Assemblyman Santabarbara Introduces Bill to Allow Police and Firefighters to Defer Pension Payments

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara announced that he introduced a bill to enact the Police and Fire Employees Retention Act, which provides a deferred retirement option plan to police and fire personnel with 20 years of service, allowing them to defer pension payments and remain employed on their respective force.

“Across the state, retirement and separation from service has caused increased workloads for our police officers and firefighters,” said Santabarbara. “This bill will establish an incentive for talented and experienced police and fire personnel to remain in service while allowing them to defer their pension payments while they continue their employment. Our police and fire departments are vital to the community, and I’ll continue fighting to ensure they have the resources they need to properly train the next generation of first responders.”

Large reductions in personnel resources, including the retirement of senior officers or firefighters, can often lead to a deficit of experienced personnel meant to train the next generation of workers. To offset this, the Police and Fire Employees Retention Act provides the option for police and fire personnel who have served for 20 years or more to defer their pension payments during a specific period of time so that they are able to continue their employment. 

“Police retention and recruitment is currently a challenge. Police Officers are retiring at a rate faster than they can be replaced.The current New York pension system is not sufficient to retain officers from exploring other options upon reaching the 20-year pension eligible status,” said City of Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford.“This bill, if enacted, will enable municipalities to retain experienced officers, properly plan for their retirement, and save pension payments in the future. I would like to thank Assemblyman Santabarbara for recognizing this emerging need for law enforcement and taking steps to enact a solution.”