Special Retirement Policy for Federal Law Enforcement and Firefighter Personnel Needs Reevaluation

FPCD-76-97: Published: Feb 24, 1977. Publicly Released: Feb 24, 1977.

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The adequacy, effectiveness, and reasonableness of the government's policy of providing earlier and more generous retirement benefits to federal law enforcement and firefighter personnel were investigated.

The law currently authorizes these special retirement benefits for about 52,000 federal employees. The purpose of the special retirement law is to improve the quality of law enforcement and firefighting services by helping to maintain a young, vigorous work force. The more generous benefits are provided to make earlier retirement economically feasible. The special retirement policy is an expensive method of marginally reducing the age of retirement. Covered employees are not retiring much earlier than employees under regular civil service retirement provisions.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: If it is considered necessary to compensate certain personnel for the hazard and stress commonly associated with these occupations, that compensation should be reflected in pay, not in retirement benefits. Employees who cannot perform satisfactorily before the optional retirement age should be reassigned to less demanding duties or, as a last resort, retired under existing disability programs. If the special retirement policy continues, Congress should amend the law to require additional retirement contributions by employing agencies and reevaluate the eligibility criteria, the mandatory retirement provision, and the benefit structure.


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