Councilman Appointed To Retirement System Committee

December 14, 2009

Councilman Steven Segal recently earned a position on a committee that advises the organization providing West University Place’s employee retirement benefits.

Segal will serve on the Advisory Committee for Retirement Matters of the Texas Municipal Retirement System. TMRS supplies retirement benefits for more than 830 Texas cities and its fund totals more than $15.6 billion.

Councilman Steven Segal. Photo courtesy of Michael Ross.

Councilman Steven Segal. Photo courtesy of Michael Ross.

Before retiring, Segal was a certified public accountant and tax attorney. For the last 10 years of his 34-year career, he assisted companies with the legal and financial aspects of their employee benefits and pension plans.

“I basically thought that I could be helpful,” Segal said about why he chose to apply for the appointment. He added later: “I think I could help both sides. Obviously I have dual interest in this. I want to see our employees are taken care of, so we can keep our employees. And I want our city to be able to afford it.”

As part of the advisory committee, Segal will have the chance to assist the TMRS Board of Trustees. According to the TMRS Web site, the committee joins the board in a yearly meeting about the retirement fund’s valuation, reviews and provides input on legislative changes affecting the system, and provides feedback on matters that affect cities, employees and retirees.

“Really the goal, it’s to provide input from our membership,” said spokesman Bill Wallace. “As a council member in a city that has TMRS benefits, his viewpoint is of interest to the Board.”

Earlier this year, the council was embroiled in discussions about the city’s retirement system. Mayor Bob Kelly was concerned about the cost of the plan and he thought the city would flounder financially if the costs continued increasing. He and Councilman Chuck Guffey wished to cut benefits to save money, but the rest of the council voted against it because they feared that some employees may leave.

Kelly said he is pleased to have Segal on the committee because it may help the council gain a better understanding of its retirement system and the organization that controls it.

“He’ll really be able to advise us if there’s a problem with it or if we can trust it going forward,” Kelly said. “The City of West U. will get a real inside opinion on how the TMRS is really operating with today’s economic realities.”

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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