Press Releases

The Houston Firefighters' Relief & Retirement Fund occasionally shares its media information with the public and these press releases are shown below. If you would like to view a release, press activity.

11/07/2018 - Media Release on Passage of Proposition B - Nov. 7, 2018

November 7, 2018

 (UPDATED) MEDIA STATEMENT 

In reference to passage of the pay equalization ballot initiative on Tuesday November 6, Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund Board Chairman Brett Besselman made the following statements:

  • Our study of Prop. B indicates its passage will cause a long-term improvement to benefits for Houston firefighters. 
  • First, the passage of the pay equalization ballot initiative will foster an increase in payroll contributions into our plan further improving the firefighter's pension Fund and lessening the likelihood of benefit modifications in the event of a market downturn which could cause us to go outside of the corridor.
  • Also, in 30 years, we project our pension fund will improve to 85 percent funded, better than the 83 percent previously anticipated.  
  • Our analysis assumes HFD headcount remains the same and there actually is a payroll increase. However, if the Mayor lays off 800 firefighters, as previously threatened, then payroll would not actually increase and there would be no improvements to our pension fund. 

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CONTACT:  Joe Gimenez, 713.478.8034

09/06/2018 - REPORT CLAIMS HOUSTON PAY PARITY WOULD POSITIVELY AFFECT PENSION FUND

REPORT CLAIMS HOUSTON PAY PARITY WOULD POSITIVELY AFFECT PENSION FUND

In a letter recently sent to the Executive Director of the Houston Fire Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRA), Aaron Shapiro, principal of Buck Consultants said, “The Board of Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund engaged us to project the impact on funded status and contribution rates… Overall, the 28% pay increase would be projected to have a positive effect on the pension plan with an improved financial position over the long term.” That’s a very different claim than what was heard at the most recent council Budget and Fiscal Affairs (BFA) hearing on the matter.

September 6, 2018 by Charles Blain

https://empowertexans.com/around-texas/report-claims-houston-pay-parity-would-positively-effect-pension-fund/

Houston Bureau for Empower Texans and Texas Scorecard

06/20/2018 - Press Release Firefighter Brett Besselman elected to chair HFRRF Board

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Contact:  Joe Gimenez, 713.478.8034 

Firefighter Brett Besselman elected to chair HFRRF Board 

HOUSTON (June 20, 2018) – Houston firefighter Brett Besselman was elected Tuesday to become chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund. Besselman will take office on July 1, after a two-week transition and training period with current Chairman David Keller who announced his resignation of the position earlier this month for personal and family reasons.

  “I am deeply humbled by the Board’s decision today,” Besselman said. “I practically grew up in the pension fund building watching my Dad serve on the Board, so I think this is a great tribute to him after celebrating Father’s Day last weekend. In the coming weeks and months, I will be in close communication with all HFRRF members, both active and retired, as I work to continue Chairman Keller’s legacy of dedicated service.” 

03/03/2016 - Presentation: Pensions Are Good For Business

03/03/2016 - Presentation: Retirement Crisis: Defending Defined-Benefit