Retirement System; state & local law-enforcement officers may take full retirement if have 25 yrs. (HB369)

Introduced By

Sen. Bill Carrico (R-Grayson)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Virginia Retirement System; state and local law-enforcement officers. Permits members of the State Police Officers' System, the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System, and local law-enforcement officials covered under the Virginia Retirement System whose localities have elected to provide benefits comparable to that of State Police Officers, to take full retirement (unreduced) if they have at least 25 years of creditable service, regardless of their age. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/04/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 086613460
01/04/2008Referred to Committee on Appropriations
01/15/2008Assigned App. sub: Compensation and Retirement (Jones, S.C.)
01/17/2008Impact statement from VRS (HB369)
02/12/2008Left in Appropriations

Comments

Cross Creek writes:

I agree with this bill, 20 flat years would be the best option though. These jobs have more dangers and stress than any one human could imagine. But 25 years would mean I could retire at 45 instead of 50, 5 years more to spend with my family and fowl.

CCGF writes:

I agree with HB369. I currently have 19 years with the Dept. of corrections. If I could retire in 6 yrs. I might have a enough of my sanity left to enjoy the "golden years".

Cross Creek writes:

25 years of creditable service, regardless of their age.

This section of the bill has been long past due, the average persona does not realize the stresses that people in this line of work go threw. I had someone tell me that if I bought back my military time and this bill was passed i could retire in as little as 5 1/2 years at the age of 42 with 25 creditable years of service. Is ther any truth to this?

Hawkeye writes:

I agree 100% with this bill and Cross Creek! A Corrections Journal study several years ago stated the average LIFE EXPECTANY of a Corrections Officer was 57; and with the increasing number of YOUNGER VIRGINIANS (23 & under) starting to work in our prisons and the increasing number of inmates; LIFE in the GOLDEN YEARS (if you can survive) is a very "PRECIOUS COMMODITY". People really should ask what is like to work in a PRISON; ESPECIALLY for 30 years!!! (which is what I myself have to work just to retire only because I stated to work for the COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA when I was 20 yrs. old)

Hawkeye writes:

Sorry about some of spelling in the last post. The last sentence should have read: (which is how long I myself must work so I can meet the requirements for retirement under the current system: retire at age 50 with at least 25 years of service. I started when I was 20 yrs. old. so at age 50 I will have worked 30yrs. in a prison. If you ask anyone that has worked in a prison that by the time retirement age arrives your PHYSICAL and MENTAL HEALTH is stretched beyond their limits unlike other professions. This bill is not only for Corrections Officers; but other PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS as well and with STATISTICS for LIFE EXPECTANCY of all PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS on the DOWNSIDE what ever help we can receive is VERY APPRECIATIVE FROM EVERYONE WEARING A BADGE!!!! THANK YOU

Cross Creek writes:

Hawkeye, I too started when I was 20 and this was after going into the military at the ripe age of 17 and spending 4 years 2 times during that time I spend months away in 2 combat zones. Add that to the 30 years I have to work in the system to reach 50 years of age, and pretty much I will be praying every day just to expand my life as long as I can so I can actually enjoy my family more without the daily stresses we have to go through. 25 flat years sounds great, maybe once they get this passed they can widdle the time down to 20 years flat which I feel is appropriate for anyone in this line of work. When in the military, except during combat I did not feel 1/4 of the stresses I feel every day working in these over crowded prisions. But god bless this Delegate Carrico for making an effort to shorten the retirement for us, I am very greatful and support his bill 100%

jeepers writes:

This bill sounds great... If someone has twenty-five years of service wouldn't it save a lot of money to get this higher paid employee off of the books and hire another new young person at starting pay? Sounds like a win-win situation for guys who have served their time as well as open up some jobs for the "up and coming generation".

Am I to understand correctly that two guys starting off their career the same day both now have to wait until they are age 50 to retire?? What if one guy started earlier and has his twenty-five years in and is not 50??? Does he have to stick around and put more years of service in just because he started his/her carreer got started earlier?? Straight 25 sounds good and I hope that this bill gets passed.

Hawkeye writes:

To Cross Creek: I too feel that we are BLESSED to have a delg. like Mr. Carrico. And I also know of the stresses you feel working in a prison and I try very hard not to carry it over into my personal life.

To Jeepers: your answer is YES, if the one guy is say 20 and the other guy say 30; then the 20 yr. old will have to work 10 more years just because he was younger under the current retirement plan of at least 25yrs. service at age 50 to receive unreduced retirement. And to answer the first question: YES it would be logical to retire the person with their time in at higher salary and hire someone younger at the starting rate!!! THANK YOU for SUPPORT; when you work in a prison people usually look at bad things in our profession and not the GOOD!!!! again THANK YOU!!

Cross Creek writes:

Hawkeye writes:

To Cross Creek: I too feel that we are BLESSED to have a delg. like Mr. Carrico.

I felt so blessed I personally called and thanked him for making an effort for us. Out of the many calls I made, he was probably the only one that god positive feedback for what he is doing. I personally cannot say that the others were too happy, but agreed with me before I hung up. I don't know if they did that because they agreed or just wanted to get off the phone with me, I guess time will tell. I encourage everyone to call and thank him for working for something good for us.

Cross Creek writes:

sorry error, god = got

Buddy writes:

http://www.cophealth.com/articles/articles_dying_a.html

The above link is to an article which states the average life expectancy of a police officer is 66 years of age. That should be all of the evidence needed to convince any legislator to pass this bill. However, if you add the fact that many reputable law enforcement agencies have adopted a straight 25 or even 20 year retirement (and at a higher annual benefit) it's a no-brainer.

Hawkeye writes:

Thank YOU Buddy, it was a good article!!

Update on LIFE EXPECTANCY OF a CORRECTIONS OFFICER: On November 1, 2005 the state of New Jersey Department of Correction's commission on Safety and Abuse in Americas Prisons stated that " the Metropolitan Life Actuary Statistics reported in 1998 that the average LIFE EXPECTANCY of a CORRECTIONS OFFICER is 59. Here is the link
www.prisoncommission.org/statements/hepner.pdf

And

www.corrections.com/news/articles?articleid=13159

Also has supporting information especially some stresses of the job.

Cross Creek writes:

Hawkeye writes:
LIFE EXPECTANCY of a CORRECTIONS OFFICER is 59

That stat is scary, but I understand it and with prison growth expected to rise by 4600 inmates over the next few years. With that being said the stat will probably drop to around 56 or 57.

Hotrod writes:

This bill will help the DOC fulfill its stragetic plan by Retaining younger staff.

CCGF writes:

Hotrod writes:

This bill will help the DOC fulfill its stragetic plan by Retaining younger staff.

If thats the DOC plan. I hope it passes, after 19 years I'm ready to pass the torch. They can change it to 20yrs if they'd like. I'd be gone Feb.2009. Bye-bye c/o, hello Mr. Mom.

Powhatan CC Dec.1988 - Dec.1990
Keen Mountain CC Dec.1990 - present

D. Shiflett writes:

This bill will help the VA DOC fulfill its stragetic plan by Retaining younger staff

Teamplayer writes:

This bill would assist the largest state agency (DOC) to draw in more qualified staff at a younger age. With this bill passed I would be able to retire at the age of 45 with 25 years of service. That is unheard of, but gives me more of a drive for excellence to assist the DOC in achieving the elements of the Strategic Plan.

Teamplayer writes:

Food for thought- In order to maintain Public Safety would you rather have peolple that are past the age of needing to retire doing this type of work? Or, would you rather have youth coming into the DOC with the ability to be more observant and alert due to their age? This bill will atract such employees.

P. Tincher writes:

I am 110% for this bill to pass. I have spent several days contacting anyone and everyone to vote yes on this bill. We in the law enforcement field dedicate ourselves to the safety and well being of the Commonwealth, 25 years is a long time in this field under the physical, mental and emotional stress involved over our careers. I personally have been sending an email to anyone and everyone in the field to get everyone we can onbaord for this bill. Please help by passing the word, as a large unit we can achieve this goal to benefit all of us. Let's band together not only for ourselves but for those to come that they will not have to work 30 years like some of us have to retire.

Randall Estes writes:

I have worked for the Virginia Department of Correctional Education for 17 years. I worked at Greensville Correctional Center for 3 -1/2 years, and at Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake for 14 years. Yet when I read about the Virginia Correctional Officers being in the Valors Retirement System plus the VRS, it angers me because I have worked "alongside" inmates, 12 to 15 during the day teaching them a vocational trade and because I do not wear a uniform, employees in our agency are not elegible for Valors Retirement. Is this fair? Actually I spend more time with the inmates than CO's. Also, they have access to tools that would injure or kill if they so desired. I would like to be able to retire after 20 or 25 years with full benefits as CO's, police officers and others are able to do. Please do not speak about physical, mental and emotional stress involved in their jobs.

Cross Creek writes:

Randall Estes, I am not arguing your point at all, even though I disagree with the part of you are around them more than the C/O's as we all know that isn't totally correct. I also would like to note that in your area there are also security staff that works there as well to maintain security and safety in that area of control. However I do agree that anyone dealing with inmates should have similar benefits as it is physical, mental and emotional stress involved in our jobs dealing with incarcerated criminals.

CCGF writes:

Randall Estes, anyone that steps into a prison to work has physical, mental,and emotional stress. But, for you say you spend more time with inmates than correctional officers is far from the truth. Also, the number of inmates in the classroom is a lot different than the numbers in the pods / cell blocks. How many counts do you perform daily ? How many security checks do you make daily ? How many cell extractions have you made ? How many roits / disturbances have you been in ? How many assaults / stabbings have you seen ? How many fights have you broken up ? How many co-workers have you seen carried out on stretchers ? How many inmates have you seen hanging from light fixtures ? Have you ever seen a cell floor completly covered in blood ? Have you ever seen an inmate cut their wrist or swallow razor blades ? Have you ever had feces and urine thrown on you ? The last time I checked DCE staff go home at 5PM Mon.-Fri. and weekends.
So, yes I think c/o's deserve the 25yr no age limit retirement.

Hawkeye writes:

Randall Estes, I'm sorry you feel that way but, 1. C/O's are around inmates more than you and they don't have to be around tools to make the weapons they use; 2. The next time a fight has to be "broken-up" PLEASE COME FORWARD to HELP; 3. If you could leave your DCE Classroom go to the SHU and see the MENTAL and EMOTIONAL STRESS ENDURED by C/O's, Medical staff, and Counselors on a daily basis; 5. Try working around 172 or more inmates for 12 hours a day; 6. This bill is not just for C/O's, but Game Wardens, ABC special agents, Probation and Parole officers, Local Police Officers and Sheriffs' Deputies and people that qualify due to Hazardous Law Enforcement duties covered under Valors.

s. a. writes:

randall estes.... all jobs have different benefits, some more and some less than others... the DOC is always hiring and you can feel free to apply and get the better benefits.

CCGF writes:

I would think that more Correctional Officers would have posted here. I know the Richmond Sunlight web address has been posted on the board in "our" muster room for couple weeks now. Come on guys, support this bill & contact your representatives.

Teamplayer writes:

I agree with CCGF about getting involved. Don't depend on everyone else to do all the work, we have to voice our opinion as individuals about this bill. Voice the word!!!!!!! If not the Gen. Assembly will give a little not a lot.

Cross Creek writes:

They need to hear your support of this bill.

Mark writes:

This is a great bill. We need to make 25 years with full retirement a reality in the field of law enforcement. This will produce younger officers and less burn out.

Cross Creek writes:

I am very sad to see that a bill that could have helped a lot of hard working law enforcement officers retire from their stressfull jobs after 25 years of durty has failed. I bet if it were to retire a animal after a certain amount of service it would have passed in an instance. Virginia has priorities mixed up. The state employee will suffer to help balance the budget of Virginia, as they will not get a cost of living increase this year and only a 2% next year, the governor has also stated he wants to suspend the deferred comp system for 2 years to help get us out of debt. Why should we be the ones that suffer? I am thinking of getting into a new line of work in another state, I have lost faith in our system in Virginia as it has failed it's workers and people of the state.

CCGF writes:

Its is a shame to see the important bills like this one fail, with all the attention the animal bills are getting. Good to see where our legislatures prioritys are.
This gave many law enforcement / correctional officers a little hope that they where finally getting a little recognition.
To all the Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers out there - remember your Mission Statements, if you can after this slap in the face.

Disgruntled Sarge writes:

This is an outrage, I would like to see some of those so called legislators work a cell block for 25+ years. I would love to get a list of who voted against it, I would call them twice an hour...