FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Retired Fort Wayne police officers who were allowed to illegally collect pension benefits officially won’t have to pay back the state, according to findings from a state audit. A new city ordinance prevented the penalties.
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. The Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) launched an audit into the Fort Wayne Police Department following the discovery.
Click here to read Indiana Code 36-8-8.5-10 (4) — which prohibits officers from collecting certain pension benefits over the mandatory retirement age.
Because of 15 Finds Out’s initial investigation in April of 2014 and continued coverage, city council members changed the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 70 and applied it to officers who have already retired. According to state leaders, those changes corrected all past violations and prevented officers from possibly paying back pension money.
In an email, Jennifer Dunlap, public information specialist with INPRS, wrote:
…based on our audit, we confirmed no members of the FWPD retired after the new mandatory retirement age of 70 and took the DROP benefit. As a result, we found no issues.