Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Delays in Loan Processing at NYCERS

NYCERS recently posted the following notice on its web site:

September 4, 2012

In order to better serve our members and retirees, NYCERS is upgrading its technology system. As a result, some transactions may take longer to process. For example, loan applications will take at least 20 days to process as we implement these technology improvements. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Loan processing is the most high profile service at NYCERS. Over 50,000 members a year apply to NYCERS for a loan backed by the members' pension contributions. For that reason it is the most automated system at NYCERS. The traditional turn around time for a loan is one week. Applications received between any given Thursday and the following Wednesday are vouchered the next Thursday and the loan checks are mailed out on Friday. A Wednesday application is actually mailed out two days after it is filed.

Almost all loans have a processing fee. It currently is $40. The members are paying for this service and are entitled to quick and accurate service. When I left NYCERS in 2005, the fee was $15.

NYCERS has allegedly "upgraded its technology system". Instead of the one week turn around, it will now take three weeks. I suspect there is a very serious problem with the loan processing system. NYCERS does not give an understandable explanation or a projected solution to this problem.

The loan system I left in place in 2005 was working very well and was less expensive to run than this new "upgraded" system. It would appear that new technology should make things better. NYCERS, however, is quite comfortable claiming the opposite. The fact that NYCERS does not see this contradiction, is troubling.

I suspect we are not being told the real reason for the delay. By the way, what are the other transactions being delayed?

This is a service that the members are paying for out of their paychecks. Is NYCERS giving the members a discount on the fee because of poor service? I don't think so.

Why did the trustees and the executive director allow this problem to occur?


Bruce said...

I wonder whether this is tied into the new document management system that the agency embarked upon.

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I suspect there is a very serious problem with the loan processing system.
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