Reichert, Pascrell Introduce Tax Bill to Benefit Federal Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters

May 12, 2014 Issues: Tax Policy

Washington, D.C. – On Friday, U.S. Congressmen and Ways and Means members Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) introduced legislation, H.R. 4634, to reform tax law so that federal law enforcement officers and firefighters can access their retirement accounts without penalty when they are eligible to retire.

Generally, under current law, a 10% penalty is added on top of normal tax amounts taken out of retirement accounts before the age of 59½.  In 2006, Congress recognized that state and local public safety officials should be able to access their accounts without penalty at age 50 due to the fact that many of these officials are eligible to retire at earlier ages due to the unique and hazardous nature of the work they perform.  Congressmen Reichert and Pascrell’s bill would simply extend this benefit to federal law enforcement and firefighters, who are eligible to retire after 20 years of service at age 50.   

“Public safety personnel constantly put their lives on the line in the course of serving their communities. These men and women are heroes who run towards danger instead of away from it,” said Reichert.  “Their duties are extremely strenuous and can take such a toll that they are eligible to retire earlier than others.  There is no reason that federal public safe officials must wait, in some cases, 9 ½ years to access the full retirement benefits they have earned and are entitled to. This is a straightforward measure to make an obvious fix to our tax code and treat our public safety officials with the respect they deserve.”

"This legislation offers a commonsense fix that allows our brave federal law enforcement officers and firefighters to access their retirement savings when they retire, without penalty," said Pascrell.  "By leveling the playing field for all public safety professionals, we are also recognizing their selfless commitment to the protection of our communities."

“Federal fire fighters deserve to access their TSP funds without penalty upon retirement.  I am pleased to support Representatives Reichert and Pascrell in correcting this inequity, providing federal fire fighters with a benefit already enjoyed by their municipal brothers and sisters,” said General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters Harold A. Schaitberger

Jon Adler, National President of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, added, “I would like to thank Congressmen Reichert and Pascrell for recognizing the sacrifice and service of federal law enforcement officers, and for introducing this important legislation that would allow officers to access their money justifiably and without penalty.