Fire chief says new legislation would make recruiting firefighters harder

Updated: Mar. 13, 2017 at 9:16 PM EDT
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KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Bills are currently making their way through the House and Senate detailing changes to law enforcement and firefighter pension plans.

Among the changes in the new legislation, there would be a limit on the rate at which state employees and employers pay toward their retirement, but it could include a rate increase for law enforcement.

A prior shift now calls for police and firefighters to work 28 years instead of 25.

Lugoff Fire Chief Dennis Ray said both the proposed legislation and changes already passed make it tough to bring in new recruits.

"We look at police retirement and how 25 years is our retirement for those of us grandfathered," said Chief Ray. "Now, our retirement's up to 28 years. Listen, 25 years is a lot more than anyone can take in this profession. It's time to get out and do something else because it's so emotionally and physically draining."

The current bills are part of a solution to get the state's pension program out of billions of dollars in debt.

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