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Local & Regional

Some Oklahoma Officials Qualify for Generous Pension

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State of Oklahoma
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State Auditor Gary Jones

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma auditor Gary Jones says some elected officials in the state qualify for retirement payments of more than their salary because of a benefit created by the state Legislature in 1988.

Jones says the law has cost Oklahoma more than $1 billion since it was passed — and despite being overturned in 2011 there are many officials who were elected before 2011 and will still receive the higher benefits.

Jones told The Journal Record that there are hundreds of elected officials who still qualify for the higher benefit. He says he knows of one who is being paid $121,000 per year and if he retired now he would receive $171,000 a year in retirement pay.

The state's pension systems currently have about $11.6 billion in unfunded liability.