VA retirees overpaid by $28.7 million | News
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)- A math mistake leads the Virginia Retirement System to overpay millions to its retirees, and now the government is coming to get its money back.
This week, VRS board members began publicly reviewing the options for how to get $28.7 million back from approximately 129,000 retired state and local government workers. The figure includes approximately 9,000 who have passed away.
"They were disappointed in learning about this," said VRS spokesperson Jeanne Chenault, referring to VRS board members. Three years ago, a Georgia-based consulting company miscalculated a cost of living adjustment (COLA) and, since 2009, many retirees were overpaid by an average of $239, Chenault said.
The error was first reported Wednesday by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The VRS, which has an annual payroll of approximately $3 billion, will consider at least two options for recouping the money. None appear to involve asking retirees to cut a check out of their own accounts.
"We are trying to come up with solutions that have the least impact on the retiree," Chenault said.
In other words, they won't be getting a bill. Instead, the solutions include ways to pay back the money over time, including a reduced COLA in the future or a reduced life insurance benefit.
"So they are actually receiving what they should've received over time," Chenault said.
The overpayment affects those state and local government workers who retired January 1, 2008 or earlier.
The company that made the mistake will pay about $1 million to the VRS which will cover overpayments made to about 9,000 retired state workers who have died since 2009 along with other disability overpayments.
VRS board members will vote on a re-payment plan at their June 21 meeting.
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