Series established September 9, 1999
This series specification describes the Pension Program Representative classes used in the State Teachers' Retirement System (STRS). Positions in these classes learn and apply the STRS' Law, the Education Code, and departmental policies and procedures in the administration of benefits for active and retired teachers in public schools, kindergarten through community college.
Incumbents perform specialized tasks, such as determining eligibility for and calculating the benefit allowances for retirement, disability retirement, refund of contributions, estimates of retirement benefits, community property settlement judgments, and preretirement death benefits, as well as interviewing members, interpreting laws, regulations and explaining benefits to members and public agencies, and conducting research for and providing technical assistance to higher-level staff. Incumbents also process payments for benefits for all retired members and beneficiaries; provide services to all retired members including adjustments, replacement of lost or stolen warrants, death benefit determination, and eligibility for continuance of disability benefits; explain and administer services to members and employers in the areas of membership eligibility; membership records and accounts; service credit; payroll reporting; employment history and eligibility for reciprocity with other retirement systems; provide training for employers and members on a variety of retirement and benefit issues; review and analyze members' records and initiate corrections, adjustments, or update information to members' accounts on STRS' data systems; and perform other related work.
Incumbents routinely use personal computers or mainframe terminals to access various STRS' data systems to perform their duties.
Variety, complexity, and difficulty of work; supervision received; supervisory responsibilities; type and frequency of contacts with other STRS staff, public agencies, members, and the public; the degree of independence and judgment required in making determinations; and the consequence of errors serve as the major differentiating factors between classes. Additional considerations which enter into determinations include the experience and knowledge necessary to perform the work.
This is the entry level, developmental, and journey level for the series. As trainees, incumbents work under close supervision and within established procedures; receive training and learn benefit programs; complete simple benefit calculations; and provide assistance to higher-level specialists. Incumbents continue to learn and perform a variety of duties involving the explanation and interpretation of regulations, policies, and benefits to members and employers.
As incumbents become proficient, they work under general supervision and guidelines. Incumbents may perform the less complex benefit calculations, provide technical information to members concerning membership qualifications and benefits, and review technical documents for accuracy and completeness; provide technical information to employers; and provide technical assistance to higher-level staff. Work is subject to periodic review, and contact with the public is moderate and basically informational in nature.
At the journey level, incumbents work under general supervision. The work is subject to occasional review, therefore, the consequence of errors is significant. Incumbents perform the more difficult and complex tasks associated with retirement calculations; interview members; explain and interpret regulations, policies, and benefits; expedite cases requiring special actions for timely payment of benefits; advise employers on membership qualifications and reports of contributions; prepare reports, correspondence, charts, and graphs; contact staff at various levels in other State and local public agencies, school officials, and members by telephone, personal contact, e-mail or correspondence; and perform other related work.
This is the advanced journey level in the series. Incumbents work in varied functions under general direction with little day-to-day supervision, and must exhibit a high level of initiative, independence of action, and responsibility for the accuracy and thoroughness of their work. Incumbents have a broader knowledge of STRS' programs than is required at the lower levels; serve as an expert staff resource for consultation and/or performance of the most difficult and complex tasks in the assigned area; assist in performing studies concerning various aspects of pension fund operations and proposed legislation; develop and/or revise operating procedures, administrative directives, and management memos to reflect changes resulting from legislation or other factors; provide direction, guidance, and training to other specialists and support staff; make presentations to management and/or client groups; provide assistance in the design, development, and testing of new information system programs; and perform other related work.
All levels may be assigned to participate as a member of a team.
Experience: In the California state service, 12 months of experience performing clerical duties at a level of responsibility not less than that of an Office Assistant, Range A.
Experience: Nine months of experience as a seasonal clerk or equivalent working for the STRS in a retirement or member services program. and
Education: Either equivalent to completion of the 12th grade; or completion of a business school curriculum; or completion of a clerical work experience training program. (One year of general clerical work experience may be substituted for the required education.)
Experience: Eighteen months of clerical experience which must include client-customer service contact involving the interpretation or explanation of policies, regulations, or procedures for a public agency or private institution, such as a bank, insurance company, credit bureau, or title company. [Academic education above the 12th grade may be substituted for one year of the required general experience on the basis of either (a) one year of general education being equivalent to three months of experience; or (b) one year of education of a business or commercial nature being equivalent to six months of experience. Students who are enrolled in the last semester or its equivalent of course work which upon completion will fulfill these requirements will be admitted to the examination, but they must submit evidence of completion before they can be considered for appointment.]
Experience: In the California state service, one year of experience performing the duties of a Pension Program Representative, Range B.
Experience: Three years of experience in a governmental or private agency performing duties involving the interpretation or explanation of complex regulations or procedures. (Experience in the California state service applied toward this requirement must include at least one year in a class with a level of responsibility not less than that of a Pension Program Representative, Range
Knowledge of: Rules, regulations, organization, and procedures of STRS; current office methods, equipment, and procedures; grammar, spelling, and punctuation of modern English usage; the principles of mathematics.
Ability to: Perform technical work; interpret, apply, and effectively communicate provisions of STRS' rules, regulations, procedures, and policy; follow and communicate directions; evaluate situations accurately and take effective action; learn and operate automated equipment; perform mathematical calculations with speed and accuracy; read and write English at a level required for successful job performance; understand and apply the concepts of customer service; achieve quality end-products; build and maintain effective working relationships; effectively participate as a team member.
Knowledge of: All of the above, and thorough knowledge of program area and related laws, rules, and policies.
Ability to: All of the above, and demonstrate independence of action and thoroughness in the performance of tasks; effectively respond to difficult and sensitive correspondence; serve as expert technician/resource person; conduct training in area of expertise; calculate the most difficult and sensitive cases; effectively express facts and ideas in individual or group situations; carry out assignments without detailed instructions.
Willingness to do detailed technical work; willingness and motivation to prepare for professional work through in-service training and academic course work; and demonstrated capacity for development.
Knowledge of personal computers and/or mainframe terminal operations and methods, and familiarity with current software applications.
Commitment to improving services.
Knowledge of more than one STRS' program area.