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Statewide Volunteer Firefighter (SVF) Retirement Plan

PERA administers a Statewide Volunteer Firefighter (SVF) Retirement Plan for volunteer firefighters who provide service to a municipal fire department or an independent nonprofit firefighting corporation. This plan is optional for municipalities that either do not have a volunteer firefighter retirement plan or wish to provide an alternative to their existing plan.
Fire departments and their sponsoring municipalities can join the SVF plan at any time with their individual accounts becoming effective January 1 of the following year.  To learn more, read our plan description and guide to the enrollment process.


While the plan has a division that is designed to pay monthly retirement benefits, it is only available to departments that already have that type of benefit structure. PERA would basically take over the administration of those existing plans, with the State Board of Investment administering the investment of assets. This page does not address those plans.


Employers that wish to participate in the plan must complete a Request for Cost Analysis to ask PERA to perform a cost-free cost analysis for the benefit level(s) requested. It typically takes about two weeks to complete the study. At the same time the State Board of Investment will examine your department’s assets to evaluate whether they would need to be transferred or liquidated to fund your department’s account in the SVF plan.
The decision to participate is made jointly by the entity operating the fire department and the volunteer firefighter relief association if one exists. If you decide to participate, PERA must receive a resolution prepared by your sponsoring municipality(ies). PERA must receive the resolution d by November 20th to ensure your department’s participation the following January.
The SVR retirement plan is overseen by an Advisory Board comprised of representatives of cities, townships, fire chiefs, firefighters and the state auditor’s office.