Calif. system pulls benefits data together

Calif. system pulls benefits data together

Officials overseeing the California Public Employees Retirement System are integrating data to improve service to the 1.2 million former and current state employees who receive retirement and health benefits from the program.

With $144 billion in assets, CalPERS is the nation's largest public pension fund, CIO Jack Corrie said.

CalPERS officials wanted to integrate multiple portals into a single sign-on, Corrie said. They also wanted to offer retirees and current employees more self-service features on the system's Web site, at www.calpers.ca.gov.

Corrie and his team used the Oracle 9i application suite to upgrade the site. 'It let us pull together the data that we needed,' he said. CalPERS officials also used Oracle Interconnect 4.0 middleware to integrate data residing on mainframes. The setup has saved CalPERS 30 to 40 percent in system integration costs, Corrie said.

Previously, officials figured out employees' retirement estimates on paper, Corrie said. 'We could calculate maybe 1,000 retirement estimates a month, using a calculator and paper. Because it was so time-consuming, we had a requirement that an employee had to be 45 years old or older before we would perform an estimate,' he said. 'Now with the Oracle suite, we're doing 30,000 estimates a month. Now anybody can go online at www.calpers.ca.gov and find their retirement estimate.'

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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