Delaware Legislation Would Allow Correctional Officers to Retire - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Legislation Would Allow Correctional Officers to Retire Earlier

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The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna. (Photo: WBOC) The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del. -- Correctional officers would be able to retire five years earlier than the current requirement of 25 years of employment, under a bill being considered in Delaware's legislature.

The Senate bill would also amend the multiplier for calculation of state employee pension benefits for correction officers and some other peace officers to 2.5 percent for the first 20 years, plus 3.5 percent for years beyond that point.

The bill would also amend the employee contribution for all correction officers and amend the employee employee contribution to 7 percent for correction officers and specified peace officers, which includes probation and parole officers, many of which work for agencies like Capitol Police or DNREC Police.

According to the legislation, "the increased multipliers reflect increased costs, reduced benefits and the need to recruit and retain qualified and competent correction officers and specified peace officers with a modernized pension benefit."

Correctional officer retention has been an issue raised by the union representing many of those employees. Members of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware have said poor working conditions and low pay have also contributed to a number of officers retiring or resigning, especially in light of the Feb. 1 hostage situation at the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna. Correctional Officer Steven Floyd died in the incident.

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