February 18th 2019

Select Committee on Pension Policy Meeting, December 11 - 10:00am

LEOFF I and Prior Act Disability Board -
Click here to watch the meeting on TVW.org.


The Committee on Pension Policy has before it two proposals. One seeks to solve a reported concern that there are not adequate active or retired law enforcement officers and firefighters to staff local pension and disability boards. The one example cites the City of Edmonds. The do have a LEOFF I Disability Board, but the City simply chooses not to institute a legacy pension board under RCW 41.16. That situation does not appear to support the notion that there is a shortage of qualified active or retired firefighters, but I can certainly see the potential that over time, there could be a lack of active or retired law enforcement officers and/or firefighters to staff said boards. In cities such as Edmonds, another solution is to allow the contracted firefighters to sit on the board since they are in fact still providing the same fire service to the city except it is by contract. This would be an easy legislative fix as well. I would point out though, as time passes there will shortly be no legacy retirees left to be served by legacy boards so draft bill ”A” would solve the needs of providing adequate back-up while addressing the need and desire for local control I mentioned a moment ago. It makes sense to keep local agency staff and retirees involved in the jurisdictional decisions which affect them. In the complete absence of active or retired personnel for a jurisdiction, allowing other law enforcement officers and/or firefighters, active or retired personnel to serve as a back-up resource makes common sense with a logical progression of prioritization. (and you KNOW that law enforcement officers and firefighters love a back-up plan……). My only concern with draft “A” is the use of the term “This includes active and retired firefighters…. law enforcement officers” which seems to suggest that non-Washington are not excluded. It is okay to expand the allowance of retirees from some other Washington municipality, but it would not be acceptable to allow board candidates coming from all-together outside of our retirement system.

The second proposed piece of legislation completely fails to give priority to the local jurisdictions and their employees, be they active or retired, and simply allows any ex-law enforcement officer or firefighter to run for the local board regardless of where they come from. I submit that new persons in the community are likely not to be familiar with the history, community values, or public sentiment of the new community into which they have moved. In fact, the legislation as written would allow any retired law enforcement officer and/or firefighter to serve even if they came from California or New York. Clearly, out of state retirees have no history or understanding of Washington State law much less, the LEOFF retirement system. This would allow people to run for the board who bring an incomplete and perhaps even biased background based on their training and experience in other states which are not comparable to the State of Washington. In sum, this would clearly NOT serve the interests of the retirees much less the local communities served by those retirees. Legislative option “B” does NOT have our support.

On behalf of the LEOFF 1 coalition, I ask that the Committee consider rejecting legislative option “B”. We do, however, offer the Coalition’s support of Legislative Option “A” amended as I have suggested. This gives priority to maintaining the system that has been in place and served well throughout the State for decades, while providing a back-up measure that would assure the continuation of these public service pension and disability boards until such time as there are no Prior Act retirees left to serve.

I thank you for the opportunity to provide our input on this matter for your consideration.

Washington State 2016 Actuarial Valuation of LEOFF 1 Medical Benefits

2016 state actuarial valuation of leoff 1 medical benefits

Click here to read the document.

LEOFF 1 Disability Board Best Practices


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A Booming Economy Won’t Make Next State Budget Less Taxing

Gov Jay Inslee

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LEOFF Plan 1 Disability Benefits

Click here for information on your Disability Benefits.
Or click here to view the pdf version.

Click here to read RCW 41.26.150.

Remember: Your Disability Board is where you retired from.

All LEOFF 1 members must sign up for medicare. Click here to go to the Medicare website and sign up, if you haven't already.

Medicare Coverage Outside the United States is Limited! Click here to find out more

LEOFF Plan 1 disability benefits.

Check with your disability board regarding your medical coverage outside the United States.

Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters Retirement System RCW 41.26.030

Many members have been calling on what medical services they can receive. Please section 19 of this RCW, and please note subsection I:

(19) "Medical services" for plan 1 members, shall include the following as minimum services to be provided. Reasonable charges for these services shall be paid in accordance with RCW 41.26.150.

  • (a) Hospital expenses: These are the charges made by a hospital, in its own behalf, for
  • (i) Board and room not to exceed semiprivate room rate unless private room is required by the attending physician due to the condition of the patient.
  • (ii) Necessary hospital services, other than board and room, furnished by the hospital.
  • (b) Other medical expenses: The following charges are considered "other medical expenses," provided that they have not been considered as "hospital expenses".
  • (i) The fees of the following:
    • (A) A physician or surgeon licensed under the provisions of chapter 18.71 RCW;
    • (B) An osteopathic physician and surgeon licensed under the provisions of chapter 18.57 RCW;
    • (C) A chiropractor licensed under the provisions of chapter 18.25 RCW.
      • (ii) The charges of a registered graduate nurse other than a nurse who ordinarily resides in the member's home, or is a member of the family of either the member or the member's spouse.
      • (iii) The charges for the following medical services and supplies:
    • (A) Drugs and medicines upon a physician's prescription;
    • (B) Diagnostic X-ray and laboratory examinations;
    • (C) X-ray, radium, and radioactive isotopes therapy;
    • (D) Anesthesia and oxygen;
    • (E) Rental of iron lung and other durable medical and surgical equipment;
    • (F) Artificial limbs and eyes, and casts, splints, and trusses;
    • (G) Professional ambulance service when used to transport the member to or from a hospital when injured by an accident or stricken by a disease;
    • (H) Dental charges incurred by a member who sustains an accidental injury to his or her teeth and who commences treatment by a legally licensed dentist within ninety days after the accident;
    • (I) Nursing home confinement or hospital extended care facility;
    • (J) Physical therapy by a registered physical therapist;
    • (K) Blood transfusions, including the cost of blood and blood plasma not replaced by voluntary donors;
    • (L) An optometrist licensed under the provisions of chapter 18.53 RCW.
    Click here to read the complete RCW.

LEOFF Plan 1 Handbook

Click here to read the LEOFF Plan 1 Handbook.

Behind Seattle’s rising pension costs: Past mismanagement adds to taxpayers’ burden

The Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System had one of the worst investment returns of any large public pension over a decade, triggering higher costs for the city and taxpayers. Behind the system’s struggles: allegations ranging from mismanagement to misconduct.Click here to read the article.

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COLAs for LEOFF Plan 1

Effective April 1, 2018

Below is a table for the LEOFF Plan 1 COLA as of April 1, 2018. To see all COLA percentages, click here.

Washington State Retirement Systems and Pension Funding

Click here to read the full document.

For information on LEOFF 1, see pages 16, 17, 23, 31, 32, 33, and 34.

Use Increased State Revenue to Reduce Unfunded Pension Liabilities

Washington State Capital

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LEOFF 1 Coalition December 2017 Newsletter

Click here to read the newsletter.

Want to receive the newsletter in the mail? Join the LEOFF 1 Coalition here!

Pension and Investments

Washington state high court rules pension benefit reductions are constitutional
Click here for more details.

The LEOFF 1 Coalition website contains some files that come in a "pdf" format which requires Adobe's Acrobat Reader in order to view and search through the documents. If you don't already have it, you can download it here.  It's free from Adobe.


Keep Track with What's Happening at the Capital!

Washington State Wire - Click Here!

The Olympian: Politics/Government - Click Here!

The Seattle Times: Olympia Politics - Click Here!

The News Tribune: Politics & Government - Click Here!

The Columbian: Politics - Click Here!

The Spokesman: Washington Politics - Click Here!

Legislator Information!
Click the links below for
more information.

Swisher v. City of Moses Lake Case letter from Joe Fischnaller, Atty - Click here

Finding of Fact Conclusions of Law and Order - case document filed Feb. 5, 2010 - Click here

Order of Motion for Summer Judgement - case document filed Oct. 9, 2009 - Click here

Superior Court of Washington for Grant County, Elvis T. Swisher vs City of Moses Lake - July 7, 2008 - Click here

State Legislators

Please read this
Bakenhus Decision 1956

of the

Original 1970 Manual
Click here to read.

Medical Benefits For Plan1 Members
Wa.St. RCW 41.26.030 Section 19
Last Updated March 2017

Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Plan 1 Hand Book

Contact - 1-800-547-6657
Last Updated March 2017

Department of Retirement Systems

Leoff1 Plan Disability Benefits
Click Here

Leoff1 Plan Disability Board Guidelines
Click Here

What To Do When
A Death Occurs

Click Here

Contact - 1-800-547-6657 ext.47081

Washington State Department of Retirement Systems

Annual Inflation
Click Here
Last Updated March 2014

Lifetime Retirement
Planning Frequently
Asked Questions

Click Here
Contact - 1-800-547-6657Last Updated 2010

For more government information and phone numbers, Click Here!

Social Security
Main Website: http://www.ssa.gov
Find an Office: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp
Contact: 1-800-772-1213
TTY: 1-800-352-0778

Veteran’s Benefits
After Death Occurs


Health Care:
1-877-222-VETS (8387)

VA Inspector General:

Veterans Crisis Line:
1-800-273-8255 (Press 1)