Under the Public Integrity Reform Act* members convicted of a felony related to their public service may have their retirement benefits reduced or revoked. The law became effective on November 13, 2011, and affects members who join the Employees’ Retirement System on or after this date.
Benefit forfeiture is not automatic. The law establishes a specific procedure with which the district attorney (DA) or the State Attorney General (AG) (whoever brought the criminal charge) must comply:
- Following the initial conviction, the DA or AG must commence a separate court action seeking the benefit forfeiture.
- We must verify that the convicted official is a member of the Employees’ Retirement System and eligible for retirement benefits.
- We must respond within 20 days and, if the official is a member, provide an estimate of the available benefits, if any.
- If the official is eligible for benefits, only then can the DA or AG proceed to trial.
- Depending on the verdict, the court may issue an order directing us to reduce or revoke the member’s benefits. This order must be served to the Retirement System by the DA or AG before we are mandated to comply.
If you have questions regarding the Public Integrity Reform Act, please contact us.
*Chapter 399, Laws of 2011