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TMRS (Texas Municipal Retirement System)
Old 01-06-2018, 06:10 PM   #1
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TMRS (Texas Municipal Retirement System)

I am a firefighter and the city's pension is in the red and they are considering moving it to TMRS. I want to retire early with 20 years of service and 50 years old and don't know if this will change that for me. Anybody in or had a similar situation or knowledge if this move is good or bad.
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Greg
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:53 AM   #2
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I was curious about what TMRS is so I looked it up. Sounds like it depends on what your city decides to do when it joins unless you already have the requisite service if they change.
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Old 01-07-2018, 07:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by hopefullyoneday View Post
I am a firefighter and the city's pension is in the red and they are considering moving it to TMRS. I want to retire early with 20 years of service and 50 years old and don't know if this will change that for me. Anybody in or had a similar situation or knowledge if this move is good or bad.
Thanks
Greg
Texas Municipal Retirement system?
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:39 AM   #4
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So many government entities have promised the moon and not properly funded those promises. It is like they think they are above the law.

In the meantime, you should be funding Roth IRA to the max. And if your wife has a job, she should be funding pensions as possible.

As a fireman, do you have a secondary job? Many are self employed on the side. If so, you might want to step up the other job.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:17 AM   #5
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I looked over the information found at the link donheff provided. There are quite a few components of TRMS and how they relate to your question. In general it sounds like the TRMS retirement age is 60 but as donheff indicated so many of the features of TRMS are determined by the municipality when they adopt the program.

You have quite a bit of homework to do if you haven't done so already. Attend every meeting related to the transition. Determine who is responsible to making the TRMS transition (city council, mayor, city manager...) and contact them and express your concerns. At a minimum you want to be informed and understand the process, but, if possible, you want to have input on how the process is determined.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:06 AM   #6
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Texas Municipal Retirement system?
Sorry, Yes.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:12 AM   #7
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So many government entities have promised the moon and not properly funded those promises. It is like they think they are above the law.

In the meantime, you should be funding Roth IRA to the max. And if your wife has a job, she should be funding pensions semifinals possible.

As a fireman, do you have a secondary job? Many are self employed on the side. If so, you might want to step up the other job.
Yes, when i took the career 15 years ago i was promised the moon so i did not do any other investments as my projected retirement was going to be 75k a year.
Since last year 2017 i have opened and maxed out my 457b and IRA and will continue to do so for the next 5 years.
I do not have a 2nd job as the city makes us fill out paperwork for any side businesses we have or do to cover their butts if we get hurt outside of work and limp our way into work to claim a on the job injury. Meanwhile my 2nd job is to work as much overtime at the fire dept. which will help my pension benefits.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:22 AM   #8
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I looked over the information found at the link donheff provided. There are quite a few components of TRMS and how they relate to your question. In general it sounds like the TRMS retirement age is 60 but as donheff indicated so many of the features of TRMS are determined by the municipality when they adopt the program.

You have quite a bit of homework to do if you haven't done so already. Attend every meeting related to the transition. Determine who is responsible to making the TRMS transition (city council, mayor, city manager...) and contact them and express your concerns. At a minimum you want to be informed and understand the process, but, if possible, you want to have input on how the process is determined.
The TMRS is 1 of 4 possible options the city/retirement board is considering. The other 3 are to cut the pension benefit further, make the employees contribute more, and/or raise the retirement age.
It just really sucks to have planned your career and retirement just to have someone take it away.
The city council is being influenced by the chamber of commerce who does not want any uneducated city employee to retire with 100% of their base pay.
Our retirement board and union have no power to make anything happen, all they can do is suggest things. It is up to the city council to make the final decision.
The city council has the right to change our benefits at any time they chose as we have nothing in our contract to protect them.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:39 AM   #9
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Can't the City move everyone to Social Security? That seems safer. DW was in a municipal retirement system in Colorado, and the GPO and WEP stuff is deadly.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:46 PM   #10
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Yes, when i took the career 15 years ago i was promised the moon so i did not do any other investments as my projected retirement was going to be 75k a year.
Since last year 2017 i have opened and maxed out my 457b and IRA and will continue to do so for the next 5 years.
I do not have a 2nd job as the city makes us fill out paperwork for any side businesses we have or do to cover their butts if we get hurt outside of work and limp our way into work to claim a on the job injury. Meanwhile my 2nd job is to work as much overtime at the fire dept. which will help my pension benefits.
it appeara you have done about as much as the fire dept. will allow. And if you were expecting $75K pension at such a young age, your firemen make much more our fire dept. personnel. Eve working for Ford Motor Company 36 years, my pension is not in that range.

My cousin was a Fire Safety major at Auburn, and worked the fire dept. What with college tuition paid as a benefit. His roommates were also firemen with MBA and a PhD in construction technology and Real Estate. The average education for a fireman is a Masters in Opelika, Alabama.

I am assuming you are still young as not ready for complete retirement. But if there are any tuition assistance programs available, it never hurts to take advantage of them.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:30 PM   #11
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Meanwhile my 2nd job is to work as much overtime at the fire dept. which will help my pension benefits.
I'm curious, but what do firemen do to work overtime? I know that police have second security gigs and that work is very profitable for them, but I can't see anything like that for fire department personnel.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:41 PM   #12
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Can't the City move everyone to Social Security? That seems safer. DW was in a municipal retirement system in Colorado, and the GPO and WEP stuff is deadly.
Not sure but wouldn't that mean i could not retire until 62. The reason i became a firefighter was to retire at the latest 55.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:56 PM   #13
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it appeara you have done about as much as the fire dept. will allow. And if you were expecting $75K pension at such a young age, your firemen make much more our fire dept. personnel. Eve working for Ford Motor Company 36 years, my pension is not in that range.

My cousin was a Fire Safety major at Auburn, and worked the fire dept. What with college tuition paid as a benefit. His roommates were also firemen with MBA and a PhD in construction technology and Real Estate. The average education for a fireman is a Masters in Opelika, Alabama.

I am assuming you are still young as not ready for complete retirement. But if there are any tuition assistance programs available, it never hurts to take advantage of them.
The $75k range came from a 25 year projection getting a raise each year for my 25 year career. I hired on at age 30, i was a mechanic before this and was making $60k back then. I took a huge pay cut going to the fire dept because of the pension. My first year as a ff i made 35k. I did not make 60K until 10 years in. I am 15 years in now and have a base pay of 75k. The way our retirement WAS figured when i got on and until 2 years ago was how ever many years of service (i was going to do 25) times the 3 multiplier (equals 75) and that would be the percent of your highest 3 years of wages in your career including overtime. If i work as much overtime as i can, i can get to the 100k mark for 3 years which 75% of that is $75k. Now with the current formula that is cut down to a bit over half.
Ours will only cover tuition if it is fire related. My dad retired from Ford in Michigan, he was a tool maker making over 50k way back then 25 years ago and yes his pension was not much but he made allot back then and invested it wisely.
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