New Employee FAQs
How much do I contribute to the Fund? How much does the city contribute?
General employees and firefighters contribute 8.25% of retirement-eligible wages to the Fund each year through regular payroll deductions. Police officers contribute 8.73%. The city contributes to the Fund as well: 19.74% for general employees and firefighters and 20.46% for police officers.
You may log on to the Member Portal to find your contribution balance or contact the Retirement Fund at 817-632-8900 to obtain your balance.
Can I contribute more or less to retirement?
No, the retirement contribution rate is set by the City of Fort Worth Mayor and City Council and is a condition of employment. However; you have the opportunity to contribute to a separate retirement vehicle known as the Deferred Compensation (457) plan. For more information on the 457 plan, contact Joanne Hinton with HR at (817) 392-6275.
What does "vested" mean? When am I considered "vested"?
Upon five years of credited service, you are considered vested which means that you are eligible to receive a pension benefit at early retirement, normal retirement or a vested termination retirement.
If I was previously employed with the City of Fort Worth and took a refund of my contributions what are my options?
You have the option of buying back your previous service with a one-time lump sum payment or have it payroll deducted over a period of three years or less. Buying back will reinstate your original hire date and you will get credit for the service as you are buying it back. If you stop the buyback, you will not be eligible to restore it at a later date. Buybacks are only offered one time at rehire and must begin within 90 days. Otherwise, you will not have the opportunity to buyback again.
If I have service in a previous public position, can I get credit for this service in my Fort Worth plan?
Credit is not automatic. The prior service simply qualifies you for purchasing an equal amount of service. You can purchase qualified service if any of the below apply:
- worked as an employee of the government of the United States, any state or political subdivision thereof, or any agency instrumentality of any of the foregoing
- service as an employee of an education organization which is a public, private, or sectarian school which provides elementary or secondary education (through grade 12),
- service as an employee of an association of employees who are described above, or
- military service (other than qualified military service) recognized by such governmental plan then you are eligible to purchase the equivalent time provided that you are not going to receive a retirement benefit from them.
If you are interested in purchasing additional service, please contact our office at (817) 632-8900. Please note that you must provide verification of qualifying service from the entity and you may only purchase up to the full number of years worked (e.g., if you’ve worked 10 years, you can purchase 10 additional years).
What if I leave employment before I am eligible to retire?
If you are vested, you have two options: 1) you may leave your money in the Fund and elect to take a benefit at your normal or early vested eligibility date, or; 2) you may apply to get a refund of your contributions plus interest. City contributions are non-refundable and are paid out in a monthly pension benefit at retirement only.
If you are NOT vested, your only option is to apply for a refund of your contributions plus interest only.
- Note: Interest stops accruing once you are separated from the city. Leaving your money in plan after termination will not add additional interest to your funds.
For details visit the Separated Member Benefits page.
How do I find out more information about my retirement?