Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund Facts

On the Fund’s refusal to hand over Members’ private information to the Mayor

The Fund is understandably reluctant to divulge pension members’ private financial information as in the past the Mayor has used it for political purposes by sharing information with The Houston Chronicle to support her political objective of gaining local control of Fund. We believe the Firefighters’ pension fund current actuarial evaluation and annual report is very comprehensive and adequate for the usage of the City in determining budget planning.

On the Mayor’s claims that pension costs are skyrocketing

The rate that the City of Houston contributes into the plan is 23.9% of fire department payroll. That number was set for a three-year period which ends on June 30, 2014, and constitutes a savings of nearly $38 million to the City compared to the prior three year period. This proves utterly false the claims that firefighters’ pension costs have skyrocketed.

On the importance of the firefighters’ pension as salary compensation

Houston firefighters currently rank nationally 139th in pay and receive no Social Security benefits. In a city that averages more high risk calls than any other with comparable population densities, stripping firefighters of their pension would leave them with no incentive to serve the citizens of Houston.

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