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Thursday, February 19, 2009

If I Had A Hammer

I'd use it. I'm starting to get some reports of members who retired after the formation of the IAP (1/1/2004). PERS has a number of ways that members who retire can receive their IAP balances. Of course there is the ubiquitous lump-sum. In this mechanism you can just roll your balance over into an IRA and be in total control of the balance. However, many people want to have PERS manage the money and distribute it in one of several methods available. The common method is quarterly distribution over a five year period. It is this category that seems to be biting retirees lately. The normal routine is that retirees get their quarterly installment plus (or minus) earnings between the 11th and 15th of every month. The IAP money seems to be managed by State Street Investors and the third party administrator seems to be ING - the Dutch financial enterprise. I've started to get emails from people who are claiming that the payments due between 11th and 15th of February are already late and PERS isn't sure when they will receive them. Do we have a case of ING holding on to the money? ING is having some liquidity problems? Or something purely coincidental? I hope it is the latter. I've got some chunk of savings in an ING online account and have earned a good chunk of interest. I hope that ING isn't starting to fiddle with IAP members' money. If they are, it will be time to use that hammer.


pgornick said...

Is somebody mixing up the OSGP and the IAP? I thought State Street *was* the third party administrator for the IAP, whereas ING is the administrator of the OSGP.

mrfearless47 said...

The issue is with ING and the IAP. This is, at least according to PERS responses I've seen, where the delay is occurring. Perhaps once someone takes distribution of the IAP and goes for a longer-term distribution, ING gets into the act to distribute the payment on a "timely" basis.

pgornick said...

I now see when I go to the IAP website that ING does appear in the bottom banner (I'm pretty sure State Street used to be there).

The PERS' website IAP Q&A says that the investments are managed by the OIC. Perhaps State Street was dumped after the decision to move to annual crediting was made?

Of course, the same Q&A for the IAP says "Retirement payments are mailed pre-sorted first class on the last working day of each month and cannot be picked up in person. You can also have your benefit check automatically deposited."

mrfearless47 said...

And therein lies the problem. Those automatic deposits aren't showing up this month and no one knows exactly why - or at least they're not telling yet.

MollyNCharlie said...

After earlier assurances about how 'secure' PERS retirement benefits are, this is disturbing even to those of us *not* involved in an IAP.


mrfearless47 said...

I've started to hear from some of my original correspondents that the ING deposit showed up in bank accounts yesterday. That's onl 9 or 4 days late depending on when the check normally appeared. Perhaps this is a one-time glitch, or perhaps it is the beginning of a pattern. We'll have to check back in for the May deposit. In the meantime, this has suddenly become a non-issue.