The coronavirus (COVID-19) has spawned an unprecedented number of new policies, procedures, and ways of doing business. CalPERS has been affected like everyone else. By way of response, CalPERS has announced a new website specifically addressing the status of their operations and changes to their normal procedures as a result of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The website includes Frequently Asked Questions that may dispel a lot of confusion surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
Attorneys at the Long Beach firm of Cantrell Green are constantly monitoring how the current global economic uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic impacts you, CalPERS and your retirement benefits. This article discusses some important updates that Cantrell Green attorneys want you to know.
CalPERS Pension Payments and Payment Schedule
According to the CalPERS website, there will be no change in your check amount due to circumstances related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Of course, changes to deductions, such as taxes, could affect the warrant amount. Further, pay cuts or furloughs will not impact your retirement check or CalPERS’ ability to issue it. Retirement checks should be received according to schedule.
CalPERS Customer Service
Although CalPERS’ Sacramento headquarters and regional offices are closed pursuant to California’s stay-at-home protocols, the Contact Center remains open and is fully operational. Because of the volume of questions, wait times are a little longer than normal. If you don’t want to wait on hold, you can always access your myCalPERS account to make any changes to your account online or to submit a secure member inquiry.
CalPERS Health Care Services
All HMO, PPO, basic and Medicare plan features remain the same, with one notable exception. Costs and fees for testing for the coronavirus (COVID-19) are waived for all CalPERS health members. It is advisable to postpone any non-essential hospital visits, both for your safety and for the safety of health care workers.
CalPERS Investment Portfolio
Chief Investment Officer Ben Meng and his team have been preparing for a market drawdown over the past year and are in far better shape in terms of preparedness than during the financial crisis of 2008. According to CalPERS, the investments boast a healthy liquidity position, a diverse portfolio and asset allocation. Its total fund perspective provides a stable base while allowing for flexibility to pursue appropriate investments. In other words, CalPERS is in a good position to mitigate risks and capitalize on investment opportunities.
CalPERS Takes Steps to Reduce Impact of COVID-19 on Services
According to CalPERS, a concerted effort is being made to reduce the negative impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the services they provide. CalPERS administration is prioritizing staff workload to make sure that the most critical needs are addressed in a timely manner. In order to minimize impact to their members, CalPERS is concentrating time and effort toward processing refund request applications as quickly as possible. In addition, service to those with a pending retirement date are given priority by the CalPERS team. Pending retirees will be contacted to notify them that the election packet is on its way, and to make sure they understand important deadlines so the election can be determined prior to the employee’s retirement date.
CalPERS Employee Questions
The CalPERS website has a web page devoted to their response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). That web page can be accessed at https://www.calpers.ca.gov/page/coronavirus. The page is updated frequently and contains much valuable information.
CalPERS Retirement Disability Attorneys
Attorneys at Cantrell Green stay up to date on the latest developments regarding CalPERS and how these things relate to our clients. We will keep you posted as CalPERS develops and changes their plans in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). If you have questions or wish to make an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys, please give us a call.
If you are injured on the job close to the time you intend to retire, we would be happy to help you determine your eligibility for disability retirement under the CalPERs system.
This article applies to members of California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS); and does not reflect the rules, laws or regulations governing how other public retirement systems are administered. If you have question about another public employee retirement system, find your system, below – or call our attorneys at: 562-622-4800
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