Pensions for Volunteers
A pension program that recently went into effect in Montgomery County, Md., pays volunteers in the fire/rescue service $100 a month for life, starting at age 62 and after 25 years of active service. The pensions are paid out of the general funds of the county.
Active service is determined for each year by a point system defined in the county legislation establishing the pension program. To be considered active, volunteers must accumulate 50 points annually according to a schedule of points for activities such as attendance at fires, taking training courses, participating in drills, sleeping overnight at the fire station, holding an elected or appointed position in the department, and attending department meetings. Active service in more than one department in the county is credited toward the 25-year total. Paid county fire fighters who also are volunteers get credit for off-duty activities with their volunteer departments.