We are Nebraska?s First Responders: The Nebraska Professional Fire Fighters Association is the AFL-CIO affiliated labor association representing more than 1,300 professional fire fighters and emergency medical personnel in Nebraska. Our goal is to ensure Fire Fighter Safety, provided we also deal with wages and benefits for all our members.
. In 1983, at the urging of Nebraska cities who failed to fund their retirement obligations to firefighters, the Nebraska Unicameral embarked on an experiment to fund firefighter retirement benefits based on a defined contribution model. That experiment took effect on January 1, 1984. Twenty-eight years later, the results are in and by any measure, the experiment has failed. The Chairman of the Retirement Committee at that time stood on the floor of the Legislature and told firefighters that under the new system, they would be able to work until age 55 and be able to retire with retirement benefits “roughly equivalent” to what the firefighters were getting at the time which was a 50% of salary retirement benefit under the old defined benefit plans initially established in 1896. The Nebraska League of Municipalities invited the Firefighters under the new system to “gamble” with their retirement benefits by eliminating a level percentage of salary benefit and replacing it with individual accounts funded by employer and employee contributions.
The International Association of Fire Fighters, headquartered in Washington, DC, represents more than 280,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population. More than 3,100 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada.