DES MOINES — The retirement system for more than 4,700 current or retired Iowa sheriffs and deputies is being enhanced.

A bill signed into law last week increases the maximum benefit payment that’s allowed for sheriffs and deputies who retire after at least 23 years of service. Sheriffs or deputies who retire after 30 years on the job in Iowa would be able to receive 80% of their annual salary as a pension.

Senator Charlie McClintock of Alburnett has been a police officer in Cedar Rapids since 1994 and is currently the department’s 911 manager. “I started out as a deputy sheriff and I can tell you this is a big deal to them and everything that they do,” McClintock said in April during Senate debate of the plan. “…They’re not only doing patrol and investigations and traffic, they do our jails, our transports and our overall law enforcement.”

Representative Monica Kurth of Davenport said during House debate that a beefed up pension may spur some to stay on the job. “We are losing well trained employees in law enforcement because wages and benefits are better in other places,” Kurth said.

The legislation also provides a state income tax credit of up to $2000 to officers who move to Iowa to take a job in law enforcement. It would be for moving expenses. A third section of the law sets new bail restrictions for people accused of murdering or assaulting a peace officer or a prison employee. One lawmaker called the bill the 2024 legislature’s “back the blue” package. It passed the House and Senate unanimously.

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