PA Republicans Communications Office
HARRISBURG – The Senate approved legislation today expanding pension benefits for law enforcement officers who want to buy back prior police service, Sen. Mike Regan (R-Cumberland/York) announced.
Senate Bill 669, sponsored by Regan, gives municipal and regional police officers the option to buy back up to five years of previous part-time or full-time service at another department.
“This will serve as a recruitment tool at a time when police departments are struggling to fill positions,” Regan said. “It will allow an officer who decides he is not in the right department the freedom to move without being penalized in his pension – or worse, simply leaving the profession all together.”
The legislation was modeled after Act 600, which allows officers to buy back prior military service. Under SB 669, the provision is capped at a combined five years for officers using both types of service to qualify, Regan said.
Currently, more than 11,000 active members participate in a defined benefit police pension plan that would fall under the legislation. The Independent Fiscal Office conducted an analysis, which assumed that at least 10% of those officers would buy an average of three years of service credit under the new policy.
The legislation now advances to the House of Representatives for consideration.