The Report of the Special Commission on Pension Forfeiture (S2074) includes the Board’s position to prohibit payment of pensions to teachers convicted of child pornography charges

Among several recommendations made by The Special Commission on Pension Forfeiture, the Commission proposes expanding the definition of crimes “involving violation of the laws applicable to [the member’s] office or position,” to include convictions related to the possession of child pornography, and certain other sex offenses involving children, for teachers and other public employees “whose primary job responsibilities involve contact with children.”

This specific recommendation of the Special Commission adopts the Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement Board’s position that, in the very rare instance when a teacher is convicted of the possession of child pornography or other sex crimes against children, even if “off duty,” that teacher should forfeit his or her pension because such crimes are repugnant to the special trust and duty inherent in the position of teacher. The Commission went further than the Board’s original legislation (H22) by applying the standard to any member of a retirement system whose primary job responsibilities involve contact with children, as part of their job duties.

The Board testified in support of the Special Commission’s recommendation expanding the definition of laws “applicable to one’s position,” which was included in the Commission’s legislative package of recommendations (S2074A).

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