More than 30 experienced Calgary cops handed in their retirement papers this week in an effort to beat tax changes coming with Bill 22 on April 1, the Western Standard has learned.
If officers retire before they hit their 25th year of service they are eligible to have their pension paid out in cash.
After the 25th year, the pension becomes vested with only the officer and a designated beneficiary allowed compensation.
But a “higher-than average” number of police officers are taking the cash packages this year – and hoping to get rehired by the force.
After a 90-day period, Chief Mark Neufeld is able to hire the officers back. They don’t accrue any more pension but they still get their base salary.
Sources told the Western Standard that for one officer it means a cash payout of well over $1 million.
An average street constable with almost 25 years of service is looking at between $800,000-$900,000, the source said.
“That’s some pretty serious coin,” the source said.
Some officers in the past have taken that route and been rehired by the force, the source said.
There is also a rush this year to beat Bill 22, which the UCP government is bringing in on April 1. One of the elements of the bill is limiting the amount of pension cash that can be paid out at any one time.
“Some members have health issues and don’t think they may live long in retirement so they will take the money,” the source said.
“In this day and age the money is at risk, so you better know what you are doing. In the past we have had members take the payout and lose everything.
“Some guys are taking the money and hoping the chief picks them to come back.”
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
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