US - Covansys has won a $14.5m contract from the Public Employees Retirement Board of Nebraska (PERB) to implement a new pension administration system.
According to Covansys, the new administration system will improve data management and PERB efficiency, in addition to giving members of Nebraska's pension funds internet access to their own records for the first time. The new system will cover all six schemes in the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System (NPERS).
The new system, the Pension Information of Nebraska for Efficient and Effective Retirement (PIONEER), will be implemented in four phases and is scheduled for completion in May 2004. Covansys claims that the new system will significantly improve the speed and accuracy of business processing.
Speaking about the appointment of Covansys, Anna Sullivan, director of the NPERS, said: Currently, our information system is antiquated and relies heavily on manual procedures to process member benefit applications. The approval of this contract is a major decision of the PERB that will benefit members for many years to come. The Covansys solution will allow us to respond better and more rapidly to meet the needs of our employers and members.
Currently, the NPERS serves approximately 74,000 active and inactive members, as well as 10,800 benefit recipients. The NPERS administers three defined benefit (DB) plans, two defined contribution (DC) plans, and one deferred compensation plan. The value of all plan assets (DB & DC) is approximately $5.5bn.
The state investment council, founded in 1969, provides for centralised investment of all state funds, including the NPERS funds. The council determines investment strategies for all funds and guidelines for specific portfolios, in addition to the allocation of funds among managers. It selects external managers and consultants, subject to gubernatorial approval. The council also imposes any other policies that it deems desirable on the state investment officer, staff and external managers.
The PERB was created in 1971 to administer Nebraska retirement plans for school employees, state employees, judges and the State patrol. The six NPERS schemes under administration are the Nebraska School Employees' Retirement System (DB); the Judge's Retirement System (DB); State Patrol Retirement System (DB); the State Employees Retirement System (DC); the County Employees Retirement System (DC); and a deferred compensation scheme.
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