The pension plan was established by an Act of the 45th Legislature of the State of Texas in 1937. The Austin Fire Fighters Pension Fund participated under state statute Article 6243e Vernon’ Texas Civil Statutes until 1975. This law covered approximately 38 paid and part paid fire departments around the state. When benefit enhancements were being considered, it was difficult to revise wording which would not disrupt the other pension funds operating under the same statute. In 1975 Article 6243e.1 was established which would only cover the Austin Fire Fighters Pension Fund.
In 1984 an actuarial study was conducted to adjust all the current retirees’ benefits based upon the effect of inflation from their original date of retirement. There were some annuitants on the rolls that retired at the original monthly pension of $100. Although these retirees had received cost-of-living increases through the years, they were still losing ground to inflation. After the actuarial changes were made, if a retiree’s adjusted monthly benefit came to less than $500, then a minimum monthly pension of $500 would take effect. This was approved by the pension board in December 1984 and went into effect March 31, 1985. In 1994 the minimum monthly pension for retirees or widows of deceased retirees was increased to $1,200.00. Striving to provide good COLAs remains a high priority for the pension board, especially after seeing the effect inflation had in prior years. Funding for those COLAs will remain a challenge for this and all future pension boards.