'Double-dippers' cost state county $600,000

Retirees who came back to work are receiving their pension benefits and salary. / File photo

Many Ohioans see retirement as the rewarding rest that follows working hard for most of their lives. But according to a Cincinnati Enquirer investigation, many recent Hamilton County retirees are taking advantage of a loophole in a state law by going back to work--a move that has burned through the $1.3 million set aside for pension costs.

The article calls them "double-dippers"--employees who retired and claimed their benefits only to return to work not long after. The sudden rise in retirement all started with the fear that state lawmakers would cut pension benefits to save money in light of Hamilton County's budget crunch.

The chain reaction of retirements caught county officials off guard and forced them to use money from a general fund to cover the retirees' accumulated vacation and sick time.

Read more Who are the double-dippers?

But because Ohio state law allows county department heads to approve the return of a retired employee, the county is now seeing a large number of recent retirees come back to work, thus claiming both pension and salary.

"The retirement now may not be the retirement in the future," Chief Deputy Sheriff Sean Donovan told the Enquirer. "I have no qualms about doing it. I have a family to support."

Double-dippers have received about $600,000 in payouts, while about $700,000 went to retirees who didn't go back to work.

Are double-dippers cheating the system or merely claiming what is rightfully theirs after a lifetime of work? Should lawmakers change the Ohio law that allows a retiree to return to their former job? Leave your opinion below and on our Facebook page .

Read more: The Cincinnati Enquirer