The HMEPS office will be closed Monday, May 27 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. The office will be open Tuesday, May 28 at 8:00 am. Have a safe and happy holiday!
Message to Participants
In recent weeks, there have been several items published in the local media regarding the Texas Legislature and actions affecting local pensions. First, we would like to acknowledge the Texas Legislature’s foresight, efforts and commitment in creating a local pension structure that works – both for its participants and for the citizens of Houston.
Congratulations to Our Recently Elected Board Officers
In each odd-numbered year, the HMEPS Board of Trustees elects Board officers to the positions of Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary. At the January 24, 2013 meeting, the HMEPS Board unanimously re-elected Sherry Mose as Chairman, Roy W. Sanchez as Vice Chairman, and Lonnie Vara as Secretary. Each Trustee has demonstrated skill and leadership in their respective positions and the officers look forward to working with the Board to continue to strengthen HMEPS and provide excellent service to our participants.
HMEPS Member Video
HMEPS is proud to present our Member Video, which highlights the fact that retirement pensions are vital earned benefits for our participants, and that those benefit payments also provide a strong boost to the Houston economy and the city's economic recovery. To view the video,click here.
DROP Interest Rate for Calendar Year 2013
The Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) interest rate for calendar year 2013 will be 2.5%, effective January 1, 2013. The rate was approved by the HMEPS Board of Trustees at the October 2012 Board meeting.
Update on the Texas Legislature - September 12, 2012 PIFS Meeting
On September 12, 2012 the Texas House of Representatives Pensions, Investments and Financial Services (PIFS) Committee met to discuss several topics, including pensions. At the meeting, we reviewed for the Committee the history and current status of HMEPS, and answered questions from Committee members. Our primary message was that the existing Meet and Confer process works. A key reason it works is that one side cannot control the negotiation or unilaterally make changes. Good faith, arms-length negotiations, including appropriate checks and balances, are the essence of the process.
HMEPS Receives Award for Excellence In Financial Reporting
HMEPS has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).
If you are trying to find out who represents you in the Texas Senate, Texas House of Representatives, the Texas delegation to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and the State Board of Education click here.
Message from the Executive Director - "The Truth About Retirement Income"
HMEPS was pleased to see the extensive discussion of pension issues at the May 29, 2012 City of Houston Budget & Fiscal Affairs Committee meeting. Little by little, these discussions are beginning to clear up misunderstanding about public employee pensions in Houston. Despite frequent assertions that Houston's employee pensions are on the brink of fiscal disaster, careful examination of the facts says otherwise.
HMEPS' Comments on the League of Women Voter's City of Houston Budget Report
The Houston Municipal Employees Pension System (HMEPS) appreciates the efforts of the League of Women Voters (LWV) to provide a balanced perspective on issues in the public eye, including discussions about public pension funds. Like so many “hot” topics, the media reports surrounding public pension matters are often dominated by misleading anecdotes and sensationalist soundbites. We are grateful that the LWV is willing to try to go deeper into important issues such as this one.
HMEPS' Response to April 7th Houston Chronicle Pension Article
HMEPS submitted a letter to the Houston Chronicle regarding its April 7th article titled Worker Sues Houston Pension System for the Right to Retire. It is no secret that public employee pension systems are under fire all across the country, so it is vitally important that we keep HMEPS participants actively engaged and informed about what's going on regarding the pension plan.
Message from the Executive Director - "There Are No Pension Secrets!"
A recent Chronicle editorial (“Time for some sunlight on pensions”, 3/15/2012) decries the lack of information available to the public about how the three City of Houston employee pensions operate and blames “secrecy requirements” written into state law. In fact, all general aspects of the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System (HMEPS) fund are already available to the City and the general public on its website -- www.hmeps.org.
Update on the City's Financial Management Task Force
The City of Houston’s Long Range Financial Management Task Force was created by City Council in June 2011, and submitted its final report to the Mayor on February 7, 2012. HMEPS, along with five other pension and union representatives who are on the Task Force, issued a minority report responding to the pension issues contained in the Task Force Report and outlining a broad-based approach to shore up City finances for the long term. Links to the two reports are below.