Breaking down retirement contributions

State law requires firefighters to pay 6 percent of their salary towards their retirement.  But once a firefighter hits 20 years of service, they don't have to contribute anything.  That differs from most other retirement systems in the state.

Most other fire departments in the state are wrapped into the state's Retirement Pension System.  All of those firefighters have to pay 8 percent of their salary towards retirement for their entire career.

Other first responders pay even more.  Most municipal police, like the NOPD, pay 10 percent of their salary towards retirement.  State police officers pay 8.5 percent.  For new hires (starting in 2011), they have to pay 9.5 percent.

City of New Orleans employees don't have to pay as much.  Right now, they must contribute 5 percent to their retirement.  That will jump to 6 percent next year.