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President's Message

A Message from the President:

If you are retired and receiving a monthly pension, you are aware of some of the challenges Pension Fund faced when processing pension payments for July 1. In short, our new data system failed to produce accurate July 1 pension payments and an alternate strategy was employed to provide funds based upon the June 30 amounts. In addition to inaccurate pension payments, we had difficulty providing employers with accurate remittance invoices and were delayed in the printing and distribution of quarterly statements.

Some of the steps taken in light of the problems encountered with the new system were appropriate and helpful. Others were not as helpful. The result was that some of our pensioners were negatively impacted. I take full responsibility for authorizing the implementation of the new system and the difficulties we encountered.

My staff colleagues have been working around the clock to address and rectify issues related to the new data system. We are close to a solution that will enable us to move forward accurately and consistently. In the process, monthly pension payments have been audited to assure accuracy and, where needed, we developed appropriate procedures to resolve payment questions. We will continue work through any issues until the system meets the standards of accuracy and efficiency that you rightly expect. While problems with payments and reporting have been nettlesome, the accuracy of account balances or pension credits were never in question.

This has been an extremely frustrating and disquieting situation for you as well as for all of the Pension Fund staff. But I am extraordinarily proud of the commitment they have made to this process, often without prompting. As an example, our team of six professionals in the Call Center has worked hard to ensure your questions were answered and problems resolved. But, with nearly 6,000 pension recipients you can imagine that we encountered a massive communication challenge. To support the Call Center, other staff colleagues were pressed into service accepting calls. Even so, participants often have been unable to get connected. We apologize for any delays in assisting you.

We recognize that your trust and confidence in the Pension Fund are its greatest assets. We also know that the July 1 challenges have tarnished these. We are making every effort to correct the situation, starting with the mailing of quarterly statements on July 30 and issuing correct August 1 pension distributions. We also expect to issue accurate remittance invoices on schedule in mid-August.

Again I apologize for any concerns that these data system challenges have caused. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period of problem solving.

James P. Hamlett