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  • Mandatory Retirement

    Was wondering the reasoning behind having a mandatory retirement age? Is it good for turnover within the department? Good for constantly recycling supervisory staff and enhancing promotional opportunities? A good tool to ensure physical fitness and mental sharpness?

    Those of you that work for an agency that has mandatory retirement, are you in favor of it? If so, why? If not, why?

    I work for a big city department that does not have a mandatory retirement age. I feel that because of this, many times officers "hang on" and just don't leave. While I don't feel that a mandated retirement age should be too young, I do feel that somewhere around 60 would be appropriate.

  • #2
    I retired at 53 too. In addition to recognizing that my physical abilities were lessened, I also recognized that continuing to work nights/morning watch would significantly effect my health (due to lack of sleep). I realized that I wanted to enjoy retirement and noted that LEOs who work field assignments beyond their mid-fifties have significantly increased rates of early mortality.

    Additionally, my wife dealt with my 30+ year career and when I'd "maxed out" (on retirement time), she wanted to enjoy my presence at home and extended vacations. I plan on enjoying my time off and doing some work part-time.
    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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    • #3
      We have a patrol guy that's 65 years old. But, he literally looks no older than 45 and is healthy as an ox. In fact, his 40 something year old son works for us now, too, and he looks older than his dad!
      Airborne Cops are closer to God.
      Arms and legs are just extensions of flight controls.

      THESE BIG RED LETTERS HELP ME FIND MY POST.

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      • #4
        The officer with the most senority on my department has almost 42 years on the job. One of our Cpts. has over 4,000 hours of sick leave, he can only cash out 1,850 hours of sick when and if he retires. He would make more money retired.

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        • #5
          Mandatiry retirement age is based on a concern for physical fitness among public safety personnel.

          As part of the legislation exempting public safety agencies from the age discrimination act, Congress authorized the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to identify a valid job performance test that individuals could use to seek exemption to the mandatory retirement age if they wished to continue working.

          Following NIOSH identification of valid, job performance tests, any public safety agency that wished to utilize a mandatory retirement age would be required to provide a public safety officers who attained mandatory retirement age, the opportunity to demonstrate their fitness to continue performing their duties by passing the NIOSH-approved test. The test will be given on an annual basis to any public safety officer above the mandatory retirement age.

          However, Congress never appropriated funds to address the job performance exemption issue. Therefore, tests were never developed that would allow individuals to seek exemption to their jurisdiction’s mandatory retirement.

          I have often wondered if an officer could challenge mandatory retirement because the law says he is entitled to an exemption if he can pass a Federally designed test, which (through no fault of his own) his employer is unable to provide.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            What's interesting is that a lot of folks fail to look at the economics of the situation. Most California agencies have the 3% @ 50 pension plan, which has a 90% cap. This means that if you start at 21, you can retire at 51 with 90% of your salary. In short, if you continue to work after 30 years, you are only doing so for 10% of your pay, because you would get 90% for doing nothing in retirement.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              L-1 you explained it fairly well. As I asked in my initial post I was just wondering what led certain departments to embrace mandatory retirement while others do not.

              I know the New Jersey State Police have an age 55 mandatory retirement, while Delaware State Police and the FBI must leave at 57. I can certainly see the "age discrimination" angle that some might argue.

              Overall, though, I feel mandatory retirement, as long as you're providing a good pension to the retiree, is a very good system for constantly recycling the department and creating room for new hires and promotions.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                What's interesting is that a lot of folks fail to look at the economics of the situation. Most California agencies have the 3% @ 50 pension plan, which has a 90% cap. This means that if you start at 21, you can retire at 51 with 90% of your salary. In short, if you continue to work after 30 years, you are only doing so for 10% of your pay, because you would get 90% for doing nothing in retirement.
                In many departments, you'd be working for even less. At my agency, 9% of our base pay goes to PERS. So if you are maxed out and still working, you're working for 1%.
                Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                • #9
                  We have had 62 year olds going through the police academy here in Kansas looking to start a career in law enforcement.
                  What is Perseverance?
                  -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                  -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                  -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                  BOP - BPA - ICE

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ten08
                    That's just silly, it means they will be well into their 80s before they can retire.
                    They must be political appointees.
                    Nope, they are not political appointees. They are not working for retirement, in fact they may be retired from somewhere else already. If they have only 5 good years to give to a smaller county or town, that's all they intend on doing. It's not all about retirement. Some of us, especially in the private sector, realize that we may never retire.
                    What is Perseverance?
                    -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
                    -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
                    -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


                    BOP - BPA - ICE

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ten08
                      Pardon me for assuming you were a Police Officer. I Haven't heard of a lateral having to requalify. Story is getting deep
                      I can't speak for Kansas, but if you are not actively employed as a Peace Officer in California for three years, your POST certificate lapses and you have to go to a retread academy. I've been retired now for three years and nine months, so I have to hit the retread academy if I want to go back to work.

                      Similarly, some agencies out here don't care if you are certified or not. If they decide to hire you, they still want you to go through THEIR academy, drink their Koolaid and learn things their way.

                      Nothing getting deep here.
                      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                      • #12
                        it's good to have mandatory retirement age. Let's the new guys have a chance. It's all about passing the baton to the next generation. I would retire at 55. You just know that at that point at anytime something bad will happen.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by VikingCop View Post
                          Was wondering the reasoning behind having a mandatory retirement age? Is it good for turnover within the department? Good for constantly recycling supervisory staff and enhancing promotional opportunities? A good tool to ensure physical fitness and mental sharpness?

                          Those of you that work for an agency that has mandatory retirement, are you in favor of it? If so, why? If not, why?

                          I work for a big city department that does not have a mandatory retirement age. I feel that because of this, many times officers "hang on" and just don't leave. While I don't feel that a mandated retirement age should be too young, I do feel that somewhere around 60 would be appropriate.
                          I went out three weeks before 50. I had had enough.

                          You don't ever want to get to the point that something happens to you on your last day.

                          There is good and bad about mandatory. Some of our best "training officers" were guys who had just retired from NYPD and started with us.

                          The ideal candidate would have an 18 year old body, and a 50 year old (lucid) mind.

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                          • #14
                            We used to have age 60 as mandatory, and since normal retirement was after age 55 with 30, they would not hire you after your 30th birthday.

                            Now, it's all changed due to several factors, but they raised mandatory retirement to age 70 and normal retirement is now age 50 with 25 ... so a man could come on at 45 and work 25 and retire normally at 70 with 25 ... if he's able. Or he can come on at 45 and retire early at 50 but he'ld only have 5 years service which means a pension of less than 9% AFC.

                            I think 60 is a good mandatory, but many people are living better longer and there are many jobs even as a sworn LEO that they can handle, and many make up for the physical losses due to age with increases in knowledge and wisdom.
                            Originally posted by nogginbuster24 View Post
                            I would retire at 55. You just know that at that point at anytime something bad will happen.
                            Why is that?
                            "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

                            "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

                            >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

                            Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

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                            • #15
                              We have that Government Code section that says we're done at 65. It was never talked about much because not many officers wanted to work for free and the average hire age was in early to mid 20's. Now, we're seeing people come on later in life and still want to max out. This year an officer with over 35 years on will turn 65 and he says he will fight the mandatory retirement. We'll see what happens.

                              Comment

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