Pension e-news

July 28, 2015

Improving service to employers, members and pensioners

This month, Pension e-news showcases the service improvements APS is making for employers, members and pensioners.

Until Go-Live, Employer Services Manager, Nathan Dorward, is now dedicated to helping employers prepare of conversion to the new employer portal when it replaces Employer Online Services (EOS) later this fall. Nathan and the Employer Services team will address any concerns and help ensure employers are ready to benefit from this new service.

Members are experiencing a new Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) service when they call in to our Member Services Centre. The new IVR technology gives them more options to get information, leave a voicemail or speak to a Member Services representative.

Pensioners are embracing their new online portal and have used this four-month old service to make 10,000 updates to personal information and send in 1,189 documents through the secure e-mail box. This is among the new features that members will also get to experience when we launch the new for members later this year.

Of course, people still want individual attention when seeking information to make decisions about their pensions. Our fall schedule is now available for members to sign up to attend a one-on-one information session with one of our pension specialists. Sessions are scheduled for Calgary, Red Deer, Grande Prairie and Lethbridge starting August 18 through to October 22.

Troy Diakow
Executive Director, APS Client Services

Employer Portal Conversion Update

Employers will receive a comprehensive Conversion Readiness Checklist in mid-August that will detail what needs to be done by when to prepare for the 10-day system freeze required to transition to the new employer portal.

The Conversion Readiness Checklist will address five areas:

  • 1. Remittances
  • 2. Enrollments
  • 3. Member data Changes
  • 4. Terminations
  • 5. Access Management

There are three phases to the conversion to the new employer portal.

Sign up now for employer portal information and training

Get ready to use the new employer portal, expected to launch this fall.
Log on to Employer Online Services (EOS) to register for full-day Employer Portal Ariel Training workshops offered throughout Alberta from mid-August to the end of October. (See next page for the full schedule).
Register for employer webinars here to learn more about various aspects of using the new employer portal.
There is no charge to take part in these sessions.

Pensioners sign up for online convenience

Nearly 8,000 pensioners have signed up to use the new pensioner portal since it was introduced at the end of March, embracing the "24/7 convenience" that online service offers. Since then:

  • more than 1,100 documents have been sent through the secure e-mail box
  • 10,000 updates have been made to personal information (address updates, banking information changes, changes to beneficiaries, etc.)
    • Many pensioners are using the service to view payment information and access T4As and other tax information.

      As of July 8, the pensioner portal pages are plan branded. LAPP, PSPP, MEPP and SFPP pensioners are directed to pages that are branded with the last pension plan to which they contributed. Those pensioners belonging to multiple plans and receiving more than one pension can now toggle between plan-specific information to view their details. Plan branding also means members will experience a familiar online service environment when they retire. for members is expected to be launched in late November and will feature many of the same new convenient features pensioners are now enjoying.

      Member service improves with new IVR

      APS is using a new, interactive voice response (IVR) telephone system to improve service. The new system gives members the option to quickly get answers to frequently asked questions, leave a voicemail or speak to a Member Services Representative. We're excited about the impact this system will have on enhancing our client service," says Troy Diakow, Executive Director, Employer and Member Services. "Members move smoothly and rapidly through a customized system, and they only have to choose one or two selections to get their information."

      Helping out with more than transactions

      Changes are taking place on the APS Employer Services team to help serve you better. Effective immediately, Nathan Dorward, Manager, Employer Services, will be dedicated to managing employer relations and helping all employers prepare for conversion to the new employer portal when it replaces EOS later this fall. Nathan will address any concerns and help ensure every employer is ready. Preparations for the conversion are extensive. With 503 employers submitting over 600,000 transactions a year on behalf of 207,000 members, there's bound to be some questions. "We're involved with the entire life cycle of a member," says Nathan. "The tough questions are not so much about how to make a transaction but how to interpret and apply legislation to a member and employer situation." That's why Cam Wolfe, the former Manager of the Quality and Compliance team at APS is now interim Manager of the Employer Services team. While Nathan oversees the preparations for the new Employer Portal, Cam will oversee the team of Employer Services representatives. His primary focus is to manage the day-to-day operations, and ensure the representatives are able to assist employers in getting ready to use the new Employer Portal. "We're not just managing data, says Kam Bhatal, an Employer Services Subject Matter Expert for the employer portal. "We're managing people's livelihoods." Nathan, Cam and the entire Employer Services team will work with employers to prepare for the transition, answer questions and help sort out any day-to-day issues. "Our goal is to make the transition seamless for the employer, and we're up to the challenge,"says Cam.

      Did you know? Obtaining a divorce certificate

      Employees who require a copy of their divorce certificate can be directed to request it online from the Court of Queen's Bench.