Police and Fire Pension Brief

A new issue brief from SLGE, An Introduction to Police and Fire Pensions, discusses defined contribution retirement plans and other retirement benefits, as compared to overall local government compensation. Also included is a review of the data on retirement ages for public safety staff.

The research finds that as of 2016, public safety retirement benefits made up two percent of total city, county, and school district expenditures. The costs of pension benefits earned for police and fire personnel made up 15 percent of payroll, compared to eight percent for non-public safety local employees. For retiree healthcare, the annual cost made up about six percent of payroll, as compared to four percent for other employees. The majority of these higher pension costs is linked to longer retirement periods.

Upcoming Webinars

Be on the lookout for upcoming SLGE webinars in March and April on Retiree Health Care, the Public Health Workforce, and Financial Literacy Needs and Preferences. Webinar dates will be posted to SLGE News & Events.

SLGE in the News

Politico covered the center’s research on K-12 and health and human services staffing and post-retirement employment.

Several publications interviewed Center staff, including SLGE President and CEO Josh Franzel regarding state actions to adjust assumed pension investment returns (in PlanSponsor), Director of Research Rivka Liss-Levinson regarding hiring challenges facing public sector employers (in All Things Work from HR Magazine), Senior Research Associate Gerald Young as part of Barrett and Greene’s workforce column (in HR News).

Rivka Liss-Levinson wrote a commentary for Route Fifty on the importance of adequately funding the public health workforce, both during times of crisis and once the emergency is over.

The Council of State Governments has compiled a directory of resources on the future or work, including links to SLGE, and the Detroit Free Press cited the center’s research on trends in local government retirements.

Yahoo Finance covered the new police and fire issue brief, while The Bond Buyer cited the center’s research on pension obligation bonds, and CDW-G’s State Tech cited SLGE’s research on workforce retention.


View additional resources on state and local retirement, workforce, or health & wellness.  To subscribe to SLGE e-news, click here.

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