FLEOA Endorses LEO Fair Retirement Act

June 7, 2022

The Honorable Bill Pascrell                       The Honorable Don Bacon
U.S. House of Representatives                  U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515                           Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representatives Pascrell and Bacon,

I am writing on behalf of the more than 31,000 members of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) in strong support of the "LEO Fair Retirement Act,” and to thank you for reintroducing this important legislation. In light of the heroic work federal law enforcement officers have performed over the past two years and during the pandemic, it is past time to allow these officers to receive a pension that is based upon their full salary and not one arbitrarily capped by the antiquated federal pay cap.

As you know well, the work federal law enforcement officers perform does not lend itself to regular schedules.  In recognition of this fact, Congress authorized officers to receive overtime pay through the Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP) framework.  During the course of a career, officers often work extraordinary amounts of overtime, but lose the ability to be compensated for that work due to the application of the bi-weekly and annual pay caps.  This cap limits the amount of compensation our members can receive, including for those responsible for ensuring border security, stopping the flow of deadly fentanyl, investigating domestic and foreign terrorist threats, or evacuating U.S. personnel and civilians in Afghanistan and the Ukraine.

The current system is so punitive that even when a federal law enforcement officer gets to the point of retirement, the "pay cap” prohibits them from being able to receive a pension based upon their true salary.  This is not only regressive but inhibits recruitment and retention in the federal law enforcement profession.  It also makes the federal government unique in terms of allowing law enforcement officers to accrue unlimited amounts of overtime hours while limiting the amount of overtime pay that is actually received.  While we believe that the real answer is to lift the pay cap, in the way Speaker Pelosi recently did for staff in the House of Representatives, making an officer’s full salary fully creditable for retirement purposes is a step toward addressing a legacy of disparate treatment for federal law enforcement professionals.

On behalf of the membership of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, we appreciate, once again, your leadership on this important issue and look forward to its swift passage.

Larry Cosme
National President
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association