Retiring workers “spiked” their pensions with late pay raises

Washington retirement officials have identified four workers who received improper raises shortly before retirement.

Dave Nelsen at the Department of Retirement Systems said Tuesday that the agency will be contacting the workers and their former employers in the coming days. He declined to discuss which workers received the excess retirement benefits but said the state will seek repayment.

The audits were conducted following an Associated Press investigation that found some firefighters and law enforcement in an old pension system had received large raises before retirement. Those raises boosted their pension values.

Nelsen says there were other cases in which pay increases were used to incentivize retirement, but the state concluded those raises were OK because the agreements did not require retirement.