The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 14, 2011
Dialing for CalPERS Day 5: How long is the wait?

Thumbnail image for 111208 telephone_col-1.jpgWelcome to the fifth and final entry (for now) of "Dialing for CalPERS," the ongoing (and highly unscientific) series that spot checks how long the fund's Interactive Voice Response system says callers must wait to speak with a real person.

CalPERS said it tweaked the system this morning and indeed it did. The voice recording starts by warning that peak call hours are between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.: "You may experience a shorter wait time by calling before or after these hours." Good move.

We headed into member services to apply for retirement, since more state workers retire in December than any other month. We asked for a representative and encountered the system's other new feature: an estimated range of time on hold. In this case, it was between 33 minutes and 45 minutes.

We also understand that the fund has made changes to allow more callers to get a call back rather than remain on hold. The fund is still adjusting that program, officials said at today's CalPERS board meeting.

Kudos to CalPERS for making changes to the system that will, hopefully, reduce stress levels for callers and call center employees alike.


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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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