Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates: 4/2/2020
CARES Act and Your PSR Account – COVID-19
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill contains certain provisions affecting Peach State Reserves (PSR) 401(k) and 457 plans. Please log in to your account at GaBreeze for information and updates.
This bill will not affect the administration any of ERSGA’s pension plans.
Disruptions to Paper Checks
While the bill doesn’t affect our pension plans, please be aware that if you are currently receiving a paper check for your monthly pension benefit, we strongly encourage you to change to direct deposit. In the event there are any disruptions or delays to the US Postal Service, or employees are not able to access the ERSGA building, paper checks may be delayed or unable to be processed. You can switch to direct deposit by logging into your ERSGA secure desktop through the Log In button at the top of this website.
ERS Remains Open for Business!
At the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia (ERSGA), we realize this is an uncertain time for our Members, Retirees, and their Beneficiaries due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We also understand that the monthly benefit payment that Retirees and Beneficiaries receive is crucial to their overall well-being. As the guardian of the State of Georgia’s pension plan for over 70 years, ERSGA’s primary responsibility is to make sure the monthly pension checks go out on time each month.
Proactive Steps Taken:
The health and safety of our employees and members is our first priority during the current COVID-19 pandemic. We have transitioned to a nearly 100% work-from-home (teleworking) agency, and are continually evaluating our business processes to ensure that you will continue to receive the high level of customer service and professionalism you have come to expect from us.
ERSGA is fully capable of running our monthly payrolls with our dedicated staff working remotely. If you’re a Retiree or Beneficiary, and you receive your benefit payment through direct deposit, you can be confident in receiving your monthly payments as scheduled.
As a continual effort, we have created a number of online processes so that our members can avoid using and mailing in paper forms. Most former members can apply for refunds of contributions online, and Employees’ Retirement System (Old Plan, New Plan, and GSEPS) members can apply for retirement online. Other changes, such as tax withholding and beneficiary changes, can also be accomplished electronically.
Areas of Concern for Members:
An area of concern is for those specific Retirees, and their Beneficiaries, who still receive paper checks in the mail each month. Our Financial Management Division staff has worked diligently to contact these members, and has converted almost 50% of the remaining paper checks over to direct deposit. However, to date, about 900 paper checks still remain as the method of payment. The issue with paper checks is if either the check printing vendor or the U.S. Postal Service were to experience a disruption in service, then the delivery of paper checks could be significantly delayed. If you or another ERSGA member that you know is still receiving paper checks, please contact us immediately to set up direct deposit to make sure everyone receives their benefits on time.
We also highly encourage the use of electronic communications whenever possible, as another area of concern is our ability to continue to process the large volume of physical mail we send and receive each day. For now, we are able to handle it, but the less we receive the more effective we can be at getting your important communications into the right hands. We ask that you take full advantage of email or (if the information is confidential) our secure file transfer process.
Our Customer Care Group and retirement specialists can answer your questions about how to securely send private or confidential information to us. In addition, our IT Development Group is hard at work creating a direct document upload function in the secure member portal area of our website. Any member who has signed up for an ERSGA account will be able to use this functionality in the next few weeks.
Our Customer Care Group (call center) is 100% operational, with all of our agents teleworking. We have made some changes to other areas of communication in the effort of social distancing. This effort includes the suspension of face-to-face meetings and outreach educational presentations. During this time, we are using technology to connect with our members. The Workshop for Retirement Answers and Preparation (WRAP) pre-retirement seminars are now presented in video format available on our website. In addition, our retirement specialists are available for one-on-one phone or teleconference meetings. We are also frequently updating our website and sending out written communications with timely information as we receive updates.
Stay Connected and Current!
Please stay connected to us by logging into your secure ERSGA account and confirming that your contact information and beneficiaries are current.
If you have not signed into your account previously, the blue log in button is located on the top, right side on the homepage of our website. By logging into your secure account, you have the ability to perform many of the electronic tasks outlined above. Additionally, another important benefit to signing up is it gives us a way to reach you. Circumstances are changing quickly these days, and we would greatly appreciate the ability to easily connect with all of our members, retirees, and beneficiaries. You can also help us by encouraging other current and former state employees to create or to log into their ERSGA account, so we can keep everyone up to date!
Personal Message from Jim Potvin, Executive Director of ERSGA:
Know that our ERSGA employees are dedicated to serving those who serve Georgia. We are still here for you during this time, as we have been for the past 70 years. We know you are depending on us and we intend to keep our daily operations stable and running efficiently.
Let us know how we can help, and please stay safe.
Connect with ERSGA
ERSGA General Number: 404.350.6300
ERSGA Toll Free: 800.805.4609 (outside metro Atlanta area)
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
WRAP (Workshop for Retirement Answers and Preparation)
Due to recommended precautions regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the WRAP presentation events at our ERSGA offices have been suspended.
WRAP is now available online in a series of presentations. Please visit our WRAP page to view the presentations.
Due to today’s directive from Governor Kemp, ERSGA is suspending all in-person consultations and WRAP presentations until further notice.
We are scheduling phone appointments with our analysts. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call our main number under About > Contact.
We are working to make videos of the WRAP information available online. Check this page for links to the presentations in the coming days.
We appreciate your cooperation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) have set up web pages to help us better understand the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and how to help prevent the spread of the virus.
CDC main Coronavirus page: Latest news and main area for links to all Coronavirus information.
DPH main Coronavirus page: Information specific to Georgia, the CDC, and prevention information.