The State Worker

Software update triggered CalPERS billing trouble

CalPERS headquarters in Sacramento.
CalPERS headquarters in Sacramento. Sacramento Bee

A CalPERS official said Tuesday that a computer software update more than three years ago contained a flaw that halted service-credit billing and payroll deductions until it was recently discovered.

Brad Pacheco, CalPERS’ deputy executive officer of communications, said that members in one of four categories have been impacted:

▪ Those who retired but whose service-credit payroll deductions failed to roll over to their pension warrants.

▪ Those awaiting a disability retirement or an industrial disability retirement determination. Once their disability status was settled, the installments should have resumed but didn’t.

▪ Members who switched employers and their payroll deductions weren’t reauthorized.

▪ Members who stopped working for an employer in CalPERS. The system didn’t flag staff to notify the member of direct payment options, so the payments stopped.

CalPERS disclosed that the error impacted 2,257 people who purchased additional retirement service credit, military service credit, sabbatical credit or other types of credit that add up to five years of work time for purposes of pension calculations. Members have to pay both the employer’s and their own share of the normal pension contribution to receive the credit.

Fund officials discovered the problem in September. CalPERS is sending out explanation letters notifying affected members that their payment periods will be extended by the number of months payments were missed.