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PENSION FORFEITURE

PEPRA Expands Pension Forfeiture to any Public Employee Convicted of a Job-Related Felony

Prior to the enactment of the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), California Government Code §7522.70 provided for the forfeiture of all retirement rights and benefits by any elected public officer convicted of any felony arising directly out of his or her official duties. However, that statute allowed a convicted official to receive his or her retirement benefits if the governing body of the elected official’s employer so authorized.

Exceptions No Longer Apply

Effective January 1, 2013, PEPRA broadens California Government Code §7522.70 by establishing pension forfeiture, without exception, for all public employees convicted of a job-related felony.

PEPRA §7522.72 establishes pension forfeiture for any public employee first employed, elected, or appointed to an office before January 1, 2013. PEPRA §7522.74 of PEPRA establishes pension forfeiture for any public employee first employed, elected, or appointed to an office after January 1, 2013.

Both PEPRA sections require the forfeiture of “all accrued rights and benefits in any public retirement system” by any public employee convicted of any felony, as of the earliest date of the crime, “for conduct arising out of or in the performance of his or her official duties, in pursuit of the office or appointment, or in connection with obtaining salary, disability retirement, service retirement, or other benefits.”

No exceptions apply.