Officer at Center of George Floyd Case Likely To Receive $1 Million Payout


The former officer who has been charged with second-degree murder for his alleged role in the death of George Floyd on May 25 could still receive over $1 million in pension benefits even if he is convicted.

Former officer Derek Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder after video footage showed him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest.

He also faces charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, according to the Star Tribune.

Chauvin was fired immediately following Floyd’s death after 19 years on the police force.

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However, even if he is convicted of second-degree murder, he could still collect his pension benefits during retirement, CNN reported.

Minnesota is not one of the states that allow for the forfeiture of pensions for employees convicted of crimes related to their work.

Pension benefits are a form of compensation, similar to retirement savings accounts, earned throughout a worker’s career and partially funded by taxpayers.

Do you think Chauvin should be able to keep his pension benefits?

According to the Public Employees Retirement Association of Minnesota, participants contribute 11.8 percent of their pay to their pension, and employers contribute 17.7 percent.

“Neither our Board nor our staff have the discretion to increase, decrease, deny or revoke benefits,” a retirement plan spokeswoman told CNN.

“Any changes to current law would need to be done through the legislative process.”

A CNN analysis estimated that Chauvin would be eligible for annual payments around $50,000 a year if he chose to start getting them at age 55.

Those benefits could exceed $1.5 million over 30 years.

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“Pension forfeiture for misconduct is pretty rare,” D. Bruce Johnsen, a law professor at George Mason University, told CNN.

“With this terrible tragedy, it might be a good time to push in this direction.”

Many people on Twitter seemed to agree:

According to Forbes, previous court rulings have said that pensions can be seized as a form of restitution.

However, Minnesota is not one of the states the rulings apply to. It remains unclear whether or not Chauvin will owe restitution and what that means for his pension

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith