(1) Commencing on January 1, 1984, each city of the first class having a paid fire department shall keep and maintain a Firefighters Retirement System Fund for the purpose of investing payroll deductions and city contributions to the retirement system. The fund shall be maintained separate and apart from all city money and funds. The fund shall be administered exclusively for the purposes of the retirement system and for the benefit of participating firefighters and their beneficiaries and so as to establish the fund as a trust under the law of this state for all purposes of section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Upon the passage of sections 16-1020 to 16-1038 all of the contributions made by a firefighter under section 35-203.01 as it formerly existed and interest accrued at five percent per annum on such contributions prior to January 1, 1984, shall be transferred to the firefighter's employee account. Regular interest shall begin to accrue on the contributions transferred into the fund. Such funds shall be invested in the manner prescribed in section 16-1036.
(2) The city shall establish a medium for funding the retirement system which, with the approval of the retirement committee, may be a pension trust fund, custodial account, group annuity contract, or combination thereof, for the purpose of investing money for the retirement system in the manner prescribed by section 16-1036 and to provide the retirement, death, and disability benefits for firefighters granted by sections 16-1020 to 16-1042. The trustee or custodian of any trust fund shall be a designated funding agent which is qualified to act as a fiduciary or custodian in this state, the city treasurer, an appropriate city officer authorized to administer funds of the city, or a combination thereof.