US - The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) has launched a new service which allows members to fill out and submit service retirement forms online.
The new system, launched over the weekend, is expected to simplify applying for service retirement with step-by-step instructions coupled with traditional help from benefits counselors, if needed. The new features also offer secure, on-demand access to member account information, CalSTRS said.
"We see the new secure online service retirement and submittal feature as just one more step toward expanding the online capabilities of our members and improving the level of satisfaction and accuracy that CalSTRS can offer them," said chief executive officer Jack Ehnes.
"We have experienced, over the past few years, increasing demand from members to access retirement data online and we think this will help us provide better, more targeted, services as members advance through their careers toward retirement."
The $154.6bn fund has 852,000 members and its staff currently process about 13,000 paper service retirement applications annually. Members who prefer working with paper can still fill out, print and sign forms for mailing to CalSTRS or submitting to a counseling office.
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers