Oklahoma Senate Approves House Bill 1805

Wednesday, 24 April 2024 21:12

Oklahoma Senate Approves House Bill 1805 Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate passed House Bill 1805 on Tuesday, a measure that will affect the retirement benefits of licensed emergency medical personnel employed by the state.

The measure, authored by Rep. Neil Hays, designates licensed emergency medical personnel hired on or after November 1, 2023, as hazardous duty members of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS).

"Emergency medical personnel are designated hazardous duty members of the retirement system under this legislation," Hays said. "The goal is to support emergency workers, ensuring they receive enhanced retirement benefits and increased contributions, which more accurately aligns with the hazardous nature of their occupation."

Qualifying emergency medical personnel includes emergency medical responders, technicians and paramedics working for a participating OPERS employer. Under HB1805, hazardous duty members of the Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) receive increased retirement and pension benefits than non-hazardous duty employees.

Specifically, employees contribute 8% of their compensation toward their retirement benefits, while employers contribute at a higher rate of 16.5%. After completing 20 years of service, members can receive full, unreduced retirement benefits. Retirement benefits are calculated using a multiplier of 2.5% per year for the first 20 years of service and a 2% per year multiplier for service exceeding 20 years.

Sen. Murdock, R-Felt, carried the measure in the Senate, which passed 41 – 0. It now moves to the Governor's desk for consideration.

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