The UC Retirement Administration Service Center, or RASC, rolled out a new record-keeping system in March. Now, that system is causing delays in service and backlogs of retirement documentation for more than 100 newly retiring UC employees.
According to UC Office of the President, or UCOP, spokesperson Sarah McBride, the new program replaced a 37-year-old system that could no longer adequately process new pension tiers, the Retirement Choice Program or the business needs of RASC. The UC system is working on updating the new program and hopes to have the issues resolved by July 1 to ensure that new retirees receive their first payments on schedule, according to the UC website.
“We want to assure our retirees that we are doing everything possible to resolve the current backlog, and that this delay in processing will not affect the pension or health benefits they receive,” McBride said in an email. “We sincerely apologize for the delay, as we understand the importance of financial security in retirement.”
According to McBride, though the delay is affecting the payments of those in the process of retiring, current retirees are receiving their benefit payments on schedule.
In response to the delays in processing, RASC is experiencing high call volumes and longer wait times, according to the UC website. UCOP has hired additional support staff to assist RASC employees, extended staff work hours to include nights and weekends in order to process delayed retirement packages, and formed focused teams dedicated to working on the issue to compensate for the long queues.
According to McBride, the new processing system is not completely culpable for all the delays experienced by newly retiring employees.
“Due to the delay, retirees have understandably submitted duplicate documentation multiple times,” McBride said in an email. “In some cases, this has led to additional delays as staff try to locate the most up-to-date and accurate information submitted.”
McBride added that other delays have been caused by circumstances involving inaccurate or incomplete paperwork, missing signatures and other issues that are separate from the processing system.
According to the website, the delays in processing retirement documentation will not affect pensions or health benefits, which will be applied retroactively based on retirement dates once the delays are resolved.
Once completely functional, the new system will allow the university to establish long-term sustainability and increased functionality when processing member retirements and survivor payments, which some family members and dependents of retirees receive after the death of a retiree, according to McBride. She added that a new self-service online system for all retirees will be implemented in September, which will help further improve service and wait times for all retirement-related concerns.