Whoops: City accidentally pays $298 million to retirees

money cash
More than 31,000 New York City retirees got a brief windfall this week, officials said.
Credit: Colourbox

New York City erroneously issued thousands of retired police officers and firefighters payments totaling $298 million this week, officials said Thursday.

From overnight Wednesday to Thursday, $298,475,644 was deposited into the bank accounts of more than 31,000 retirees, according to the comptroller’s office.

The New York City Pension Funds informed those who received windfall not to spend the money. The deposits were a duplication of pension payments usually paid to retirees at the end of each year, officials said. The payments were to be reversed by Friday.

The error was the result of testing by the Financial Information Services Agency on Wednesday.

“FISA staff was programming instructions for the automation of child support payments directly to the New York State Office of Child Support Enforcement,” the agency said in a statement.

“In order to ensure that computer instructions are correct, FISA reuses existing automated payment process instructions copied into a test environment. To produce test results rather than payment files, settings on those existing instructions must be changed. In one instance this change was not properly made, which resulted in the electronic submission of an erroneous payment file to Chase Bank,” the statement continued.

FISA said the coding error has since been corrected and additional safeguards have been implemented.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders


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