The Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund was created by the adoption of House Bill 1700, creating Chapter 18615, Special Acts of Florida during the 1937 session of the Florida Legislature. Chapter 18615 was the second Pension Fund created for the Police Officers and Firefighters. This act provided:

  • A Pension Fund for all members of the Police and Fire Departments, who were not members of any other Pension Fund.
  • Provided for full time service credit for service in the Police and Fire Departments, including time with the City of South Jacksonville.
  • For a deduction of 3 ½ %, from all salaries or wages from all members, together with an additional sum necessary to administer the Fund.
  • The Treasurer of the City was to be the custodian of the Fund; the Trustees were to make all reasonable rules and regulations; investments were to be made in bonds of Duval County, the City of Jacksonville or the United States of America, that were approved by the City Attorney.
  • Provided for time service retirement after 25 years of service and age 50, on a monthly pension of one half the average salary for the 3 years immediately preceding retirement. Members who became permanently incapacitated were granted the same 50% benefit, regardless of time of service or age.
  • Widows' benefits while unmarried of two thirds of the pension the deceased member was receiving or would have received, provided the widow was married to the deceased members at and before the date of retirement. The term widow could not apply to a common law wife.

The 1986 session passed the first comprehensive changes to Chapters 175 & 185. Major changes include:

  • Tied Chapters 175 & 185 to Article X, Section 14 of the Florida Constitution, providing protection for pension funds and requiring actuarial sufficiency.
  • Clarified that Police and Firefighters Pension Trusts are to be managed, administered, operated and funded so as to maximize the protection of the Trust Fund, independent from control by the City.
  • Required the Plan Actuary to meet the same standards for actuaries in private pension plans as contained in the Federal ERISA legislation.
  • Created a new Board of Trustees consisting of 5 members. Two shall be legal residents of the City, two elected by the employees, and one trustee selected by the majority of the first four members. All Trustees shall serve two year terms.
    The Board of Trustees shall be 'solely responsible for administering the trust fund', and the Board shall be a legal entity, having the power to bring and defend lawsuits.
  • Amended the investment powers of the board, deleted certain investment classes, required all investments shall be in domestic corporations only.
  • Required approval of the Legislature or the local legislative body prior to implementing any increased benefits.
  • Authorized the Board to hire independent legal counsel, together with other professional technicians and advisors.

In 1990 the Legislature amended the Charter of the City of Jacksonville to include the Pension Fund as an independent agency of the City. See Article 22 of the City Charter.