(NEW YORK POST) – Fired Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin could still receive more than $1.5 million in pension benefits during his retirement years — even if he is convicted in the murder of George Floyd, according to a new report.
Chauvin, 44, was booted from the force and charged with second-degree murder, but could still cash in because Minnesota, unlike some other states, does not allow for the forfeiture of pensions for employees convicted of felony crimes related to their work, CNN reported.
The Minnesota Public Employees Retirement Association confirmed to the network that Chauvin, who had worked for the department since 2001, would remain eligible to file for his partially taxpayer funded pension as early as age 50, though it would not specify the specific amount he would receive, the network reported.
Employees terminated voluntarily or for cause are eligible for future benefits unless they choose to forfeit them and receive a refund of all contributions made during their employment, according to the association.
“Neither our board nor our staff have the discretion to increase, decrease, deny or revoke benefits,” a spokeswoman told CNN. “Any changes to current law would need to be done through the legislative process.”
Chauvin’s attorney declined to comment to the network.
Chauvin would likely be eligible for annual benefits around $50,000 a year if he chose to start receiving them at age 55, according to a CNN analysis that took into account the former cop’s tenure, 2019 payroll data, contract details, pension plan guidance and the Minneapolis Police Department salary schedules.
The benefits could exceed $1.5 million over a 30-year period — and could be even higher if he received significant amounts of overtime in past years, the calculation indicates.
Two of the other officers who face charges — Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — were rookies, but a third, Tou Thao, could still be eligible to receive benefits, employment records obtained by the network show.
The Minneapolis Mayor’s Office, Police Department and the local police union did not respond to requests for comment from CNN.
D. Bruce Johnsen, a law professor at George Mason University who co-authored 2017 research on the matter, told the network that “pension forfeiture for misconduct is pretty rare.”
“With this terrible tragedy it might be a good time to push in this direction,” he added, noting that specific conditions that would allow for forfeiture would need to be carefully defined.