WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rob Portman (R-OH) reintroduced the Law Enforcement Officers’ Equity Act, legislation that would ensure all federal law enforcement officers receive the retirement benefits they deserve for their service. Due to the level of training required and greater danger present in their profession, Congress determined that people in federal law enforcement positions should receive enhanced retirement benefits compared to other federal employees. However, certain federal law enforcement officers are not eligible for those enhanced benefits even though they perform the same tasks as other law enforcement officers. This bill would fix this inequity and expand access to federal benefits to more men and women in uniform. Representative Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) introduced companion legislation in the House.


“Our brave federal law enforcement officers protect our important national institutions and our communities; however, too many of these officers still do not receive the retirement benefits they deserve,” said Booker. “We must ensure all federal law enforcement officers receive fair compensation for their service and for their devotion to protecting public safety."


“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day for their fellow citizens,” said Portman. “Their dedication was on full display as they worked on the front lines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud to be introducing this bipartisan legislation with Senator Booker to close the loophole that have left thousands of men and women in blue without full access to federal retirement benefits – every officer deserves to be fully compensated for their service.”


 Nearly 30,000 federal law enforcement officers classified as GS-0083 police officers do not receive enhanced retirement benefits under the United States Code even though they have similar responsibilities and face similar risks as officers who do. This categorization includes certain officers who work for federal agencies like the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Mint, National Institute of Health and many more.


Correcting this error is not only dictated by fairness, but it is a matter of public safety because the value of recruiting and retaining experienced and highly trained law enforcement officers is immeasurable.


Specifically, the Law Enforcement Equity Act:


  • Provides our brave federal officers with 6(c) retirement benefits and the ability to retire after 20 years of service at the age of 50, or after 25 years of service at any age.


  • Allows incumbent law enforcement officers federal service after the enactment of this Act to be considered service performed as a law enforcement officer for retirement purposes.


  • Requires these incumbent law enforcement officers past service to be treated as service performed as a law enforcement officer for retirement purposes only if a written election is submitted to the Office of Personnel Management within five years after the enactment of this Act or before separation from government service, whichever is earlier.


  • Expands the definition of “law enforcement officer” for retirement benefits to include all GS-0083 officers. That change would grant law enforcement officer status to the following:


    • employees who are authorized to carry a firearm and whose duties include the investigation and/or apprehension of suspected criminals;
    • employees of the Internal Revenue Service whose duties are primarily the collection delinquent taxes and securing delinquent returns;
    • employees of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and
    • employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs who are department police officers.


The full text of the legislation can be viewed here.