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Corrupt public workers to lose retirement benefit under bill

Michigan lawmakers have voted to require that public employees convicted of a crime related to their work lose a portion of their pension or 401(k). (Photo: WEYI/WSMH)

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan lawmakers have voted to require that public employees convicted of a crime related to their work lose a portion of their pension or 401(k).

State law allows for forfeiture of public employees' retirement benefits if they misuse funds or take bribes.

Legislation approved 35-2 by the Senate Thursday would mandate such forfeitures and apply them to a convicted worker's 401(k), not just a pension.

They would lose the portion of a benefit contributed by the employer, including earnings on those contributions.

The bill previously cleared the House and is expected to soon move to Gov. Rick Snyder.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Jim Runestad of White Lake, says seizing retirement benefits should be mandatory when a government worker violates the public trust.

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