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Pascrell, Bacon, Demings, Fitzpatrick Introduce Law Enforcement Officer Fair Retirement Act

Legislation will eliminate unfair limits on overtime earned by police

U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Don Bacon (R-NE-02), Val Demings (D-FL-10), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) today introduced the Law Enforcement Officer Fair Retirement Act to ensure federal police and first responders are paid the full compensation they have earned.

Even though federal officers must respond to a crisis at any time day or night, because of a technicality under current law, their overtime compensation is often negatively restricted. Rep. Pascrell’s new legislation will fix this problem by allowing officers to elect to have the Office of Personnel Management consider the full value of overtime compensation accrued in calculating their CSRS/FERS retirement annuity. This would ensure all overtime hours worked are counted when calculating retirement benefits for federal law enforcement officers.

“Our federal police and first responders have one of the toughest jobs in the country. They put their lives on the line every day and night they don the uniform – and even when they’re off-duty,” said Rep. Pascrell, the longtime co-chairman of the Law Enforcement Caucus. “It is unconscionable that an officer serving overtime does not get full retirement compensation. Our bill will finally fix this technicality so that a federal officer receives every cent they’ve earned.”

“Our federal law officers answer the call any time of the day, or night, to protect Americans and acquire justice,” said Rep. Bacon. “Unfortunately, they are not recognized for the countless number of overtime hours they serve, and this bill will correct that. I’m pleased to join this bipartisan legislation to make sure our federal LEOs get these hours counted as part of their retirement calculations.”

“This is about simple fairness. Our law enforcement officers who work overtime without pay should be fairly compensated in their retirement for the real amount of service that they performed,” said Rep. Demings. “As a 27-year law enforcement officer, I am proud to join with Congressman Pascrell to introduce this legislation that honors our officers and corrects a current injustice.”

“It is impossible to comprehend the duties and risks that are asked of our federal law enforcement,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “First responders deserve full compensation for their work and earned retirement. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation alongside my colleagues so that retiring members of law enforcement can retire with full benefits.”

“The Federal Law Enforcement Offices Association emphatically supports the LEO Fair Retirement Act. The work of federal law enforcement does not lend itself to a regular schedule. Officers and agents often work far outside normal hours to meet mission needs; yet antiquated pay caps prevent these officers from being properly compensated for their work. This legislation is critical for ensuring law enforcement receive some credit for the work they have done through aligning pension benefits with an officer’s true salary. While we work to lift the pay cap, making an officer’s full salary fully creditable for retirement purposes is a step toward addressing a legacy of disparate treatment for federal law enforcement professionals. We appreciate the leadership of Representatives Pascrell and Bacon, and for working with us to develop this important legislation,” said Larry Cosme, President, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA).

Rep. Pascrell is also the lead sponsor of H.R. 962, the Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act that will provide enhanced retirement benefits to certain federal law enforcement officers not currently covered. This legislation would expand and secure full federal benefits to tens of thousands of officers.

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