FLEOA Supports Tax Penalty Waiver

September 7, 2011

The Honorable Bill Nelson
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Nelson:

As the National President of the 26,000 members of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), I am writing to you in support of S. 1432 which would waive the 10 percent penalty for early withdrawals from governmental plans for public safety officers. In my capacity as National President, I represent sworn federal law enforcement officers who work for 65 different federal agencies. In this role, they provide policing, investigative and security functions.

As a result of the rigorous nature of law enforcement work, federal statute provides for a unique retirement system for federal law enforcement officers, and my members generally retire at age 50. Some opt to remain in service until the mandatory retirement age of 57. It therefore stands to reason that federal law enforcement officers should be able to access their Thrift Savings Plan without penalty after reaching age 50. Your bill recognizes this and I credit you for supporting public safety employees.

On this point, I would like to ensure that, by way of definition, the term "Qualified Public Safety Employee,” includes all sworn federal law enforcement officers. I believe that is the intention of the bill, but would like to confirm this important point. Whether my members serve as Special Agents with the FBI, an Office of Inspector General, Inspectors with the Postal Inspection Service, Probation/Pre-Trial Officers with the US Courts, or any other title or agency, they are all equally deserving of the penalty waiver specified in S. 1432.

On behalf of the membership of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, I thank you for recognizing the unique sacrifice and service of federal law enforcement officers, and the financial challenges we face. Please do not hesitate to have a member of your staff contact me directly for input on this bill or any other legislation that may impact federal law enforcement officers.

Respectfully yours,

Jon Adler
National President