An audit report made public by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has found that dozens of Cajon Valley Union School District retirees received pension overpayments totaling more than $1 million.
According to the report, 77 district retirees received these overpayments over the course of an eight-year period spanning the 2004-05 to the 2011-12 school years.
CalSTRS says the overpayments were the result of incorrect payroll data reported by the district.
An announcement from CalSTRS Thursday said the district “erroneously reported the retirement incentives to 78 educators’ Defined Benefit (DB) Program accounts, resulting in overstated final compensation amounts for 77 of the 78 employees.”
CalSTRS CEO Jack Ehnes said no one abused the system in this case, but the improper pension payouts could have negative impacts.
“The effects of these kinds of errors are painful to the members involved, costly to the school districts and deplete the pension system resources serving more than 262,000 benefit recipients,” said Ehnes.
As of October 2012, CalSTRS reports that resulting overpayments in core pension benefits for this group of Cajon Valley Union School District retirees totaled approximately $1,071,600.
The affected members’ monthly pensions were overpayed by amounts ranging from $26 to $566.
As of right now, CalSTRS will begin collecting the overpayments from members at a rate set by law that does not exceed 5 percent of the adjusted monthly benefit.
In cases where CalSTRS may not be able to collect the entire overpayment amounts from members over their lifetimes, CalSTRS will collect the remainder from the district.