Potential Changes to Tier II Multiplier for Public Safety and Firefighter Employees

Senate Bill 129, sponsored by Senator Wayne Harper (R), aims to increase the multiplier for Tier II Hybrid plan members from 1.5 to 2 percent for public safety and fire fighter employees (PS/FF). This will mean that employees can retire after 25 years of service at 50 percent of their salary.  Currently, PS/FF can retire after 25 years of service at 37.5 percent of their salary.  For members on the defined benefit plan, it will increase the non-elective 401(k) contribution from 12 percent to 16 percent. SB129 has passed through the Retirement and Independent Entities Committee on February 11th, and was sent to the Senate Reading Calendar.

On February 26th, Sen. Harper presented the bill on the Senate floor for its second reading. He introduced the bill explaining that in 2010 the retirement benefit was adjusted to better the Utah Retirement Systems’ financial stability. SB 129 will adjust “one area of the code where we made a cut to the benefit.” There have been multiple discussions about the state’s responsibility to fund this bill seeing as many of the employees affected by this legislation are municipal city and county. Senator Fillmore introduced 1st Substitute SB 129 which allows the Utah State Government to pay for the first year of the increase, and “after a one year bridge, the employer [will] pay the full cost of employing their public safety employees.”

After much discussion, the 1st Substitute SB 129 passed the Senate with a 27 Yea votes and 2 Nay votes.

UPEA supports SB129 and will continue to update members on its progress. Click here to view the presentation slides and learn more.