TN 24 (11-09)
RS 01505.009 Section 218 Coverage for Police and Firefighters
Citations: Soc. Sec. Act, Sec. 218 (l)
A. Introduction to coverage of police and firefighters
For purposes of coverage under the 218 Agreement, a police officer or firefighter position is classified as such under state statutes or court decisions of the particular state. Generally, these positions are in the organized police and fire departments of incorporated cities, towns, and villages. In most states, a police officer is a member of the “police” which is an organized civil force for maintaining order, preventing and detecting crimes and enforcing laws. The terms “police officer” and “firefighter” do not include services in positions which, although connected with police and firefighting functions, are not police or firefighter positions. A position meets the definition through job duties, not titles.
B. Policy for police and firefighters
1. Prior to P.L. 103-296 Amendment
Prior to this amendment, section 218(l) of the Act authorized only the following 23 states (including interstate instrumentalities) to provide voluntary Social Security or voluntary HI only coverage to services performed in police officer or firefighter positions under a retirement system:
For those states not listed, beginning January 2, 1968, a state could provide coverage to firefighter positions under a retirement system if the Governor (or an official of the state designated by the Governor) certified that coverage would improve the overall benefit protection of the employees involved.
2. Effective with the Amendment
The amendment extends to all states the option to provide voluntary Social Security or voluntary HI only coverage to services performed in police officer or firefighter positions that are under a state or political subdivision employer's retirement system. All states, which are authorized under section 218(d)(6)(C) of the Act to use the “desire for coverage” procedures, may do so with respect to police officer and firefighter positions. This provision applies to services covered pursuant to modifications filed by states after August 15, 1994, the date of enactment of P.L. 103-296.