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Pension Funds

Texas pension funds prepare for Hurricane Harvey

Public pension funds in Texas are preparing for the coming of Hurricane Harvey, which is expected to hit landfall on Friday.

The $139.7 billion Texas Teacher Retirement System, Austin, announced in a news release on Thursday it would cancel its Friday board meeting, which has been rescheduled to Sept. 1 "in the interest of public safety." The offices, however, are open for business on Friday.

The $27 billion Texas County & District Retirement System, Austin, remained open for business on Friday but will closely monitor conditions, said Amy Bishop, director, in an email.

"Our thoughts are with all of our members, especially those in the counties impacted. Many of our members are first responders and involved in efforts to help evacuate and assist the public. We will support our employers and members as needed. We hope everyone stays safe!" Ms. Bishop said.

The $4 billion Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund is maintaining normal procedures on Friday, although a delayed opening of the offices has been scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. CDT to give executives the opportunity to assess the situation over the weekend, a spokesman said. The office normally opens at 7:30.

The $27 billion Texas Employees' Retirement System, Austin, is "fine and rather quiet today," said spokeswoman Mary Jane Wardlow in an email.

"But we are watching the weather and forecast, and our HR operations departments will notify staff if work schedules need to be modified," Ms. Wardlow said.

The $26 billion Texas Municipal Retirement System, Austin, is open, said Bill Wallace, spokesman, in an email.

"We have an emergency management plan that addresses natural disasters," Mr. Wallace said. "No closure of TMRS is planned at this time but we are keeping a close eye on the storm."

Peter Koops, spokesman at the $2.3 billion Houston Municipal Employees Pension System, said in an email that the pension fund's offices are open Friday and officials are "monitoring the situation."

B. Holland Timmins, executive administrator and chief investment officer of the $29.8 billion Texas Permanent School Fund, Austin, said in an email, “We are far enough inland that it sounds like we will be getting rain and somewhat windy conditions starting late this afternoon. It sounds like the heaviest rain and wind will be over the weekend. At the present time, the office is remaining open.”

John Lawson, executive director at the $3.9 billion Houston Police Officers' Pension System, and Gracie Flores, plan administrator at the $126 million Corpus Christi (Texas) Firefighters' Retirement System, could not immediately be reached to provide comment. Asset sizes at the latter two funds were not immediately available.