After several days of discussions between the State PBA and Senate leaders, the Senate Budget Committee yesterday amended and moved forward Senate Bill 1017 to restore the 20s and Out benefit for PFRS members.
There is no question that the anti-police rhetoric and attacks on our profession from politicians and special interest groups has caused many officers to consider an early retirement. While there is overwhelming support to restore the 20 year retirement option, the potential stress that this could cause to the funding of the PFRS was a concern for some legislators. In order to get the ball moving on more quickly offering this benefit amendments were proposed in the Budget Committee to provide a roughly 2 year window for early retirements.
The amended bill would reestablish a 20 year retirement option for anyone currently enrolled, regardless of their year of enrollment in PFRS, but the benefit would be frozen again 25 months after the bill becomes law. This will allow the State to analyze the impact of the retirement benefit for consideration of making the benefit permanent.
While we would prefer that 20 and Out become permanent now this amendment makes it more likely the bill can move swiftly while its fiscal impact is analyzed in real time.
The bill now requires a full Senate vote and consideration by the Assembly Budget Committee and the full Assembly.