Why don’t Police and Firefighters pay into Social Security?
In 1946, Springfield citizens voted to create a self-funded pension plan for its police officers and firefighters. It was common then, and remains so today, for certain types of public employees such as police officers, firefighters and teachers to have these types of plans rather than Social Security. The plan replaces Social Security and disability payments for these employees. Under the City Charter, pension benefits earned cannot be reduced and pension benefits promised but not yet earned cannot be changed without a public vote. One of the reasons municipalities chose pension plans in lieu of Social Security is that public-safety employees don’t continue “street duty” to the age at which they would be eligible for Social Security. So, they would experience a long gap in benefits between the normal retirement age for their professions and the eligibility age for Social Security.