STATE EMPLOYEES
RETIREMENT COMMISSION

MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD
For DISABILITY RETIREMENT
COMPTROLLER'S SEAL STATE OF CONNECTICUT 55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT
06106-1775
Telephone (860) 702-3480
Facsimile (860) 702-3489
  STATE OF CONNECTICUT  
  RETIREMENT SERVICES DIVISION
OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
 

RETIREMENT SERVICES DIVISION MEMORANDUM 2011-07

November 18, 2011

TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES

ATTENTION:   Human Resources and Payroll Officers
SUBJECT:   2011 Personal Statement of Benefits for Tier I, Tier II and Tier IIA Members of the State Employees Retirement System

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

On or about December 1, 2011, Personal Statements of Benefits for Tier I, Tier II and Tier IIA State Employees Retirement System (SERS) members will be mailed directly to members who were actively employed as of June 30, 2011 at the addresses on file with the Retirement Services Division (Division) as of that date.

The statements will contain retirement and other State employee benefit information as of June 30, 2011. Contributions and awarded interest balances will be reflected for Tier I members, Tier II hazardous duty members and Tier IIA members.

The member’s primary agency address is printed as the return address; therefore, any undeliverable statements will be returned to the agency, to the attention of the personnel or human resources office. Returned statements for members whose mailing address is incorrect, incomplete, or missing should be given directly to each member and agencies should contact the Division's Data Base Unit by telephone at 860-702-3515 or by email to osc.databaseunit@po.state.ct.us  to resolve any address discrepancies. Statements for members who have transferred from your agency should be forwarded to the new agency. Statements for members who have left state service should be accumulated and then sent to the Division’s Data Base Unit at the address on this letterhead along with a memorandum that provides the name of each terminated member, their termination date and the reason for their termination.

With respect to SERS members who report that they did not receive a Personal Statement of Benefits, please accumulate their names and forward them with identifying employee numbers to the Data Base Unit at the address on this letterhead or by email to the address provided above. Please note: employees first hired on or after June 3, 2011 will not receive a 2011 Personal Statement of Benefits. You should inform such employees that they will receive their first statement in the Fall of 2012.

The 2011 Personal Statement of Benefits has been redesigned to continue to provide employees with their personalized State Employees Retirement System (SERS) benefit information in a concise, easy to
read manner while reducing State costs and encouraging use of the retirement information available at any time to employees and state agencies on the Office of the State Comptroller’s (OSC) website at www.osc.ct.gov

In addition to specific resources for state agencies, retirement counseling workshops and benefit estimators for state employees are available on the website. The workshops provide informative “self-help” retirement counseling with the same information provided in traditional counseling sessions. These workshops are not meant to cover every retirement provision or detail, but rather are a general explanation of the most important retirement issues and considerations. Links are provided to relevant forms and outside vendors or entities as necessary. Along with the workshops, on-line benefit estimators are available to help employees determine their estimated retirement benefit. Employees are responsible for entering the relevant data (age, length of service, salary, etc.) and the calculator will produce an estimated benefit by option factor. Employees may need your help to determine “high” salary or service credit information for estimating their benefit.

We encourage you and your staff to visit the website for general information concerning retirement benefits as well as health, dental benefits and other miscellaneous employee benefits. Employees should also be encouraged to access information concerning these benefits on the OSC website.

II. SPECIFIC BENEFIT STATEMENT INFORMATION

This section of the statement provides contributory employees with their current balance of contributions and interest as of July 1, 2011.

General information on vesting, retirement age and service at normal retirement and early retirement is provided however employees are now directed to the OSC website for specific information concerning benefit payment options at retirement.

This section also provides employees with an illustration of the monthly benefit to which they may be entitled at normal retirement age based on information obtained from the State Employees Retirement Data Base (SEDB) and using assumptions described on the statement such as: the member was continuously employed on a full-time basis from the employment date shown on the statement through June 30, 2011, the member is married and the member’s spouse is the sole contingent annuitant and is the same age as they are, the member will receive the benefit at normal retirement age. The benefit illustrations reflect calculations based on an employee’s estimated service credit through June 30, 2011 only and estimated average annual salary based on their salary as of June 2011. Consequently, no benefit illustration will be available for Tier IIA employees with estimated service of less than five years. Where appropriate the benefit illustrations comply with the limitations in employee compensation and benefits required under the Internal Revenue Code.

The benefit payment option estimates are for illustrative purposes only; these amounts do not portray actual benefits. Additional service credit, breaks in service, leaves without pay, and part-time service are not incorporated in these illustrations and will affect the actual benefit amount a member will be eligible to receive at the time of retirement. In most cases, so will the age at which the member retires and the age of their spouse or other contingent annuitant.

Again, employees should be encouraged to review the additional retirement information on SERS benefits available on the OSC website. The site provides Tier I, Tier II and Tier IIA Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) as well as the online retirement counseling workshops and benefit estimators.

General information regarding group life insurance and medical and dental benefits at retirement are also provided in this section.

Agency human resources staff should contact the Division's Data Base Unit by telephone at 860-702-3515 or by email to osc.databaseunit@po.state.ct.us  if there are questions concerning an employee's contributions and interest, employment date or average annual salary amount reflected on the statement.

Miscellaneous service credit purchased by Tier I, Tier II hazardous duty and Tier IIA members and obtained by Tier II non-hazardous duty members as reflected on SEDB records is provided in this section. Please note that this section does not reflect purchases in progress nor does it reflect prior Connecticut State service for which Tier II members may automatically receive retirement credit provided there is no permanent break in service.

Members are advised to contact their Human Resources Office or the Retirement Services Division's Counseling Services Unit if they have questions concerning additional service credit. Agency human resources staff should contact the Division’s Purchasing Unit at 860-702-3511 for assistance in resolving any additional service credit issues for retirement plan members.

This section provides general information regarding benefits available to SERS members should they become disabled.

Members are advised to contact the Division's Counseling Unit directly or through their employing agency as soon as possible should they become seriously ill, injured or have a life threatening illness to ensure receipt of any benefits for which they may be eligible. Agency human resources staff should contact the Counseling Unit if they have questions regarding an employee's eligibility for disability retirement benefits. Information on disability benefits from SERS may also be obtained from the Tier I, Tier II and Tier IIA SPDs available on the OSC website.

Agency human resources staff may contact the Healthcare Policy & Benefit Services Division’s Employee Benefits Unit at 860-702-3537 for assistance on questions regarding State Group Life Insurance coverage; however, please do not refer individual employees to this number.

General information regarding those retirement, life insurance and medical and dental benefits which may be available to members' survivors under plan provisions is provided in this section as well as the amount of group life insurance for participating members and the total amount of retirement plan contributions and interest for contributory SERS members.

Agency human resources staff may contact the Healthcare Policy & Benefit Services Division’s Employee Benefits Unit at 860-702-3537 for assistance on questions regarding State Group Life Insurance coverage; however, please do not refer individual employees to this number.

Employees' personal information is extracted from the State Employees Retirement Data Base. To further safeguard members’ personal information, members’ social security numbers will no longer be printed on the statement.

Please remember that all requests to change or correct personalized information for active members must be initiated and processed at the agency level.

To correct the following State Employees Data Base errors, the information outlined below must be submitted to the Division’s Data Base Unit for processing.

For the correction or change of State Group Life Insurance beneficiaries, agency human resources or payroll staff may contact the Healthcare Policy & Benefit Services Division’s Employee Benefits Unit at 860-702-3537 for assistance; however, please do not refer individual employees to this number. Employee questions regarding the State Group Life Insurance coverage should be addressed by agency staff. Employees who wish to make group life beneficiary changes must see their agency human resources or payroll officer for the appropriate Core-CT Enrollment Statement. Once the employee completes and returns the Core-CT Enrollment Statement, the agency must data enter the information in the Core-CT system and forward the Core-CT Enrollment Statement to the Employee Benefits Unit.

III. CONCLUSION

Any questions you have concerning this memorandum or the 2011 Personal Statement of Benefits may be directed to the Division's Data Base Unit at 860-702-3515 or by email to osc.databaseunit@po.state.ct.us

Very truly yours,

STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION
KEVIN LEMBO, SECRETARY EX OFFICIO

BY:

Brenda K. Halpin, Director
Retirement Services Division

BKH/JAK/jk

Return to Index of 2011 Retirement Division Memoranda
Return to Index of Comptroller's Memoranda
Return to Comptroller's Home Page