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Pension Funds

Texas public pension funds deal with Hurricane Harvey aftermath

Many stay closed Monday or delay opening

Public pension funds in Texas are dealing with the remnants of Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall Aug. 25.

The offices of the $2.3 billion Houston Municipal Employees Pension System and $4 billion Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund were closed Monday, according to announcements on the pension fund's website and Facebook page, respectively. HMEPS is also expected to be closed Tuesday, according to the announcement.

Peter Koops, spokesman for the municipal employees' pension fund, and Ajit Singh, chief investment officer for the firefighters' pension fund, could not immediately be reached for additional information.

In line with the city of Austin, the $27 billion Texas Employees Retirement System, $27 billion Texas County & District Retirement System, $26 billion Texas Municipal Retirement System, $2.2 billion Austin City Employees' Retirement System; and $658 million Austin Police Retirement System delayed their opening Monday by about two hours to 10 a.m., although some officials arrived earlier.

Christopher D. Hanson, executive director of the Austin City Employees' pension fund, said in an email Monday that the rain has subsided near the office and "the wind isn't gusting at quite the same level as it was over the weekend, though it does pick up from time to time."

Pattie Featherston, executive director/CEO of the Austin Police Retirement System, said in an email that the office experienced a power outage during the storm but as of 10:35 a.m. CDT Monday all systems were "up and running." ​

Amy Bishop, director of TCDRS, said in an email that the pension fund's call center "is on standby ready to help any retirees displaced by the hurricane who may need adjustments in their payment instructions."

"Our thoughts continue to go out to all of our members including those that live in the impacted areas and the many that are first responders and are providing emergency services to the public," Ms. Bishop added.

The $139.7 billion Texas Teacher Retirement System, also based in Austin, did not have a delayed opening Monday, although it rescheduled the Aug. 25 board meeting to Sept. 1, a spokeswoman said in an email.

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 for comment.