Retirement Services Division Memorandum 2016-03

July 28, 2016

To the Heads of All State Agencies

Attention:    All Human Resources and Payroll Officers
Subject:    State Employees Retirement System Information Procedures for Processing Employee Retirement Applications

I. Introduction

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide agency human resources staff with an update on the CT Pension project and additional direction concerning the processing of State Employees Retirement System (SERS) retirement applications.

II. CT Pension Project Update

The Retirement Services Division (RSD) has implemented new functionality to the existing Core-CT Pension system on June 20, 2016. This release is centered on the implementation of an automated benefit calculator to assist the RSD in processing SERS retirements. As a result of the implementation, RSD will be making procedural changes to the retirement benefit process. This is part of a larger effort to standardize retirement policies and procedures statewide while continuing to better serve active employees and retirees.
Further system improvements are scheduled in 2016 and 2017:

Additional information on the system changes and impacts to agencies will be forthcoming.

III. Retirement Application Process Updates

A. Final Average Earnings

Through the development of the Core-CT Pension system, the Office of the State Comptroller has made executive decisions surrounding the calculation of retirees’ Final Average Earnings (FAE). In the coming months, the Retirement Services Division will provide agencies with updated procedures on the FAE calculation. Until that time, agencies are asked to continue to complete Part III (Earnings for the Three Highest Years of State Service) when completing and submitting an employee’s Retirement Application (CO-898) using the current methodology. Agencies are advised to remind employees that these estimates are subject to change after review by a Retirement Services Division auditor and may impact their overall retirement benefit amount.

For employees nearing retirement, agencies are advised to refer their employees to the estimates provided during the counseling session, if attended. In addition, agencies are reminded that on-line benefit estimators are available to help an employee determine his or her retirement benefit. The employee will be responsible for entering the relevant data (age, length of service, salary, etc.) and the calculator will produce an estimated benefit by option factor.

The benefit estimators can be found on the OSC website under "Employee Resources" at http://www.osc.ct.gov/empret/indxwork.htm

B. SERS Tier II Retirement Credit For Leaves of Absence Without Pay

SERS Tier II non-hazardous and hazardous duty members are reminded to complete the following required forms when requesting retirement credit for qualifying leaves of absence without pay:

In addition, agencies are required to include applicable retirement credit that has been obtained or purchased on Part II (Service Record) of the CO-898 Application for Retirement Benefits. For additional information, please reference the Retirement Services Division Memorandum 2012-04.

C. New Retirement Applications

Retirement Services Division Memorandum 2014-04 which referenced the Processing of Applications for Retirement Benefits the CO-898 (revised 8/2015) has been modified based on the following changes. The Checklist for Retirement Applications (Attachment I) and Additional Information with Retirement Application (Attachment II) have been modified and attached to this memorandum. Please note that multiple copies of the Retirement Application are no longer required.

IV. Conclusion
The Retirement Services Division - Customer Service Center should be contacted with any questions or concerns at 860-702-3480.


Very truly yours,

STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION
KEVIN LEMBO, SECRETARY EX OFFICIO

By:

Brenda K. Halpin, Director
Retirement Services Division

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Attachments - Check List for Retirement Applications
Additional Information Required with Retirement Applications
 

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