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Time to Reform Police, Fire Pensions – QNS.com

Time to Reform Police, Fire Pensions

Local Lawmaker Denounces Benefit Reductions

A Queens legislator joined NYPD and FDNY union officials and hundreds of firefighters at a City Hall rally last Thursday, Nov. 20, to denounce reduced disability pension benefits for the uniformed personnel.

City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, chairperson of the Council’s Fire and Criminal Justice Committee, called on the city to take immediate action to remedy the reduced Tier 3 disability pension benefits that recent FDNY and NYPD recruits will receive going forward.

The benefits will support personnel that have been injured or permanently disabled while on the job, a statement noted.

“When our firefighters and police officers risk their lives for the safety of New Yorkers, we owe them the assurance that their families will be provided for should anything happen,” Crowley said. “Every emergency responder is taking the same risk, and every responder deserves the same disability benefits if they get hurt.”

Under state law, firefighters and police officers hired before June 30, 2009 received Tier 2 disability pension benefits totaling 75 percent of pay, it was noted. However, personnel hired after July 1, 2009 were given the Tier 3 benefits, which equal just 50 percent of pay, and is further reduced by Social Security deductions, Crowley stated.

“We cannot allow the City to cut corners when it comes to fundamental public safety,” Crowley added. “Our cops and firefighters are always there when we need them, now the City needs to be there for them and their families.”

She urged the city to take immediate action by passing a home rule.

Crowley said in a statement she plans on introducing a resolution in the City Council to remedy what she called an “urgent public safety crisis.”

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