2020

"I want to retire/enter DROP now please!"

Date: Mar 26, 2020 Categories: News Articles, Press Release, Retirement Resources

If this is you, we are glad that you’re ready to retire or enter DROP. However, there are a few things we want you to know right now:   You are one of literally hundreds of members who are currently requesting information or a counseling appointment. Before the coronavirus outbreak, our retirement counselors were booked two months in advance. We have no choice but to prioritize and reschedule most appointments. We are running our core operations with very limited staff.   If you want to retire now, you must submit your application online via the secure Member Portal. If you need assistance with your Member Portal account, send a message through our Contact Us page. This electronic application is not final – you will be able to make changes during your phone appointment.   If you want to enter DROP immediately and already had an appointment scheduled, you will be contacted. If you are just thinking about entering DROP or retiring soon and have questions, please utilize the resources on our website. We have several fact sheets as well as FAQs that will answer all of your general questions. Register to attend one of our upcoming webinars. We hold at least three webinars or seminars per month and will be announcing additional webinars next week.    For specific questions about your retirement account, please send us a message through our Contact Us page SDCERS cannot provide personalized benefit estimates on request – please use the Benefit Estimate Calculator tool in your Member Portal account for this.   Learn More...

MESSAGE TO OUR MEMBERS DURING CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

Date: Mar 24, 2020 Categories: News Articles, Press Release

RETIRED MEMBERS: We want to reassure you that pension benefits will continue to be paid on time – you can expect your benefit to be deposited into your account on the last business day of each month. We are still processing health reimbursement requests as usual. However, due to most employees telecommuting at present, your request will likely be processed faster if you can send in the paperwork via email (attached as a PDF) to health@sdcers.org. Alternatively, you may fax your documents to (858) 581-5314, or mail them to our office at 401 West A Street, Ste. 400, San Diego, CA 92101.NON-RETIRED MEMBERS: Please be advised SDCERS is currently experiencing a flood of requests for retirement counseling appointments. On top of this, we are having to reschedule many current appointments and prioritize those that are most urgent. If you are thinking about retiring soon, please review the fact sheets and FAQs on our website, which may help answer many of your questions in advance. You can also utilize our Benefit Estimate Calculator by logging in to your Member Portal account. Once you have reviewed all of the pertinent information, if you want to schedule a retirement counseling appointment, you must submit an online retirement application through your Member Portal account by clicking “Online Applications” on the left panel. Keep in mind this electronic application is not final – your submission simply prompts us to contact you to schedule a counseling appointment. Those who have a counseling appointment already scheduled, as well as those who have recently requested an appointment, will be contacted by SDCERS staff sometime in the coming weeks. Please bear with us as we are understaffed and overwhelmed with requests for appointments. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this uncertain and confusing time.  As a reminder to all, our offices are currently closed, so you may not drop off any paperwork in person or meet with SDCERS staff. Additionally, our Call Center is closed, which means no one is available to answer our main line. Instead, please submit all inquiries through our Contact Us page and someone will reach out to you as soon as possible. Learn More...

UPDATE: SDCERS Is Temporarily Closed, March Pension Benefits WILL Be Paid On Time

Date: Mar 20, 2020 Categories: News Articles, Press Release

ATTENTION (updated as of 3/20/2020): Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SDCERS continues to remain operational. However, effective today due to the statewide shelter in place order, our offices are closed until further notice. This means that all retirement counseling appointments scheduled over the next week will be rescheduled. Please note that March pension benefits will be paid on time.   You must send any paperwork (such as health reimbursement requests, for example) via email or U.S. mail. For the foreseeable future, you will not be able to drop off any paperwork at the office. Health-related paperwork can be emailed to health@sdcers.org or faxed to 858-581-5314. All documents can be mailed to our offices at 401 West A Street, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101. Please note that any paperwork that is faxed or sent via U.S. mail will not be processed until SDCERS' offices reopen.    The March 23rd DROP Entry Seminar is still expected to be held as an online webinar that can be attended remotely by anyone who has a computer and internet access. Those who are registered for this seminar should have received an email with further details and instructions for attending this online webinar. If you did not receive this email and believe that you should have, please email Communications Manager Jessica Maloney at maloneyj@sdcers.org.   To reiterate, there are no SDCERS staff members working at the office until further notice. This means no one is available to answer the main phone lines. Instead of calling, please use the Contact Us page on our website to submit inquiries electronically.   Please continue to take all precautions to stay healthy and remain at home whenever possible. Learn More...

SDCERS' 2nd Updated Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Date: Mar 19, 2020 Categories: News Articles, Press Release

ATTENTION (updated as of 3/19/2020): Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SDCERS continues to remain operational. However, effective today, our offices are closed to non-SDCERS staff members. This means that all retirement counseling appointments will either take place over the phone or be postponed until a later date. Those who have upcoming appointments will be contacted by an SDCERS staff member to discuss how you’d like to proceed.   You must send any paperwork (such as health reimbursement requests, for example) via email or U.S. mail. For the foreseeable future, you will not be able to drop off any paperwork at the office. Health-related paperwork can be emailed to health@sdcers.org or faxed to 858-581-5314. All documents can be mailed to our offices at 401 West A Street, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101.   Also, for the remainder of March, all scheduled seminars will be held as online webinars that can be accessed remotely. Those who are registered for the March 23rd DROP Entry Seminar should have received an email with further details and instructions for attending this online webinar. If you did not receive this email and believe that you should have, please email Communications Manager Jessica Maloney at maloneyj@sdcers.org.   As always, if you have a retirement-related emergency, please contact our Call Center at (619) 525-3600. Please be advised our Call Center is extremely understaffed for the time being and call waiting times may be longer than usual. For any non-emergencies, please use the Contact Us page on our website to submit inquiries electronically.   Please continue to take all precautions to stay healthy. Learn More...

SDCERS' Updated Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Date: Mar 17, 2020 Categories: News Articles, Press Release

ATTENTION (updated as of 3/17/2020): Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SDCERS continues to remain operational. However, we will be discontinuing in-office visits. This means that all retirement counseling appointments will either take place over the phone or be postponed until a later date. Those who have upcoming appointments will be contacted by an SDCERS staff member to discuss how you’d like to proceed.   We also ask that you send any paperwork (such as health reimbursement requests, for example) via email. If you do not have access to email, you may mail in your documents or, if absolutely necessary, you can drop the paperwork off at the office. However, no staff members will be available to meet with any visitors to the office in person. Health-related paperwork can be emailed to health@sdcers.org - please attach any documents as PDF's only, as our firewalls will block any emails with non-PDF attachments. If you have other documents to send in, please inquire via the Contact Us page on our website and someone will contact you about where to send your paperwork.     Also, for the remainder of March, all scheduled seminars will be held as online webinars that can be accessed remotely. Those who are registered for the March 23rd DROP Entry Seminar will be receiving an email with further details and instructions for attending this online webinar.   As always, if you have a retirement-related emergency, please contact our Call Center at (619) 525-3600. Please be advised our Call Center is extremely understaffed for the time being and call times may be longer than usual. For any non-emergencies, please use the Contact Us page on our website to submit inquiries electronically.   Please continue to take all precautions to stay healthy. Learn More...

SDCERS' Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

Date: Mar 16, 2020 Categories: Events, News Articles, Press Release

ATTENTION: Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, SDCERS continues to remain open for business. This means that if you have an appointment with one of our retirement counselors, you are under the age of 65, and you are healthy, please come in on your scheduled date and time unless you have been contacted by an SDCERS representative and told otherwise. However, if you are coughing, sneezing, achy, feverish, or having difficulty breathing, please postpone your visit to SDCERS until you are healthy again. If you have a retirement-related emergency or if you’d like to reschedule your appointment, please contact our Call Center at (619) 525-3600. You may also reach us through our website's contact us submission form, here. We have a number of staff members out of the office for the foreseeable future, so if you have a non-emergency, please use our online contact us form rather than calling the Call Center in order to keep our call waiting times down at a reasonable level.   Also, for the remainder of March, all scheduled seminars will be turned into webinars that can be accessed remotely as long as you have computer and internet access. Those who are registered for the March 17th and March 23rd seminars will be receiving an email with further details and instructions for attending these webinars.   We at SDCERS consider the health and safety of our staff and members a top priority. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus and are committed to being responsive as the situation evolves. In addition to following the guidelines set by the state, county, and city, SDCERS has taken the following steps towards keeping our offices a safe place for staff and members to visit: We have encouraged anyone on our staff who is feeling ill to stay home; We are encouraging members to reschedule their appointments it they are feeling ill; Our building always follows all OSHA guidelines for sterilization and cleanliness; We have taken extra steps to educate our staff on the importance of hand washing and breaking habits like touching our face, nose, and eyes; and We are wiping down keyboards, counters, and office areas frequently throughout the day. Please take all precautions to stay healthy! Learn More...

What Can You Do With Your DROP Account?

Date: Feb 07, 2020 Categories: DROP, News Articles

If you are eligible to participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (“DROP”), you have the chance to build up a sizeable nest egg during your participation period. (See the DROP Fact Sheet for more information.) When you’re ready to exit DROP and fully retire, you’ll have to decide what you want to do with that nest egg. Here are your options: Receive the funds as a lump sum payment Rollover the funds to a qualified plan Annuitize the funds (over 20 years or life expectancy) Combination Please read the full article for an explanation of each option. However you decide to receive your DROP account, just make sure it’s the right choice for your financial circumstances. It doesn’t matter what anyone else does – just do what makes sense for you and your future!   Learn More...

Member Portal & Systems Restored!

Date: Feb 06, 2020 Categories: Member Portal, News Articles, Press Release

UPDATE: The Member Portal and IRIS are both back up and running as of approximately 3:00 p.m. today! You should now be able to log in to your Member Portal account. Please call SDCERS at (619) 525-3600 if you experience further difficulty or if you have any other questions regarding your SDCERS account. Thank you for your patience while we experienced technical difficulties.  ​ATTENTION: The SDCERS Member Portal is currently unavailable due to unexpected network connectivity issues. This means you will be unable to access your Member Portal account until these issues are resolved. SDCERS staff is working around the clock with our external IT vendor to fix the problem as quickly as possible. We will update this article as soon as the Member Portal is back online.   Additionally, our internal information system, IRIS, which we use to store and access member data and accounts, is also down due to the same connectivity issues. Therefore, you are welcome to contact our Call Center at (619) 525-3600, but staff will not be able to access your specific account information and will be unable to immediately answer most questions until IRIS is back up and running. In the meantime, we are happy to take a message and a staff member will contact you as soon as our systems are restored.   We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience – we know many of our members rely on access to their Member Portal account and have time-sensitive issues that need to be addressed quickly and efficiently. Please know that customer service is one of SDCERS’ core values and we are doing everything we can to restore the Member Portal and our internal systems as expeditiously as possible. We will update this article periodically as we find out more information. Learn More...

SDCERS Becomes a Data Privacy Day Champion

Date: Jan 28, 2020 Categories: News Articles, Press Release

January 28th is "Data Privacy Day," the annual international effort by hundreds of organizations and individuals who collaborate to generate awareness about the importance of respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust. SDCERS has announced its commitment to Data Privacy Day by signing up as a Data Privacy Day 2020 Champion.  As a Champion, SDCERS recognizes and supports the principle that all organizations share the responsibility of being conscientious stewards of personal information.   Data Privacy Day is part of a greater campaign that promotes awareness of the importance of privacy, highlights easy ways to protect personal information, and reminds organizations that privacy is good for business. This year, we are encouraging everyone to “Own Your Privacy” by learning more about how to help protect the valuable data that is online. One simple thing you can do is to update your privacy settings on your electronic devices. SDCERS is dedicated to safeguarding your personal information.  We also understand the importance of being transparent and are committed to letting you know how we use, collect, and store personal information.  Learn more about SDCERS’ Privacy Policy at https://www.sdcers.org/About-SDCERS/Privacy-Policy.aspx. Read the full article to learn more about Data Privacy Day and SDCERS' efforts to protect your privacy.   Learn More...

2019 1099-R Tax Forms

Date: Jan 22, 2020 Categories: 1099R, Member Portal, News Articles

IRS Form 1099-R’s were mailed on January 13th from our vendor based in Chicago. This means all SDCERS retirees and beneficiaries who received a payment from SDCERS in 2019 should be receiving their 2019 1099-R forms via U.S. mail over the next couple of weeks. To access your 1099-R form sooner, please log in to your Member Portal account, click on “1099R and W2” on the left, and select “2019 1099R” to download an electronic copy. You can also update your tax withholding preferences on your Member Portal by clicking on “Tax Withholding.” This guide explains how to update your tax withholding preferences.   For a detailed explanation of the pertinent information in your 1099-R, as well as answers to frequently asked questions regarding this tax form, please review our 1099-R Fact Sheet. If you have additional questions, please contact the Call Center at (619) 525-3600 or submit your questions electronically via our Contact Us web form. Learn More...

Welcome Lana Radchenko to SDCERS' Audit Committee!

Date: Jan 13, 2020 Categories: Board, News Articles, Press Release

At its January 10, 2020 meeting, SDCERS’ Board of Administration unanimously appointed Lana Radchenko as the newest Independent Non-Board Member of SDCERS’ Audit Committee.Lana Radchenko, Independent Non-Board Member of SDCERS’ Audit Committee. Ms. Radchenko is President of Rad On Point Consulting LLC, which focuses on helping businesses make better decisions by mitigating risks with improved controls, processes, and systems. Ms. Radchenko previously worked for Sempra Energy from 2004 to 2019 in several management positions, including corporate compliance, audit services, information technology, supply management, business controls, and accounting research. Prior to that, she spent 19 years in public practice with Deloitte & Touche and Resources Global Professionals. Ms. Radchenko holds designations as a Chartered Professional Accountant, a Certified Internal Auditor, and a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional.   SDCERS is extremely lucky to add Ms. Radchenko to our Audit Committee and we know we will benefit greatly from her expertise. Please join us in welcoming our newest member of the Audit Committee! Learn More...