HARRISBURG – Auditor General Eugene DePasquale today announced the release of $384.99 million in municipal pension and volunteer firefighter aid, funding which helps to protect communities and reduce burdens on local taxpayers. This brings to more than $2.7 billion the total amount of such aid distributed by the department during Auditor General DePasquale’s tenure.
“Pension aid helps to support retirement plans for police, paid firefighters and other municipal workers who dedicate their careers to keeping our communities safe and strong,” DePasquale said. “Additionally, state aid for volunteer firefighters’ relief associations helps first responders to purchase life-saving equipment and get the training they need to save lives and protect property.”
A total of $324.74 million in state pension aid went to 1,483 municipalities and regional departments to support pension plans covering police officers, paid firefighters and non-uniformed employees. The funding was distributed before the Oct. 1 deadline.
Separately, another $60.25 million in state aid went to 2,518 municipalities in 66 counties for distribution to the volunteer firefighters’ relief associations (VFRAs) that support fire departments serving their communities. VFRA officials should check with their municipalities if they are awaiting payment.
DePasquale urged Pennsylvanians to generously support fundraising efforts by volunteer fire and EMS departments, noting that state aid does not cover all expenses and the continuing pandemic has hindered local fundraising efforts.
State funding for municipal pension and VFRA aid comes from a 2 percent tax on fire and casualty insurance policies sold in Pennsylvania by out-of-state companies. The Department of the Auditor General distributes the funds by Oct. 1 each year and also audits local government pension plans and volunteer firefighters’ relief associations on a rotating schedule.