Dear Representatives Chabot and Horn,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you our support for H.R. 6436,
which would repeal the direct payment requirement in the Healthcare Enhancement for Local Public Safety
(HELPS) Retirees Act, which was passed by Congress in 2006 as part of the Pension Protection Act.
Under current law, eligible retired public safety officers may use up to $3,000 per year from their qualified
government retirement plan, on a pre-tax basis, to pay for health insurance or long-term care insurance premiums.
In order for these officers to get the pre-tax benefit, however, the money must be paid directly from their pension
fund to a health or long-term care insurance company. This requirement has proved to be unworkable for far too
many eligible public safety officers who belong to pension systems that are unable to make these direct payments.
Your bill would repeal the direct payment requirement and treat all public safety officers equally regardless of how
they receive their pension benefits.
This provision was passed in 2006 and, as you know, healthcare costs in our country have risen considerably in the
last decade. Our officers are once again struggling with healthcare costs when they enter retirement—struggles
which will be all the more difficult in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, we are also supporting
H.R. 4897, the “Public Safety Retirees Healthcare Protection Act,” introduced by Representative Daniel W.
Lipinski (D-IL), which would increase the pretax benefit to $6,000.
On behalf of the more than 350,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I thank you both for your leadership
on this issue. If I can be of any assistance whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director
Jim Pasco in my Washington, D.C. office.