 11.15(2)(b)3. 3. Parties to the appeal before the board may participate in the review as provided in s. 227.53, Stats. Within 20 days of being served with the petition for review, a party may serve upon the petitioner, the board and the attorney general a notice of appearance. This notice shall clearly state the person's position with reference to each material allegation in the petition for review and to the affirmance, vacation or modification of the board decision under review. Proof of service of the notice shall be filed with the clerk of the reviewing court within 10 days after the service.
ETF 11.15 Note Note: See s. 227.53, Stats., for details of judicial review proceedings and pleading.
ETF 11.15(3) (3) Respondent for review of etf board decision. Final decisions of the employee trust fund board are subject to judicial review only by certiorari. The certiorari petition or complaint shall name the employee trust funds board as the respondent and shall be filed in Dane county, where the board is deemed to reside.
ETF 11.15 Note Note: In the absence of a statutory deadline for filing the certiorari petition, see State ex rel Casper v. Board of Trustees, 30 Wis. 2d 170, 140 N.W. 2d 301 (1966) which sets a 6 month deadline.
ETF 11.15(4) (4) Agent for service upon board. Except as provided in this subsection, no person or employee of the department is authorized to accept service for the board. From time to time the board may by motion designate a person, either by name or position, as agent to accept personal service for the board. Persons holding the following positions, whose names shall be disclosed by the department upon request, are designated as agents to accept personal service on behalf of the board:
Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.