The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 15, 2011
Column Extra: Details about CalPERS computer system

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, some of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you the notes, the quotes and the observations that inform what's published.

Our weekly column today looks at the latest developments with the new my|CalPERS computer system and how the change from the old systems has affected the fund's call center.

The report is informed by our attendance at Wednesday's Board of Administration meeting, interviews before and after, earlier reporting and a few documents:

Item 6b on the CalPERS finance committee agenda. Scroll down to page 4, table 1. Look at PSR, which stands for the Pension System Resumption project (AKA my|CalPERS) and "Mid-Year FY 2011-12."

The document also includes this rationale for spending another $6.8 million on the new computer system (referred to here as "PSR"):

The proposed Enterprise Projects Budget is $49,855,000, an increase of $6,844,000. With the PSR launch on September 19, 2011, overtime on Customer Acceptance Testing (CAT) and other PSR related activities is necessary. These overtime costs were not part of the original FY 2011-12 Projects Budget. At the initial launch, the system was not able to deliver all of the critical functions that were originally planned; a series of releases will occur after launch and continue through 2012. As a result, additional consultant, hardware and software costs, and extended backfill resources are being requested.

Legislative pensions confuse both state workers and readers who don't work in government. Many people believe that state officials receive retirement. With a few exceptions -- Gov. Jerry Brown being one -- they don't.

This CalPERS document details the number of judges and elected state officials in pension systems. Note: Voters closed the legislators' retirement system to state lawmakers and constitutional officers on Nov. 7, 1990. Anyone elected to state office after that date does not receive a pension.

The pension accounts for the 773 people in those two systems haven't yet been put into my|CalPERS.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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