Senate Bill Would Enhance Retirement Benefits for 30K Feds
Legislation introduced last week would ensure all federal law enforcement officers receive enhanced retirement benefits.
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) introduced the Law Enforcement Officers’ Equity Act (S. 2946).
“Every day our federal law enforcement officers serve and protect our communities and our most important national institutions. Unfortunately, due to a loophole in federal law, some law enforcement officers do not receive the full retirement benefits they deserve. That’s why it’s time we fix this error and ensure all federal law enforcement officers are compensated fairly for their service,” Sen. Booker said.
“Our federal law enforcement are our country’s first line of defense against terrorism and the smuggling of illegal drugs at our border. They face the same risks and challenges as other law enforcement and deserve the same retirement and pension benefits,” Sen. Mikulski said. “We must honor their commitment and sacrifice by ensuring federal law enforcement officers receive the pay and benefits they have earned and deserve.
According to the Senators, certain federal law enforcement officers are not eligible for enhanced benefits even though they perform the same tasks as other law enforcement officers – an imbalance the legislation is designed to rectify.
Nearly 30,000 federal law enforcement officers classified as GS-0083 police officers, including those serving at the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Mint, National Institutes of Health (NIH) do not currently qualify for enhanced retirement benefits.
The legislation has received the support of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) and the Postal Police Officers Association.
“Within the federal law enforcement community, much disparity exists with pay and benefits due to an outdated definition of “law enforcement officer” in federal law. The current definition excludes thousands of federal police officers and others who undergo similar training, maintain the same apprehension and arrest authorities, and are obligated to meet the same strenuous physical requirements of the job,” said FLEOA National President Nathan Catura. “This bill will bring uniformity to pay and benefits for federal law enforcement officers and ensure that the federal government can continue to recruit and retain the best individuals for these positions.”
A bipartisan companion (H.R. 2254) to the Senate legislation was introduced in May 2015 by Rep. Peter King (R-NY).
Posted in From the Hill