Improve Veterans benefits for Florida Retirement System

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After 16 years of military service, 6 combat deployments, and various overseas training tours, I was blessed to have been hired by a local South Florida Fire Department.  When my supervisors and senior firemen found out about my military career, they recommended that I work quickly to buy credit towards my pension. With a career change at 35 years of age, every action had no time to waste.  Unfortunately when I contacted the Florida Retirement advisors, they recommended against this because my years in the military were considered low risk.

At present time, members of the Florida Retirement System are able to buy back 5 years of military service towards credit to their retirement plan.  This is at a low risk rate class, and cannot be upgraded to a high risk class that many in law enforcement, fire rescue, and other high risk careers are currently earning.  There is no available option to recognize the years of combat service as high risk. 

The fire service, police departments, highway patrol, and various state and local government offices actively recruit current and former military members.  Take a moment to imagine the thousands of veterans that have endured mortar attacks, hostile fire, austere deployments that now work for your local communities.  The Florida Retirement System and it's administration is classifying this service low risk and gives no opportunities for these members to recognize the high risk nature of the military.  We are looking for the option to be able to upgrade from the standard rate to high risk. 

Please contact and petition Gov. Rick Scott, CFO Jeff Atwater, and A.G. Pam Bondi to allow military veterans working in a high risk career to be able to buy credit towards their time at a high risk rate.



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