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Rep. Zenger files legislation to allow law enforcement to ‘buy down’ retirement age

RALEIGH —  Recently, Rep. Jeff Zenger (R-Forsyth) filed House Bill 417 – The Sergeant Mickey Hutchens Act. The bill would allow law enforcement, probation/parole officers, and corrections officers to purchase up to four years’ creditable service in the State Retirement System to decrease their retirement age.

“This bill would help law enforcement and corrections officers retire sooner,” said Rep. Zenger. “These officers deal with great physical and psychological strain throughout their careers. House Bill 417 would provide a way for them to retire sooner through the state retirement system.”

Credited service would be available at full cost to officers who have completed a minimum of five years of service and have been awarded the Advanced Law Enforcement Certificate or Advanced Corrections certificate issued by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. House Bill 417 was filed in honor of Sgt. Mickey Hutchens, who served 27 years on the Winston-Salem Police Department. He was killed in the line of duty responding to a domestic disturbance call on October 7, 2009.

“Sergeant Hutchens was tragically taken for us late in his career,” Zenger continued. “We filed this bill in his honor in hopes that this won’t happen again and our veteran LEOs and corrections officers have the option to retire early.”