What is the Rule of 80?

This provision provides for a normal retirement as early as age 50, if a member’s combined years of service and age totals 80 or more. In order to fund the Rule of 80, a corresponding 1% increase in employer contributions will be implemented (0.5% per year over two years) in 2029 and 2030.

Under this rule, members are eligible to commence a normal retirement with the following combinations of age at retirement and years of service in the plan:

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:

Rule of 80 benefit percentages

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. This rule helps to reduce such instances and recognize these members’ service.

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. THESE MEMBERS SHOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE A NORMAL RETIREMENT WHEN THEY QUALIFY FOR RULE OF 80.

A note for members of the Statewide Defined Benefit Plan: Supplemental Social Security Component (SWDB-SS): The provision described on this page also applies to members of the SWDB-SS component, but at a different rate. For SWDB-SS participants, employer contributions will increase at a rate of 0.25% per year over 2 years, for a total increase of 0.5%

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