Six people with disability pensions through the state retirement system received almost $560,000 in overpayments, an audit shows.
The findings were announced by state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who chairs the state Retirement Board. She says they were revealed by the Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI) and the auditing firm of Sullivan & Company.
Raimondo says the overpayments took place between 2001 and the end of 2011.
These six retirees have had their disability pensions suspended and ERSRI is working with law enforcement to further investigate to determine whether criminal or civil claims are appropriate. ERSRI is also working to determine whether further monies may be owed to the pension system.
"Even one instance of fraud weakens the entire system for our public employees and retirees," Raimondo said. "Finding ways to strengthen the accountability and integrity of the disability program and to rein in instances of fraud and abuse will continue to be a top priority."
In related news, Raimondo says the state Retirement Board has authorized the Employees' Retirement System to begin contract talks with Insight Service Group, to become ERSRI's first independent negotiator for disability pensions.