May 15, 2012
HAZARDOUS DUTY RETIREMENT
By: Hendrik DeBoer, Research Fellow
You asked (1) for a summary of Connecticut's law regarding hazardous duty retirement and (2) whether any states allow hazardous duty retirement for state highway maintenance workers.
We contact the National Conference of State Legislatures and conducted our own search. We were unable to find any state that provides hazardous duty retirement status for state highway maintenance workers.
HAZARDOUS DUTY RETIREMENT IN CONNECTICUT
According to state law (CGS §§ 5-173 and 5-192n), hazardous duty retirement status allows an employee to retire after 20 years of service. Positions are designated as having hazardous duty retirement status either through legislation or collective bargaining, or the individual employee petitioning the State Employee Retirement Commission. In 2008, the latest year for which this information is available, 9,779 state employees had hazardous duty retirement status. Over 50% of these employees were working for the Department of Correction. Roughly 20% were working for the Judicial Branch, 12% for the Department of Public Safety and 7% for the University of Connecticut Health Center. Generally these employees are correctional officers, probation officers, and other employees who have contact with inmates or juvenile detainees.
Hazardous duty retirement costs the state about twice as much as regular retirement. The Office of Fiscal Analysis calculates that the State Employee Retirement System cost as a percent of payroll is 9.46% for Tier II regular employees and 18.03% for Tier II hazardous duty employees. The bulk of employees earning hazardous duty retirement credit are in Tier II.
For more information on hazardous duty retirement in Connecticut, see http://www.osc.ct.gov/empret/hazduty/workshop/hazdprint.htm#Sources.