Posts Tagged proposal to raise the forced retirement age in Chicago

Chicago Fire and Police Department news

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The mandatory retirement age for police and firefighters in Chicago may undergo a change as the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Police and Fire convened on Monday to discuss the possibility of raising the retirement age to 65.

Currently, the mandatory retirement age for these personnel is 63. While some opponents argue for lowering it to 60, proponents suggest that raising the age could help retain institutional knowledge and maintain staffing levels.

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Chicago Fire Department news

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Police officers and firefighters would no longer be forced to retire at age 63 under a proposal that’s being considered by a Chicago City Council committee. Supporters say it could save the city money and would help with staffing levels.

The proposal is still in the planning stages at this point, but the chairman of the Committee on Police and Fire said there are a lot of good reasons to consider it, despite concerns about the job of police officer and firefighter perhaps being better suited for younger people.

Police officer retention has been a big concern in recent years, with retirements outpacing the city’s ability to hire and train new recruits and staffing levels falling far below ideal numbers.

The union representing the rank and file is renewing a two-year-old push to extend the retirement age from 63 to 65.

Police and Fire Committee Chair Chris Taliaferro said there would financial benefits for the struggling police pension system with the department down, he said, about 2,000 positions.

One alderman who is a former firefighter said the demands of the job can be tough, even on younger members of the department. But, others say keeping older police officers and firefighters on duty provides leadership, wisdom and experience that is invaluable for both departments. 

The committee did not take up the issue on Monday. It is now expected to be addressed at the next meeting on Dec. 18.

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