FPPA Overview
For a more detailed overview of FPPA please refer to our most recent Annual Report
(also known as the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report)

 

About FPPA

The Fire and Police Pension Association was established January 1, 1980 and administers a statewide multiple employer public employee retirement system providing defined benefit plan coverage as well as death and disability coverage for police officers and firefighters throughout the State of Colorado.

The Association also administers local defined benefit pension funds for police officers and firefighters hired prior to April 8, 1978 whose employers have elected to affiliate with the Association and for volunteer fire defined benefit plans.

Starting January 1, 1995, the Association began offering membership in the Statewide Money Purchase Plan.  Also in 1995, FPPA began offering participation in an IRC 457 Deferred Compensation Plan.

As of January 1, 2004, the Association began offering membership in the Statewide Hybrid Plan (a combination defined benefit and defined contribution plan). 

Starting January 1, 2006, FPPA added to the Defined Benefit System the Colorado Springs local defined benefit pension plans for firefighter and police employees in the State of Colorado hired on/after April 8, 1978 whose employers have chosen to affiliate with FPPA. These plans are closed for new members as of January 1, 2006.

Plan Information

The Fire and Police Members' Benefit Fund (the Common Fund) is established pursuant to Title 31, Article 31, Part 3 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, as amended. As trustee of the Common Fund, the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado (FPPA) collects, invests, administers and disburses monies on behalf of firefighters and police officers throughout the State of Colorado for:

  • FPPA Defined Benefit System, consisting of:
    • The Statewide Defined Benefit Plan, a retirement plan for firefighter and police employees hired in the State of Colorado on or after April 8, 1978 and
    • The Statewide Hybrid Plan, which began operations as of January 1, 2004
    • The Colorado Springs New Hire Pension Plan, consisting of two components, the Fire Component and the Police Component, which were added January 1, 2006
  • The Statewide Death and Disability Plan and
  • The Statewide Money Purchase Plan, which began operations as of January 1, 1995

Affiliated plans of the Common Fund include:

  • Local defined benefit pension plans for firefighter and police employees in the State of Colorado hired before April 8, 1978 (old hires) whose employers have chosen to affiliate with FPPA;
  • Volunteer firefighter defined benefit pension plans in the State of Colorado who have chosen to affiliate with FPPA.

Each of the pension plans mentioned above has its assets pooled for investment purposes. All transactions that are specific to each plan (contributions, retirement benefit payments, refunds, etc.) are accounted for by plan. The old hire and volunteer plans that have chosen to affiliate with FPPA for investment and administrative purposes are still governed by their local plan document and local pension board, and each has a separate actuarial valuation done every two years. Only the Statewide Defined Benefit Pension Plan, the Statewide Hybrid Plan, the Colorado Springs New Hire Pension Plan, the Statewide Money Purchase Plan, and the Statewide Death and Disability Plan are governed by the FPPA Board of Directors.

FPPA partners with Fidelity Investments to cover the Statewide Money Purchase Plan, 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP), and the defined contribution portion of the Statewide Hybrid Plan.

The following is a brief summary of the basic provisions of the FPPA Defined Benefit System which contains three tiers; the Statewide Defined Benefit Plan, the Statewide Hybrid Plan, and the Colorado Springs New Hire Pension Plan. This summary is provided for informational purposes only. Please refer to the Colorado Revised Statutes, as amended, for more complete information.

FPPA Defined Benefit System

This system contains three tiers which are described below.  Also listed are descriptions of the other plan groups that FPPA administers.

Statewide Defined Benefit Plan (Tier of the FPPA Defined Benefit System)

The plan is a defined benefit pension plan covering substantially all full-time employees of participating firefighter or police departments in Colorado hired on or after April 8, 1978 (new hires), provided that they are not already covered by an exempt or withdrawn local pension plan. The plan became effective January 1, 1980.

Employees hired before April 8, 1978 (old hires) may be covered by the plan provided that their employer is affiliated with the Association. An employer has the opportunity to affiliate on January 1 of each year. Old hire employees have 60 days from the date of affiliation by their employer to elect whether to adopt the plan's schedule of benefits or to remain with the employer's old hire plan's previous schedule. A requirement of affiliation is that the affiliating employer transfers assets to the plan equivalent to the total accrued actuarial liability of employees who transfer to the plan.
Employers had the option to elect to withdraw from the plan until a change in state statute was passed which permitted no further withdrawals after January 1, 1988. With the implementation of the Statewide Hybrid Plan as of January 1, 2004, withdrawn employers may allow members to elect the Statewide Defined Benefit Plan at a higher contribution rate.
The Statewide Defined Benefit Plan has a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (“DROP”) defined contribution provision that is managed by Fidelity Investments. The Plan also has two Stabilization Reserve Account defined contribution provisions that are managed by FPPA.

As of December 31, 2011, there were 219 employers with 6,056 members, 215 Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) members, and 589 retirees participating in the Statewide Defined Benefit Plan. 

Statewide Hybrid Plan (Tier of the FPPA Defined Benefit System)

The Statewide Hybrid Plan offers a combination of a Defined Benefit Component and a Money Purchase Component. Active members of the Plan on an effective date of transfer may elect to participate in both Components of the Plan or they may choose only to participate in the Money Purchase Component of the plan. The Statewide Hybrid Plan became effective January 1, 2004.
The Statewide Hybrid Plan has a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (“DROP”) defined contribution provision that is managed by Fidelity Investments.

As of December 31, 2011, there were 29 employers with 477 members, 2 Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) members, 13 Defined Benefit Component retirees, and 174 Defined Contribution Component retirees.

Colorado Springs New Hire Pension Plan (Tier of the FPPA Defined Benefit System)

The two components within the Colorado Springs New Hire Pension Plan are individual defined benefit pension plans covering full-time firefighters and police officers hired on or after April 8, 1978. The plans were added to the FPPA Defined Benefit System as of October 1, 2006.
The Colorado Springs New Hire Pension Plan has a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (“DROP”) defined contribution provision that is managed by Fidelity Investments. The Plan has a Stabilization Reserve Account defined contribution provision that is managed by FPPA.

As of December 31, 2011, there were 616 members, 81 Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) members, and 239 retirees. The Colorado Springs New Hire Pension Plan is closed to new members.

Statewide Death and Disability Plan

The Plan is similar to a self-insured employee welfare benefit plan, covering full-time employees of substantially all firefighter and police departments in Colorado. Contributions to the Plan are used solely for the payment of death and disability benefits.

For covered employees hired prior to January 1, 1997, the Plan is funded by the State of Colorado whose contributions are established by Colorado statute. For covered employees hired on or after January 1, 1997, the Plan is funded through local employer and/or member contributions.

10,958 members and 881 retirees participate in the Statewide Death and Disability Plan as of December 31, 2011. Included in this number are members from the FPPA Defined Benefit System and affiliated paid plans as they are members of both programs.

Statewide Money Purchase Plan

The Plan is a multi-employer defined contribution (money purchase) pension fund covering full-time employees of participating fire or police departments in Colorado who have elected to participate in the Plan. The Plan became effective on January 1, 1995. Participants have the option of choosing between various mutual funds offered and managed by Fidelity Investments.

As of December 31, 2011, there are 39 employers with 178 participants in the Statewide Money Purchase Plan.

Local Affiliated Old Hire Plans

These plans are individual defined benefit pension plans for firefighter and police employees in the State of Colorado hired before April 8, 1978 (old hires) whose employers have chosen to affiliate with FPPA. The affiliated plans are still governed by their local plan document and local pension board. Each has a separate actuarial valuation done every two years where contributions rates are determined. Six plans are assisted by the State with additional contributions.

Several plans have Deferred Retirement Option Plan (“DROP”) provisions that are managed by Fidelity Investments. One plan has a DROP provision that is managed by FPPA.

There are 52 affiliated local defined benefit old hire plans with 10 members, 58 Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) members, and 3,275 retirees as of December 31, 2011. The old hire plans are closed plans for new members.

Affiliated Volunteer Plans

These defined benefit pension plans cover volunteer firefighters in the State of Colorado who have chosen to affiliate with FPPA. Volunteer members are not compensated and do not contribute to their plan. The plans are mostly funded by a partial mill levy tax base. Many of the plans receive State matching funds if they contribute to their volunteer plan. The retirement benefit is generally based on the total assets in the plan. Volunteer plans offer a flat dollar retirement benefit ranging from $0 - $1,400 per month.

As of December 31, 2011, there were 175 affiliated volunteer fire pension plans with 4,008 members and 3,339 retirees. The plans may be open or closed to new members.

457 Deferred Compensation Plan

The Plan was created under Internal Revenue Code Section 457 and collects amounts deferred by participants of affiliated plans. The assets are held in trust for the exclusive benefit of the participants. Participants have the option of choosing between various mutual funds offered and managed by Fidelity Investments.

As of December 31, 2011, there were 126 employers with 2,071 participants.
Additional information on the plans administered by FPPA can be located on FPPA’s website under Publications and within the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report which includes plan, assets, and actuarial information.

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