HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-24) to provide a much-needed cost of living adjustment (COLA) for retired municipal police officers and firefighters was approved by the Senate Law and Justice Committee today.
“These brave men and women have spent their careers putting their lives on the line to keep our communities and neighborhoods safe. The last time they received a COLA more than two decades ago,” Pennycuick said. “Every year since, inflation and rising costs have diminished the benefits they earned.”
Additionally, about half of municipal police offers do not qualify for or receive social security benefits, Pennycuick noted.
Senate Bill 854 would provide a monthly COLA to municipal police officers and firefighters depending on their retirement date, according to the following breakdown:
- $75 a month for those retired between 5 to 10 years as of Jan. 1, 2024.
- $150 a month for those retired between 10 to 20 years as of Jan. 1, 2024.
- $300 a month a month for those retired more than 20 years as of Jan. 1, 2024.
“The heroes who kept us safe shouldn’t have to worry about their retirement security and are deserving of this long overdue adjustment,” Pennycuick said.
The proposed COLA would be paid for through the Municipal Pension Aid Fund, which is primarily funded by taxes assessed on insurance premiums. The fund also makes state contributions to municipal pension plans for police officers, paid firefighters, and other full-time municipal non-uniformed employees, providing over $342 million in Fiscal Year 2022-2023.
The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
CONTACT: Matt Szuchyt