Dear PSERS Members:
I hope you and your families remain safe and healthy as we continue to navigate these unusual times.
PSERS employees have continued to provide excellent service to our 500,000+ members even though the offices remain closed due to the pandemic. Since March 16th PSERS employees have been working remotely from their homes, with very limited visits to physical office locations.
PSERS staff has adjusted well to working remotely from home on your behalf. We have received many kind and thoughtful messages from members over these past few months and we have shared them throughout the entire Agency. Your kind messages have encouraged and helped boost the morale of PSERS staff while they work from home.
As I noted in my April message to members, the PSERS Continuity of Operations Plan helped greatly during those first few weeks in mid-March when the Agency had to quickly convert to working remotely from home. Laptops were deployed and PSERS staff have been very busy keeping up their work with minimal, if any, delays in service.
Since the March 16 office closure, PSERS has processed over 963 retirements, issued 762 refunds, responded to over 28,500 emails, answered over 3,500 phone calls, and processed two monthly benefit payrolls, all the while working remotely from their homes. PSERS staff are dedicated and hard-working. I am proud of their efforts.
PSERS also continues to improve our remote services to our members. Even though PSERS offices remain closed, I am happy to report that PSERS has been able to reopen its member service call center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but we expect these hours will be expanded over time. It is anticipated that call volumes and wait times may be slightly longer than usual as we adjust our customer service operations during the pandemic. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation as we work through this change.
PSERS staff have also quickly converted Retirement Exit Counseling sessions for members who are retiring from small in-person group meetings to small group online counseling sessions. To date, 259 small group online counseling sessions have been conducted with over 1,100 members attending these online retirement counseling sessions.
Additionally, since March 16 over 27,900 agency-wide workflows were created for class elections, estimates, address changes, nomination of beneficiaries, power of attorney, disability, account verification, and many other types of services. PSERS remote operations are working well!
In closing, it has certainly been a challenging journey for both PSERS staff and our members. Together, we are making things work. While PSERS processes and communication methods with our members had to rapidly change and adapt to the office closure, we remain as dedicated as ever to provide excellent service to our members. Remember, "With PSERS, you are on your way!"
During the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, I wish you a peaceful weekend with time to remember and reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country and the freedom we enjoy. May we always honor them and never take for granted the sacrifice they made for us.
God Bless America.
Glen R. Grell
PSERS Executive Director