This just in..in case you don't get WSCFF news. There is a proposal in the Washington State Legislature to merge the LEOFF Plan 1 and LEOFF Plan 2. The WSCFF is monitoring the situation and will keep you informed. At this time, no action is being requested.
Why is this important? You may know, there is somewhat of a LEOFF 1 surplus. That is to say, there is more money in the LEOFF 1 Pension fund than will be used to pay for all of the benefits, including into the future, for LEOFF 1 members. The law states that this money can ONLY be used for benefits and pensions of LEOFF 1 members. The state has tried to 'raid' this account and has been thoroughly stomped by both the WSCFF and the Retired Firefighters. A compromise might include: LEOFF 1 Firefighers getting a 'bonus' of some kind towards their benefits, LEOFF 2 might get a bump in our retirement benefits and the State may get a bite as well. That said, and looking at the below, it seems the deal does not have IAFF support as of now.
Here is what you need to know:
- The WSCFF did not participate or provide input in the development of this proposal.
- The Retired Fire Fighters of Washington was the first group to be notified by Senator Van De Wege (IAFF member).
- The Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs (WACOPS) lobbyist and WSCFF President Dennis Lawson were asked to attend a meeting with Senator Van de Wege on Thursday, February 28, 2019. At that time we were notified of the proposed LEOFF-1 / LEOFF-2 merger.
- The WSCFF Board and Legislative Team convened via conference call on Monday, March 4, 2019. At that time the board was briefed on the proposal and had the opportunity to ask questions. The Board, through a motion, provided authorization for the WSCFF Legislative Team to work with other stakeholders on this issue.
- The WSCFF and WACOPS have jointly signed a letter which has been sent, via email, to Senator Van De Wege notifying him we can’t support this proposal.
- In 2016, both the WSCFF and WACOPS adopted resolutions setting forth ten principles that a merger deal must protect if it is to gain our support – the current proposal violates those principles.
- A meeting will take place on Thursday March 7,2019, between the WSCFF and the Retired Fire Fighters of Washington to discuss the issue.
As I hear more, and I may in D.C. where I will be representing you, I will let you know.