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McClatchy Newspapers, Published June 28 2012

Sandusky continues to collect pension while in prison

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky may be in prison, but that hasn’t brought an end to his pension payments.

The convicted child molester retired from Penn State as an assistant football coach after the 1999 season. According to the State Employees’ Retirement System, he received a lump sum retirement payment of $148,272 upon retirement.

Along with that, he has been getting monthly payments.

He is currently receiving $4,904 a month. Between September 1999 and June 2004, he had been receiving $4,615, according to SERS. The payment increased because he was eligible for a cost-of-living adjustment at that time.

He was an active SERS member from March 1969 to the end of June 1999.

Sandusky was earning an average of $101,787 when he retired.

If he dies, his survivor will get a monthly annuity that’s about half what he is getting now.

The only way SERS is allowed to stop making payments to a participant is if the recipient is convicted of what is known as an Act 140 crime. Legislation is pending in the General Assembly that would change that, including a bill from GOP state Rep. Fred Keller.

“The current list of offenses which trigger forfeiture of a public pension is not broad enough in scope,” Keller said in a news release. “For example, the conviction for rape or any other sexual offense graded as a felony will trigger forfeiture, but only if the offender is a school employee and the victim is a student. As for elected officials, pension forfeiture does not occur unless public office was used in some way to facilitate the crime.”

Sandusky was convicted Friday of 45 counts related to sexually abusing boys he met through The Second Mile.

He is in Centre County prison awaiting sentencing, which is to happen within 90 days of conviction. At that time, SERS will review the sentencing to see if the crime has triggered pension forfeiture.

But, according to the Act 140 list, those crimes don’t include the ones for which Sandusky was found guilty.