STATEHOUSE-Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) supported Senate Bill (SB) 172 today to enable disabled police officers and firefighters to decide where their pension money goes. The bill passed by a 93-0 vote.
SB 172 would allow members of the 1977 Police Officers' and Firefighters' Pension and Disability Fund to select one or more beneficiaries to receive the member's contributions along with interest if the member passes away. Currently, a spouse or child is entitled to receive survivor benefits under the law. This bill would add into the law a parent who is wholly dependent on the fund member as an individual who would be eligible for survivor benefits.
"We owe it to these men and women that have served their communities to give them the ability to decide who should receive the pension and disability funds they have earned," said Rep. Cherry. "This bill allows them the ability to do so and to ensure that a surviving person close to the member will receive the benefits in the event that the said member passes away."
The bill also would provide that if a member doesn't designate a beneficiary, the member's contributions and accumulated interest shall be refunded to the member's estate.