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Report FWA to PSERS by:

FWA Reporting and Investigation Policy

Frequently Asked Questions on Fraud, Waste and Abuse

Fraud, waste or abuse (FWA) hurts PSERS, its members, retirees, beneficiaries, and ultimately the taxpayer. PSERS is proactive in combating FWA by providing various ways for those with information to report suspected FWA affecting PSERS. The following are helpful tips for reporting FWA.

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How do I report FWA to PSERS?

An FWA can be reported by filing a complaint form, which can be submitted:

In addition, an FWA can be reported by calling (888) 222-0549 or Local phone number (717) 720-4602.

What is Fraud, Waste and Abuse (FWA)?

Fraud: The intentional, false representation, or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon it to his or her detriment; or the intentional, false representation,  or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of financial or personal gain.

Waste: The careless or needless expenditure of PSERS funds or the consumption of PSERS' property that results from deficient practices, systems, controls, or decisions.

Abuse: The intentional excessive or intentional improper use of PSERS' or, if applicable, state resources to the detriment or potential detriment of PSERS. This definition includes the intentional destruction, damage, sabotage, diversion, manipulation, misapplication, maltreatment, or misuse of said resources.

What types of incidents should be reported?

An illustrative list of FWA acts that should be reported is presented below. This list is not comprehensive and is provided only as an example of the FWA acts that should be reported.

  • Any FWA committed by PSERS' employees, Board members and their designees, members, beneficiaries, survivor annuitants, alternate payees, employers, consultants, vendors, contractors, investment managers and/or any other parties with a business relationship with PSERS.
  • Providing intentionally deceptive information.
  • Embezzlement and/or misappropriation of PSERS' cash, securities, supplies, property, equipment or other assets.
  • Impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions.
  • Questionable PSERS accounting or operating practices.
  • Unauthorized disclosure of confidential, personally identifiable and proprietary information to outside parties.
  • PSERS' employee use of confidential and proprietary information for their own personal gain.
  • PSERS' employee accepting or seeking anything of value from PSERS Board members and their designees, members, beneficiaries, survivor annuitants, alternate payees, employers, contractors, vendors, consultants, investment managers or persons providing services/materials to PSERS.
  • Forgery, alteration, or falsification of records.
  • Conflicts of interest, bribery, and other forms of official corruption.
  • Using PSERS' resources (e.g., email, servers, computers, facilities, or personnel) to conduct any business that does not relate to PSERS business or directly benefit PSERS, excluding incidental personal use.
  • Intentionally taking any action that results in a benefit, advantage, or outcome to which the recipient is not entitled, such as circumventing established procedures or policy to meet targets resulting in increased incentive compensation, or intentionally misrepresenting performance data to another PSERS employee or agent, to the PSERS Board of Trustees, or externally.
  • Intentionally distorting the truth to a member, beneficiary, survivor annuitant, alternate payee, employer, or an entity in a contractual relationship with PSERS to convince the person, employer, or entity to give up money, property, some right or entitlement, or other possession rightfully belonging to that person, employer, or other entity for personal reasons, such as personal gain or recognition, or to benefit PSERS improperly.
  • Intentionally falsifying retirement information.
  • Falsely claiming a disability retirement.
  • Continuing to receive retirement benefits of a deceased member.
  • Any intentional deceptive practice designed to improperly inflate a member's pension benefit.
  • Contractual agreements or other agreements intended to inflate a member's salary prior to retirement.
  • Mischaracterization of non-regular compensation as base salary.
  • Salary giveback schemes intended to inflate earnings for pension calculation purposes.
  • Intentional misreporting of service credit.
  • Improper enrollment of consultants or independent contractors (e.g., school solicitor) as members for service credit purposes.
  • Earnings after retirement abuses.
  • Improper school district approval of a prior service credit request.

What information should I report to help PSERS conduct a thorough investigation?

The following information would be helpful:

  • Who was/is involved?
  • What type of activity was/is taking place?
  • When did the activity or incident take place? Is it still occurring?
  • Where was/is the activity taking place?
  • Why was/is the activity being done?
  • How was/is the activity being carried out? (Please describe the activity in as much detail as you can provide.)
  • Records, files or documentation supporting the allegation.
  • How to contact you if we have additional questions.  
Can I file a report anonymously?

​Yes.  You may choose not to identify yourself when filing a complaint.  If you submit an anonymous complaint, it may be more difficult to investigate and prove the allegations.  On the contrary, if you choose to identify yourself, PSERS will make every attempt to maintain your confidentiality. In some cases, however, PSERS may be required to turn over information to the appropriate authorities, such as law enforcement.

Who may file a report?

​Anyone with knowledge of any wrongdoing concerning PSERS may file a report, including but not limited to, PSERS employees, Board members and their designees, members, relatives of members, teachers and other school district employees, vendors, contractors, consultants, investment managers and citizens.

Do any specific laws address FWA?

Yes. The PSERS Retirement Code addresses fraud and the correction of errors:

§ 8534.  Fraud and adjustment of errors.

(a)   Penalty for fraud.  --Any person who shall knowingly make any false statement or shall falsify or permit to be falsified any record or records of this system or plan in any attempt to defraud the system or plan as a result of such act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(b)   Adjustment of errors.  --Should any change or mistake in records result in any member, participant, beneficiary, survivor annuitant or successor payee receiving from the system or plan more or less than he would have been entitled to receive had the records been correct, then regardless of the intentional or unintentional nature of the error and upon the discovery of such error, the board shall correct the error and if the error affects contributions to or payments from the system, then so far as practicable shall adjust the payments which may be made for and to such person in such a manner that the actuarial equivalent of the benefit to which he was correctly entitled shall be paid. If the error affects contributions to or payments from the plan, the board shall take such action as shall be provided for in the plan document.