Hundreds of Pontiac retirees mistakenly overpaid now owe city money

Some retirees will have to pay back as much as $2,300


PONTIAC, Mich. – Debra Woods retired from the city of Pontiac after nearly 28 years of service. She found out at a retirement board meeting Wednesday that she will have to repay money to the city pension fund after she was overpaid.

"It was not a benefit that we requested or wanted," said Woods. "It was given to us because they took away our health care."

Woods isn't the only one; hundreds of other city retirees were overpaid and some will have to pay back as much as $2,300.

"I'm angry because it's going to be a reduction in my pension until whatever amount I owe is paid back. I have no idea what that amount is," said Woods.

The two-year pension increase was instituted by former emergency manager Lou Schimmel.

"This is another example of their deplorable behavior," Schimmel said of the retirement board.

"My problem is that ever since I was emergency manager, I've been at odds with that board and quite frankly I've been trying to put them out of business," said Schimmel.

Schimmel eliminated retiree health care benefits and ordered the pension increase before he resigned.

Woods claims it's as if the retirees are being penalized for the decisions that other people are making.

"We did not make the decision to lose our health care. We wanted to keep the health care. We did not ask for the extra $400," said Woods.

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