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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Everyone Is Going Mad

The PERS machine just rolls on, running over people with gay abandon. Yesterday I finally laid hands and eyes on a copy of the form PERS is sending out to retirees when they are "invoiced" for the 1999 "overpayment" and the implementation of the Strunk/Eugene remediation. The form looks pretty straightforward and, for the most part, doesn't seem to lack any essential information needed for a mathematically competent record keeper to verify. Here is an example of a straightforward form submitted by a recipient with ALL original numbers from PERS. (Other identifiers have been photographically removed). There is nothing unusual about this form, although some were surprised to see the way PERS phrased the matter of the actuarial recovery amount (note the asterisk and what it attaches to). As a result of this form, I concluded that the PERS forms were probably adequate and that they weren't as awful as had been alleged by a deluge of emails I had received from recent recipients. But that was before I got the next one. This is from a retiree who left the PERS system 3 months outside the "window" and therefore came under a different set of rules. His situation is bizarre, to say the least, as he had been led to expect, not unreasonably, that his benefit would rise because of the decision involving the 8% earnings to be paid on 2003 contributions and on the 2004 balance. Alas, look at this form and its second page. You get bonus points if you can explain how this person has a HIGHER total account balance AFTER the Strunk/Eugene adjustments but a LOWER monthly benefit. Needless to say, this is one extremely unhappy retiree who feels he has been led like a lamb to slaughter in the PERS "play by whatever rules we happen to think of at the moment" game. Comments welcome on my other blog here. For the record, I advised this retiree to contest his invoice as it makes no sense.

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