Columbus Disability Lawyer
Benefits Calculation for Ohio Police & Firefighters
Once the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund approves your disability application,
you will want to know how your monthly benefit has been calculated. Below
is a summary of how the Police and Fire Pension Fund will calculate your
benefit and the credits you may receive. If you have any other questions,
feel free to contact our Ohio workers' compensation attorneys to discuss
your possible benefits.
Benefit Calculation Methods
The Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund ("Police & Fire")
will calculate your disability retirement benefit using the Cost-of-Living
Allowance ("COLA") method, unless you chose to have it calculated
under the Non-COLA method. You may choose the Non-COLA method only if
you had at least 15 years of service credit as of January 1, 1989.
The Cost-of-Living Allowance Method
Under the COLA method, Police & Fire calculates your disability benefit
by using the average of your three (3) highest years of salary, compensation
and earnings (but not including any terminal pay such as unused sick leave,
vacation, personal leave, etc.), and multiplying that amount by the relevant
percentage. Under this method, Police & Fire awards you a cost-of-living
increase equal to 3 percent of your base pension benefit on the anniversary
of your retirement date each year.
The Non-Cost-of-Living Allowance Method
If you had at least 15 years of service credit as of January 1, 1989, and
elected the Non-COLA method, Police & Fire calculates your disability
benefit by using your average annual salary,
including any allowable terminal pay, and multiplying that amount by the relevant
percentage, subject to certain statutory and administrative limitations.
Since the salary used for pension calculation purposes is higher than
the COLA calculation, the Non-COLA method provides for no cost-of-living
increases to your benefits.
Types of Credit - Service Credit
Police & Fire measures "service credit" in years, months
and days. It may or may not be used in determining the size of your monthly
benefit amount. At the time of your retirement, Police & Fire will
provide you with information to determine whether it would be to your
advantage to purchase any available service credit. You may acquire service
credit in one of the following ways:
- By contributing a certain percentage of your salary to Police & Fire
concurrent with your police or fire employment;
- By purchasing credit for active military duty, certain types of full-time
Ohio public service, and full-time Federal or public out-of-state service
from Police & Fire;
- By transferring credit for full-time Ohio public service from one of the
other Ohio retirement systems, the Cincinnati Retirement System, or the
State Highway Patrol Retirement System, with interest, to Police & Fire;
- By restoring canceled credit by re-depositing withdrawn contributions with
interest with Police & Fire; or
- By qualifying for grants of service credit.
Types of Credit – Contributing Credit
You may have earned the bulk of your credit by working as a full-time police
officer or firefighter with a qualifying employer in the State of Ohio
and making contributions to Police & Fire. Police & Fire does
not accept contributions for volunteer or part-time service, nor does
Police & Fire grant credit for periods of service which were canceled
due to a refund of contributions unless a restoration of the withdrawn
contributions plus interest occurs. In addition, you cannot earn Police
& Fire service credit while also earning service credit in another
retirement system during the same time period.
Types of Credit – Purchased Credit
Subject to certain restrictions, you may purchase credit for full-time
service rendered in Ohio under any of the following retirement systems:
- Public Employees Retirement System;
- School Employees Retirement System;
- Cincinnati Retirement System;
- State Teachers Retirement System; and
- State Highway Patrol Retirement System.
In addition, you may purchase service credit for time served in active
military duty, active military duty for training, initial active military
duty for training, inactive military duty training, full-time national
guard duty, and for time you are absent for an examination to determine
your fitness to perform military duty, provided you were honorably discharged
and the appropriate paperwork is filed with Police & Fire supporting
your service. There are certain conditions and limitations. Also, you
may purchase credit for time during which you were a prisoner of war.
The above information is intended solely as an overview. It is advisable
that you contact a
Columbus disability attorney from our firm to assess the merits of your individual claim. Please
call us at
614-221-1300 to discuss the specifics of your case.