Pension change could speed police, fire retirement

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A statewide change to police and firefighter pension rules could encourage more municipal employees to retire sooner.

Police and firefighters can retire early at age 50, though official retirement age is 55. Current law reduces an employee’s retirement benefit by 1.2 percent for each year before 55 that they retire.

But the St. Cloud Times reports (http://on.sctimes.com/18HPK77 ) the Legislature made a change last session that would increase that penalty to 5 percent. The change goes into effect July 1, so employees have to consider if they want to retire before then or wait until they are 55 to avoid the larger penalty.

Mary Vanek, executive director of Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota, says the increase will be made gradually over the next five years.

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Information from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com

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