Police officers are mandated with the responsibility of keeping law and order. It's a highly rewarding career but one that comes with its share of risks such as injury, illness or even death. The police are employed by federal agencies such as the FBI, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Justice. Retired federal police officers collect enhanced retirement benefits after a career of valuable service.
Three Sources of Income From FERS
The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) covers all police officers regardless of their rank. Under this coverage, they are eligible for three sources of income based on what they opt to enroll for.
First, they are covered under Social Security, as is the case for all workers. Second, they can contribute to a Thrift Savings Plan, which is matched by the employer. The third source of income is through a basic benefit plan, which the employer contributes to directly as well as the employing body.
Regular Income Adjustments
Retired federal police officers are eligible for annual income reviews. However, only a small group of retirees are eligible, including those who are 62 or older or those who have been injured in the line of duty.
The date of the first payment will largely determine how much income adjustment is paid out. Another factor is the number of years in service. The more years in service, the higher the accrual rates and the more help for these retired police officers.
Police Officer Benefits-Health Care
All retired federal police officers are covered under The Federal Employees Health Benefits program. They can opt to take a comprehensive cover, which also covers their next of kin and covers all medical bills, including dental and eye care.
There are also individual cover options, such as long-term care insurance, which covers all their medical expenses in case they are injured in the line of duty or for those who are living with chronic illnesses.
Who Is Eligible?
A police officer can retire if they have attained the retirement age or they have met certain criteria.
Under normal circumstances, the minimum retirement age is 55. A federal police officer can retire at the age of 50 if they have been in service for 20 years or more. A police officer can also retire at any age if they have served for 25 years or more.
A federal police officer can retire under special circumstances. For example, if they are injured and are unable to execute details normally, they are allowed to retire as long as they have been in service for a minimum of 18 months.
Payment to Survivors
In case of death of a retired officer, death benefits are paid to the next of kin, say a spouse or children. The payment is issued to the spouse only if the officer is only survived by a spouse.
If the officer is survived by children, the benefits will be shared equally among the spouse and the children. If the police officer did not have any children or a spouse, the benefits are paid to the most recent designator on file at the time of death.
Help for Retired Police Officers – Disability Benefits
Help for retired police officers is available for all federal officers who experienced an injury that resulted in permanent or total disability on or after Nov. 29, 1990. For the affected officer to claim his/her benefits, they must have left their place of work and receive the maximum allowable disability compensation to be eligible for Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB).
Officers who are covered under PSOB can include comatose persons, those in a vegetative state and quadriplegics.
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