Pensions

Dead NY Cop Cashed Pension Checks for 28 Years Somehow

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Check this out, especially if you pay taxes in New York state, which ranked in the bottom third in all categories of this 2014 Mercatus Center study of state fiscal solvency.

Dead men can't cash checks.

But someone did for retired New Castle police Officer Joseph Zwiefel. And the New York state pension fund lost $346,000 by mistakenly sending him monthly checks for 28 years after his death, The Journal News has learned.

The checks stopped in 2005 after one was returned by the post office. But other than confirming the following year that Zwiefel was dead, the state Comptroller's Office did little investigating into where the money had gone and has since run out of time to recoup the cash.

His widow continued living in the couple's Orlando, Florida home but claims not to know what happened to the checks.

"Sheesh. That's a lot of money," Zwiefel's nephew, Robert of Patterson, said when told about the snafu. "They're paying beyond the grave now?"

More here.

Hat tip: Like a Libertarian's Twitter feed.

Public-sector pensions are underfunded by something like $4 trillion. To read more about that—and how to fix that problem—check out Reason Foundation's pension reform work.

Why are public-sector pensions such a mess? Because they are ultimately infused with politics. Watch and learn how Ventura County, California residents weren't even allowed to vote on a much-needed pension-reform plan:

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