Protecting the Pension System

Since taking office, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has fought against the abuse of public funds. One of his top priorities is to protect the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) from pension scammers. With the help of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, DiNapoli has restored $6 million to the pension system.

Earlier this year, they charged a Polk County, Florida woman with the theft of $120,000 from the pension system. The woman didn’t notify NYSLRS about her uncle’s death, and took out the pension benefits paid to his bank account for 12 years.

“Attorney General Schneiderman and I will continue our partnership to protect public money, including the retirement funds that so many New Yorkers depend upon,” DiNapoli said.

Here are some other pension scamming cases from May:

Defendant Accused of Stealing Deceased Mother’s Benefits

A New Jersey woman allegedly stole over $162,000 in pension benefits. According to the Comptroller and Attorney General’s Office, she failed to notify NYSLRS of her mother’s death. As a result, she continued to receive her mother’s benefits for six years even though her mother didn’t list her as a beneficiary.

If convicted, she could face up to five to 15 years in state prison.

Man Accused Of Stealing Deceased Godfather’s Retirement Benefits

A New Jersey man allegedly stole $78,000 in pension benefits payable to his godfather. When his godfather died in 2003, his godfather’s wife collected the benefits until her death in 2006. The man did not notify NYSLRS of their deaths, and used his power of attorney to access their bank account. He withdrew the pension benefits for six years.

If convicted, he could face up to five to 15 years in state prison.

Double-Dipping Retiree Owes Almost Half a Million Dollars

A retired police officer will repay $456,647 to NYSLRS. From 1996 to 2012, the retiree received a pension while earning a full-time salary at a public community college. Even though he knew of the retiree earnings limit, he exceeded it and didn’t report his public income to the state.

The retiree forfeited all future pension payments he would have earned, and will use them to pay back his debt.

If you want to learn more about how Comptroller DiNapoli safeguards public funds, visit the Comptroller’s Fighting Public Corruption page.

6 thoughts on “Protecting the Pension System

  1. Cats01

    Getting scammed money back is good news. However, the real question is the long-term viability of the NYS Pension System. Many state and local government pension systems are in deep trouble. There is serious talk elsewhere of reducing or eliminating benefits to retirees. The NYS Pension System has been rated as one of the most stable in the US. I hope aggressive steps are being taken to assure that rating continues in the future.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      As the head of the NYSLRS, the Comptroller continues to ensure the long term sustainability of the System. Unlike many systems that have skipped their annual contributions, the New York State and Local Retirement System ensures that payments are made annually and invested effectively for the long term. As a result, New York State’s Retirement System continues to be among the best funded in the nation. We are well poised to pay our benefits now and into the future.

      Thanks for your comment,
      NYSLRS

      Reply
  2. David Drotar

    I’m glad that this type of fraudulent collection of pension money is being monitored to protect the benefits for those who have worked hard for their retirement years.

    Reply
  3. Gary

    How about letting members know if the NYS Comptroller recouped the $162,000 plus…interest? Then we can be proud of due diligence.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Gary,

      At this time, the case is ongoing. If and when a decision on restitution is reached, we will post an update for you.

      Thank you for your comment.

      NYSLRS

      Reply

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