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City wins access to firefighter pension information

From the Inbox, late Friday afternoon.

Mayor Annise Parker today announced Judge William Burke of the 189th District Court of Harris County has mandated the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRF) Board to provide and disclose information requested by the independent actuary retained by the City of Houston. HFRRF has refused to provide data to allow the City to calculate the pension benefits that taxpayers will have to pay fire fighters covered by the HFFRRF over the next 30 years.

“As we expected, the judge has ruled this information must be given to the City of Houston,” said Mayor Parker. “It is routine information any other private employer would have and what the City needs to adequately budget for the future.”

Texas Government Code (Section 802.1012) places the responsibility on the City to retain an actuary to periodically audit the valuations, studies and reports of HFRRF’s own actuary and to provide the report of this independent actuary to the State Pension Review Board. The lawsuit, initially filed by the City in May earlier this year, was based on HFRRF’s failure to cooperate with the City and provide information necessary in the performance of the statutorily mandated actuarial audit.

The Court found that the Board has a legal duty to provide and disclose all information requested by the independent actuary retained by the City, that the City had requested this information from the Board and that the Board has failed to comply with this requirement and legal duty. The Court further found that the Board’s failure to comply has inhibited the independent actuary’s ability to accomplish its audit and that the City has been prejudiced by the Board’s lack of compliance.

See here for the background, and here for the case information from the District Clerk. I have not seen any reporting on this in the Chron as of yet, so this is all I know.

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