Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home > News > 

Mayor Urges Pension Changes for Firefighters and Police


March 29, 2002
Print Comment RSS

Mayor Urges Pension Changes for Firefighters and Police

Associated Press

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday urged changes in retirement and pension rules for firefighters and police officers to help counter the wave of early retirement applications that has followed the Sept. 11 terror attack.

"We've had a dramatic increase in the number of applications for retirement," Nicholas Scoppetta, the Fire Department commissioner, said yesterday. The Fire Department, which usually receives 40 applications for retirement each month, has been receiving about 40 a week since Jan. 1, he said.

"It's exactly the same issue with the Police Department," said Mr. Bloomberg, who joined Mr. Scoppetta in speaking to reporters at a Manhattan firehouse yesterday.

Currently, the pension for firefighters and police officers is based on the salary earned during their last three years of service. The high amount of overtime earned after the attack on the World Trade Center has encouraged many to retire early to ensure higher pensions.

Mr. Scoppetta said legislation had been proposed in Albany that would base pensions not on the last three years of annual salary but on the highest annual salary, removing the incentive for early retirement. The firefighters and police officers would be able to retire several years from now and still have pensions based on their 2001 salaries.

Matty James, speaking for the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said he hoped the bill would pass soon. "You get guys torn between dedication to the job and dedication to their families," he said. "We're in trouble if we keep losing men."

He said some firefighters who were earning about $59,000 a year made $75,000 in 2001.

Under the current system, the annual pension, distributed in monthly payments, equals half the average salary earned during the last three years of service. Firefighters and police officers can retire with full pensions after 20 years of service. A police officer earns $31,305 a year to start and about $60,000 after five years.

The Albany bill was introduced by State Senator Vincent Leibell III on March 5. It could be considered by the Civil Service and Pensions Committee as soon as April 9 and could be voted on soon after that.




PoliceOne Offers

Breaking Police News

P1 on Facebook

Get the #1 Police eNewsletter

Police Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips, columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
See Sample

Connect with PoliceOne

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google

PoliceOne Exclusives

Featured Videos