Governor submits request for health coverage for retired police
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia announced on Tuesday that funds had been identified and the budget request was submitted to the Financial Oversight and Management Board to finance the Vital Plan for all retired police officers, particularly those who suffered a reduction in their pension upon retirement after the reform of the Government Pension System in 2013.
“It is my commitment that there are no police officers without a medical plan, after they have given service to our people. Likewise, I reiterate my commitment that we are designing a process to improve the retirement of our police officers, as well as to encourage those who still have several years of additional work to have access to Social Security, to ensure that everyone has a dignified retirement,” the governor said at a press conference. “I will not rest until I ensure that we achieve this without the [Debt] Adjustment Plan or the Board being able to affect it. That is what Puerto Rican police officers can count on.”
Pierluisi noted that police officers are public servants who are protected under Law 447 and Law 1 for a defined pension, which were frozen in 2013.
The initiative is estimated to have a fiscal impact of about $17 million per year and has the potential to help more than 1,200 retired police officers and more than 5,000 who would retire in the next few years.
A Christmas plan has also been devised, and the health plan is to be given to retired police officers who qualify for the Vital Plan. The island government will pay the cost of their premiums annually, beginning in January.