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South Metro Fire Rescue 2019

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  • #16
    I believe you can buy back your time with Denver. Although SM doesn't offer a pension, their retirement benefits appear generous.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by swflff View Post
      I believe you can buy back your time with Denver. Although SM doesn't offer a pension, their retirement benefits appear generous.
      You cannot buy back your time with Denver.

      Your pension with another department does not transfer over. They are two totally different plans. They do not share the FPPA with the other departments in the Metro area. SMFR uses a private investing firm to manage a 401A, not a pension. It's is a mutual fund that is matched at 12%, not a pension. Any money invested is yours, and yours alone. It is yours to save, spend, take a loan out on, pass onto your kids, or never touch, but it is not a pension, and you cannot buy back your time with Denver.

      You cannot buy back your time with Denver.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by firecosnow View Post

        Rumor I have heard is 1 to 2 academies per year indefinitely. For the last couple of years they have done 2 academies per year
        There will be two academies per year, for the foreseeable future.

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        • #19
          Okay someone in the Denver 2018 forum said that you could so maybe was bad information. This is not an uncommon thing. Many departments do this .They will let you buy back 4 years of military time or time at worked at other departments. My department in Florida and other departments across country allow this.

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          • #20
            I copied and pasted this from Denver thread. This guy seems like he works for Denver and says you can.


            No staffing issues. 38 ish stations opening at least three more rigs in the next two ish years so that?s good for you guys. I think we ran 150k calls last year but I can?t temember for sure. There are plenty of busy rigs to work on. I came from another Dept as well and bought my years into the pension so I didn?t really lose any time. Buy your years as soon as possible bc the cost is based on age and pay with Dfd. So buy them when you?re in academy.

            1 on two off with an extra day off every six shifts. Not a ton of fire but no less than most depts. we throw a lot of resources at fires so they don?t get a chance to get big.

            my biggest piece of advice for you guys going through this process is remember what you said on that background questionnaire at the end of the test, write it down if you have to and stay consistent. The ****** bags at civil service don?t care if you mis remembered something or got some dates screwed up in your head or whatever. They?ll toss your file for the littlest thing. Not trying to scare you guys just make sure all your background stuff is consistent because it will come up again. If you said you killed someone on the background at the end of the test you?d be better off sticking with your story then trying to change it. All those polygraph nerds are looking for is for you to change your story.

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            • #21
              To solve the question that people keep asking, people are referencing two different systems. I don't work for South Metro, but it seems to be that they take part in a program similar to a 401k. AKA a money purchase plan, every paycheck the department and the firefighter each put a certain amount of money in a 401a. This is yours to invest, they have some guidelines to follow, but at the end of the career, this is your retirement money. When you retire, whatever money is in the pot is yours, thats your retirement. The department puts in a certain percent into it and you put in a certain percent. Simple enough! You CANNOT buy back years, there is nothing to by back.

              Now, if you work for a department that takes part in the FPPA, which includes Denver, you and the department each put in a certain percent of your check, each and every check. Then there is a matrix that shows how money you would get every month, based upon the highest 3 earning average, plus your age and the number of years you worked. Factored on top of that is how you take your payments, you can take 100% of your payments, but the day you die the payments stop. Or you can take a reduced amount, and it will pay out and in the event you die, your wife/husband will keep getting a check until they die, then the checks stop. Like a legit, back in the day pension system.

              Now what you can do, if you have worked for a local, state or federal gov't agency in the past, doing ANYTHING. You can "buy those years back" IE you show them proof you worked for such agency. Then you pay a HUGE amount and you get credited with those years. So if you want to retire but you only worked 20 years, but you were in the military for 4 years, you can "buy" those 4 years and you will get paid a pension as if you worked 24 years. I know someone that cut grass for two years at a local park district and was able to "buy" those two years. Same deal, if they work for us for 25 year, with their two years they bought, on the matrix they will get a retirement based off of 27 years. A higher check. Buying years is costly, for me to buy back my military time would be about $1,000 a month for each of the 48 months I was in the military, I don't have $48,000 in the bank, so basically I cannot buy the time back because afford it.

              In both systems, realize it's between you and the retirement system. You're not buying time back from Denver, you're buying the time from the FPPA. Denver wouldn't even know about it. The FPPA is the people that take the money, they would handle it. When you retire one day, your checks will not come from your department, they will come from the FPPA or you will withdrawal money out of YOUR money purchase plan account.

              Peterbound says you cannot buy back Denver time. I assume he means if you went to South Metro from Denver. Yes and no. It takes five years to be vested in the FPPA. If you're not vested and you leave employment (for whatever reason), the money you invested into FPPA from your paycheck is your money to keep, you can actually roll that money over to different retirement account. So if you got hired for a department that uses FPPA, and you worked 4 years and you decided to quit and move on (which does happen), you just cash out what you put into the FPPA, of course see a finance pro before you do anything crazy like that. After 5 years, you are vested and you will get a small retirement when you reach retirement age. It won't be much, but whatever. In theory you could work from 22 to 28 as a firefighter, decided you wanna do something else. Do that for 40 years. When you retire from that, you just let the FPPA know you retired and you will get something ridiculously small.

              I hope this clears things up a little. Good luck to anyone in any process.

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              • #22
                My advice to anyone that gets hired anywhere, take your retirement seriously from day one. Do your research. Put in more if you can. When you're the rookie its your job you be a sponge, it's not always looked highly on a rookie if they are talking about retirement during the first year. When it comes to retirement, this is incorrect, choices you make your first year on the job do affect you 25-30 years later. Luckily for me, my LT and crew sat me down one evening and gave me a lot of tips and advice on retirement savings. Not everyone is so lucky to work for leadership like that.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by swflff View Post
                  I copied and pasted this from Denver thread. This guy seems like he works for Denver and says you can.


                  No staffing issues. 38 ish stations opening at least three more rigs in the next two ish years so that?s good for you guys. I think we ran 150k calls last year but I can?t temember for sure. There are plenty of busy rigs to work on. I came from another Dept as well and bought my years into the pension so I didn?t really lose any time. Buy your years as soon as possible bc the cost is based on age and pay with Dfd. So buy them when you?re in academy.

                  1 on two off with an extra day off every six shifts. Not a ton of fire but no less than most depts. we throw a lot of resources at fires so they don?t get a chance to get big.

                  my biggest piece of advice for you guys going through this process is remember what you said on that background questionnaire at the end of the test, write it down if you have to and stay consistent. The ****** bags at civil service don?t care if you mis remembered something or got some dates screwed up in your head or whatever. They?ll toss your file for the littlest thing. Not trying to scare you guys just make sure all your background stuff is consistent because it will come up again. If you said you killed someone on the background at the end of the test you?d be better off sticking with your story then trying to change it. All those polygraph nerds are looking for is for you to change your story.


                  Not sure where the confusion here is, but the above poster got it right.

                  SMFR is not Denver, and the plans are different. DFD is in the FPPA (the pension plan), SMFR is not. The SMFR plan does not let you buy back time, nor can you 'roll over' the money that isn't vested into your prior program into your 401A. There is a 457 side plan you can move that money into, but you cannot move it into your 'primary' plan.

                  Things might be changing with all the mergers over there. I think they have 4.. maybe 5 different retirement plans right now, depending on when you joined, who you started with, and what you chose to keep. From what I understand though, the plan they have is really good, and I don't see them changing too much about it.

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                  • #24
                    the topic has been covered
                    Last edited by Aaron228; 03-06-2019, 10:59 AM.

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                    • #25
                      Anyone gotten a call for oral boards or practicals?

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by TXfirewife View Post
                        Anyone gotten a call for oral boards or practicals?
                        From what I've gathered, you should hear something back (invitation wise) after the 15th of this month.

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                        • #27
                          Thanks for the info!

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Aaron228 View Post
                            My advice to anyone that gets hired anywhere, take your retirement seriously from day one. Do your research. Put in more if you can. When you're the rookie its your job you be a sponge, it's not always looked highly on a rookie if they are talking about retirement during the first year. When it comes to retirement, this is incorrect, choices you make your first year on the job do affect you 25-30 years later. Luckily for me, my LT and crew sat me down one evening and gave me a lot of tips and advice on retirement savings. Not everyone is so lucky to work for leadership like that.
                            Who cares if a probie talks about retirement from day 1? The fire service has a great retirement which is a huge incentive to get hired, I would never look down or judge a probie for telling sbiur retirement on their first day. It?s folks like you with that attitude that give senior guys a bad rap. The fire service is about brotherhood and acceptance yet you sit there on your pedestal and give crap to a probie who talks about their retirement. They should be welcomed to talk about that, it means they?re thinking about their future.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Hopeful_fireman View Post

                              Who cares if a probie talks about retirement from day 1? The fire service has a great retirement which is a huge incentive to get hired, I would never look down or judge a probie for telling sbiur retirement on their first day. It?s folks like you with that attitude that give senior guys a bad rap. The fire service is about brotherhood and acceptance yet you sit there on your pedestal and give crap to a probie who talks about their retirement. They should be welcomed to talk about that, it means they?re thinking about their future.
                              I think you took his post the wrong way. Pretty sure he is in agreement with everything you just said.

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                              • #30
                                Anyone know what health insurance is like and if the department pays any portion is it?

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