An Update for our SFERS Community Regarding the COVID-19 Virus (Coronavirus)

Published: April 1, 2020

Dear Members,

We understand that this is a time of great uncertainty.  We know that our members may have concerns about the implications of the coronavirus outbreak to your long-term retirement plans and how to access SFERS services during this difficult time.

From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, SFERS management have been taking proactive steps to ensure the safety of its staff members while continuing to provide service to our members and beneficiaries.  Our SFERS office is currently closed and will remain closed through May 1, 2020, in accordance with a “Shelter in Place” Order issued on March 16, 2020, so you are not able to drop off any paperwork in person or meet with SFERS staff.  Please be assured that SFERS’ essential operations are continuing and your benefits will not be impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Check back regularly, or call the SFERS emergency information number at 1-877-91-SFERS (1-877-917-3377), as we will be providing updates as this situation evolves. We have also created a special resources section to help you access important information on the COVID-19 pandemic.  See INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19 section below.

RETIRED MEMBERS:  We want to reassure you that pension benefits will continue to be paid on time.

ACTIVE MEMBERS:  SFERS is currently prioritizing the retirement counseling appointments scheduled at the time of the Shelter in Place Order.  Those retirement counseling appointments will be conducted by telephone.  SFERS representatives will contact those members with existing retirement counseling appointments to make arrangements for a telephone counseling appointment.

If you are thinking about retiring after July 1 and want to schedule a retirement counseling appointment, you can book future appointments on the SFERS website: www.mysfers.org.  If you plan to retire before July 1, contact us at sfersconnect@sfgov.org.  Someone from our office will respond to you within two business days.

New SFERS members will be enrolled by mail.  Contact us after May 1, 2020 to request a New Member Enrollment packet.

Retirement Seminars: The Path to Retirement seminar scheduled on April 8, 2020 is cancelled.  We will reschedule the cancelled seminar when we are able to resume operations.  You can register for a future Path to Retirement seminar by following the instructions on the SFERS website.

The Ready to Retire Seminar scheduled on April 22, 2020 is cancelled and will be rescheduled for a future date.  For members registered for this seminar, a SFERS representative will contact you when we are able to resume operations.

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO PREPAREDNESS

The spread of COVID-19 has impacted global markets over the short term.  SFERS is a long-term investor and we think in terms of decades – not days, weeks or months.  The SFERS investment portfolio is broadly diversified in order to respond to periods of market volatility and uncertainty.  SFERS has a very talented investment team and they have redoubled their efforts to protect the SFERS Trust assets during this uncertain time.  Our members’ promised retirement benefits continue to be secure.

INFORMATION ABOUT COVID-19

California is issuing daily updates about the status of COVID-19 in our state.  Find information about the disease and how to protect yourself on the California Department of Public Health COVID-19 webpage: www.cdph.ca.gov.  Read more on how to protect yourself and others at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: www.cdc.gov.

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