Inslee Signs Bill to Increase Retirement Benefits for Firefighters and Law Enforcement | News


OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5791 to increase retirement benefits for law enforcement officers and firefighters. Currently, firefighters and law enforcement officers who were hired before October 1977 are offered a pension and retirement through Plan 1 of the Law Enforcement and Firefighters Retirement System (LEOFF 1).

Introduced by Sen. Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville), the bill offers LEOFF members $1,100 for each month of service through a one-time payment. A minimum of $20,000 is allocated to catastrophic and disability retirees and beneficiaries in the event of death.

Funding comes from the surplus of the LEOFF 1 system, which amounts to nearly $2 billion.

“It helps our brave law enforcement officers and firefighters who risk their lives to serve the public,” Schoesler said. “Using the budget surplus to pay LEOFF 1 pension members a one-off payment means a little more money for their retirement years, while making only a very small dent in the budget surplus of the state. And there will always be a very large reserve on the LEOFF 1 pension account.”

The hope is that the payments will encourage law enforcement and firefighters to stay in their jobs longer.

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