Rule to force Oklahoma City fire chief to retire

Monday, November 8th 2004, 8:32 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A union rule is forcing Oklahoma City's fire chief to retire this spring, even though he's only 48.

Chief Alan Benson says he's even more disturbed that the same rule won't allow him to work in Oklahoma as a firefighter.

Benson says he sealed his own fate five years ago when he enrolled in a deferred option retirement program. The plan allows police and firefighters with 20 years of experience to retire but continue working for up to five more years.

The retirement pay during those five years is deferred into a pension fund while the firefighters finish out the time collecting their regular salaries.

At the end of the five years, the enrollees are prohibited from taking a firefighter job anywhere in the state.

International Association of Firefighters Local 157 President Mike Anderson acknowledges Benson's plight but says firefighters don't want the rules changed.