Service Pension Eligibility Requirements
Relief association members must meet several requirements to be eligible for a service pension distribution. (Note that these requirements may be different from or do not apply to disability and survivor benefit distributions.)
To be eligible for a service pension, a member must:
- separate from active service with the fire department;
- reach age 50, or a higher minimum retirement age if specified in the bylaws;
- complete at least five years of active fire department service (the bylaws may require a higher minimum service requirement);
- complete at least five years of active relief association membership (the bylaws may require a higher minimum membership requirement); and
- comply with any additional age, service, or membership conditions prescribed in the bylaws.
The age-50 requirement applies to all service pension distributions, including distributions that a member elects to directly rollover into the member’s Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
When a member submits an application for a distribution, the relief association’s board of trustees must determine whether the member has met each of these requirements to be eligible for the distribution. The board of trustees should confirm dates of service, breaks in service, and leaves of absence provided on the application against the relief association’s personnel records. The board of trustees should also confirm that the member has met the minimum retirement age to receive the distribution.
An appeal process should be in place so that a member can appeal a decision should the board of trustees determine that the member is ineligible to receive the service pension and votes against approval of the distribution.
Published last in the September 2018 Pension Newsletter