The Houston Fire Department has paid 928 employees over $57 million during the last six years in termination pay, due when the employees retire or quit.

The generous payouts come at a time when the city of Houston is suing the firefighter's pension fund for the right to have local negotiating power over the city's future contributions to the fund in an effort to absorb a projected $8.5 million unfunded liability in unanticipated overtime costs.

One recent retiree, who served the Houston Fire Department for 40 years, claimed a check for $177,000, according to The Houston Chronicle.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.