OP&F News

OP&F implementing benefit increases to survivors of fallen officers

The passage of Ohio Substitute Senate Bill 296 in December means that survivors of police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty will receive increased benefits.

The bill makes changes to the Ohio Public Safety Officers Death Benefit Fund and allows survivors of fallen public safety officers and their children under age 26 to opt into the state of Ohio’s health care plan. The law also extends pension coverage from a first responder’s first possible retirement date to their maximum retirement date, eliminates the offset and increases benefits after the officer’s retirement date from 50 percent of salary to 75 percent. Recipients of the death benefit fund should look for communication soon from OP&F on how to take advantage of the law’s provisions.

OP&F’s fiscal analysis of the changes, adopted by the Office of Budget and Management, answered critics who far overestimated the cost of providing valuable extra benefits to these families. OP&F advocated for the changes alongside the Fraternal Order of Police and International Association of Firefighters, which survived a Governor’s veto to become law. The Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund administers the Death Benefit Fund, however the money for these benefits comes from the State of Ohio.

Posted 1/18/2019

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