What is the first question that comes to mind when there is a financial crisis? What funds can we cut back on?
Unfortunately, for law enforcement officers, pensions have the potential of getting cut. People are afraid of retirement because of this exact reason. People rely on it as financial security throughout their retirement because who knows if social security will still be around by then. In fact, 78% of people worry about their ability to achieve a secure retirement.
Law enforcement officers already do not get paid enough so it is important to offer pensions especially since they are not offered stock options. Recruitment and retention effects of pensions are key reasons why the public sector has maintained this type of retirement plan, especially for law enforcement officers.
People wonder why law enforcement academy’s have such low enrollment and cities cannot find law enforcement officers to hire. A lot of times they assume it’s because their line of work is so dangerous, which very well could be a reason, but the financial isn’t necessarily the greatest. With the increase in living wages and decrease (or lack of appropriate increases) in salaries makes this field even less appealing.
Another negative to law enforcement pensions is sometimes officers are forced into retirement at an earlier than expected age which in return causes stress and the need of finding another job to make ends meet. In that case, it is difficult to find a well-paid position at an older age with very little experience other than in law enforcement. It turns into quite the mess!
So the next time someone wants to talk to you about the lack of recruiting in the law enforcement field, you may want to consider talking about who should be voted into office to fix such issue.