Implementation Targeted for Early 2024

It was reported at the October State Retirement Board meeting that testing for the implementation of an estimated first pension payment for its retirees had resumed. The Board’s goal is to have such testing completed by the end of 2023. Executive Director Kathi Kougias informed Board members that such testing had been suspended due to certain staffing changes. However, testing had resumed for the necessary software adjustments required before launching the estimate benefit program.

If all goes as expected testing should be completed by year’s end and a limited estimated first pay program should be available to eligible members in early 2024. The program is targeted to provide eligible retirees with a first pension payment within 60 days of the applicant’s stated retirement date. It aims to address the current four to five month waiting period for such first pension payment.

However, it will initially be geared to certain applicants who have no pending buy-back or group classification status issues or service and salary certification issues. In addition to such prerequisites, certain groups of applicants may not be eligible for the estimated benefit. Members who are subject to an active DOR Child Support order, receiving Worker’s Comp. benefits, a retirement subject to a Domestic Relations Order or Higher Education member with an Optional Retirement Plan balance will not be able to participate in the estimated benefit plan. The State Board will make the determination on any pending prerequisites or eligibility limitations for members making application.

The State Retirement Board members voted unanimously to establish the estimated benefit plan in the late fall of 2022. Unfortunately, due to the required new software platform to be integrated with the existing first pay process and limited staffing resources, implementation has been delayed. According to elected Board member Frank Valeri, “It has taken some time, but I believe this program will especially help those members who have served the Commonwealth and paid into our system for years, receive payment for their service in a much more reasonable time period. The Board staff, Board members and Treasurer Goldberg’s office have worked hard to finally make this happen!”

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