Provision: Hybrid Defined Benefit Component: Rule of 80

Provides for Normal Retirement as early as age 50, if a member's combined years of service and age equals at least 80, beginning at age 50

What is the Rule of 80?

This provision creates a so-called Rule of 80, a new definition of Normal Retirement for members of the Hybrid Defined Benefit Component. This allows members to claim a full, unreduced pension benefit if their combined age and years of service equal at least 80, beginning at age 50.

Under the Rule of 80, members would be eligible to begin receiving a Normal Retirement at the following combinations of retirement age and years of service:

Rule of 80 requirements

Benefit percentage charts (compared to page one of the plan brochure) for eligible retirees will vary based upon individual circumstances. Here's one example of what the chart could look like:

Hybrid Rule of 80 benefit percentages

This action will be funded by the proposed increase in required minimum contributions described on this page.

Why is this benefit necessary?

In order to qualify for an unreduced benefit under the Rule of 80, a firefighter or police officer would most likely need to begin working at an FPPA department in their early 20s, and then work their entire career as a first responder in Colorado. In many cases, working as a first responder for so long takes an enormous physical and mental toll, and often these members must consider taking a reduced, early retirement if they cannot wait to retire until age 55. This rule will help to reduce such instances and recognize these members’ service.

A nearly identical proposal for Rule of 80 in the Statewide Defined Benefit Plan was approved by the Legislature in 2020 and implemented in 2021. Since going into effect, the Rule of 80 has become a popular feature of the Statewide Defined Benefit Plan, and has been widely requested by Hybrid Plan members. Implementing the Rule of 80 for the Hybrid Defined Benefit Component will also increase consistency between the components of the new Statewide Retirement Plan.

Due to the requirements, not all of our members will be eligible to claim a Rule of 80 retirement, but those that do will be among the longest serving public safety officers in Colorado. The goal of the Rule of 80 is to allow members to end their career on their own terms with an unreduced pension benefit.

BOTTOM LINE: Members who qualify for this benefit have dedicated their entire adult lives to public service. Let’s reward that service with a Normal Retirement when they qualify for Rule of 80.

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