The Montana Public Employees Retirement Board says it will work with a police group to negotiate the limited release of data involving a retirement fund for officers. The board, which oversees several state retirement funds, previously refused to release the data, reports the Associated Press. It said doing so would violate the privacy rights of those covered by the fund. The Montana Police Protective Association wants the data so its own expert can analyze how a deferred-retirement program is affecting the state retirement fund for police officers. The fund covers about 1,200 retired and active police officers.
The association filed a lawsuit in November, asking a judge to order the board to turn over the information. District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock of Helena did so earlier this month. He also said the two sides should obtain a “protective order” that would limit the disclosure of any private information to the association’s expert, director and attorney. The deferred-retirement program was created to encourage veteran officers to keep working, instead of retiring after 20 years. Officers who opt for the program can still begin drawing retirement money, but it goes into a deferred account and is paid out in a lump sum when they retire.