Do I have Tier I or Tier II Benefits? What is the difference?
Your benefit tier depends on your hire date and employee group.
Tier I — General Employees Hired before July 1, 2011
Tier II — Hired on or after July 1, 2011
Tier I — Police Civil Service Hired before January 1, 2013
Tier II — Hired on or after January 1, 2013
Tier I — Fire Civil Service Hired before January 10, 2015
Tier II — Hired on or after January 10, 2015
You may also determine your tier by looking at your record in the Member Portal. Members who have rehired with the city have additional rules that determine tier and should check with their Member Services Specialist or on the Member Portal.
The primary differences between the tiers are the benefit multiplier, final average compensation (FAC), annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and the joint/survivor benefit. There are a few other differences. For details on your benefit, please see the Summary Plan Description / Handbook for your tier or contact your Member Services Specialist.
Can I borrow against my retirement?
No, the Administrative Rules that govern the Retirement Fund do not allow you to borrow against your retirement.
What does vested mean?
When you have five years of eligibility service, you are considered vested. You are then eligible to receive a pension benefit upon meeting the requirements of Early Retirement, Normal Retirement or Vested Termination Retirement.
Who is listed as my beneficiary?
Your beneficiaries are listed on the Member Portal. If you are an active member or terminated vested member, your beneficiaries are also noted on your annual benefit statement. You may also contact the Retirement Fund at 817-632-8900 to determine your beneficiaries or submit a new beneficiary form.
How early do I need to start my paperwork for retirement?
You should make an appointment 60 to 90 days prior to leaving the city. We will only accept the paperwork up to 60 days in advance. It is important to schedule an appointment to review all your retirement options and the procedures involved. All applications are due by the tenth of the month in order to take effect the first of the following month (example: for a June 1 retirement, all documents are due by May 10). However, because of the holidays, November and December applications must be submitted earlier. Please call 817-632-8900 for November and December deadline information.
What documents are required when applying for retirement?
You must provide copies of government-issued identification documents (driver’s license, passport, etc.); birth certificates and Social Security cards for you and your spouse (if married); and, a copy of your marriage license. If you have children under the age of 18, please bring copies of their Social Security cards and birth certificates.
If joining the DROP, the same information is required. If married, your spouse’s signature must be notarized on the DROP application. Remember, your spouse’s signature must be signed in the presence of the notary. A notary is available at the Retirement Fund, provided you schedule an appointment.
Visit the Forms page to download each of the forms in the application and a checklist of documents.
What if I can't find my birth certificate, Social Security card or driver's license?
A passport can be used in place of a birth certificate. If you do not have either, you must contact Vital Statistics/Records in the state of your birth to get a replacement birth certificate. If you do not have a Social Security card or driver’s license/state ID card, you need to apply for a replacement.
- Texas Vital Statistics http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/reqproc/certified_copy.shtm
- Social Security Card https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/34019/Article/3755/How-do-I-apply-for-a-new-or-replacement-Social-Security-number-card
- Texas Driver’s Licenses/State ID http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/
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.
If you are NOT vested, your only option is to apply for a refund of your contributions plus interest.
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.
What if I get married/remarried?
Active Members: Please update your beneficiary form to reflect your spouse as your primary beneficiary. We will need a copy of the marriage license when you apply for retirement or the DROP.
Retired Members: Please update your beneficiary form to reflect your spouse for your $5,000 death benefit. Once you’ve been married two years, you have a six-month window of opportunity to elect a reduction in your benefit in order to offer your new spouse a 75% survivor benefit for life.
Read more about Marriage after Retirement on the Active Member Benefits page.
What happens if I have a death in the family?
If the member passes, the survivors should contact our office to report the death and inquire about survivor benefits.
If a surviving spouse, alternate payee, dependent child or dependent parent receiving a pension benefit has passed away, please let us know so that payments can be stopped in a timely manner.
How do I get a copy of the quarterly newsletter to read?
Newsletters are mailed to retirees and active employees who have requested that one mailed to them. Active employees can find the link to the newsletter on the City Roundup web site.
Anyone can read a copy of the newsletter from our website: