First Responder Fair RETIRE Act Allows Federal Workers Injured on-the-job to Transfer and Keep Retirement Plan
WASHINGTON D.C. – According to an online article posted on govexec.com, when federal first responders transfer to a new position at a federal agency due to being injured on-the-job, they cannot retire at 57, although they will have paid more into the retirement system.
A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers introduced new legislation designed to prevent federal first responders from losing full access to their retirement benefits after being injured on the job and transferring to a different agency.
Current legislation requires federal first responders to contribute more money to their retirement plan because of the mandatory retirement age of 57. Federal first responders then receive their retirement annuity after serving 20 years and upon reaching age 50. However, when a Border Patrol officer, federal firefighter, or other federal law enforcement officials have been injured while on duty and are forced to transfer to a different position within the federal government, the injured officials lose access to their retirement program.
According to Representative Gerry Connolly and Brian Fitzpatrick in the House of Representatives and Senator Jon Tester, the First Responder Fair RETIRE Act, would allow injured federal workers forced to transfer to another position in the federal government to keep their original retirement program. The First Responder Fair RETIRE Act also permits federal first responder employees to receive a refund on their accelerated retirement contributions should they leave federal service prior to becoming eligible for the annuity.
Representative Connolly stated that Secret Service agents, Capitol Police officers, federal firefighters, Customs and Border Protection officers, and all other federal law enforcement officers risk their lives every day for us, and we have a responsibility to uphold our promise to make sure their benefits are protected. The current law seems to penalize our first responders when they are injured on-the-job and want to continue public service.
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