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Fraud Prevention Unit

     
    CATEGORIES OF PENSION FRAUD

 

   The Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) was created for and is dedicated to the oversight, guidance, monitoring, and regulation of the Massachusetts public pension systems. Part of the Commission's efforts is focused on the identification and prevention of public pension fraud. Fraud can be defined as "deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain."
 
Public pension fraud falls largely into four categories:
 
Submission of Falsified Records
 
   Anyone who knowingly submits falsified records to a public employee retirement board or PERAC for the purpose of gaining benefits will be investigated for fraud. Such records may include, but are not limited to, falsified birth certificates, marriage certificates, adoption records, divorce decrees, medical records, and accident reports.
 
Submission of Falsified Affidavits
 
   Each year, every public pension retiree and the surviving beneficiaries of such deceased retirees, receive affidavits from their retirement board. The purpose of this affidavit is to verify that the retiree/beneficiary is living and to update other key information such as his/her current address. Confirmation of a beneficiary's dependency status is also sought where it is relevant to continued receipt of benefits. Any retiree/beneficiary who knowingly makes false responses on this affidavit will be investigated for fraud. Anyone who signs an affidavit who is other than the retiree, his/her beneficiary, or an individual with a valid power of attorney will be investigated for fraud.
 
Disability Retirees Working in Excess of the Limitations in the Private Sector
 
   G.L. c. 32, § 91A provides that if the amount of a disability retiree's annual retirement allowance, when added to his/her post retirement earnings, is in excess of the regular compensation the retiree would have received if he/she continued in service at the grade held at retirement plus $5,000, his/her retirement allowance may be reduced or suspended. Each disability retiree is required to file an Annual Statement of Earned Income with PERAC on or before April 15th of each year, certifying the amount, if any, of his/her earnings from earned income during the preceding year. Disability Retirees who do not report or under-report earned income will be investigated for fraud.
 
Retirees Working in Excess of the Limitations in the Massachusetts Public Sector
 
Pursuant to G.L. c. 32, § 91(b) a retiree (accidental,ordinary, or superannuation) can be employed in the service of the commonwealth, county, city, town, district or authority for not more than nine hundred and sixty hours in the aggregate, in any calendar year; provided that the earnings therefrom, when added to any pension or retirement allowance he/she is receiving, do not exceed the salary that is being paid for the position from which he/she was retired. Retirees who fail to report their status as public retirees to prospective public employers will be investigated for fraud.
 
 
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