October 26, 2015
As you know, a system freeze will occur in May just prior to the implementation of the new Employer Portal. It's important to complete the year-end reconciliation process before April 30th. There's no need to wait to submit your year-end data. Send it in as soon as your reporting year for 2015 is complete.
Here are some tips to ensure a smooth reconciliation process:
- 1. Test data prior to final submission. This helps identify and correct any residual issues beforehand, avoiding delays.
- 2. Clean up the data as much as possible first -- check for name changes or for members who aren't registered; ensure commencement of contribution (COC) dates are correct; correct any turn around documents (TADs); refer to your year-to-date reconciliation summary (1000 report) for any outstanding remittances, overpayments and cheque discrepancies.
- 3. Ask your Employer Services representative to help you plan for the process. You can also request training, refresher and general information opportunities any time.
More tips and information will follow in future editions of Pension e-news. If you have questions or need help with your year-end closure, please call your Employer Services representative as soon as possible.
Executive Director, APS Client Services
Before submitting your year-end data, APS highly recommends submitting test files first. These can be done any time during October, November and December.
Running a test helps to identify potential problems with file formats or data. Running the test in advance of year end allows time to correct, eliminate or reduce data and/or formatting errors.
To create a UTF test file, logon to Pension e-Guide.
Things to watch for when generating a test file:
Date range cannot exceed the current date; your year-end file generates using the end of the year. For test purposes, you need to make sure the "TO DATE" reflects the end of the pay period your test file reflects (e.g., up to end of October use 20151030).
Make sure to submit using the "Test Only" button.
Delivering a great client experience
Previously, new retirees had to wait as long as two or three months for their first pension cheque to arrive due to the application process, missing information and process complexity. This delay can cause real worry for some people, who need a regular income to cover day-to-day expenses and unexpected bills.
"Since we started this as a pilot project a few months ago, approximately 70 per cent of clients' pension choices have been returned within a month, allowing us to process the file faster," says manager, Cheryl Persson. "What's most important is that the person who's just retired has the first payment in their account and we're there to answer any questions, start to finish."
APS has developed innovative relationship management techniques that simultaneously improved the client experience while reducing file processing times. We've also experimented with providing preliminary payments to prevent cash flow interruptions for files requiring additional processing time.
Member one-on-one information sessions
There's still time to register for our final member one-on-one session of 2015:
December 8, 9 or 10 -- Peace Hills Trust Tower, Edmonton
A one-on-one session with a pension specialist is beneficial for those members nearing a pension-related life event, such as a retirement or termination from their plan, and have specific questions about their pension.
There are two ways members can register:
- 1. Go online to mypensionplan.ca
- 2. Call the Member Services Centre
- LAPP: 1-877-649-5277
- MEPP: 1-877-889-6377
- PSPP: 1-877-453-1777
- SFPP: 1-877-809-7377
Sessions are scheduled for specific dates across the province. They are also available year-round at APS' Windermere office located in southwest Edmonton. NOTE: APS adheres to a scent-reduced work environment policy. We ask those who attend our sessions to limit their use of scented products for the safety and comfort of all participants. For additional information regarding your pension plan, you can sign up for a pension session offered by webinar.
Contact your Employer Services Rep.
You can call us any time. We're here to help. The toll free number for Employer Services is 1-877-391-3756.
When you call, you will be prompted to enter a pension plan number and your employer number to ensure your call is routed to the correct Employer Services representative.
The pension plan numbers are:
- Public Service Pension Plan - 1
- Local Authorities Pension Plan - 2
- Management Employees Pension Plan - 4
- Special Forces Pension Plan - 6
You may also contact your Employer Services representative directly by logging on to Employer Online Services (EOS). We look forward to serving you!