Massachusetts paid $687,000 to dead pensioners

BOSTON – Massachusetts has paid out more than $687,000 to deceased pensioners. That’s according to an audit released Wednesday that also found the agency had underpaid pensioners whose designated beneficiaries had died by more than $271,000.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump says the Massachusetts State Retirement Board made payments to 105 deceased pensioners during the two-year period. The individuals had been dead for a median of 103 days and received an average overpayment of more than $4,500.

Bump attributes the problem to a failure to follow new requirements to gain access to the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. She says the retirement board has corrected the problem, recovered nearly $609,000 given out in error and restored the underpaid benefits.

The board oversees pensions for employees of the state and some other public entities.