Reporting a Potential Pension Forfeiture Offense to PSERS
The right of a person to receive retirement benefits from PSERS is subject to forfeiture as provided by the Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act (“Pension Forfeiture Act”). The Pension Forfeiture Act states that all service and benefits payable to a PSERS member must be forfeited if the member is convicted of, pleads guilty or no defense to any of the crimes listed under the Pension Forfeiture Act when the crime is committed through the member’s position as a public employee or when the member’s public employment places the member in a position to commit the crime(s).
The Pennsylvania crimes listed under the Pension Forfeiture Act are:
· theft by deception
· theft by extortion
· theft of services
· theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received
· tampering with records or identification
· misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions
· bribery in official and political matters
· threats and other improper influence in official and political matters
· false swearing
· unsworn falsification to authorities
· false reports to law enforcement authorities
· witness or informant taking bribe
· tampering with or fabricating physical evidence
· tampering with public records or information
· intimidation of witnesses or victims
· retaliation against witness, victim or party
· obstructing administration of law or other governmental function
· official oppression, speculating or wagering on official action or information
· the following crimes when committed by a school employee against a student: rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, and indecent exposure
The Pension Forfeiture Act also includes all Federal criminal offenses that are substantially the same as the above listed crimes.
The Pension Forfeiture Act requires that a member’s contributions and interest be used to pay any court ordered restitution, provided the monies have not been withdrawn by the member. If there is no restitution payable, the PSERS member is only eligible to receive a return of contributions without interest.
If you need additional information about the Pension Forfeiture Act and how it relates to PSERS retirement benefits, or need to report a potential pension forfeiture matter to PSERS, please contact your PSERS’ Employer Service Center representative.
This article is intended to give a general overview of the Pension Forfeiture Act. To the extent there is a conflict between what is stated here and the Pension Forfeiture Act, the terms of the Pension Forfeiture Act, the Retirement Code, and PSERS' administrative interpretations and court decisions will govern the payment of benefits, and not any conflicting statements made in this article.