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McMenamin: City Breaking Pension Rules Since 1999
McMenamin: City Breaking Pension Rules Since 1999

A Springfield alderman is accusing the city’s police pension board of breaking rules for 14 years — a potentially $6 million dollar mistake.

The city’s police officers with 20 years of experience get a five percent pay spike on both their birthday and anniversary pay periods. If an officer retires during that pay period, their retirement benefits are based on that pay period. Ward 7′s Joe McMenamin says the police pension board has been running afoul of department of insurance since the spike came to be in 1999.

“Their rule was you have to prorate a lumpsum over the 12 month period to get a true picture of their salary at the time of termination,” said McMenamin.

McMenamin estimates the five percent spike improperly applied has cost the city an extra $2.3 million since 1999. The total unfunded liability for police pensions through 2012 was $113 million.

McMenamin, in part, blames the oversight of the police pension board — some of which has been on the board since the late Mayor Tim Davlin’s administration. He says new members should be appointed, and some of them should be members of the public outside law enforcement. State statute does not require members be unconnected to law enforcement.