If This Bill Passes, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Will Have Equal Access to Benefits

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives to make sure all federal law enforcement officers have equal access to benefits. 

Specifically, the bill, Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act (HR 962), would expand the definition of law enforcement officer under Title 5 of the U.S. Code to include all federal employees who are authorized to carry a firearm and whose duties involve the investigation or apprehension of suspected or convicted individuals. 

Existing law does not treat all federal law enforcement personnel equally when it comes to determining their pay rates and retirement benefits. Specifically, officers with the Federal Protective Service and police officers at the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments and the U.S. Mint have lower rates of pay than other federal law enforcement professionals and are not eligible for full law enforcement retirement benefits until years after their peers.  

These inequities lead to high turnover and lower employee morale at agencies that are unable to offer comparable pay and benefits. 

AFGE thanks Representatives Bill Pascrell Jr., Gerry Connolly, Brian Fitzpatrick, and Andrew Garbarino for reintroducing the bill. This important legislation would close a loophole in existing law that has resulted in second-class status for many federal law enforcement officers, ensuring they are treated equally when it comes to setting their pay rates and qualifying for full retirement benefits. AFGE looks forward to working with Congress to ensure its passage. 

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