Guide Public Pension Fraud

Pension Fraud is a serious problem. If you believe public pension fraud may have occurred or is about to occur, please notify PERAC’s Fraud Prevention Unit. The Unit reviews each report received and will investigate as it deems necessary and proper to determine if someone is committing fraud. Depending on the outcome of any investigation, the Commission may refer matters to the Attorney General, the appropriate District Attorney or the United States Attorney. Public pension fraud falls into four main categories described below.

Table of Contents

1. Submission of falsified records

$44.7 Million Total Savings by Fraud Prevention Unit
  • 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.

2. Submission of falsified affidavits

  • Each year, every public pension retiree or their surviving beneficiaries 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.
  • When applicable, confirmation of a beneficiary's dependency status is also sought.
  • Any retiree/beneficiary who knowingly makes false responses on this affidavit will be investigated for fraud.
  • Anyone who signs an affidavit other than the retiree, his/her beneficiary, or an individual with a valid power of attorney will be investigated for fraud.

3. Retirees working in the Massachusetts public sector

Public pension retirees can work no more than:

960 hours per calendar year or;

Earn the difference between the current salary of the position they retired from and their pension, whichever comes first.

  • After being retired a full calendar year, retirees can add $15,000 to the calculation above.
  • All public retirees (superannuation, accidental or ordinary disability) working in the Massachusetts public sector (state, county, city, town, district, or authority) are subject to these limits (G.L. c. 32, § 91(b)).
  • Retirees who fail to report their status as public retirees to prospective public employers will be investigated for fraud.

Additional Resources for 3. Retirees working in the Massachusetts public sector

4. Disability retirees working in the private sector

  • Disability retirees have annual earnings limits pursuant to G.L. c. 32, § 91A that apply to private sector work as well.
  • 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 prior year.
  • Disability Retirees who do not report or under-report earned income will be investigated for fraud.

Key Actions for 4. Disability retirees working in the private sector

Additional Resources for 4. Disability retirees working in the private sector

Report suspected fraud

Contact the Fraud Prevention Unit If you have reason to believe that fraud has taken place or is about to take place: 

Reports may be submitted anonymously. 

Key Actions for Report suspected fraud

Additional Resources for Report suspected fraud

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