FLEOA Fights To Protect LEO Federal Pensions

Dear Senator Coburn, Senator Burr and Senator Chambliss:

On behalf of all the dedicated men and women in federal law enforcement, we take great exception to your recent proposal called the Public-Private Employee Retirement Parity Act which is a euphemism for the elimination of the defined benefit pension for all federal employees, including federal law enforcement officers.

As you aware, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) has the distinct privilege of representing over 26,000 federal law enforcement officers from 65 federal agencies.  We understand what the challenges and sacrifices are for a lifetime of service to our nation. Please keep in mind that when you attempt to validate your position by proclaiming it's what is best for the American citizenry, we too are citizens of our great nation.  Furthermore, as salaried employees, we pay income taxes to the federal government every two weeks. As dedicated, patriotic Americans, we object to any characterization of those in our noble profession as undeserving or overpaid.

Your statement, "Federal workers enjoy far more generous retirement benefits than private sector employees” is both misleading and inaccurate.  For the approximate 100,000 federal law enforcement officers, the defined benefit plan is typically less than those earned by their state and local counterparts.  Many large city police departments have defined benefit pensions at or above 50% while federal law enforcement pensions begin at around 34%.  Comparatively speaking, the federal system is not a superior defined benefit system.   

As long-standing Senators who represent Americans from across our nation, you should know how important the defined benefit pension is for our nation’s federal law enforcement officers who embrace the prospect of the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the American citizenry.  The current annuity is fair and recognizes an agents'/officers' lifetime of irregular shifts and extra hours, deployments and impacted life spans.

Federal law enforcement officers continue to be on the front lines of protecting our nation domestically and overseas.  Federal officers are currently in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They were also on the ground in New York on September 11th, 2001 and in the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Benghazi.  More recently, three federal officers were the first to engage the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect.  On a daily basis, federal law enforcement officers intercept illegal narcotics, weapons, stop human trafficker and ensure our nations’ children are protected from predators.  

Those honorable missions are accomplished everyday by federal law enforcement officers who willingly sacrifice their time and lives to ensure our nation is a better and safer place.  In light of that sacrifice, it makes no sense for our government to undercut a small earned benefit for federal law enforcement officers that is nothing more than a small repayment for a lifetime of service in a profession many other Americans would never do.

As Americans and as constituents, we'd hope the Congress as a whole would take a more critical eye towards the 26 billion dollars that it doles out annually in foreign aid sans any meaningful accountability.  There is substantial waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government, and federal law enforcement officers are the remedy and not the cause of this.

We respectfully ask that you reconsider the merits of your proposal as it relates to federal law enforcement officers.  

Jon Adler
Jon Adler
FLEOA National President