State of Connecticut

This page was last updated on: April 15, 2011

CONNECTICUT STATE EMPLOYEES
RETIREMENT COMMISSION
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
CONSULTING SERVICES FOR
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT STATEMENTS

I. STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES

The State of Connecticut, acting through the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission, is seeking to obtain a contract with an organization to provide on an annual basis over a four year period personal statements of benefits for State Employees Retirement System members. The statements must present information that is clear, concise, up-to-date and useful for members' future retirement planning. The contract period will commence on or about April 1, 2005 and expire on March 31, 2009.

II. BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Connecticut State Employees Retirement System (CSERS) is a defined benefit plan funded on an actuarial basis serving approximately 48,000 active, 1750 inactive vested and 37,000 retired members in accordance with the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS), Chapter 66. CSERS is a three-tier plan with four separate plan calculation routines plus three hazardous duty calculations.

The Office of the State Comptroller's Retirement & Benefit Services Division (Division) administers the provisions of CGS, Chapter 66 under the direction of a single board of trustees known as the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Commission (Commission).

The Division maintains an in-house data base system with information on members' retirement plan membership and beneficiaries, employment records, earnings and applicable contributions, and additional service credit which is used in the calculation and processing of monthly retirement benefits.

Some of the services provided to members by the Division are pre-retirement planning workshops, individual benefit counseling sessions, summary plan description booklets and, pursuant to Chapter 66 of the CGS, annual personal statements of benefits.

A sample of the current laser printed booklet design of the CSERS Personal Statement of Benefits is enclosed as "Exhibit A".

III. SCOPE OF SERVICES

The contractor will be expected to perform the following services:

A. Design, produce and distribute a personal statement of benefits annually for all active and inactive, vested CSERS members which must include at a minimum the following:

  1. General text providing information about employee retirement, health and supplemental benefits.
  2. Year to date and life to date employee contributions and accrued interest payable on contributions.
  3. Estimated values of a member's retirement benefit at normal retirement and illustration of available benefit payment options using member's employment and plan membership data as provided by the Division.
  4. Informational paragraphs regarding retirement plan and insurance benefits available to disabled members.
  5. Lump sum retirement plan and life insurance survivors' benefits along with informational text on monthly retirement plan survivor benefits and survivors' medical and dental benefits.
  6. Informational text describing active employees' available medical and dental benefit options.
  7. Member's retirement plan membership.
  8. Member's personal data such as date of birth, Social Security number (last four digits only), employee number and address.
  9. A listing of member's retirement plan beneficiaries.
  10. A listing of member's group life insurance beneficiary(ies).
  11. Member's additional service credit data.
  12. Information text on personal data correction procedures.
  13. Informational text describing each benefit that is easily understood and presents a clear picture of the values of the member's benefit.
  14. A random satisfaction survey for members to express their opinions about the benefits information provided on their statements.

B. Confer with Division staff at the Division's offices to develop the preliminary and final design and content of the statements and furnish up to ten production meeting manuals.

C. Assist in the development of work plans and schedules for the statement design and production.

  1. Statements must provide benefit values as of June thirtieth and be delivered to members before September thirtieth of each year.

D. Draft statement text regarding general benefit provisions and any other desirable general and variable text.

E. Provide data processing services as follows:

  1. Contractor is responsible for all forms processing whether performed on-site at the Contractor's location or through a sub-contractor approved by the State and for maintaining the confidentiality of members' personalized data.
  2. In order to meet the established work schedule, 100% backup or similar equipment must be available.
  3. Equipment compatibility must be IBM 9-track, 6250 BPI uncompressed cartridges, data is EBCDIC format, or CD-ROM and/or diskettes, ASCII format.
  4. Work with the Division's data processing support staff in developing the data record requirements necessary to provide the detailed contribution and benefit information.
  5. The Division will be responsible for providing the contractor with the member's data as specified in Section III, 1) of this RFP.
  6. Edit and update the data until accurate for report purposes.
  7. Process a test file of approximately 100 CSERS members and prepare sample statements for review by the Division.

F. Prepare and coordinate all artwork, forms and envelopes.

  1. Prepare and design key art and type specifications for forms layout and envelopes.
  2. Provide the Division with a printer's proof cut and folded to illustrate text and artwork in the exact manner of the printed form for approval and/or modification.

G. Coordinate forms finishing and distribution.

  1. The contractor must provide for the printing, and as needed, the bursting, cutting, scoring, folding, inserting into envelopes, presorting, and first class mailing to member's home addresses within the scheduled time frames.

H. Provide appropriate management reports.

  1. Input and output records of each member to be supplied either on microfiche, CD-ROM using Adobe Acrobat or in Database format using Microsoft Access and provided to the Division before the mailing of the statements.
  2. Up to 225 copies of a "John Doe" statement (created by the contractor) to be provided at least 2 weeks before the mailing of the statements.
  3. Other reports as deemed appropriate may be requested upon initial consultation.

IV. LETTER OF INTENT REQUIREMENT

A letter of intent is required. The purpose of this letter is to indicate the contractor's intention to respond to this RFP. The letter of intent must be received at the offices of the Retirement & Benefit Services Division by 4:30 p.m. on January 14, 2005. Proposals will not be accepted if this requirement has not been met.

In this letter the contractor must provide an email address for the communication of information about the RFP. As indicated in Section V, PROPOSAL SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS, of this RFP, contractors should submit questions regarding the RFP by email. Answers to questions submitted as well as other information related to the contractor selection process will be provided to contractors at the email address provided in the letter of intent.

V. PROPOSAL SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

A. Each proposal must include the following:

  1. Title Page
  2. A title page indicating the date, subject, name of the contractor, central office address and the local office address - if a local office will be performing the contracted services - and the address, telephone number, name and title of the contractor's contact person for the purpose of clarifying any information submitted.

  3. Organizational Structure
  4. A general description of the contractor's organization, including the legal structure (corporation, partnership, franchise, etc.), the number of professional and support staff employed and the primary business functions (benefits consulting, actuarial consulting, asset management, insurance provider, etc.).

  5. Experience
  6. An outline of the contractor's background and experience in producing innovative benefit statements for large organizations, including references from large organizations and public sector organizations that the contractor has assisted in the production of personal statements of benefits.

    Identification of staff who specialize in the production of the non-personalized portion of the statement including production of the printing of text, covers, envelopes, reply cards or forms, assembly, sequence checking, shipping, etc.

  7. Computer Systems
  8. Description of on-site computer system contractor will be using.

  9. Backup Equipment
  10. Description of alternative backup for all equipment which may be used by contractor.

  11. Subcontracts
  12. Description of all services to be subcontracted, if any, and how contractor controls cost, quality, timeliness and confidentiality for these services.

  13. Recommended Workplan
  14. A recommended workplan for the completion of the design and actual production of the statement.

  15. Work Samples
  16. Samples of the products to be provided by the contractor.

  17. Fee Structure
  18. Detailed fee structure itemized by type of service, such as fees specifically for design, preparation of artwork and text, printing of the forms and personalized computer data, paper costs associated with sample statements, and the finishing process of statement production, assuming a quantity of 50,000. Cost per additional statement beyond specified count should also be included.

    Fees proposed, whether fixed or variable, shall be deemed inclusive of all expenses and all cost estimates will be considered as "not to exceed" quotations.

    Fee proposals should not include start-up costs.

    The State of Connecticut is exempt from the payment excise, transportation, and sales tax imposed by the Federal Government and the State; accordingly, such taxes must not be reflected in the proposed price. 

  19. Conflict of Interest
  20. Disclose any current or past (within the last ten years) business relationships which may pose a conflict of interest.

  21. Regulatory Issues
  22. Disclose any regulatory problems experienced in the past ten years.

  23. Affirmative Action

The proposal must include a summary of the contractor's experience with Affirmative Action including a summary of the contractor's affirmative action plan and the contractor's affirmative action policy statement.

Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 46a-68j-30(10) require agencies to consider the following factors when awarding a contract that is subject to contract compliance requirements:

    1. The contractor's success in implementing an affirmative action plan;
    2. The contractor's success in developing an apprenticeship program complying with Section 46a-68-1 to 46a-68-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, inclusive;
    3. The contractor's promise to develop and implement a successful affirmative action plan;
    4. The contractor's submission of employment statistics contained in the "Employment Information Form", indicating that the composition of its work force is at or near parity when compared to the racial and sexual composition of the work force in the relevant labor market area; and
    5. The contractor's promise to set aside a portion of the contract for legitimate small contractors and minority business enterprises, where applicable. (See CGS 32-9e)

A Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities "Notification to Bidders" and an "Employment Information Form" are attached, which should be read and completed by the contractor. (Attachment I)

Also attached is a Contract Compliance Requirement reporting form, which the contractor must complete and sign, which will be sent to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities by the awarding agency. (Attachment II)

B. An authorized agent for the contractor with authority to negotiate and contractually bind the contractor must sign the proposal; such individual's title, address, and telephone number must also be provided.

C. The contractor must submit one original, one unbound, plus eleven (11) copies of their proposal in a sealed envelope upon which a clear indication has been made of the RFP reference title and the date and time the proposal is submitted. The envelope should be delivered to:

Thomas C. Woodruff, Ph.D., Director
Retirement & Benefit Services Division
Office of the State Comptroller
55 Elm Street, Third Floor
Hartford, Connecticut 06106

D. Contractors who have questions regarding this RFP should submit them by email to the following address: osc.ebsrfp@po.state.ct.us no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 18, 2005. Answers to questions will be transmitted by Friday, January 21, 2005. No phone calls will be accepted relative to this RFP.

E. Proposals must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on February 18, 2005.

F. Some contractors may be asked to provide a presentation of their proposal to the Actuarial Subcommittee of the Commission. Such contractors will be notified by email to arrange the time and date for the presentation.

VI. SELECTION PROCESS AND SCHEDULE

Request for Proposal Questions and Response Phase

December 30, 2004 Release of RFP by Commission
January 14, 2005 Letters of intent with contractor's email address due at Commission
January 18, 2005 Questions, if any, due at osc.ebsrfp@po.state.ct.us
January 21, 2005 Division provides email response to questions received
February 18, 2005 Proposals due at Commission

Proposal Review and Contractor Selection Schedule

February 22, 2005 - February 25, 2005 Reading and Scoring of Proposals
by Screening Committee
February 28, 2005 - March 4, 2005 Finalist Interviews
March 11, 2005 Contractor Selection

VII. EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS

Each proposal will be evaluated by a Screening Committee using the following criteria to determine which contractor is most capable of implementing the Commission's requirements:

  1. Contractor's experience with and ability to perform the required services.
  2. Contractor's understanding of the project's purpose and scope, as evidence by the proposed approach and level of effort.
  3. Competitiveness of proposed cost.
  4. Availability and competence of contractor's personnel.
  5. Conformity with specifications contained herein.
  6. Proximity of contractor's staff involved to Hartford, Connecticut.
  7. Demonstration of contractor's commitment to affirmative action by full compliance with the regulations of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
  8. At the option of the Screening Committee, contractor's oral presentation.

VIII. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Contractors responding to this RFP must be willing to adhere to the following conditions and must affirmatively state their adherence to these requirements with a transmittal letter appended to their proposal response.

  1. Acceptance or Rejection by the State - The State reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals submitted for consideration. All proposals will be kept sealed and safe until the deadline for submission has passed.
  2. Conformance with Statutes - Any contract awarded as a result of this RFP must be full conformance with statutory requirements of the State of Connecticut and the Federal Government.
  3. Ownership of Proposals - All proposals in response to this RFP are to be the sole property of the State, and subject to the applicable Freedom of Information provisions of Connecticut General Statutes, Section 1-19.
  4. Ownership of Subsequent Products - Any product, whether acceptable or unacceptable, developed under a contract award as a result of this RFP is to be the sole property of the State of Connecticut, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the RFP or contract.
  5. Availability of Work Papers - All work papers and data used in the process of performing this project must be available for inspection by the State of Connecticut Auditors of Public Accounts for a period of three (3) years or until audited.
  6. Timing and Sequence - All timing and sequence of events resulting from this RFP will ultimately be determined by the State.
  7. Stability of Proposed Prices - Any price offerings from contractors must be valid for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days from the due date of the contractor proposals.
  8. Oral Agreements - Any alleged oral agreement or arrangement made by a contractor with any agency or employee will be superseded by the written agreement.
  9. Amending or Canceling Requests - The State reserves the right to amend or to cancel this RFP prior to the due date and time, if such action is deemed to be in the best interest of the State Employees Retirement Commission and the State.
  10. Rejection for Default or Misrepresentation - The State reserves the right to reject the proposal of any contractor that is in default of any prior contract or for misrepresentation.
  11. State's Clerical Errors in Awards - The State reserves the right to correct inaccurate awards resulting from its clerical errors.
  12. Rejection of Qualified Proposals - Proposals are subject to rejection in whole or in part if they limit or modify any of the terms and conditions and/or specifications of the RFP.
  13. Contractor Presentation of Supporting Evidence - A contractor, if requested, must be prepared to present evidence of experience, ability, service facilities and financial standing necessary to satisfactorily meet the requirements set forth or implied in the proposal.
  14. Changes to Proposal - No additions or changes to the original proposal will be allowed after submittal. While changes are not permitted, clarification at the request of the agency may be required at the contractor's expense.
  15. Expenses Incurred - The State will not reimburse any contractor for any costs or expenses incurred in preparing proposals or in any other connection with the RFP, including travel expenses relating to an oral presentation.
  16. Collusion - By responding to this RFP, the contractor implicitly states that the proposal is not made in connection with any competing contractor submitting a separate response to the RFP, and is in all respects fair and without collusion or fraud. It is further implied that the contractor did not participate in the RFP development process, had no knowledge of the specific contents of the RFP prior to its issuance, and that no employee of the agency participated directly or indirectly in the contractor's proposal preparation.

IX. RIGHTS RESERVED TO THE STATE

The State reserves the right to award in part, to reject any and all proposals in whole or in part, to waive technical defects, irregularities and omissions if, in its judgment, the best interest of the State will be served.