The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 9, 2011
Dialing for CalPERS Day 2: How long is the wait?

Thumbnail image for 111208 telephone_col-1.jpgWelcome to Day 2 of "Dialing for CalPERS," a regular (and highly unscientific) feature that reports how long the fund's Interactive Voice Response system tells us we have to wait to speak to a representative when we call in.

We called CalPERS today at 10:13 a.m. and worked our way through the automated phone system to the death benefits unit to get a claim status. Estimated hold time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Curious to see if the hold time was the same if we were seeking other information, we called back and navigated to retiree health benefits, specifically long-term care. The phone system suggested we check a specific website, call a different number for information or speak to a CalPERS representative. Hold time for that: 1 hour, 23 minutes.

CalPERS has said it's working on getting the telephone hold times down and has statistics that indicate that actual telephone wait times on average have been about 30 minutes. Fund spokesman Brad Pacheco is working on getting new figures, which we'll share here. Click here for more background. Next week we'll start a chart to track the results from our daily spot checks.


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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


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