Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the First Responder Fair Return for Employees on Their Initial Retirement Earned Act (RETIRE) (H.R. 521) 417 to 0 in a bipartisan display of support for injured federal first responders. The bill requires agencies to place injured first responders who return to work with injuries into “equivalent positions” as they held before, thereby protecting their employment and accelerated retirement status. In addition, the act prevents first responders from losing thousands of dollars from forfeited retirement contributions that were paid by the employee at a higher than the standard rate under their “6(c)” retirement system.
“NFFE-IAM has been advocating for this fix to 6(c) retirement for years now,” said NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 National President Randy Erwin. “We are exceedingly pleased that Congress acted to preserve the employment and retirement classifications for injured first responders. I appreciate the leadership of Representative Connolly and Chairwoman Maloney for their leadership on the bill and for calling it to the House Floor under a suspension of the rules for quick passage. I urge the Senate to pass the accompanying bill and put it on President Biden’s desk as soon as possible.”