The Georgia House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would allow eligible African-American pension fund participants to buy into the Peace Officers Annuity and Benefit Fund for service prior to 1976, when the fund was desegregated.
Any active member of the fund as of July 1, 2006, would receive credit for previous service before Jan. 1, 1976, said state Rep. Tyrone Brooks, the bill's sponsor. Employees would pay $10 a month for each year of service they want to buy into, and they would have apply to the board of trustees by Dec. 31, 2006, according to the bill.
The bill proposed that the state would match employees' contributions, paying out approximately $1.5 million a year over 20 to 30 years, Mr. Brooks confirmed.
The bill now goes to the Senate. Robert Carter, executive director of the Griffin-based fund, said he expects it to pass. The state Senate took no action on an earlier bill after it cleared the House in 2004.
The fund has about $350 million in assets, Mr. Carter said.