SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1007. Social Security Coverage for Police Officers and Firefighters Under a Retirement System

1007.1 Can police officers and firefighters, covered by a retirement system, be covered for Social Security under a Section 218 agreement?

Yes. Police officers and firefighters covered by a retirement system can be covered under a Section 218 agreement (see §1000.2). However, the State must first conduct a majority vote referendum, or, if allowed, a divided vote referendum. Prior to August 15,1994, only the following 23 States (including interstate instrumentalities) were authorized to provide coverage for police officer and firefighter positions under a retirement system:

Alabama

Kansas

North Carolina

Tennessee

California

Maine

North Dakota

Texas

Florida

Maryland

Oregon

Vermont

Georgia

Mississippi

Puerto Rico

Virginia

Hawaii

Montana

South Carolina

Washington

Idaho

New York

South Dakota

1007.2 Who is included in the retirement system coverage group for a majority vote referendum?

If a majority vote referendum is favorable, the retirement system coverage group consists of all current, future and ineligible employees in positions under the retirement system in which the referendum was held.

1007.3 Who is included in the retirement system coverage group for a divided vote referendum?

If a divided vote referendum is held, the retirement system coverage group consists of members who choose coverage as well as future members (see §1008). The State may elect to extend coverage to ineligibles of the retirement system.

1007.4 What if police officers and firefighters are under the same retirement system?

If police officers and firefighters are under the same retirement system, their positions may either be:

  1. Considered separate retirement systems for referendum and coverage purposes;

  2. Combined with each other, and other positions; or both.

In addition, a separate referendum can be held: (1) among the police officers; (2) among the firefighters; or (3) among the police officers and firefighters as one group.

Last Revised: Jan. 25, 2007