PSPRS and CORP
One of the major duties and responsibilities of the PSPRS and CORP local pension boards and employers is the completion of all the necessary paperwork and administrative functions associated with processing benefits from each of our Plans. Partnership between our participating employer groups and their local pension board will help to ensure efficient processing of benefit packets.
To assist PSPRS and CORP local boards and employer groups with this responsibility, the System has made available several resource tools that boards and employers should become familiar with as they assist members as they apply for Plan benefits. First and foremost would be our Retirement Spreadsheets. These spreadsheets will generate all the necessary documents that will need to be submitted to our office based on the benefit type members are applying to receive; however, since PSPRS manages 3 separate pension Plans (PSPRS, CORP and EORP), it is very important that you select the appropriate retirement spreadsheet (using the incorrect one could cause a delay in your request).
PSPRS and CORP employers and local boards also have available to them our Local Board Retirement Manual and the Local Board Online Portal. Local board secretaries should spend time exploring these resources to gain a better understanding of the benefit paperwork process. For additional PSPRS and CORP local board responsibilities, see below.
Since PSPRS acts as the local board for EORP members, designated staff of the PSPRS will provide EORP members and beneficiaries with the calculation and packets for retirement, disability and/or survivor benefits.
To ensure sufficient time for processing timely payment of retirement benefits, all benefit packets must be received by the PSPRS Administrative Office by the 10th of the month in which the member/beneficiary will receive their first benefit payment.
However, since there may be a different enrollment deadlines for the insurance enrollment form, see the Health Insurance section under the Retiree tab for the Plan in which the employee is a member (PSPRS, CORP or EORP).
Example: If a member's last day of work is in July, by statute their retirement becomes effective August 1st and their fully completed retirement packet must be submitted to our offices no later than August 10th. If received by this date, the first benefit payment will be issued on the last business day of August.
Additional Responsibilities for PSPRS and CORP
Local Board Action to Approve Benefits
In order for our office to initiate any benefit payment, members must have their application for benefit presented before the local board for determination on eligibility. Local boards and employer groups need to coordinate to ensure that the local board meets to take official action on any benefit application before submitting the application to our office. As part of the benefit packet, certain documents require the local board to certify that they have met and approved the benefits. Conversely, the PSPRS Board of Trustees is required to meet and approve benefits for EORP members.
Reconciling Benefit Calculations
As a required step in the completion of benefit packets, local boards in coordination with employer groups, must calculate all benefits. Our electronic spreadsheets provide assistance in that calculation, but local boards will need to have the necessary pensionable salary and service record (including a proper accounting of leave without pay and redemption of prior service), in order to complete the calculation. Once the benefit calculation is completed based on the records of the employer, the local board can use our local board online service to reconcile against our records. Once our office receives the completed benefit packets, our office conducts a final review of the calculation based on our contribution record for the member. Any discrepancies will have to be addressed before payments can be made.
Double Check Packets before Submitting to PSPRS Administrative Office
The top reason initial pension benefits are typically delayed is that PSPRS receives an incomplete benefit packet. Incomplete or inaccurate retirement packets will be returned to the local board for proper completion, which in many cases will cause a delay in benefit payments. It is important that local boards review benefit packets thoroughly to prevent delays. When reviewing packets, keep the following in mind:
- Did you use the Retirement Checklist provided in the Local Board Retirement Manual?
- Have all areas requiring signature or acknowledgement by initial been properly completed?
- Has proper notification of local board action approving the benefit been noted? This notification typically is completed on the Form 12 of the required documents.