School Employer Advisory Committee Meeting | CalPERS

School Employer Advisory Committee Meeting | CalPERS


Good afternoon, everyone. Can you hear me?
Yes. Smiling faces, I love it. Well, on behalf of CalPERS and our host CalSTERS, I’d like
to welcome you to the Spring edition of the School Employer Advisory Committee meeting.
Welcome to Sacramento. I wish the weather was a little bit better. Thank you for taking time out of your busy
schedules to join us in person and be at teleconference to hear the latest updates on services, programs
and policies related to your district’s work with CalPERS. My name is Rita Gallardo, and
I’m the Division Chief of CalPERS Office of Stakeholder Relations, and I’ll be the facilitator
for this afternoon’s meeting. Midway through, I’ll have to step out to attend
a meeting with some executives from our Employer Associations. We’re hosting the meeting here,
and I’ll have David Teykaerts, our Stakeholder Outreach Manager step in on my behalf and
then I’ll return before the meeting’s over. I hope to. A few housekeeping notes, and then we’ll get
started with our agenda this afternoon. For those of you that are here in person, you
should’ve picked up one of the gray CalPERS folders when you checked in this morning.
If you’ve not checked in, please do so before you leave today. Also, we have a few last minute changes to
the agenda, so please be sure you’re looking at the latest addition of the agenda, which
my staff handed out a little bit earlier. As always, please remember that we are being
joined via videoconference by many of your colleagues across the state. When it comes
to question and answer sessions after each topic discussion, please request the microphone,
as your voice will not be picked up otherwise. Our staff will bring the mics to you and for
staff that have the microphones, can you please stand up so we know who you are for right
now. Thank you, Jamie and Josh. For those of you on the webcast, if you have
questions, please feel free to email us at the SEAC mailbox, that’s [email protected]…and
the mailbox is…we have access to that here, so we’ll do our best to read your questions
aloud to the group before answering. And very often, the same question that you emailed
in gets answered by those that are here present, so great minds do think alike. So in that case, your specific question may
not get addressed, but we will be sure to get you an answer via email. If there is some
reason that your question isn’t addressed in person, I will make sure that we do circle
around and connect with you and connect you with the right resources. So with that, I think we’re ready to jump
into our agenda. I’d like to introduce you to our first speaker, who I’d like to welcome
to the podium with our topic of the day. Heather, on the topic of CalSTERS CalPERS elections. One of the changes that I do want to mention
before we get started is my office has taken the time to work with our subject matter experts.
Our goal for this meet always is to make sure that you have the best experience when it
comes to your experience in education and takeaways from our meetings. Therefore, we’re
take a little bit different approach and I think you’ll see that. The first topic is more of a topic, where
we will have our subject matter experts provide you with the information and then take questions.
We didn’t…we specifically didn’t ask for any agenda items because we want to create
an experience for you based on topics that we have discussed frequently over the last
two and one-half years. So with that. I hope that you’ll find this
experience a little bit more valuable than our past meetings and we’re always going to
look at how we can provide you a greater service of information as you move forward. So I just
wanted to make sure that you knew that, and with that, welcome. Good afternoon. Happy Friday am. My name’s
Heather Hurff. I manage the area that handles our PERS/STRS elections here at CalPERS. There
haven’t been any real changes in this area to discuss, but there have been some minor
changes that have happened within our unit that I just wanted to bring to your attention. So we’ve had some staffing changes and some
of you may know, Teresa Cox, who used to be the subject matter expert in this area has
retired. Yay for Teresa. And I do have a new employee to introduce to you today. Her name
is Roseanna Martirosian. And I may have said that wrong, so if you want to correct me.
This is Roseanna. She’s going to be taking over handling the PERS/STRS elections going
forward. We have also established a new mailbox for
you to utilize. As always, calling the 888 number would probably be the best way to get
your questions to us and answered, but if for some reason you’re having any difficulties
there or you’d like just to come in through another avenue, we do have this new PERS/STRS
election mailbox that you can send emails to, and my staff are checking daily so that
they can respond to your questions. And that is pretty much about all I have for the changes
today. We will have our panel discussion later, so
if you have any questions, I will be there for your PERS/STRS questions unless there’s
anything anybody wants to ask at this time. Hi. Teresa Canigos, Rios Community College
District. In regard to the election for her PERS and STRS, I was wondering if you might
be able to provide some clarification for permissive election positions. So if we have
an adjunct, who permissibly elects STRS and has been a PERS member in the past and I understand
on their first election of permissive election, they cannot do the 372, choosing PERS or STRS,
but in any other subsequent positions, they could then do the election to choose PERS
or STRS if, you know, have five years of service in PERS or are employed with the district.
So if I understand correctly, if someone gets hired as an adjunct in Spring and then they
have another assignment in summer and they had elected permissibly in the Spring, then
they could choose, since they’re now with the district, they could choose to elect PERS.
Is that correct? Even if they have less than five years of service? That’s my understanding. STRS would be more
appropriate to ask that question to. What… They wanted me to clarify with you. Because
I had talked with them earlier. My understanding is that as well. We just
had this come up and I spoke with Beverly at STRS to clarify myself on that matter and
they said as long as it’s a new position and that basically is left up to the employer
to establish. So as long as it shows as a new position, they would be able to have a
new opportunity to make an election and if they’re now a member of STRS by way of the
permissive election and they have the five years, or like you said, are actively working
as a CalPERS at a school employer, they would be able to do a 372. So if they’re not actively PERS…. With less than five years…. They have less than five years, but they’ve…now
they’re employed with the district, so we hired them and they elected STRS, permissibly,
and then they get hired into another adjunct assignment. They’re employed with us as a
district. If they have less than five years and they’re
no longer active, they’re now not seen as employed under a school district with CalPERS.
So they’ve had a break in service. And so we wouldn’t be able to the 372. Okay. So it’s only if they’re active as a
PERS member with the school district. They have to be active, just in a district? Correct. Okay. Okay, thank you. Any other questions? I know we’re going to
have a presentation just shortly, so I appreciate you providing the information on the staff
changes. Very good. Thank you. So I’m going to sit from here instead of getting
up and being Vanna White. For a moment, I’m just going to go ahead and conduct the meeting
from this site here. It’s pretty nice. So I’d like to, at this time, welcome Mary Ann
Ashley, Division Chief for the Legislative Affairs Division. She’s going to provide a
legislative update. There were materials that were passed around, four different documents
on legislation that our staff is tracking. Welcome, Mary Ann. Hello, everyone. I hope rain or not, that
you’re looking forward to a nice weekend and I want to wish all you moms out there, Happy
Mother’s Day. In your handouts, there’s actually what we call our legislative program update.
It’s given to the Board each Board meeting. It’s called A List and the B List. The A list
notes the CalPERS current sponsored measures. If you remember, this year we have two. We
have our annual housekeeping bill, which is AB 2375. And we also have AB 2404, which is our Retirement
Options Simplification bill. The B List are many of the other bills that we’re following
and they’re the ones that have been identified as having potentially the biggest impact to
CalPERS and ones that we may be bringing to the Board at some point for the Board to take
a position on. Currently, it’s an extremely busy time of
year. Everything is very hectic at the legislature. June 3rd is the last day for bills to be passed
from their house of origin, so bills are being moved into and out of committees frequently
and as they’re being moved in and out, they’re also being amended. So the list that you have
in front of you is already outdated. So bills have moved from committees, from
policy committees into fiscal committees and then some of them are being held because of
the cost identify to them, so it’s likely that the next summary that’s available will
be outdated by the time it’s presented. As I noted, we have two sponsored bills this
year, AB 2375 is our housekeeping bill. We will….currently, it has been amended. We’ve
added five additional provisions to it. So there are 12 provisions altogether. I believe
you have the analysis of the bill with you. It’s probably as introduced, so it probably
doesn’t contain the five additional portions that we have amended into it. Really, they
are very, very technical in nature. The five additional ones actually came from other agency
requests. For example, one was to amend Ed Code, just
to refer to the correct section in government code. We had a provision added at the request
of the State Controllers Office that has to do with the definition of actuaries. So those
are the types of amendments that you can expect in the next analysis. AB 2404 is our Retirement Options Simplification
bill. This has been presented to the Board a few times and in efforts to make things
easier, choices easier for members at the time of retirement, the 13 options have been
simplified down to five. They’re noted in the analysis. We anticipate we might have
to amend the bill slightly to address some stakeholder concerns that have been raised
frequent…or recently. It won’t be changed drastically, but if it is amended, we’ll be
sure to update you. And at the May Board meeting, we will be presenting
four bills. You might be interested in them, AB 1878, by assembly member, Joan Sawyer,
actually proposes to raise the death benefit paid to beneficiaries of a retired school
member from $5000.00 to no less, or excuse me, from $2000 to no less than $5000.00 and
it would give the Board authority to adjust that based on the all urban CPI. You may think that this has been proposed
before and you are right. It’s been tried 10 times before and the bill has never gotten
out of appropriation, so it is currently on the suspense file. We have yet to see if it
will actually get out of suspense and move forward. That one will be presented to the
PHBC committee in May. Another bill you might be interested in is
AB 2028 by assembly member Cooper, and it would require that service….require credit
for service in compensation earnable for a wrongfully terminated school member or local
safety member to include the amount of service that would’ve been credited in the compensation
earnable reported, as though the member had not been wrongfully terminated. And that bill
is sponsored by CSEA. It actually has made it out of it’s house of origin and it’s currently
assigned to the Senate PERS committee. AB 2833 is sponsored by the State Treasurer’s
Office. It has to do with investments. It’s a big topic lately. There’s been requests
for more transparency, so that’s what this bill proposes is to increase the reporting
of certain fees associated with private equity investments. And then we are taking one Federal bill to
the Board and Investment Committee as well. We do follow and monitor Federal bills and
Federal legislation. HR 4718 by member Maloney. It has to do with establishing a gender diversity
task force to look at ways and strategies to increase gender diversity among Board of
Directors. Diversity and gender diversity is also a big issue statewide and nationally. And then we are looking at health bills. We’re
currently identifying any that would have a significant impact to CalPERS. They’re noted
on your B list. We haven’t identified any that we want to take to the Board as yet,
but as bills are amended, that could change and we will keep you updated as to that. And then one final note, there has been a
change again to the Assembly PERS committee chair. It is once again Assembly Member Bonta.
So Assembly Member Cooper is no longer the chair. Assembly Member Bonta is the Chair
Assembly PERS. He’s no longer the chair of the Assembly Health Committee, so that’s a
change. But Assembly Member Bonta was the Chair of PERS before, so we’re used to working
with him. He’s a wonderful person to work with. And that concludes the update. So, I’m happy
to answer any questions? No questions? Wow. Thank you. Have a great day. Thanks, Mary Ann. I have a question, but I’ll
ask you later. Just teasing. Just want to make it interesting. And so with that, we’ll
go ahead and go onto our next topic, which will be audits and this is part one, which
we’ll discuss process with you. And for our next meeting in August, we’ll discuss part
two. And so with that, it’ll be a little bit longer presentation, but I’d like to welcome
Brad and Cheryl. Cheryl is with the Office of Audit Services
and Brad Hanson is with the Office of Employer Account Management Division. Welcome. Can we have a clicker, please? We’ll check on that. One moment please. Hi. My name is Cheryl Dietz. I’m with the
Office to Audit Services. This is my first School Employer Advisory Committee meeting,
so nice to be here. No one wants to invite us typically. So thanks for having us. So
I am the Assistant Division Chief with the Public Agency Review Unit. I’ve been with
the audits for about over 15 years and I’m a CPA, so I’m looking forward to discussing
this great topic with you. So basically today, we’re going to go over
the audit process and, I don’t know if you can really see it…..the audit resolution
process. Okay, those are the two. And then part two will be on common audit findings.
All right. So the first thing I want to discuss is typically people want to know three burning
questions. Why are we performing these reviews? How did I get selected for review? Right.
Like, why was I so lucky? And when should we get… be expecting to have an audit or
a visit to review? And then I’ll discuss when you do get selected and we do visit you, what
you should expect. So the first question, why we perform these
reviews is basically to provide assurance of your compliance with your contract and
the Public Employees Retirement law. Audits are just a necessary part of doing business
with CalPERS and I really like to think of it as it’s beneficial for everyone in that
we’re ensuring the accuracy of retirement benefits, that compensations reportable that
your members are enrolled correctly and that if retirees are coming back to work that their
rate’s stated as they need to be. So, again, I think it’s beneficial for everyone
from the member to making sure the retirement allowance is correct, to the employer to making
sure you’re your contributions are accurately, that you’re not over reporting her under reporting
your contributions. And for CalPERS because we want to make sure we’re doing our fiduciary
responsibility. All right, so I don’t want you all to fall
asleep, but sometimes you ask….people ask us what gives….why are you reviewing us?
Like what is the authority for us to review your records. Well, basically, when you signed
your contract with us, you said that you would adhere to the government code and the California
code of regulations. And in there is the 20222.5 that says we have the right to review your
records. The good news is we, in Audits, adhere to
the professional practice, international standards for the professional practice of internal
auditing, which says we’re going to be independent. We need to be objective and we maintain confidentiality
of your records. So your records are safe in our hands. So now, I think the bigger question we get
asked is how do we get selected to be reviewed. Right? How did you choose us? There’s multiple
ways. One is a risk assessment process we go through and we used data analytics to identify
and measure and prioritize risks that focus on compliance areas and agencies that would
have the biggest impact and have maybe a significant risk going on. So that’s one way and that’s a process that
we do every year. Also we get requests from management that maybe they want us to review
a certain couple agencies. The public may request it. And I know, believe it or not,
we do get agencies asking for us to come visit. So we’ve had at least this year maybe two.
So we’ve increased by 1 to 2. We also have media reports that we may identify
an agency that’s in the newspaper and we may see there’s a risk there. So we may decide
to come visit based on that. Also, we have an ethics help line. So those are the general
reasons and ways we identify you to come visit. So the next question’s when should we expect
you to come out, right? You want to put us on your calendar. Well for 2015/16, we were
required to do 125 audits. So the good news, if you haven’t seen us yet, you probably are
free and clear. We are finishing our last 25 right now. Now for 2016/17, which I wish I could say
who’s going to be rev….you know, who we’re going to come visit, it’s underway right now.
So we don’t know which agencies we’re going to go to. However, this is our third year
and we’re going to be doing the census data work that we do for our financial statement
auditors and that’s when we definitely have schools in our population. So we will be out again to visit schools and
I don’t know which ones those are. I asked my….one of my staff to start working on
that so we can identify the schools and it just hit me today, because I’m presenting
to you all that you may take summer off, right? So we need to get out there quickly. You don’t
take summers off? So you guys were just joking me when you said we couldn’t come? Just kid…. So maybe we’ll be out there this summer, but
our goal is for financial statement auditor purposes. We need to be done before September/October,
so if you’re going to be seeing us for the census data testing, it will be sooner, rather
than later. And we will notify you. You will hear from us. So, again, the objective of our review, in
general, is to ensure compliance with the PERL and basically ensure correct enrollment
of members and that compensation is reported in accordance with the PERL and your contract. Okay, so now we’re getting to the meat of
things that everyone wants to know. What happens first? You get, you know, when you get….when
you find out you’re being reviewed. We contact you. An auditor will get an assignment and
they’ll call…. they’ll look on my CalPERS and they’ll find out who the contact people
are. Sometimes there are multiple contacts. So they’ll make a phone call and find out….we
get connected to the right person. We’ll find out if we….who we should be talking to and
who our letter should be addressed to. They typically will give you a brief synopsis
of what….when we’re planning on being out there, what period of time we’re looking at,
the objective of the review, because sometimes they’re more focused than others. Then, we’ll
write…we’ll get our letter out. So we’ll formalize it in a letter, again, stating our
objective, our scope, the audit period, the name of the auditor that you will be in touch
with, who’ll be doing the audit or review and the information we need from you. So in that letter, we’ll say a list of what
we would like to have before we come out and a list of what we probably will need when
we’re out there on site. We also work with you, the best we can, when you say, ‘Ah, this
is payroll week, can you not come out this week?’ So we typically give you one or two
dates to choose from, when we think would be best for on-site visit. So prior to that….you have the letter now,
and prior to that review, coming out to on-site, we’ll ask for some documentation. While we’re
waiting for that, we’ll look on the website. We’ll look in my CalPERS. So we’ll do some
preliminary analysis of the information on your agency and then when we receive your
information, we’ll do some more work. So our goal is to get as much done at the
home base that we can, so that we don’t interrupt your daily activities. I mean, I know we’re
kind of interrupting them, but not as a major significant interruption, right? So basically,
we are going to try to limit our time there. So that information we want is in order for
us to decide what testing we need to do. Can we do any of the testing from home, from our
home office or do we have to wait until we’re out there? We also want to select our sample. So we may
or may not be able to do that based on the information we receive, but we try. So just
so you know, we don’t typically say, okay our audit period sometimes is two to three
years. We don’t look typically at the whole year if we don’t have to. I mean, we look
at most current, if we can, but we want to have that option in case maybe something we
find goes back that far. So, we’ll select some sample periods to test, and some sample
employees. Typically, we don’t do 100% testing on employees.
We have had some cemetery districts to employees…we test them all. But they’re very cooperative.
And that… it’s very quiet out there. They say that all the auditors are gone out to
cemetery. They say it’s so quiet. Like, hmmm, I wonder why. So now, okay. We are on site. We come knocking
at the door and you guys are so excited to see us, right? Yeah, I get that a lot. So
now we’re going to be on site and we’re going to have an entrance conference. Again, we’re
repeating what we have in the letter. We want go over the objectives. We want to go over
our time period, the records we need. And we really want the people there that we’re
going to interact with and we want a high enough level of management so that when we
do have issues or questions about things, that you’re informed. So we really want you
there to know what we’re going to be trying to accomplish. And also there at the end as
well. So at that entrance, we’ll also maybe have
some preliminary questions and we will ask you one other thing, because everyone has
a different way of doing business. We’ll say, okay, when we need request of documentation
once we’re in doing our testing, do you want that right away, do you want that mid-day,
do you want that at the end of the day? Or when we identify issues, do you want us
to come speak to you right away or do you want to wait until the end of the day to go
over an issue we find on a daily basis? So we really try to accommodate your schedule
to the best we can and still get our work done. Another thing we do, as you typically know,
we’re scheduled to be out there Monday. We’re planning on leaving on Thursday. If on Tuesday,
we’re done, we’re not going to stay there. We’ll leave. So we’ll let you know. There
has been….the one time I actually went with staff on an audit to visit their review, I
actually…it was supposed to be four days, and we had to stay an extra day. So it can
go either way. But if we’re getting the documentation, it depends on the issue. Sometimes it’s better
for us to be there and stay there and resolve the issue, rather than come back and then
have to try to get a hold of everyone on the phone. So then, by the end of our visit, we are actually
having an exit conference. And, again, we would love to have the people that were involved
in it, as well as the people who will be responding to the issues that we identify, and we go
over that. That’s a great opportunity for everyone to
be clear on what we identified and also give us additional information if maybe we misunderstood
something and you have additional information. Maybe a payroll clerk, you know, thought this
way, but the manager says, ‘oh, no, we did this just recently’ and it changes the finding.
We want to know that. And that’s why we have that exit. It’s an opportunity for you to
give us more information. Okay, so I probably am talking way too fast.
I’m sorry. But what I want to talk about. So now, we’re done and you guys know what
the issues are. My auditors, they come back into the office and they need to complete
the review. Sol this is the part you probably don’t see because we’ve left the on-site.
They come back and finish their work and they have to go through a quality review process. So all of their work has to be reviewed by
somebody independent in our office. When that happens, we could and we also….if that happens,
they may come back and say ‘my reviewer found an additional issue,’ or they decided one
wasn’t an issue. That’s why we might reach back out, needing more information or clarifying.
The good news, you might get a call saying, ‘hey, this issue has been dropped’ and typically
we don’t any arguments. We also meet with our program area because
we know they’re going to be resolving the issues. So we want to make sure they’re aware
of what we are finding with the agency. Let me think. So, I think that’s pretty much it.
Once we’ve done that, we now say, ‘okay, the auditor’s free and clear. They can draft the
report. And that’s the hard copy of what we’ve….all the work we’ve done, condensed into one little
report….and I’ll show you. So, here’s a report here. This was no issues. See, it can
happen. And then we’ve had others, where there’s,
you know, thicker. So, it depends on, again, how many issues there are and how long it’ll
take to do this report. The other part is, though, the layer of review at the draft report
stage requires an independent review of every statement they make, is reviewed by a lead
auditor. And then a manager or two will review the
draft report for clarity, for making sure those issues are valid, and then it gets to
me and it goes to the Division Chief. So I feel like we have good quality control, but
still, we may not have all the information we may need to make some modifications, but
we typically….you might hear back from us again. We may decide to drop an issue again
or modify one, different than what you were communicated. So we make sure we come back and we communicate.
Okay, we’ve added this or we dropped this. So, again, at draft reporting phase, they
can still change. So now you’ve got the report in draft and
we want to issue that you. We do it hard copy and we use the names that you provided us
in the entrance conference and the exit conference. We also…I’ve asked my staff to make sure
they PDF a copy to you electronically because there been plenty of times when a draft report
gets lost because, I’m sure like ours, it gets through multiple…has to be routed to
various departments. So you’ll get a PDF copy as well. This is your opportunity to provide
us your agreement or disagreement in writing on these issues. One of the things we….I encourage is, you
can do it simply, we agree with the issues and that’s it. Or you can take every issue
and say agree or disagree. So it’s totally up to your preference on how you want to respond.
The response does get packaged with the final report. So know that becomes a public document. So when you respond in writing, we get that
and we’d like, if you can, to PDF it back to us and hard copy it because then we can
start doing our analysis on your response. We review it and if there are disagreements,
we will thoroughly analyze that disagreement. Maybe you provide different information in
your response than we had on the field, or maybe you provi….you found some information
that wasn’t available earlier and you provided that to us. We analyze it to see does that change our
finding. Do we need to drop a finding? Do we need to clarify a finding? And we’ll do
that. If that happens, we’ll make sure we inform you this finding has been changed,
this one has been dropped. If you don’t hear from us, that means nothing
really changed and so you’ll have the final report, as you saw it in draft. What’s different
is there won’t be a confidential list in there because, again, confidential, that was basically
for your eyes only to use and to see what employees we tested and were impacted by the
findings. But there will be a section for your response. And that’ll be included in
the final. So now when you’ve got….what we do is now
the report’s final, you are aware of anything that’s happened from the very beginning to
the very end. That’s the goal. We now issue it. We issue it to you to, to your governing
body. It’s a public document, so it’s on the website and we submit it to program because
they’re the ones that are going to work with you on resolution of the findings. So that the entire audit process. It seems
pretty painless, correct? I mean, if could do that in how many minutes? Again, everything….it’s
funny is it seems simple, but….and it is really simple, but everyone has a different
process, right? Their own business is different. So that’s where you…it may get a little
complicated because you may do something different than someone else, and we’re willing to work
with you. And I think the idea is program has the final determination, and they’re the
ones resolving this, so they really become your best friend. We just your friend and then they become your
best friend. No, I do appreciate the time and I’m going to introduce Brad, who’s going
to talk about the audit resolution process. But, as he comes up, just remember, he came
here to celebrate his birthday with you. It’s his birthday. Do you have a question? Okay,
sure. Frances from LA County. Do you notify the
County Office when you’re doing an audit at a school because unless the school was a direct
report, the County Office reports on behalf of the school. Yeah, schools are a little different there.
So they go into the contact. When they go into, let’s say it’s an elementary school.
They go to the contacts and so I’m not sure if the contact is the County Office of Education.
I know they get the final report. Chris, do you know if they contact the County Office
of Education? Yeah, we…. Hang on a second. They want to hear you on
microphone. Hi. We don’t always contact the Office of
Education. We used to in our old system, but now with myCalPERS, everyone has a unique
CalPERS ID number, so it’s not all under one employer code. We do let the agency know when
we contact them that if there is a need to contact the employer, that you should let
them know that you’re being audited. But we don’t contact them ourselves. Okay, so basically, he’s saying that we use
a contact list on my CalPERS and we ask the agency, let’s say it’s an elementary school,
to let the County Office of Education know. I know the final report goes to the County
Office of Education. We have not seen one. I’ve had a couple of
districts audited. I was unaware they were being audited and I never got a copy of the
audit. Where we found out was the district called us and said, you know, CalPERS audited
us and say we have to correct these things and they told us this is what we need to do,
but they didn’t understand because they’re talking from a payroll point of view, not
from a reporting point of view, so there was all kinds of just craziness going on. So the County Offices, if they’re reporting
for the school district, should be notified so that at least attend the entrance interview
to be able to answer questions in regards to reporting. And then at the final, I’ll
be able to say, okay, if there’s a finding, then we could direct the district how to react,
if it has to process through payroll because the County Offices all have different payroll
systems and they don’t all act the same way. Okay. So I have someone over there taking
notes, which is great because we are getting ready to do our next round, which will include
the schools. If you…..I don’t know if you’re aware ,but in the last couple of years…I’ve
been in Office Audit Services…it seems like forever, but PA, just the last couple of year….two
and one-half, maybe three now, and during that time before, just before GASB 57 was
required, we….they hadn’t done schools in a while and then GASB took on. And for data, even….so for GASB 57 data,
you’re saying we should still contact… for census data testing, we should still contact
you, the County Office of Education. Yes…. Okay. So we’ll make a note and this year,
when were doing our risk assessment and we’re actually planning for the GASB 57 work, to
make sure that’s part of the steps that we do. Great feedback. Thank you. Teresa Cooper, Stanislaus County. Thank you.
That’s what I’m going to request that you do as well because from what I recall, CalPERS
views the County Office because we’re the contract holder, the employer, not the districts.
So we need you to contact through us. Okay. As Frances said, we’re the reporting agency. Okay, sounds good. Great feedback, appreciate
it. Any other questions before I turn it over to the birthday boy? Nope? All right. My birthday stinks. Sorry. So how’s it going, everybody? It’s good to
see all of you again, school employers and friends. For those who don’t know me, I am
Brad Hanson. I’m the…well, actually I’m the Assistant Chief now over the Payroll & Compensation
area at CalPERS. I also wanted to introduced my fellow Assistant Chief, Jennifer Rocco.
She’s over the Membership area. And I bring that up because once the audit is completed,
and the final report has been sent out to the employer, it’s also sent out to us as
well. And it’s going to go to one of our program
areas. We actually meet with Cheryl’s team and we go over all of the findings that have
occurred during the employer review process. And the reason we do that is because we’re
going to be working with you hand-in-hand to try to help you close these findings as
soon as possible and to come into compliance. So once the final report’s issued, we get
a copy of it. And then we draft up what we call an informational letter. And an informational
letter is usually sent to you within 30 days from the final report. On that informational
letter, there’s going to be a high-level list of all of your findings. The final report’s
going to have all of the good details that you’re looking for, like the recommendations
and the specific examples and the list of the people that were impacted. But this…this is just a high-level letter
that shows you that information. It references all applicable government codes and California
regulations that support the findings and why you were out of compliance. It also provides
you the resolution date. Now the resolution date, we always aim for 120 days to complete
all the findings. However, that’s not always realistic. In some cases, not to scare any
of you guys here, but we’ve seen employers who’ve had over 20 findings on one audit,
or excuse me, employer review. So, of course, those are going to take a little
bit longer to close than 120s, so you actually have a full year from the date it was issued
to close the findings. We, of course, always prefer it gets closed sooner than later. So
it’s important to get started on them right away once you get the audit. If it does go beyond a year, we do actually
have to report up to our Board, so it shows a lot more attention to the issues being out
of compliance. And lastly, on this informational letter, it also gives you a contact person.
And the contact person’s really important because we assign one contact person, one
analyst to your specific audit. But each program area might assign a different
person. For instance, let’s say you had a payroll finding, a compensation finding, and
a membership finding, like you had some arrears or something. There’ll be three different
contact people working with the employer to help resolve these findings. So we’ll send
the letter out and very shortly after, that person will contact your office. And they’ll establish who their appropriate
contacts might be. They may be with your payroll office. Maybe it’s your HR office. Maybe it’s
another general contact. Sometimes it can be even the finance director. It could be
any number of people, but they want to call up to establish that relationship and figure
out what the best method of communication would be, via phone call, via email, via fax. Sometimes we even will go out in person and
talk to you about your findings. We find that that is very useful. We just had an ERD, employer
response dialogue meeting yesterday….you guys may have heard of them before. We had
a couple of our employers come in that were being audited. It was very productive. We
were able to work through the issues. So that’s even an option too, but the main messages
is that person there is there to help you and get these things done. We offer up any different types of levels
of assistance. We can review what you’ve tried to post in payroll to make sure that it was
accurate. In some cases too, we can even do some system fixes behind the scenes. I know
that sometimes, like with converted data, your hands are tied and you can’t make those
corrections, but we can step in and try to help you with that. Say you have massive amounts of corrections,
we can work with you for creative solutions to get those type of things fixed. Also, we
look at a lot of documents as well, especially if you have a audit for the compensation review.
Jennifer has got this slide up here that kind of shows you a list of the different things
that we might be requesting. For schools, one of the more common audit
findings that we find is the publicly available pay schedule is not in compliance. And not
to give you guys too much of a sneak-peak, but that’s what we’re going to be talking
about in our next round at the August SEAC. We’re going to get into more details about
the findings and how you close them. But, as you can see, we can look for the publicly
available pay schedule, labor agreements, MOUs, employment contracts, job duty statements,
payroll information, you know. So they’re going to be asking for a lot of documentation
back and forth and, you know, our intent is to just review it and try to provide guidance
on how you can get those things updated. In some cases, though it be rare, sometimes
the auditors will actually create a finding that isn’t a true finding and these documents
sometimes can prove that and we can close that out without having to have any resolution.
It happens very rarely though. Okay. And we also have, internally, our own
escalation process. Currently, Kelly Smith oversees that area. It actually is going to
be moving over to me in the very near future. So I don’t know who that new escalation liaison
is going to be, but we have a liaison. So, in some cases, we have some stumbling blocks
along the way. The audits will take quite a long time to get done. We’re getting close
to that year. We’ve lost communication. Maybe analysts switch. You guys lost your contact
person. You guys are having system constraints. It’s just….it’s getting to the point, where
we need to act on it. So it can be escalated to our own escalation
analyst, and then they’ll establish a new contact within the agency. Usually, they’re
going to ramp it up a little bit. It’s going to go to a higher level person, you know.
For example, like a city manager or finance director, someone of that nature, that is…
we can work with to establish a solid plan with milestones and goals that we can accomplish
to get the finding into compliance as soon as possible. That person also will be kind of a little
bit of a pest, but that’s what we…that’s what we need to do in these cases and they’ll
have follow-up emails, set up conference calls, give you calls, just to make sure it gets
done. They also offer up any assistance possible; system fixes, reviewing documents, providing
examples, sometimes office visit, just to help get things done. And then lastly, once you’ve done all the
work that you need to do on your findings, we have a verification process. So our analysts
will go through and verify your payroll corrections, verify that your membership…. your members
were enrolled properly, and provide verification that, yes indeed, you’ve done everything you
can to come into compliance. Once that’s done, we actually send you a compliance
letter that states, hey, this finding is closed. And obviously if you’re out of compliance,
we’ll just continue to work with you until it’s complete. Even if it goes over a year,
we’re still going to work with you on that. All right, so since we have a little bit of
time, I’m going to give you even more of a sneak-peek of what we’re going to be discussing
in a lot more detail at the August SEAC. Now don’t be alarmed when you see some of these
terms. I know these are hot topics for some of you. We’ve talked about them many times,
so I’m sure that you guys, even if you guys got audited, none of these things would be
a finding because you guys have it perfect. Because I know Tim, myself, Emily, others,
we have done such a good job training everybody on this that there’ll be no issues. It’s meant
to be a joke, so you guys can laugh. I didn’t know I was such a serious commanding person,
man. It feels kind of good. So for payroll, the few schools that we’ve
audited over the last few years, these are some of the things that we’ve seen….people
that were not enrolled properly as classified or certified. This was a big one actually
too, where people were reporting a monthly pay rate as an hourly, which obviously converts
it to a really large pay rate, which by the way, come June, we have a fix in our system
coming up that if you report a pay rate that’s over 20,000, it’s going to send an error to
your payroll, saying is this correct or not, please verify. So keep that in mind. Next slide, please. Retroactive salary adjustments,
which I know that we’ve been calling a lot on these, where if you do a retro salary adjustment
improperly, that could be brought up as a finding. Equal payments, which is always a
hot topic. Special comp added to the base pay rate, we see that one quite a bit as well,
where it should be reported in its own field, but it was added into the pay rate. And then this one too, EPMC. You have employer
paid member contributions, but you’re not putting it in the proper bucket. Or maybe
you’re putting it all in EPMC, but really it should be part member, part employer or
vice versa. Those are findings as well. So we work with you to help try to correct those
and we’re pretty successful in getting those findings completed. And the team that we have
selected for payroll is really knowledgeable and is very good at helping you get the findings
in compliance. All right. Next slide. Also another section
I’m over is the compensation review area. They’re the ones that get involved when someone
goes to retire. They review the payroll to make sure that it actually should be reported.
It’s there to make sure that employers aren’t spiking their pensions. And the most common findings we see for this
is the publicly available pay scheduled is out of date and/or not accurate. It doesn’t
have all the elements that we need. And that special comp was either reported when it shouldn’t
have been or you should’ve reported it and it never got reported. It’s a lot more complicated
and detailed than that, but that’s all I’m going to give you on that one for right now. Go ahead and skip over these ones. And then
membership. Emily is actually going to be doing a presentation. It’s going to cover
some of the more common audit issues, I believe. But one of the biggest ones that I saw….
I was actually temporarily over membership for a brief time and one of the biggest ones
usually is arrears, where people should’ve been brought into membership and they weren’t.
And so that’s a common finding, where we’ll tell you, like, oh, this person should’ve
been brought in and what we’ll do is an arrears determination, which I think many of you guys
are already familiar with. Another one too that we see sometimes is where
an employer’s reporting for members that they shouldn’t be reporting and they need to back
those people out or report them under the proper employer. For instance, like if you
were reporting them under a school district that they really weren’t part of, they were
actually part of a different one. They’d have to be backed out and put into to the right
one, for instance. And then the member reciprocal self-certification
form, they audit to make sure that those are all on file as well. All right. So that’s
all I have for you today. Remember, there will be a part two in August. We’re going
to try to break up in to little pods and we can discuss the different types of findings
that you’re interested in and I think it’ll be really informative and fun. All right.
So do we have any questions? No questions? All right. Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Brad and Cheryl. We do
have a question coming in through the email, but it’s a little bit more of a broad question,
not to group, so we’ll follow that towards the end. So I did get your question there,
Rita, but we’ll handle it at the end. So let’s go head and take a break here and
then we’ll get set up for our next section. Please be back in 15 minutes by our clock
here, which will be 1:40, please, 1:40. All right. We’re going to dive into the last
half of this part of the agenda. I would like to invite Emily DeFlores to come up. We’re
going to do something that, at least in my time, we haven’t explored in this particular
meeting, which is really dissect a particular business example and Emily is going to lead
us through this sort of was released to sort of thought experiments and we’ll triage this
and see what kind of questions kind of develop and see if we can kind of learn from the inside
out of a specific business example. So, thank you, Emily. Good afternoon. If you guys don’t know, I’m
Emily DeFlores. I’ve been at CalPERS for 35 years. I am here to talk about a piece of
the audit, which we…. which is similar to other issues that come up, as far as members
qualifying for CalPERS membership, but my presentation will be toward….geared toward
a finding of an audit, actually two findings. One, where the person’s already a member of
CalPERS, and one where they’re part-time and they weren’t enrolled timely. So when, as
they explained in audits, you guys go to an exit conference and our staff also go to an
exit conference and we learn about what are all the findings with that agency. And for membership, for findings that the
person hasn’t been enrolled, or because they’re part-time, or because they’re already a member
somewhere else, they’ll give us a list of individuals for review. They’ll give us the
final report description page of the finding. They’ll give us their exit conference notes
that they held with you, the agency hiring documents, and then they verify payroll data
or they’ll provide us like a spreadsheet of payroll data. And then my staff will take all of that information
and identify each of the individuals and then they’ll start doing their work. They’ll start
looking at myCalPERS, see what’s on the system. They’ll
start reviewing the spreadsheets of payroll data, and then there could be some individuals
that may not have been identified or are on our system, so then we may need to reach out
to get some…a CID or social security number so that we can continue that investigation. Once we’ve determined the list of individuals
and the issues of each individual, then we’ll contact the employer and we’ll discuss with
the employer what we found and what needs to be corrected. We look at the documentation
and we provide, for each employee listed, we provide the BP, your business partner with
the information of each individual and what they need to do to be in compliance with that
finding. We ask the business partner to then enroll
the individual into myCalPERS and then we ask them for a list of documents. We ask them
for payroll data on a Mem 1344. You guys are familiar with the arrears process. This Mem
1344 is the same one. It’s just now this is through an audit, instead of just a regular
inquiry, I should be a member. We also ask that you provide the individual
member reciprocal self-certification form. That’s required by code of regulations 579.3.
We also discuss with the business partner is it 20283 arrears or mandatory arrears.
In most cases, I’ll be honest, they’re usually 20283 arrears. We instruct the business partner
to complete the appointment details, the hire date and the enrollment date. Many times,
they’re hired before they actually qualify and the enrollment eligibility date is usually
different. The hire date is usually later or earlier. That enrollment eligibility date and the hire
date, many times, the employer uses it as the same date, which normally for part-time
members is not really the dates that should be used. In some situations, these individuals
may have separated from that position when we get the audit report and so, we ask that
you update the system with their appointment date, but also with their separation date. After you’ve entered it, remember that the
separation date requires one day after their last day on payroll. That’s another common
issue that staff are going back to the agents, saying, oh, you put a separation date, but
you said their last day or the documents show that they were last paid on this day. You
need to use the next day. After the….after the phone call, then we’ll
follow it up in an email. And we’ll send all the required documents, the Mem 1344 form,
the member reciprocal self- certification form, the government codes that impact the
finding, 20283, 20160, for allowing us to correct an error, 20305, that’s usually the
criterias for part-time employees eligibility, circular letter, public agency and school
reference guide information. We request a list of other employees impacted
by the finding. So we may get a list, the confidential list of the individuals that
they reviewed during their time there at your agency, but then we ask the employer to identify
anybody else. Although they only provide a sampling of your….of your employees, we
do need to correct everybody that this could impact, so that’s going to be upon the employer
to notify us, one, that they’ve reviewed all their files of all their employees and they
either found some more and here they are, or they didn’t find anybody else. So we need
that as well. We allow you two weeks to gather this documentation.
If you can’t meet those two weeks, shoot an email back to the individual that contacted
you and let her know that you’re still gathering the data, but we do have a timeframe in which
we do need to resolve these within six months so that we can get…..because the process
doesn’t end just with us, our review. We have other actions that have to happen, including
the validation process. So then staff monitor myCalPERS to validate
if the enrollments were updated to myCalPERS. They look to see if they received the documentation
for the Mem 1344, the payroll data. The participant demographic summary information, we can tell
from there, the appointment history, that it includes the correct dates, any reciprocal
information that is used to determine whether they’re PEPRA or classic. Staff, after they validated that, the employer
has done what they were supposed to, enrolled them, provided the payroll data, member reciprocal
self-certification has identified additional individuals, then they’ll go ahead and they’ll
gather all the paperwork, make sure that everything is in compliance and then they’ll send this
information on to our Service Credit Purchase area and Member Account Management Division. They will then have to calculate arrears for
the period of time. We also need to notify them what type of arrears it is. After that’s
done, after they do their calculation, if it’s 20283, where the employer pays, then
they’ll start updating the member’s account. They’ll send the receivable to the employer,
but that service credit and the service periods have to be on myCalPERS before we can consider
it closed. Once all that information is on the system,
we then notify Office of Audits and we have what we call a finding validation packet.
Within that packet, we have to provide the final report finding description page, the
confidential list, the email to the manager confirming that they told me, hey, we’ve completed
it, we have everything we have…we need, screenshots of the member’s enrollment, the
request for action informing service credit purchase to calculate the arrears, participant
notes and screenshots of posted payroll. We’ll send it to our Office of Audit Services
and we’ll await for their confirmation that it’s been validated and they can be closed.
Sometimes they come back and they say, oh, no, this is…. wrong payroll was used or
they may have questions. We need to comply with those questions. We may need to reach
back out to the employer and then get the information we need so that we can forward
that onto Office of Audit Services. Sometimes, it may require us to change the
calculation. Maybe it was for a period of time that wasn’t clear in the information
that was provided and we have to change the dates. Maybe we used one period and maybe
it was a shorter period of span. Once the employer got the bill, they’re like, you know,
why is it so much, and because they did their own calculation, they felt, oh, it should
be for a different period of time and so we have had to correct things and we have had
to go back out to the employer and make changes to our determinations because of that. In speaking with staff, it appears…..well
on the membership portion, staff is very efficient in getting the information, but the employers
are very responsive. They’re allowing us to complete our audits within the specific timeframe,
but because it’s outside…the process takes us outside of just my staff work, that’s why
we try to get this done soon and within the timeframe because we need to meet deadlines
here. So some of the common mistakes that could
be avoided, one, is enrolling them, knowing when they should be enrolled. Again, if they’re
a CalPERS member, they should be enrolled immediately, unless, of course, you’ve contacted
us and we’ve determined that they are working at multiple positions. Then you’ll ask for
guidance on what to do there, or monitor their hours. If they’re part-time and they don’t meet the
criteria for immediate membership, monitor their hours. Again, another key issue that
comes up is they use the enrollment eligibility date as the hire date and most often times,
the hire date is earlier than the enrollment eligibility date. Sometimes the employers post payroll. They
report it and post it. Most often times, this requires an arrears calculation, so we’ll
have to ask the employers to reverse that payroll out. We’ll ask our Service Credit
Purchase area to calculate the arrears and then the billing process happens. Sometimes when filling out the Mem 1344, there’s
various columns and those columns are not completed correctly. It asks for pay rate.
It asks for earnings. That will help us determine how many hours they worked, so just look at
the column headings. If you have any questions, contact your audit liaison that’s been working
with you that sent you the email to get a better understanding of what needs to go on
that form. And, again, the last thing is separating members
on their last day of pay, instead of the day after their last day of pay. That’s all I
have, as far as when we’re doing an audit and what we need to do to beginning to end
to complete an audit. Does anybody have any questions? Sheila Walker. Tehama County Department of
Ed. So when a member reaches the 1000 hours, for the start date, it should be the first
day that they worked, instead of the date they became eligible, that they reached 1000
hours? No. So, so when you’re entering the appointment
in myCalPERS, it has a hire date and then it has the enrollment eligibility date. The
enrollment eligibility date is when they qualified for membership. The hire date is when they
first started working with you. So normally, those are two different dates, but what we’re
finding is the employer uses one date, which is the enrollment and eligibility date. And the effective date is no later than the
first day of the following month, in which they….. Right. I just never entered the hire date.
They’ve always been the same. All righty. Emily, there’s a question that came in from
the web conference. So if we have part-time employees, who work less than 20 hours per
week and will never qualify for CalPERS under the1000 hours law, are we required to enroll
them in CalPERS? If we are, at what point in time should we enroll them in CalPERS? So, again, under government code section 20305,
there are criteria in which a person is eligible. So if they’re already a member somewhere else,
that’s when you would enroll them, but if that’s not the case, then you wouldn’t enroll
them. Again, remember there’s a presidential decision out there that a school year is equal
to a year, not just 12…not just the 12 months, but it’s the school year. So if they’re expected to work 20 hours a
week for a school year, they qualify for membership at time of hire versus monitoring them for
1000 hours. If they’re not 20 hours a week, then you’ll monitor them until they reach
the 1000 hours in a fiscal year. If that never happens, it never happens. Thank you, Emily. So that was for you, Rudy.
Other questions for Emily on this issue? Okay, thank you very much. Thanks. Okay, next up, we have the man, the legend,
Tim Herrback is going to give us an update on my CalPERS and what we need to know. Hello everyone. All right. It looks like I
have about an hour now. I was only supposed to have 15 minutes. So I’ll speak slowly.
I apologize. Normally, I try to provide slide decks with some relevant information that
you can take back with you. Unfortunately, because we are going through so many iterations
in myCalPERS development and system releases, and we’re still going through a lot of the
final, final approval stages before we starting doing release implementation, some of the
information has changed and I just couldn’t get the slide decks due when I was asked. So, I’m going to give you a lot of information
and hopefully, if needed, I can then kind of do a nice summary and provided and have
it sent out later. So that being said, on April 30th, we had one of our myCalPERS releases.
I can say the primary focus of the releases over the last six months to a year has primarily
been on our end to really shore up a lot of the gaps that we have in the system, some
of the roadblocks, some of the system limitations we have. So there haven’t been a lot of nice to have
enhancements or enhancements supplemented because we are trying to get it to a stable
part, where we’re cleaning up a lot of stuff internally. That being said, we did have some
things I think you should be aware of. In the April release under contributions, we
did fix the issue where County offices can see their school district services history.
I know that was something you could see and then all of a sudden, something happened and
you’d try to do a search and look at service history and the prior years didn’t show up. And I got a lot of phone calls and I said
go to transaction history. On April 30th, that should’ve been fixed, so you can now
use both the transaction history and the service history. So for you guys at schools. There was also an issue with the prior period
new contributions and new service. This is for your retired annuitants. It appears that
this transaction type was not always displaying when you were trying to add a prior period
of transaction for your retirees. That issue has also been resolved, so now if you’re trying
to go back and adjust earnings, or not earnings, yeah, earnings for retired annuitants, that
transaction type should display, as long as it’s still within your report period.
If it spans outside of a normal regular period, say for instance, you’re doing three months
at a time, it still won’t show up because prior period no contributions transactions
are similar to prior period adjustments, where they’re for a specific pay period. We also had, in some cases, where you reported
retired annuitants, and you’re trying to correct payroll for when they were a retiree, for
whatever reason, it wasn’t giving you the option. It was erring out for prior period
adjustment transactions, and somehow it was mixing it up that this person was a retiree
and ,therefore, we weren’t expecting contributions, but you’re trying to adjust a period that
contributions were reported. That has also been fixed. So if you ever kind of came into this, like,
why is this asking me for retiree data when this is a normal qualified member, that issue
was also fixed in April. Now some of the nice-to-haves. I know this
is going to be of interest to many of you, who use third-party software vendors. Today,
we will make the special compensation category and a special compensation type in a required
field for PEPRA participants, and that’s just because, per PEPRA, they’re only allowed certain
categories and types. As we’re going to continue shoring up and
cleaning up our data and as we’re trying to prevent stencil audits from occurring, we
are now going to look to require the category and type for both classic and PEPRA. For right now, our data element and definition
document on line will not be changed to show it as required fields because as of the June
release, which is going to be June 18th, it’ll only be an exception message. So if you report,
in your file submissions and you don’t give us the category and type, and so it defaults
to unknown, you’re going to get an exception on all those transactions, where special comp’s
being reported. So if you have a third party out there that
is reluctant to give you the category and type defined, you’re going to get an exception
for a short period of time. Come December, though, it is going to be a
hard error, which means we will not allow, nor work with you to post these transactions,
ignoring business rules if you’re not defining the category and types. I can update the data element definition document
to show those category and types as a required element, but I can’t do it until we actually
implement it, but I hate to have your developer be reliant on a documents that’s published
our web and not give you guys leeway to make those changes now. So I’m trying to give you
a six-month in advancement warning, category and types are now required for both classic
and PEPRA. The only time category and type will not be
required, and this just makes logical sense, is when you’re making a negative prior period
adjustment to a period, where you gave us unknown – unknown. Because we have to match.
And I’d hate to require you to do a category and type when you didn’t give it to us, you
know, two years ago. So that’s the only time that category and type will not be required,
is doing negative transactions. So those of you, who are in good standings
with your developers, please let them know that even though I cannot give them official
documentation, saying these are required changes, it’s required come December. All right? The next one, we’ve enhanced….so for those
of you report payroll and if you ever do health transactions, myCalPERS periodically gives
you a survey. It’s not just a survey to ask you how great staff is, it’s more of a survey
to ask you where can we improve myCalPERS. And through a lot of that feedback, some of
the highest problems that we’ve heard that were reported through the survey are all related
Cognos. And Cognos is not perfect. It’s an off-the-shelf
Oracle solution. We know that. We’re trying to improve it and we have now made a lot of
vast changes to enhance the Cognos reports that you run frequently. Those reports are
going to be the contribution summary by fiscal year report, which is generally when you go
to your billing and payment summary screen and you look at all your posted transactions
from the entire fiscal year. The contribution posted detail report, which is if you’re at
the report level. You see the summary and you want to dive down into your rate plan
to see all the people, that’s that report. And then the contribution detail report by
fiscal year, which is also the one, where if you’re on the billing payment summary screen,
you see the summary level first, then you dive down and you get the detailed information.
So for this release in June, which is June 18th, again, we’re making some enhancement
to those. Some of the enhancements are we’re improving the headers. So, it’s going to make
more sense of actually what you’re looking at. We’re changing to default sort order. Some
of you asked, you know, why….how do we default the data and a lot of times, it was based
on the CalPERS ID number, which if you looked at people, it doesn’t make sense. So we’re
now going to do it by alpha numeric order for the participant. On the contribution summary report, it doesn’t
have people information, so it’s going to be based off of the record earned period date.
So we’ll go from earliest to latest. In addition, we’re going to add two new columns.
One, we’re making sure that the tax-deferred member and employer contributions are set
out, split out. I think we have the fields on the screen, but when we had the reports
generated, it just had it as tax-deferred, so we’re now actually going to call it out
as separate columns. We’re also going to identify when the record
post date was. So this is not the report posting date. This is actually the record posting
date. So for those of you who actually post partial reports, this is going to be huge,
especially when you’re looking in your GASB audit data. What I mean by that is for GASB,
what they generally do is in August, they take a data extract and then you get your
report right about now, I think, the circular letter went out. And so, theoretically, you could’ve made adjustments
and changes from August to now and you wanted to know where that data was. So you can go
back to our internal reports and you can actually see the posting date of these records and
identify those that were reported and posted after August or prior to. And you’ll know
now how to reconcile between those two reports. What else are we doing to this report? We’re
identifying the….we’re going to identify the employer rate used for calculations. So
if you want to know what the employer rate was, because a lot of times the employer rate’s
generated after the date it’s posted, we’re also going to show the employer calculated
rate. So a lot more information, a lot more relevant information and a lot more information
displayed in an order that makes logical sense. Now one of the biggest complaints we also
get through the survey is, once I open your report, I can’t do anything with it. And that’s
because you’re trying to add a sum feature. You’re trying to apply filters. Well, if you
know Excel, Excel’s a little complicated if you have merged cells. So our recommendation
always is when you open these reports, especially the ones that have financial data, open it
in the CSV format. It gets rid of all your pretty headers, it gets rid of all the pictures
and it gets rid of all the merged cells. It gets you raw data. And at that point in time,
you can then just go to last cell, add the sum calculation and get to your totals. So I know we get a lot of ‘these reports don’t
give us sums, it doesn’t allow me to filter, I can’t look at data’. It does. You just have
to know how to open it and extract to the right format. And that’s the CSV format. All right. What’s next? Pay rate certification
changes. So Brad kind of stole my thunder on this. Thanks, Brad. Starting in June, we
are we re-implementing that lovely verification process, where if you have highly compensated
individuals, we want to make sure the reported pay rate you’re giving us is accurate. And
by this, I actually mean accurate because you wouldn’t believe, we’ve actually had had
reported pay rates of $1 million. We’ve had $300,000.00 as a monthly pay rate.
You know, we’ve had these pay rates. These are posted pay rates. And they’ll get caught
when the people go to do retirement calculations and they’re thrown out and adjustments are
made, but we have them, and we have a lot of them. And normally, they’re clerical errors.
So I’m going to just get dustbowl in the right spot. So in order to help prevent those erroneous
reportings come in, we’re going to have a threshold and the thresholds are these: For
monthly, it’s going to be $20,000.00 is the minimum value and $30,000.00 is going to be
the maximum value. And what I mean by minimum and max is that the minimum one, you’re going
to verify yourself that this is accurate pay rate. You won’t have to do it again until
the person exceeds 5% of the verified previous pay rate, so if they keep doing 5% increments,
you’re going to have keep verifying their payroll. So maybe it happens every six months or once
a year, but if they get a 5% increase, you’ll have to re-verify, that’s the only time. And
then at $30,000.00 per month, that’s when our Comp Review Department is going to have
to get involved. They’re going to look at it and say, you know, do we really have a
lot of people out there in this world that are making $30,000.00 a month? I know we have
them. I’d like to be one of them. I’m not. If I was, I wouldn’t be right here. But
we have them. So that’s the only delay is that they’re going
to be in error status. Once our Compensation Review Department views them, verifies them,
you can reprocess your report and go. We also have hourly, which is going to be $116.00
is the minimum and $174.00 is the high and then for daily, it’s $924.00 and $1385.00
is the high. So, again, the ranges are $20,000.00 and $30,000 for monthly, $116.00 and $174.00
for hourly, and $924.00 or $1385 for daily. All right, how many people don’t like to pay
their bills that have been delinquent in myCalPERS? Ohhh, we’ve got some people who don’t like
to be honest. Anyways, if you are one of those individuals and you have ever been delinquent
in myCalPERS, if you ever went back and changed fiscal years, you may have noticed your delinquent
amount seems ridiculously high. It’s because it was doubling the actual value, so it wasn’t
always accurate. And we’ve just figured that out, probably
about three months ago and that has now been fixed. So if you’re ever delinquent and you
want to see what that delinquent amount was on previous fiscal years, it now reflects
the accurate value. So since nobody here has ever been delinquent, it’s not an issue. Then, from a general perspective, this kind
of comes along the way we communicate to you. So I kind of keep hitting on why it’s important
to create contact types, right? Why it’s important to have an arrears contact type. Why it’s
important to have payroll contact type. Why it’s important to have local administrator
or executive officer. We, internally, have a lot of things where we use that information
to send my messages, to do targeted marketing, to communicate, you know. Emily’s team will
look at that arrears person to figure out how to work with new cases. We use those contact
types. We also distribute information directly to the primary contact type defined. And it’s
always generally to their preferred method of communication, sometimes it’s an email,
sometimes it’s mail. We should now only send you one email notification,
saying that there’s a form available for you to review. If you have 1 to 100 at any day,
we’re not going to send you 100 emails. At one point in time, we did send you 100 emails
a day. But we’ve shored that up. The problem now we’ve encountered is that
if your preferred method of communication doesn’t always coincide with your employer’s
preferred method of communication, or a primary contact has changed their preferred method
of communication, or a primary contact has just change in general, behind the scenes,
that information wasn’t always been captured and that’s why the communications weren’t
going out. So in trying to shore up a lot of our distribution
of communications, that issue has also been fixed and we should be sending that information
out now to the correct people. One of the complaints I do still hear is I
get a generic email that says you have information now available to you, to go in myCalPERS.
That generic email is for our my messages. So, basically it’s just telling everybody
in the world to please go to your homepage. Sometimes, depending on how much information
and what you contract for and your agency type, it could be buried down somewhere on
your homepage. So scroll up and down and you’ll be able to see that information. We still are trying to get that resolved,
where the email distribution will tell you, you know, what the subject line is and where
to locate it, but I’m….I’m…I can’t get these things in as fast as I would like to
have them in. So it’s a work in progress, but for right now, if you get that generic
email, just know, go to your homepage, scroll down and that’s what it’s for. You don’t have
to call the Call Center. They would appreciate it if I tell them you don’t have to call the
Call Center. Yes? Okay, hold one moment, please. Swani Lopez, Sacramento County Schools. What
about people, who have left…can’t seem to not get information…. I keep getting mail
for a previous person. I’ve looked through myCalPERS. I’ve talked to CalPERS. They say
they can’t find the problem. They don’t know where her name keeps coming up. It’s historical.
We’re not going to get rid of her. It….I mean, but what about that? Good question. So CalPERS is a pretty big
organization and, unfortunately, not all our systems are in sync. MyCalPERS, we’re supposed
to be in sync, but not everything is. Any time I’ve ever had an employer contact me
and say Jane Doe is getting correspondence….generally, the correspondence is a circular letter, or
some other kind of e-bulletin, a board agenda, or something else…and that’s because on
our website, when you subscribed for e-bulletins, you subscribed to get that information….before,
we used to say mail or email, now it’s only email. That distribution list is actually
maintained by our Document Center and is not actually paired with myCalPERS. So as people leave, myCalPERS could be updating
correct, but you as an organization, may still get mail regarding the circular letter, board
agendas, I forget what all the types are for e-bulletins and that’s what it is. So what I would say is either, A, if you know
the person, tell them please go online and unsubscribe from e-bulletins or, B, you can
just contact us, let the Call Center know that you’re getting mail addressed to somebody
who is no longer a contact, no longer employed and you think it’s associated to their e-bulletin.
We can work with our Docu Center to get them off the list. And I really wish that all our distributions
were all derived from myCalPERS, but they’re not, including our Stakeholder Relations database. So, all right. What’s next? Health. Do I have
any health folk in the house? Okay. If you ever ran the Dependence Enrollment report
for health to find all your dependents, subscribers who don’t have dependents were on that report
and they were listed as their own dependent. So I could be technically a child of myself,
which would be really weird. We fixed that. So I no longer can be the child or daughter
of myself. Anybody who’s submitting health enrollment
files via the interface, which is outside of myCalPERS, you know, the XML file formats,
video and health, there was an issue with creating non-PERS health enrollments if the
person was ever…if the person ever had a historical PERS appointment with you or any
other agency and so you may have got an error message for those non-PERS. And that would
primarily be probably your STRS members for PERS health because those are our non-PERS
people. If you’ve ever had an error, that’s’ now been fixed as well. So it’s going to be based on the appointment
and not about their historical membership statuses. So those are some of the fixes we’ve
had. I can tell you this, between now and the Ed Forum, if you’re going to the Ed Forum,
there’s a lot more stuff we’re geared towards and I can share all the great ideas and things
that we have scheduled for our August, July and August release. But I don’t want you to
hold me accountable for it, like, ‘Tim, you told me these pages were coming in July,’
then having be told we now are delayed….something happens and it doesn’t get implemented, then,
I know, you’re going to call, probably Renee and complain about me, I lied to you again.
So I’m holding those in my back pocket for August and the Ed Forum. Hi, Tim. It’s Sherry Hanson in the Sacramento
County Office of Ed. You know one thing that’s driving my person who does the benefits crazy
is, you know, she has to go….we have people who are CalSTERS, we have CalPERS health benefits….she
goes in and she has to separate them in the system when they retire, and then they get
a letter from CalPERS saying their health benefits have been canceled, but they’re a
STRS retiree. So what’s happening…and it’s only started happening like in the last year….that
almost every one of them gets this letter, and they’re calling her, freaked out, as you
can imagine, because they think their health benefits have been canceled and we have to
tell them no, no, no, it’s just a little hiccough. Once CalPERS knows that you’re retired from
CalSTERS, everything will, you know…..and it does….there’s never….their health insurance
is never really cancelled. It’s like this letter just kicks out to them, saying it’s
been canceled. And I don’t know what you guys just changed in like the last year or year
and one-half, It’s just started happening and it’s every STRS retiree we have. Hold on, Brad. You’re not above the law here…even
though you are wearing jeans. You’ve got to get a mic. You can’t talk without
a mic. Brad Hanson, Above the Law. So let me ask
you this question, were any of these people, did they separate and then retire 30 days
later? No. No, they didn’t. So, I know how the system
works is that they perm set people from active, so that cancels their health and then they
re-enroll them in retirement. I know that that happens, when it’s not….retirement’s
not after the last day on set. So if there is any break in that, sometimes you will get
that. This is almost…almost every single retiree
we’ve had for the last year and one-half, and most of them separate, retire, one day,
next day. Can you do me a favor? Send me the…if you
can give me two scenarios, with a myCalPERS letter at the head, I can see….I can then
go…. I mean, I can’t, but I can get them from her. Anyway, I just need two scenarios, one scenario….100
scenarios, whatever….but a couple scenarios with the actual letter itself, the doc number
and then I’ll go through our triage of all our defects and issues that we’re having to
see if it has already been identified. And if it has been identified, I’ll push our health
team to move it faster through the release life cycle. If it hasn’t been identified,
I will log it, see why the distribution of those letters are being triggered and then
try to push it for you, as well, as something that came out of this committee. Okay, so the employee’s getting the letter.
We’re not getting the letter. They’re getting it and calling, so I’ll have to see….I mean,
the retiree, so I’ll have to see if I can find some retirees that are….we got a whole
bunch of people retiring this year, so I’ll just contact some of them and see if they
get the letter and I’ll get it to you. Okay. Because I need to look at the, like
trace, like Brad said, there are a different things that can occur, so if I can get a couple
of examples, that’ll actually confirm it’s happening for every single scenario, or it’s
only happening for these specific scenarios. And I’ll get it fixed. I promise. How soon
I can get it fixed is going to depend on Renee. Any other questions? Okay, so I have some
more. I’ve still got 40 more minutes here, sir. So there’s been….I’ll go to data cleanup.
Hold here. Data cleanup. So we had a circular letter recently go out, circular letter 200-015-16,
200-015 – 16. it’s reinforcing our stance that you as an employer are responsible for
ensuring that permanent separations are being applied every single time a person leaves
organization, regardless if they retire, die….and die’s a big one because if we don’t have a
separation, death benefits can’t be paid out. Just FYI. So if they leave the organization, all those
different criteria, and actually on the circular letter, I had staff give you all the scenarios
for which we require a separation, so you can’t ever say, ‘well, I didn’t know about
this case. I mean, who would think I had to separate a dead person?’ You do. So, please separate your people. The reason
is is that in the future, we are really going to be reviewing, especially for GASB, all
your active appointments. And there are a couple of you out there that I communicated
with that have 18,000 people….no, not that, that’s the total population…about 3000 people
per employer that haven’t reported payroll for somebody for over a year, two, three years,
and have not separated these individuals. So this circular is kind of reinforcing that.
We are looking to make that process more quickly and efficient for you. We’re trying to create
some pages that’ll identify these people and allow you to go through them in a more quickly,
efficient, customer service, friendlier basis, other than having to do a person search, vent….we’re
trying our best to help you help yourselves. So, for right now, try to work on that data
if you can to clean it up because it helps with GASB, it helps with our audits, it helps
with our actuary evaluations. It’ll help with the, you know, eventual reporting of contributions. The other circular letter went out and this
is a little friendlier one. Anybody use EFT? Yeah? So finally, I just want to let you know
that circular letter 200-012-16, that’s 200-012-16 provides you direction on the new EFT bank
vendor change. So there is an EFT bank vendor change. If you weren’t aware of it, go to
that circular letter. And like I was talking about e-bulletins,
if you never received these circulars, and generally you have to depend on these meetings
for circular letters, go onto our website and sign up for the e-bulletin you can actually
select out of a shopping cart of like 10 items, what you want notifications on. So, and if
staff every say I’m never notified, have them do e-bulletins so they can also get the circular
letters. Which one do I want to talk about next? We’ll
do FTP. This is an easy one. I think as of right now, we have only a couple of school’s
who are doing FTP and some of you, which FTP is the automated process for sending us data
outside of myCalPERS….you no longer have to login. Please note that it’s going to take
about a six-month to one-year cycle to get you set up with FTP accounts. I’m working with staff right now to provide
a checklist of what’s needed onto our webpage. But if you are contemplating, thinking about
or wanting to send data automatically outside of myCalPERS via FTP, please contact us now,
so we can start getting necessary paperwork in motion. Paperwork being, one, do we have
any business relationships that we need to establish, two, to make sure we have the appropriate
sending and receiving agreements in place because our ISO Division, our internet security
office hates it when we just send out data via the email and don’t encrypt it or secure
it, so we have to have the appropriate agreements in place. And, three, to make sure we actually
have a system change request in place for a future release. If you have some kind of commitment, a Board
commitment or any kind of agreement that says you need this by this date, provide me that
need by date is also important and a justification for why. So I’m just giving you that heads
up. You may not even think about it, but if you are, it is about a six-month to one-year
process, so starting it sooner is better. System access. This one here, we kind of talk
about all the time. We, internally at CalPERS, have started to review how we assign system
access from staff, how we monitor it, how we check people who move. The same type of
information is going to be pushed onto the employers. And we are working to hopefully
develop some kind of checklist for system access administrator to use that says it is
your responsibility to do a couple of things. One, assign roles for any contacts, right?
You’re all great at assigning roles and creating contacts. What’s not happening as efficiently
as possible is removing people, who no longer work for you. And I ran a recent report and I think we have
over 60,000 system-wide contacts, who have separated, retired or don’t even have an active
appointment, and they haven’t used the system in a while. So we know, internally, we create
these people. There’s a front desk. There’s a lot of stuff out there, but I just want
to make sure you, as an employer, because you’re all are great at managing your data,
please, if you’re the system administrator, periodically, six months, once a year, check
your list of people to make sure is everybody listed still working for you, and also check
their system access. Do you have a payroll person, who was recently
promoted over to health and they still have payroll rewrite access? Do you have a health
person, who has now moved over to benefits or payroll and for HIPPA, should no longer
have asked to help data? So please, you know, set something in place. We can’t enforce it,
but set something in place to make sure your guys’ data is secure. Yes? Anna Lambert, Riverside. Is there a Cognos
report that will give us the contacts for every single district in one report, instead
of, right now, I think, my staff is going district by….division by division, pulling
the contact information to finding….to keep them updated. Is there a report, where it
will give me all the contacts for every single district of Riverside? No. Because I don’t think when we first started,
unfortunately, we never really, really thought this through…I know we have thought it very
thoroughly through form an internal perspective, and we are developing Cognos reports…. one
of my plans is to develop Cognos reports from an internal CalPERS perspective to identify
staff assigned to managers and all this other stuff. It’s on our side. If you can, and, I think Frances, you also
asked Brad for the same information, I want to get some specs from you before I start
putting in a request to do the Cognos report. And by specs, I mean, you know, what are you
looking for. Do you need a person’s name, when the person was created, who created them,
what’s system access they have, what district do they belong to or are you just looking
for what districts have which people, and you don’t need all the other specs. And so I want to kind of really talk it through
and vet it through and if more of you have an interest in this information and you don’t
100% trust Frances, and I’m sorry, Anna…..I can set up a web conference and we can kind
of talk about your requirements, so we can start to get that through. Otherwise, I’ll be more than happy to set
up a conference for you guys or if you just want to shoot me an email of what you think
this should provide, I’ll get a request in. I did submit a system change request that
I’m hoping to implement by the new year. It was more from an internal perspective, but
I opened it up for both, which is to allow you the ability to temporary assign a system
access role within an end date. So if you know somebody is going to be maybe
on temporary assignment, they’re working out of class or they’re just working for a short
period of time and need it, you can say, you want to sign in the health read/write role,
but expire it on this day. So then you won’t have to monitor it on a given basis. That’s
one of the requirements we have from an internal perspective and I opened that change request
to be both internal and external. But I didn’t think about the Cognos report for you guys,
so, that’s a great suggestion. All right. I feel like Winnie the Pooh up
here, stuck in a rabbit hole. They say baby weight goes away. It’s a lie! It’s a lie!
All right. This one here is more near and dear to my dear friend, David, over here.
He was too afraid to talk to you about these questions, so he asked me to come up here. Ed Forum, who’s going? Now, why aren’t all
you guys going? So we tallied data and over the last two years, because we know it’s northern
California, southern California…only 38% of the County Offices actually attend the
Ed Forum. There are actually some county offices who have never attended the Ed Forum. And
we feel the Ed Forum is a very special place for you, as an employer, to bond, ask us questions,
get real life information, meet our execs and also network. That’s what it was designed for about 17 years
ago, I think, when we implemented it and we want to know why schools are not taking advantage
of this awesome ability to meet us. Okay, one at a time, and I don’t see any of you
with a microphone. You don’t have the power of Oz. So let me…let me go through my questions
here first. And then you guys can start firing off yours…your items. First question is do county schools encourage
their reporting districts, and I’ll preface this as reporting districts, which are those
districts that have authority to send us data, payroll, retirement, or they are contracted
independently for safety, or contracted independently for health or SIP. Do you, as county, encourage
your districts to attend? What are some of the barriers that you, as
a County office, are facing that prevent you from coming? What do you think some of the
barriers are preventing your districts from coming, and you can be honest and say, I just
don’t want them to go. What level of staff do you feel would be appropriate
for…. to attend? I think from our perspective, a lot of times, it was we really only want
to talk to the superintendent of schools or the managers 2s and 3s and not down to the
staff level. And, me, being close…near to all of you, I’m like, well, come on. You know,
the managers, the people who are doing the work are the ones that are going to benefit
the most out of this. They should attend. So there’s a discrepancy on who our target
audience is. And then, who needs to know about CalPERS
and our most recent business developments, both in the front line and in terms of policy,
and by this, I think we’re trying to talk on the level of tracks at the Ed Forum, is
people who go, should we have a policy stage for those hiring people, should we have more
transactions stuff for lower people. What is it that you feel that staff should get
out of it? So, those are my questions. I can repeat them again in a little, but fire away.
Probably should get more microphones because this is going to be a big one! Okay, start in the back. Hi. Renee Lindberg from Napa County Office
of Education. For us, I know a lot of our districts are very small and they have one
payroll person and you guys hold the conference on payroll week. So that discourages management
from letting their one payroll person be gone. An army of one. Keep going. Fire away! Debbie Stifting of Fresno County Office of
Ed. I know in our area funding has been a big issue. County offices are not funded the
same as school districts, so we’ve had to cut back on the number of people that we allow
to go to the conference and the cost keeps increasing, which everything increases, but
that’s been some of the factors that have been named in our area. And our districts, they…we do all the reporting
for everybody, so none of them would be eligible to go. So that’s probably why you have a low
turnout from our area. But the agencies that do report directly to you that are under my
umbrella, we do encourage them to go. They do have a lot of issues. They choose not to
go. Can you just expand on that a little bit in
terms of… Which part? Of the, like who’s making the decision that
it’s not…you know, the budgetary constraints are significant enough that you’re not going
to send somebody from the county. Like is that decision kind of like sourced up from
your level here. You’re kind of saying, no….we already know it from SEAC, so why even go? No, that’s the direction that we’re getting
from our CFO. We are to cut expenses and the first place to go, where we used to send two,
we now just send one. Are there…can anyone else comment on that
specific part right there, like kind of where the decision, where the hold up might be,
top or bottom, middle, I can comment on this. Please. Sacramento County. We used to send both our
internal…we used to have internal and external….and we had some reorgs, but we used to send two
people. During the recession, one of the places that people got super involved in, on a higher
level, was travel. And our Board…it’s one of the things now that has to go to the Board
now if travel is over a certain amount. And our CBO is just like, yeah, I’m not….I’m
not taking it to the board if I don’t have to. So we send one, where we used to send
two. Now, if it was in Sacramento, you know, we
could go because what happens is if you just had the conference cost and not the hotel
cost, there’s a threshold that has to go to the Board for us. So when…you when…. like
when you guys go to Palm Springs and it’s, you know, almost $200.00 a night, that goes
over our threshold. And it has to go to the Board and that’s just not going to happen
for us. Interesting. Thank you. That’s very useful. But it happened during the recession. I mean,
before that, they never went to the Board and we sent lots of people lots of places. Frances from LA County. Same thing, cost with
the districts. Length of time, three days. Again, you have one or two people at the district
that handles pay….payroll or HR and to be gone from the district for three days is quite
a bit of time. Another issue is, they would make the effort
if they knew that there was more discussion, more items, more topic items related specifically
to schools because when they look at the agenda items, they feel that most of the agenda items
are directed at public agencies. So for them to take a three-day time off and to pay that
expense and they’re only going to attend two or three workshops, it’s not cost-effective
for them. Or time effective. And administration is the one makes the decision. Now those people must never attend my training
class because I always talk about my schools. I….my comment cards always say you don’t
talk about public agencies. So. Anybody else? Any other things? So, I’ll kind of ask the
questions again, you know, do you encourage your direct reporting districts to come? What are some of barriers for you? What are
barriers, what level staff do you feel should be marketed to, or maybe informed, and who
should go and what kind of information do you have? So I can kind of a little bit more
about what this is going for is that we, together, are trying to compile a list of information
and contacts, and that’s why I was making fun of him for having his own database. Because he wants to do very specific marketing
to very specific people, that is your Board or your Superintendent of Schools to get them
information. We’ve already recognized that there are rooms for changing the Ed Forum.
We know….we’ve heard your complaints, we’ve heard your concerns. We know… we’re already
addressing the schools and PAs, doing separate tracks, hopefully this year. So, but it’s the concern about money, costs,
travel, people not being allocated to go, leave at work, and who are those decision-makers
that we can contact to maybe convince them that sending two people for three days to
get information regarding audits, compliance, policy, talk to our, you know, CEO, our Chief
Financial Officer, talk to the people who are doing the collections, $1000.00 in travel
is going to save you $20,000 in arrears costs or audit costs. And so, maybe we have to have those dialogues
and so that’s why we’re trying to get more information from you. Teresa, did you have
anything? So the last one we attended was the one you
had in San Jose. We received some information because it was a mixed presentation, public
and schools in the same room. We started reporting the way we were informed to at that meeting
and it took us two years to correct it. So we tend to shy away from your forum because
we get misinformation. Yes, because it’s not geared towards schools. Okay, Gus. I would also be interested to hear a little
bit more about the relationship between, you know, the County Office and the districts
and in what scenario would a county office actually recommend that the districts’ staff
attend, if indeed the county has sort of centralized most of the CalPERS related business in the
county. What advantage do you see for the district staff to attend? Sheila Walker from Tehama County Department
of Ed. I’ve only attended two, one in Sacramento, and then we were told we couldn’t travel at
all anymore. And then recently the one in San Jose, I attended. My districts do no reporting
whatsoever. They don’t really want to get involved in that. They’ve already got enough
on their plate. So, we as a county office, take that part for them. It’s the cost and the travel, because it’s
not only the cost of the conference, but your rooms and traveling, because it’s always down
south. And I consider anything but Sacramento south. So, I’m just…I’m a north country
pumpkin. And also, too, sometimes you have school things,
but then there’s two sessions at the same time, so you have to make a decision on which
one you’re going to go to and it’s very helpful if it’s only related to schools because ours
is so different than everybody else. Renee from Napa. Your question regarding the
districts, can you ask that one more time? So, I’m getting hot up here….sorry….I’m
not just talking looks either, you know. All right. This is my stance, and my stance is
not shared amongst all levels of CalPERS management here regarding the Ed Forum. So I’m trying
to make the argument that….and this is based on conversations that I had with many of you….that
districts will benefit from attending the forum because they’re often the ones that
are creating the headaches for county offices. Regardless if they actually are submitting
data to us or not, it’s how they enter data to you. So are they entering timely, do they
understand the regs, do they understand policy? Now, the argument I can make on the other
side is it is not our responsibility, as CalPERS, to educate your districts. If you’re the one
who is the custodian to send us all the data, that should kind of be funneled down and have
your governance kind of do that. So in my question, what I’m trying to say
is if were to market to districts, one, would you as a county office allow them to go, and
then two, would it be beneficial to even have a district go so they can hear and engage
in these kind of conversations? I think yes, that the districts at least for
my opinion, for our county office, would benefit because they’re the ones that enter payroll
data. We get…we get the data based on their payroll. It’s truly their data. We are just
reporting it for them. So when they enter membership information, look somebody up in
CalPERS, they’re doing that all when they get new hires or people separate. They have
all that information. As a county office, we don’t have that detailed information. So,
ultimately, they’re responsible for their data. So when there’s issues or things that
come up or like an audit….if you’re auditing a district, you’re not auditing necessarily
the county office, you’re auditing that district, to see why they put it,….put in the data
the way they did and why they reported. We’re ultimately just a funnel to report under
an umbrella for all of our districts. So we, as a county office, would gladly prefer that
the districts go so that they’re more informed because I can only send so many emails as
a blast to all my districts, saying make sure that you do this, make sure that you do that,
but if they are there as well, hearing the same information as me, than they get on the
same page, and hopefully the reporting is better altogether. Quick question then. Is it…. can your districts
then make the decision…do they have their own budget to decided or are they….. Yes. Okay. It would be a district by district decision. Is anyone here from a specific district? Is
there….okay, so, maybe someone from that county can start think…..I mean, we’ve got
someone else with the mic first, but think about what does that decision-making process
look like at your district. Are you aware of that, and are the travel thresholds just
as ironclad in your area? So, we’ll come here first though. Ramona from Stanislaus COE. And to expand
on what she said, and I’m sure we’ve talked about it. I would encourage her districts
to go because we are the ones that are reporting their information. They are the ones that
have to input it correctly. We have trainings often with our districts to train them on
how to do it. But if these trainings are coming from CalPERS, that might help iron out that
whole….this is the way it really needs to be. It’s not my county office that’s telling
me this is the way to be. So we encourage our districts to attend meetings
like the Ed Forums. But it does, yes, it does need to be classes that are geared towards
schools versus public because that information is different and as Teresa had said, we did
something that was stated, this is the way you need to do it and it took a couple of
years to get that fixed. This is Sherry from Sacramento again. I would
say we would encourage our districts to go, but our smaller districts…. we have districts
that have one person that does payroll, budget, AP, they do everything. There’s three people
at the district, the superintendent, the secretary, and the person who does everything else. So
they’re never going to go. Okay. Our larger districts, we’d love for them to
go, but we encouraged them to come to this meeting too and we’ve got….so who’s here
from Sacramento County, 1…so what district are you from? Los Rios. Los Rios. Elk Grove,
San Juan, Sac City. We try to get them here and it’s right in town. So, I mean…and they’re
big districts with a lot of staff. So I don’t know how you encourage it. We would
love for them to come to this meeting because….but a lot of them just lean on us to come to this
meeting and then relay the information to them. So I know we’re talking about the Ed Forum,
right? In my vision of the Ed Forum, and kind of those who’ve gone, know that it’s a way
to network, talk to people like our division chiefs, our system division chiefs, be able
to hear very important messages. We have the speakers and all that stuff. Right? That’s…a
lot of that stuff is kind of glamorous, but some of it’s very relevant, very nice, it’s
very formative. But we also have our education team. Right?
They go out to regional offices and they train and I know they’ve been trying to extend the
offer to come to different districts and counties. If a county wants to hold one-day or two-day
training set, because travel and expenses aren’t there, or staffing levels are a problem,
they are more than happy to come out to you and I don’t know if you are aware of that,
and can take advantage of that. If you aren’t aware, they do have that service and they
have gone to remote locations to train districts and you may want to take advantage of it. The only difference between the training,
though, is is now you lose that peer-on-peer networking. You lose the hiring conversations.
You lose the ability to have conversations with our executive bodies. I want to say one more thing. You guys do
offer things that would be very important for districts, such as like the CalPERS Power
of Attorney, disability retirement, all those things, they’re….they are the ones who deal
directly with their employees and all of those sessions on those type of things would be
beneficial to them because they’re the ones who are dealing with their employees when
they’re going through disability retirements. We’re not. So there are things you offer. Membership.
There are things you offer at the…at the forum that would be very beneficial to our
districts, that are things they deal with, that we do not at the county office. It’s not part of our normal training? Yeah. Can someone from the training team just talk
about that a little bit? Is…are those type of topics ever something you would do on one
of your on-site training, where you talk about power of attorney and stuff like that? Good afternoon, everybody. Jerry Tafoya Perry,
Manager of Employer Education. We are the driver’s education portion of the business
rules at CalPERS. My sister unit Annette Bouchay, is responsible for the system training, the
driver’s training portion. Just as an example of how we can provide outreach
to you, being a person that Orange County Office of Education. In a couple weeks, one
of my educators, Michael Hadin, is going to go out and visit Orange County and provide
business rules training to over 100 of their transaction staff from all around your school
districts. This is a service that’s available to your
County Offices of Education. If you can network and collaborate with your school districts,
provide a location, we can go out and provide business rules, which includes membership
eligibility teaching you the nuts and bolts of when you hire somebody, do you enroll them
right away at the date of hire, do you have to monitor their….the irregular working-hour
folks? We teach about payroll reporting, compensation
review, special compensation. We talk about power of attorney. We talk about when to call….call
CalPERS if you have a person that’s facing terminal illness or imminent death. We provide
topics about power of attorney, how to make sure your employees know what to do in the
event that they can’t make a decision on their own. We cover all the topics. We have….even have
computer-based trainings, where what if you can’t send anybody. We have click-through
modules that’s available right through your own education tab, that you can actually go
ahead and access at any time. We even have our sister unit, Annette, she
will…. if you have a lab with PCs, her expert team will come and train you on system transactions,
adjusting payroll, how to actually go ahead and resend and enroll folks into health if
you contract for health, health enrollment, so we do have these resources available. Pardon
me? The Cognos report? She has a class just on
Cognos reports alone. If you call our Employer Call Center and you sign up for the employer
bulletin, we send out monthly bulletins to provide what classes we offer throughout the
month. If you can’t get away, I have a whole team of employer educators….they will call
you, they’ll make arrangements. We will make every effort to come out and call you. And guess what? As Tim mentioned earlier,
you know if you don’t enroll folks timely into membership, it’s going to cost you on
the backend. You’re going to have the 20283 coming your way and you’re going to receive
IRS-looking reports, saying you owe this money and guess what? You pay….employer contributions,
and you pay member contributions. We want to help you save money and we can….we
can do that for you. If you don’t report your payroll on time, you’re the CEOs, I mean,
you know, basically, your districts don’t get that information to us timely, there’s….there’s
basically deadline penalties that you’re going to have to pay as well. So, anyway, those
are the….the process we have for you, the resources. All right. We’ll take one more question. I
know we’re kind of….I’m way over my time…..oh yeah, no more questions. All right. Sorry.
Give me that mic. All right. So I want to thank you for all this information. Both Dave
and I have taken it down and we’ll take it back to the Steering Committee for the Ed
Forum to see how we can better market it and get this information to you. And I’ll turn
it back over to Dave. Thank you, Tim. You earned your $30,000.00-month
salary today. Thank you. So I do want to thank you all for sharing that information. It’s
really helpful to hear those perspectives. As Tim said, we are looking at ways to make
sure that the Ed Forum experience is relevant to the vast universe of employers and stakeholders
that CalPERS has, many of them with differing priorities from school. And we recognize, though, that….that what
we heard many different times in different ways, here, which is that some of the content
hasn’t been skewed toward schools and, therefore, that, plus the overarching concern about travel
budget equals it’s not a priority sometimes. So we’re looking to address what we can do
about both of those elements. So thank you so much for serving as an impromptu focus
group. I appreciate it. So, at this time, we’ve got just a few minutes
left. I do want to ask if there are any questions about anything that we didn’t cover here today?
We do have a number of the employer related staff here still, so if there’s any questions,
this would be a great time and, of course, we’re always available to handle questions
via email or follow-up with you afterwards. Is there anything that we can address right
now in the few moments that we have remaining? All right. Okay. Well, yes, Brad. Hold on,
Brad. Hello. Brad Hanson. So someone had said a
quest….I do have a question I need to get to. {Everybody singing Happy Birthday to Brad} Wow. Thank you. Thank you very much. That’s beautiful. All right. So I have a serious question. I’m
not sure who this came from and they were going to ask at the SEAC today, the School
Advisory Committee, but it was not asked. It had to do with off-salary schedule pay. And the question was, off-salary schedule
pay issued at the same time of the pay increase is not reportable. Does this mean reported
within the same pay period? So, yeah, it would be, but basically, I know
we kind of changed gears with this whole off-salary schedule payment issue. Essentially, if you
are given a raise in a fiscal year, you’re not allowed to report special comp for the
off-salary schedule pay. So for instance, if you received a 2% pay increase, you can’t
report the additional 4% as a special comp. In the past, it’s how we interpreted it, but
now we’ve kind of changed gears on that and, I believe, we’re sending a circular out soon
to talk about that. So hopefully, that kind of clears it up. You guys aren’t taking back
your birthday wishes, though, right? All right. So I was wanted to clear that up. If you have
any question, most of you guys have my email address. You can always hit us up or give
us a call and we can talk about it. Thank you, Brad. And if anybody on the web
conferences is trying to email me, unfortunately, the computer up here has just gone kaput,
so I apologize for that. I will go back to my desk, look for your questions and I will
garner a response for you. So my apologies. Quick word before we release here today. I
do have the dates for the remaining two meetings of the year and they have gone through a little
bit of a shift, so please do make note. You may have already seen these, but there they
are: It is Wednesday, August 3rd, okay? Wednesday, August 3rd, and Tuesday, November 8th. That’s
probably the one that you may have had a different date. Okay, so Tuesday, November 8th. Both of those meetings will be here in this
room, same general format, CalSTERS in the morning, CalPERS in the afternoon. Okay. So…
and the agenda next time…of course we will be building that. We will have an item on
publicly available pay schedules, as Brad mentioned. We’ll also have more information
on how to respond if you are one of the lucky ones who are audited. And everything else
that we need to tell you leading up to the August…the summer months. So. Thank you very much for participating
in the meeting and safe travels. Thank you.

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