Amendment could prevent pension payback for retired officers

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne City Council will consider changes to a new mandatory retirement ordinance Tuesday night. The move should prevent retired officers from being forced to pay back pension money.

Council already gave preliminary approval to raise the retirement age from 60 up to 70-years-old.  But on Monday, Council President John Crawford (R-at large) said members will consider an amendment that applies the new retirement age retroactively to officers who have already retired.

The changes follow a 15 Finds Out report Friday. Indiana law says police officers can’t receive certain pension payments if they retire past the mandatory age. But 15 Finds Out discovered public safety leaders allowed at least two officers to do just that.

Click here to read Indiana Code 36-8-8.5-10 (4)

The Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) has launched an audit into the Fort Wayne Police Department regarding the pension payments in question. On Friday, a spokesperson with INPRS told 15 Finds Out retired officers found to be in violation would have to pay the state back, unless council raised the retirement age and applied it retroactively.

“Then, we no longer have an issue,” said Jennifer Dunlap, public information specialist with INPRS.

Crawford said council members will discuss the amendment at Tuesday night’s meeting. They have the option to give final approval to both the new ordinance and amendment, according to the city clerk’s office.

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