The South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority’s current core operating systems were built in the early 1990s. The typical lifespan of a system is 15 to 20 years. So while our systems have served us well, it’s getting difficult to find the resources needed to support them. Also, the separate insurance and retirement systems don’t share data and pose a technology risk.
PEBA will buy a commercial off-the-shelf system and customize it to meet our needs. The project will take approximately five years to complete. We’ve named this new system peba:connect.
PEBA is currently in the first year of the project. This year we will be identifying data discrepancies and aligning common processes. PEBA will also be bringing key personnel and vendors onboard to assist with the project.
During years two through five we will customize and test the new system. We will then train staff, employers and members on how to use the new system. Finally, we will implement the system.
PEBA will create and use automated systems and processes that will maximize the delivery of efficient and excellent services to customers of our programs. Customers refer to covered employers, members, subscribers, beneficiaries, and dependents.
The new system will provide a unified, one-stop improved customer experience with respect to all programs administered by PEBA.
The new system and processes will enhance existing Customer Service capabilities including but not limited to:
The new system will integrate retirement and insurance processes where further integration will improve operations and/or the efficiency and delivery of excellent services to customers, including but not limited to:
The new system and processes will enhance existing operational performance measurement capabilities.
The new system and processes will enhance existing data exchange functionality with all appropriate third parties, including all third-party administrators.
The new system and processes will continue to support or enhance the privacy and security of PEBA’s information assets.
As with any new operating system, processes will change. This may mean that you will have to learn a new way to conduct business with PEBA. But don’t worry, PEBA will be there to assist you. A large component of the project will be dedicated to training staff, employers and members on how to use the system prior to implementation. Our intent is to make conducting business with us easier and more efficient.
One of the more critical components of the new system will be a redesign of the employer reporting process. Our intent is to increase the frequency that employers report, moving from quarterly to monthly reporting. Increasing the reporting frequency will decrease the lag time between employer payroll processing and contributions posting to member accounts.
While we are still in the infancy of this project, some possible changes that could occur include the type and amount of data that PEBA collects. Gathering additional data upfront will help ensure that PEBA has an accurate work history for members. It will also reduce the need for additional information from employers when members retire, request refunds or die since information will already be available for the calculation of benefits.
Some of the additional data we anticipate collecting includes: