Derek Chauvin’s life took an unexpected turn on 25 May. That day, the Minneapolis police officer was filmed kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, until he suffocated – the video circulated and prompted protests all over the world, many continue to this day.
Chauvin was arrested and is currently on remand at Oak Park Heights maximum-security prison in Minnesota where he has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. If he is found guilty of murdering Floyd, Chauvin could face between 10 and 25 years behind bars however, it has emerged that he stands to receive a very generous pension.
Some US states prohibit issuing pensions to a person who has committed and been convicted of a serious, felony crime but that does not apply to Minnesota. Chauvin joined the state Police Department in 2001 but previously held other jobs and served in the United States Armed forces so he has built up several years of social security contributions and will probably have been paying into a police pension plan.
After just under 20 years in the force, Chauvin would have been able to retire early, at 55, and would have received a pension of somewhere in the region of $50,000-$60,000 per year. If his retirement lasts 30 years, he will have received between 1.5 and 1.8 million dollars in combined pension payments. Chauvin’s pension could be even higher if he has received supplementary pay, overtime or other benefits during his time with the police department.