Pa. state senate approves police retirement buyback bill

State Sen. Mike Regan says the bill aims to help departments recruit and retain officers

By Suzie Ziegler 

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania bill that would expand pension benefits for law enforcement officers is one step closer to becoming law, ABC 27 reported last week. Senate Bill 669 allows municipal and regional police officers to buy back up to five years of previous part-time and full-time service at another department.

The legislation, which passed in the state Senate on June 15, will help police departments retain and recruit officers, said State Sen. Mike Regan. 

“This will serve as a recruitment tool at a time when police departments are struggling to fill positions,” said Regan, the bill’s sponsor. “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.” 

Regan said he was inspired to write the bill after speaking with a city police officer who was surprised to learn that current law barred him from applying prior service to his employment record, according to state Senate records

SB 669 was modeled on Act 600, which allows law enforcement personnel to buy back previous military service. More than 11,000 citizens participate in pension plans that would fall under SB 669, according to the report. 

The bill is now moving on to the state House of Representatives. 

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