PA Law Adds Sex Offenses Against Students to Pension Forfeit List

July 16, 2004 ( - Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell on Friday signed into law a measure calling for public employees to forfeit their pension rights if they are convicted of sexual offenses against students.

A Rendell news release said he had inked Senate Bill 971, sponsored by Pennsylvania Senator Jane Earll (R-Erie), which amends the state’s Public Employee Pension Forfeiture Act to add the classification for sexual offenses in which students are victims.

The measure had sailed through both chambers of the Keystone State’s legislature, winning Senate approval 49 to 0 and getting the House’s OK 201 to 0, and takes effect in 60 days.

Under the dictates of the act, a public employee loses all pension and retirement benefits and can only potentially get access to the person’s own retirement contributions. However, the law requires that even the employee’s contributions be used to pay fines or restitution after a listed criminal conviction.

The law is triggered if a pension fund member is convicted of or pleads guilty or no defense to any listed crime committed through the member’s public office.