Partial Entry 101

Police Cruiser and Officer

What is Partial Entry?


Partial Entry allows the employer to offer the existing members of a fire or police department the choice between remaining in their locally administered money purchase plan or participating in the FPPA Defined Benefit System. In other words, the employer agrees to continue to offer the local money purchase plan for those who wish to remain in that plan and allow those who want to move to FPPA to do so. (All members hired after the effective date of entry are enrolled in the FPPA plan selected by the employer; either the Statewide Defined Benefit Plan or the Statewide Hybrid Plan with the Defined Benefit Component)

A lifetime benefit

The possibility of Partial Entry raises a lot of questions. One of the most common is: why should I be interested in converting my retirement to a defined benefit plan?

The biggest reason is longevity. A defined benefit plan, commonly called a pension, provides a monthly payment for the retiree’s lifetime, with the option to pass the benefit on to a beneficiary. It’s a monthly check for the rest of your life, compared to a local money purchase plan (also called a defined contribution plan) in which the contribution is all that is known. You don’t know how much money you’ll have or how long it will last.

For those members who do not wish to transition from a defined contribution plan, FPPA offers a Statewide Hybrid Plan with both Defined Benefit and Money Purchase Components, which would allow members to receive a monthly pension and have the flexibility of a money purchase account.


How do I know what my benefit will be?


FPPA uses the formula below to calculate our members' estimated monthly pension benefits:



  1. Benefit Percentage: Use the Purchasing Service Credit Calculator at FPPAco.org to estimate how many years of service credit you can purchase with your money purchase balance
    • Estimate how many years you plan to work until you retire
    • Add those together to determine your total years of service in the plan
    • Using the chart on page 1 of your selected plan's brochure, determine your benefit percentage based upon years of service (service credits) and age at retirement
  2. Average Salary: Calculate the average of your highest three years' base salary in the plan (or what you project your highest three years to be at retirement). This is your highest average salary (HAS)
    • Multiply your benefit percentage by your HAS. The result is an estimate of your annual pension benefit
  3. Annual Benefit: This is the estimated value of your annual pension benefit at retirement. Note: this does not include any future annual benefit adjustments
  4. Monthly Payments: Divide your annual benefit estimate by 12 to see your potential monthly pension payment, paid for life after you retire

Does My Department Qualify?


Many fire and police departments across Colorado are eligible for partial entry into the FPPA System. To qualify, a department must meet certain requirements, including (but not limited to):

  • The department does not already participate in the FPPA Defined Benefit System
  • The employer must be willing to leave the local money purchase plan open for existing members
  • Member accounts for the existing local money purchase plan must be self-directed (invested by the member rather than the pension board or the employer)
  • The department does not contribute to Social Security for its police officers and firefighters (separate plans and processes apply to departments that pay into Social Security)

  • NOTE: There are many factors that determine a department’s eligibility for partial entry. If you have questions about your department, please contact us


What our members are saying


In this video, FPPA members discuss their experience during and after completing the partial entry process.



Partial Entry Departments

Partial Entry has been available since 2006. The following Colorado fire and police departments have completed the Partial Entry process:

Department Effective Date
Aurora FD 10/1/11
Englewood PD 5/20/13
Fountain FD 9/1/11
Thornton FD 9/17/17
Thornton PD 9/17/17
West Metro FPD 10/1/07

Full Entry Departments*

Full Entry refers to a department who elects to have all its members enter the FPPA Defined Benefit System. It has been available since 2003. The departments below have completed this process:

Department Effective Date
Brighton PD 1/1/05
Buena Vista PD 12/15/11
Cañon City PD 4/1/07
Carbondale and Rural FPD 7/1/06
Dacono PD 8/1/08
Evans PD 5/1/05
Federal Heights FD & PD 1/1/05
Florence PD 1/1/06
Lafayette PD 5/1/05
Lake Dillon FPD 9/1/05
Littleton FD 4/1/09
Milliken PD 3/1/07
North Metro Fire Rescue 9/1/05
Security FPD 12/15/10
Sheridan PD 4/1/12
Snake River FPD 7/1/05
Snowmass FPD 7/1/08
Trinidad FD 8/1/04
Westminster FD 9/1/04
West Metro FPD 3/1/11

Click here to view a list of all Colorado police and fire departments affiliated with FPPA's Statewide Defined Benefit System.


*Note: full department entry is not currently available

In many cases, the entire Partial Entry process can be completed in approximately nine months

Learn more about the Partial Entry process

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