STATEHOUSE (Jan. 17, 2018) – A bill that would reduce the age from 52 to 50 at which a member of the 1977 Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension and Disability Fund is eligible to receive full retirement benefits passed out of the Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor by a vote of 8-0, said State Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette).
Senate Bill 75, co-authored by Alting, would increase the amount a Fund member would receive for each six months of active service over 20 years. It would also reduce the maximum number of service years that may be used to compute a retirement benefit for a 1977 Fund member from 32 years to 28 years.
“After speaking with the Lafayette Fire Department, I realized how greatly this issue affects firefighters and police officers in my community and in the entire state of Indiana,” Alting said. “I come from a long line of firemen. My brother and great uncle both served in the Lafayette Fire Department, and I’m truly proud to support this bill. Our police officers and firefighters protect Hoosier lives and property, and we need to make sure they are supported.”
Jim Morrow, Lafayette Fire Department Fire Chief, explained how this bill would affect his department.
“Being with the Lafayette Fire Department for 26 years, and serving as fire chief for 10 of those years, I have seen many firefighters stay longer than they should in order to receive their full pension,” Morrow said. “Some of these firefighters risk their health, which ultimately decreases their quality of life in retirement. I believe there is a healthy balance of experienced firemen and young firemen, but the number of service years needs to be reduced to help these firemen that have devoted their lives to this career. I am grateful this bill is being considered and for Sen. Alting’s work and support.”
The 1977 Fund was established for eligible public safety officers and their survivors. The Fund pays pension, disability and survivor benefits.
SB 75 will now move to the full Senate.
Contact: Lauren Beatty, Press Secretary