CalPERS Says Computer Error Compromised Retirees' Social Security Numbers

August 23, 2007 ( - Two pension fund security breaches could compromise the personal information of New York and California retirees, the Associated Press reported.

According to the news report, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) security breach happened when pension fund brochures containing part or entire Social Security numbers on the envelope were mailed out to 445,000 retired workers.

CalPERS blamed a computer error for the mailing.

Also, a laptop with the financial information of as many as 280,000 New York City retirees disappeared from a restaurant. The computer was reported stolen on Monday by the Financial Information Services Agency consultant who brought the information into the restaurant.

Data thefts and other breaches in security have prompted worries that the personal information about retirees and other types of employees might not be as safe as once thought.

Mercer Human Resource Consulting raised eyebrows when the personal information of more than 6,000 employees at DCH Health System were lost in March. The confidential information included an encrypted disk and hard-copy documents containing Social Security numbers and personal information (See Mercer Loses Personal Information on 6,000 DCH Health System Employees).

In May 2006, a computer was stolen from the home of Department of Veterans Affairs employee. The computer had the personal information of 26.5 million people (See Veterans Affairs Bars Employee-owned Computers and Restricts Offsite Network ).