MACo Supports “Local Option” Amendment for Pension Enhancements

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in support of SB 115 – Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System – Benefits with amendments. This bill would increase the normal service retirement benefit multiplier for members of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System from 2.0% to 2.5%. The bill would also raise the cap on normal service retirement benefit payments from 65% to 70% of the member’s average final compensation.

SB 115 is a significant unfunded mandate on county governments. A “local option amendment” would relieve that mandate and allow each jurisdiction to weigh these costs appropriately.

From the MACo testimony

For county governments that participate in the Law Enforcement Officers’ Pension System (LEOPS), this legislation effects an automatic increase in county law enforcement pension benefits, and a new variable in county government pension contributions. Without a true local option, this bill is simply not affordable as a statewide county mandate and could present substantial budget difficulties.

An amendment could resolve this county mandate. There is precedent for providing county members
of the state system with an option to join the benefit enhancement, too. Such an option would provide a
discrete amount of time for a county government to determine whether they would join the
enhancement.

Counties stand ready to work with state policymakers to develop flexible and optional tools to create
broad or targeted personnel incentives, but resist state-mandated changes that preclude local input.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.
Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.
Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.

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