ROCKFORD, Ill. – As part of his efforts to support local law enforcement officers, state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, is backing legislation that would help protect the retirement savings of law enforcement if they change jobs.
“With all that they provide for our community, it is important that we ensure our law enforcement officers are taken care of when they retire,” said Vella. “They should not be forced to stay in one position because changing jobs would harm their retirement savings. My bill will give them a choice in where they work on how they want to best serve our community.”
Vella is the Chief Sponsor of House Bill 126, which would allow a variety of law enforcement employees, including sheriff’s law enforcement employees and law enforcement officers employed by a forest preserve district, to transfer pension credits from their Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Personnel (SLEP) Plan to a downstate police pension fund. This will allow those in law enforcement to be able to switch jobs without negatively impacting their retirement savings. In order to ensure that taxpayers will not have to foot the bill, those transferring their credits must pay the difference in what they have paid versus what they would have paid under the downstate pension fund.
Since entering the General Assembly, Vella has worked to support law enforcement. In addition to House Bill 126, he is a chief co-sponsor of a first responder “Bill of Rights”, which would give first responders access to high-quality, confidential behavioral health services and treatment without fear of repercussions from their employers.
“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for our safety every day, it is past time that we give them the support they deserve,” said Vella. “As we move forward, I will continue to work with the law enforcement community to find solutions to the issues that are impacting them so they can continue to make our communities safe.”