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New retirement benefit format for Elma firefighters adopted

Volunteer firefighters in Elma who receive state retirement benefits through a point system will earn their credits under a new format adopted by the town board last week.

Under the plan first approved in the 1990s, firefighters are eligible for benefits by accumulating 50 points per year. The points are based on the number of responses, drills and courses attended.

Elma’s point system reflected state guidelines from the 1990s when the retirement system was approved, but was out of compliance following changes to state laws.

Most of the changes were minor; the most significant change was a reduction in the maximum number of points for responses reduced from 30 to 25.