Customer Service Update
For more than 75 years, SCERS has provided retirement security for the dedicated public employees who serve the residents of Sacramento County. Our pension system is more than 80% funded and sustainable – we can provide benefits without interruption to our retirees, current employees, and generations of future workers. However, issuing our new retirees their first retirement check takes longer than it should. We can do better, and we will.
While we target 45 days to process a retirement application, only about one-third of applications are currently completed in that timeframe. Many of our new retirees are waiting more than two months for their first benefit. This is not a new dynamic but one that we are working to fix. There has been a steady increase in the number of SCERS members retiring over the last decade – a 50% increase since 2008.
Our process is still largely manual, and requires multiple layers of review and double-checking. Our staff works off paper files and retirement applications, 25-year-old databases, and even microfiche personnel records.
We are currently implementing a new IT system over the next two years that will automate this process and dramatically cut down the processing time. In the meantime, we are devoting more staff to help move retirement applications along, and are changing internal processes and finding efficiencies to reduce processing time.
We apologize for the hardship this can cause some of our members. Retirement should be a time of celebration, not a time for worry and frustration about paying bills after earning a pension from a long career in public service. We’ll be keeping you posted on our progress.