Monday, May 16, 2022

Audit finds California regularly sends pension checks to deceased people

An audit by the California Public Employees Retirement System, America’s largest public pension fund, found that pensioners are paid regularly after their death, so getting the money back is challenging.

According to a June 1 memorandum from the Fund’s Office of Audit Services, made public recently, about 1,800 Calpar pensioners die every month. The audit said CalPERS owed more than $41 million in outstanding pension payments as of July 31, 2020. It is estimated that CalPERS made those payments to about 22,000 deceased pensioners.

The CalPERS Death and Survivor Benefits Division (DSBD) is responsible for verifying that a pensioner has passed away and payments have been withheld. The audit found that this process is carried out by a part-time employee who is not given regular supervisory oversight.

“The DSBD did not consistently identify deaths in a timely manner to reduce issuance of benefit payments after death and related receipts,” the report said.

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The audit said the pension depends equally on family members, who report the death and weekly audit of death reports from third parties.

Out of a sample of 30 cases audited, the report found that the DSBD learned that pensioners had died an average of 47 months after the date of death, resulting in mispayments of $2.34 million that have yet to be recovered. it was done.

In one situation, the pension paid out a lump sum to survivors before they realized that the principal payment was wrongly paid.

CalPERS agreed with the report’s findings but “not the gravity of the finding”, adding it would serve to record deaths more timely.

Incorrect payments are minuscule compared to the overall operation of the fund. CalPERS paid out more than $25 billion at the time of the audit.

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The audit classified the findings as “high,” meaning the issue is considered to be of immediate concern and “could pose significant risks if not addressed as soon as possible.”

Responsible for most of California’s public employees, CalPERS is the largest pension fund in the country monetarily. Its most recent valuation was $472 billion. It is partly funded in the form of pensioner contributions and government contributions by taxpayer dollars.

by Cole Lauterbach

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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