In 1936, the Citizens of San Benito united to form the San Benito Volunteer Fire Department in order to protect the rapidly growing City and its population. By the 1990s, it became evident that a Volunteer Department was no longer adequate to provide protection to the approximately 20,000 citizens, their homes, and businesses; and made the transition to a Career Fire Department. The San Benito Firemen Relief & Retirement Fund was established on January 1, 1990, under The Texas Local Fire fighters’ Retirement Act (TLFFRA)
Day-to-day operations are performed by the Board of Trustees and permissible by state statute they have exerted more freedom and independence towards hiring staff to better serve their members.
The fire pension fund is a defined benefit plan and is funded through a combination of its members and the municipality’s pretax contributions along with investment earnings. The fire pension fund’s membership is currently comprised of 26 active dedicated Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians and nine retired firefighters or their beneficiaries. Firefighters do not participate in Social Security.
The Fund, created by state statute in 1990, is governed by the Board of Trustees. The Board develops policies and procedures for the assets of the fund and they have professional service providers who manage and administer the day-to-day operations of the fire pension fund.
Currently, active firefighters contribute 12.00 percent of their salary to the fire pension fund. By state statute, the City of San Benito must contribute 12.00 percent. The fire pension fund’s investment return assumption is 7.5%.