The Houston Firefighters' pension is number seven on the list of top ten public pensions. The Private Equity Growth Capital Council came up with that by looking at 10-year returns in private equity investments. The firefighters' pension raked in an 11 percent return.
"You can't beat that kind of number, I mean. And that's total returns."
Todd Clark is the Chairman of the Houston Firefighters' Relief and Retirement Fund. He says the higher-than-average returns will save the city more than $37 million dollars in contributions over the next three years. Those payments from the city make up 20 percent of the money in the fund.
"Eighty percent comes from the firefighters and the investment returns, so this just helps secure the hard-earned benefits that were promised to the firefighters."
The Houston Firefighters' pension fund is in the same company as pension funds in California and Massachusetts when it comes to high returns. But it's not the best performing one in Texas.
That distinction goes to the Teacher Retirement System. The TRS earned a 13.1 percent return on its ten-year private equity investments — putting it a close second to Pennsylvania's State Employee Retirement System.