HARRISBURG, Pa. — Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has lost a legal battle to restore his $4,900-a-month pension, a benefit that was canceled two years ago after he was sentenced for child molestation.

The State Employees’ Retirement Board’s 122-page opinion, made public Friday, determined Sandusky remained a Penn State employee after his announced retirement in 1999, meaning his abuse of children fell under a 2004 state law that added sexual offenses against students to the crimes that trigger forfeiture.

Sandusky attorney Chuck Benjamin said he planned to file a challenge to the decision in court.

“All I can say at this point is we’re looking forward to litigating the revocation of the pension in court,” Benjamin said. “That’s the next step of this process. We’ve exhausted our administrative remedies, and now we’ll be filing papers within the next 30 days in court.”

The decision went against the recommendation in June by a hearing examiner who said Sandusky had already retired by the time the Pension Forfeiture Act was expanded. Six sex crimes against two children met standards of the forfeiture law, the board said.

“He knew that his pension was conditioned on not performing certain conduct,” the opinion said. “He elected to engage in that conduct.”

Sandusky, 70, is serving a decades-long sentence and appears likely to die in prison. His wife, Dottie, also lost the right to continue collecting 50 percent of her husband’s pension upon his death.