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  • Retirement Question

    I was wondering if someone could help me out on this. I know most police departments let you retire after 20-30 years. However, what if you worked 10 years for a city in one state and then moved and worked in a different city that was in a different state as well. Would you only have to work 10-20 years or would you have to work 20-30?

  • #2
    Generally, your retirement doesn't carry over from State to State. Some programs will let you "buy into" the retirement system, but it's usually too expensive to make it worthwhile. Now if you go from one agency to another WITHIN STATE, and the agencies are aprt of a State run retirement system, then it would carry over.

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    • #3
      If you were "vested" in the retirement system in one state (had enough time in and could draw a small retirement when you hit their retirement age), then went to another jurisdiction and became vested there, you could draw two retirements when you hit the magic age, depending on the formula they used.
      Three Stripes beats Four Aces.
      Retirement: You've Won the War when you're Paid to Stay at Home.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the responses. I was hoping I could move around the country evey six to eight years, but I suppose I'll have to stay put when I get a job.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cian Bran
          Thanks for the responses. I was hoping I could move around the country evey six to eight years, but I suppose I'll have to stay put when I get a job.
          You should look for a federal job if that is what you want to do.
          You can now follow me on twitter.

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          • #6
            You should look for a federal job if that is what you want to do.
            Or you could hop around to places that have a defined contribution program, (401K type) vs. defined benefit pension, but I don't know why anyone would do this job without the good pension.....

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            • #7
              I can't see my self working for a federal department. Being part of a small town community is more what I'm after.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cian Bran
                I was wondering if someone could help me out on this. I know most police departments let you retire after 20-30 years. However, what if you worked 10 years for a city in one state and then moved and worked in a different city that was in a different state as well. Would you only have to work 10-20 years or would you have to work 20-30?
                This is a nasty problem in law enforcement, and likely to get worse. Retirement systems are generally based on the state, although a few keep them within their local governments (San Diego does that, and the fact that the city has been on the brink of bankruptcy for several years now is not especially comforting to the cops that work and.or have retired from there). There is often a different "tier" for police and fire employees as compared to all other employees, where the P&F people can retire at a younger age and with fewer years of service.

                The system is intended to encourage you to do your entire career in one state, but the current estimate is that people now entering the workforce will have an average of 14 jobs before they retire. That might make the retirement funds very healthy, as they generally keep the contributions made by people who never get in enough years of service to collect benefits. Traditionally, police pension systems were fat because few of the cops lived very long after they retired. I think that is changing now, as my generation had a healthier lifestyle than the one before it, and the ones since the baby boomers have done even better.

                There may one day be a national retirement system for cops, but it will be a long time coming. The existing systems have a vested interest in not allowing that to happen. Most college professors have had this national type of system for years. Three of the colleges where I taught were associated with TIAA-CREF, and the accounts that I and my employers paid into belong solely to me.


                Frank Booth gave excellent advice about the 401K, although for public employees it's usually called a 457 Plan. Enroll when you are first hired, and make your contribution a percentage of your pay, rather than a fixed amount. That way, as you get raises, your contributions will increase as well, and after the first few checks, you won't miss the money. I enrolled in a 457 Plan the last three yerars I was a cop, and contribuated a total of about $17,000. That fund is now worth around $80,000. I worked with one guy that started paying into it from Day One, and he retired with over $1 million in his account. Between that and his 20-year pension, he never has to worry about money again.
                Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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                • #9
                  I don't think this is the case, but I've never read anywhere that it isn't, do you have to remain in the state after retirement to recieve the pension?

                  After 20 years say you end up making 35K so you recieve 17K (not including the 457 or a roth IRA), which is enough for one person to live on, could you either move out of state or possibly out of the country and still recieve the pention and health care benefits?

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                  • #10
                    No,

                    However your health insurance options may be severely limited if you move out of state.

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                    • #11
                      They will pay you the pension no matter where you live, even in another country. The health insurance is another matter. Just so happens that there are many retirees from NYS in the south east (especially Florida) and I understand there are many doctors and hospitals that will accept the typical NYS employees insurance in Florida.

                      But it would indeed be wise to research that prior to moving there.
                      You can now follow me on twitter.

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