Washington finds $235K more in excess pension pay

SEATTLE — Washington state officials have identified another $235,000 in pension overpayments.

The Department of Retirement System says it is now seeking to recover about $137,000 from Stevens County and another $98,000 from North Highline Fire District. In the Stevens County case, a retiree returned to work as a contractor, allowing the person to draw pension and pay at the same time. The state says that worker shouldn’t have been classified as a contractor.

State officials began gathering records on retirees last year in the wake of Associated Press stories about a pension system for firefighter and law enforcement officers. An AP story in November described cases in which some workers were able to retire and get rehired into similar jobs without any effect on pensions.

In the wake of the AP stories, the state has moved to collect or save more than $1 million in overpayments.

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