During the mid 70's, the SERS Board of Trustees and administration felt a need to expand services to the membership. National surveys indicated that employees did not understand their benefits and were not adequately prepared financially for retirement. Another disturbing fact was that state employees had no central clearinghouse to which they could go to find out about their benefits.
In the late 70's, Benefit Seminars were introduced to help members understand the SERS benefits available to them. These meetings were scheduled on a regional basis and members were invited to attend.
In 1978, "Education for Tomorrow's Choices" (ETC) was created. It was an instant success, but in time there was a realization that the ETC had little meaning or importance to members 45 years and younger or members near retirement.
The topics covered in ETC, with its emphasis on long-range planning, did not meet the short-term needs of members who were over the age of 60 or nearing retirement. To address these needs, the "Countdown to Retirement" (CDR) workshop was designed for members within three years of retirement.
In 1985, a pilot program for the "Investing In Your Future" (IYF) workshop was launched, and in 1986 a full schedule began. The IYF workshop is the initial educational program geared toward members under age 45.
In 1989, SERS began developing a program to meet retirees' needs. In 1993 "Myths & Realities of Retirement" (MRR) was piloted and a full schedule was established in 1994.
Benefit Seminars and the After Dark Program
Benefit Seminars are conducted throughout the state by the SERS
Field Representatives who visit the members' workplace and explain SERS benefits and entitlements in detail. This mobile benefit information program is conducted upon request.
The "After Dark Program" provides mobile benefit information for agencies that employ multiple shift employees. This program explains SERS benefits and entitlements in detail. The After Dark seminars can be presented in a group format or as one-one-one counseling sessions.
For employees under age 45
Investing In Your Future (IYF)
This introductory workshop is designed to encourage members to start planning early for retirement. The emphasis is on money management and investing early for the future, assessing current risks, and using the services provided by SERS. Lectures and a workbook are used for education. Workshop Schedule
Education for Tomorrow's Choices (ETC)
For employees 5 - 15 years from retirement
This two-day, medium-range planning workshop asks participants to realistically assess their future needs and lifestyle, and take the necessary steps to achieve these goals. The ETC focuses on financial planning, SERS and Social Security entitlements, legal and estate planning, role changes, leisure and living arrangements. Participants work in groups, with lectures by resource personnel and a question & answer period. Workshop Schedule
Countdown to Retirement (CDR)
For employees within 3 years of retirement
The CDR is a one-day program designed to help participants assess their immediate retirement plans and take the necessary steps to make the transition between employment and retirement as smooth as possible. This workshop also reviews SERS and Social Security entitlements, the need for continuous financial planning and keeping an updated estate. A self-assessment approach is emphasized with presentations by various resource personnel. Workshop Schedule
Myths & Realities of Retirement (MRR)
For retired state employees
This is a one-day workshop for retired members and their survivors. It deals with retirement issues and is not appropriate for active SERS members. Workshop Schedule