Legislation recently introduced in the Senate would give enhanced retirement benefits to almost 30,000 federal law enforcement officers.
The Law Enforcement Equity Act (S. 424) has been introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and would provide expanded retirement benefits to officers classified as GS-0083 police officers. The Senators said that these law enforcement officers have similar responsibilities and face similar risks as officers who have the more comprehensive benefits.
The legislation would expand the definition of “law enforcement officer” for retirement benefits to include all of these GS-0083 officers. This change would grant the new status to the following:
- Employees who are authorized to carry a firearm and whose duties include the investigation and/or apprehension of suspected criminals;
- Employees of the Internal Revenue Service whose duties are primarily the collection delinquent taxes and securing delinquent returns;
- Employees of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and
- Employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs who are department police officers.
The bill would also provide impacted officers with the ability to retire after 20 years of service at the age of 50, or after 25 years of service at any age.
The bill is being reintroduced after previously failing to pass in a previous session of Congress. It was last introduced in May of last year.
Booker said in a statement:
Our brave federal law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect our important national institutions and our communities; however, too many of these officers still do not receive the retirement benefits they deserve. We must ensure all federal law enforcement officers receive fair compensation for their service and for their devotion to protecting public safety. We are re-introducing this bill because it is time to right this wrong, and honor our obligation to those who protect us.