Day-to-day operations were largely performed by City of Houston employees until 1988, when the Board of Trustees started hiring its own staff and exerting more autonomy as permitted by statute. The pension fund is a defined benefit plan and is funded through a combination of employee and employer contributions and investment earnings. The Fund’s membership consists of more than 6,600 active and retired firefighters and survivors of firefighters. Firefighters do not participate in the U.S. Social Security system.
Administration and Oversight
The Fund, created by state statute, gives the Board of Trustees responsibility for conducting its business. The 10-member board consists of five firefighters, the city treasurer, the mayor or an appointed representative of the mayor, two citizen members elected by the firefighter trustees, and a retiree who is elected by other retirees. The active firefighter trustees represent various ranks in the Houston Fire Department.
The Board develops policies and sets its own budget. Accordingly, the Board has seven committees: Budget and Audit, Corporate Governance, Investment, Legislative, Pension Benefits, Personnel and Procedures, and Memorial Fund. The Investment, Legislative and Personnel and Procedures committees are committees of the whole Board of Trustees.
The Board has a professional staff in place to manage and administer the day-to-day operations of the Fund. Click here to see a current Organizational Chart. For inquiries, please select the Contact Us page.
The Fund’s membership consists of approximately 3,700 active firefighters and 2,900 retirees and survivors. Firefighters do not participate in Social Security. Since July 1, 2004, the active firefighters contribute 9.00 percent of their salary to the Fund. By statute, the City of Houston must contribute at least twice that amount. The remainder of the Fund’s assets comes from its return on investments. The Fund’s investment return assumption is 8.5%.
Get More Information
As always, feel free to call our administrative office at 281-372-5100 or toll free at 800-666-9737. We are here to help. Our normal business hours are from 7:30 AM – 4 PM Monday - Friday.