Tell Congress to Pass the Volunteer Emergency Services Recruitment and Retention Act!

The Volunteer Emergency Services Recruitment and Retention Act (VESRRA) was introduced in July by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ). The bill clarifies the tax status of length of service award programs (LOSAPs), making it easier to set up and administer plans and making the benefit more attractive as an incentive.

LOSAP is a benefit resembling a retirement plan for volunteer emergency responders. Approximately 20 percent of volunteer firefighters nationwide participate in a LOSAP. VESRRA (S. 2214/H.R. 4036) allows LOSAP sponsors to elect to have their plans treated as eligible deferred compensation plans, which is what most employee retirement plans are defined as, for tax purposes. Under the tax code currently, LOSAP is defined as not being a deferred compensation plan. Consequently, contributions into a LOSAP cannot be guaranteed to beneficiaries and are not portable.

You can use the NVFC’s Legislative Action Center to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators to ask them to cosponsor VESRRA. For more information on VESRRA and how it would benefit the volunteer emergency services, NVFC members can view a recording of a webinar that the NVFC hosted on September 4. Login to the members site and click on members-only resources to access the webinar.