Frequently Asked Questions

Where is my monthly pension check? I always have it by this time ever since I retired. Are they late?
Why is my pending Purchase of Service request(s) taking so long to process? 
What is the status of my refund? Why is it taking so long?
I received my tax form and this is not the amount I have been paid.
Why did I receive more than one Form 1099-R?
I have a power of attorney for my mother, why isn't it on file?
When will I receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)?
I have some questions regarding my health insurance?
Where can I find information about the pension reform legislation (Act 120)?

Q: Where is my monthly pension check? I always have it by this time ever since I retired. Are they late?

A: PSERS pays pension benefits by the last business day of each month once a member is on regular payroll status.  PSERS has mandatory direct deposit for its retirees with very few exceptions.  Payments sent via electronic transfer are available in your account by 9:00 AM on the last business day of the month.  If direct deposit is rejected by your banking institution then PSERS will reissue the payment via paper check if new direct deposit information is not received (allow up to three weeks for reissuance).  If receiving your benefit by paper check, PSERS schedules your check to be mailed by the last business day of the month.  Because we are a State Government agency, all payments are made by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department.  They will not consider a check late or missing until after the 10th of the following month.  This allows time for delivery by the post office .  Obtaining a replacement after the 10th takes approximately 3 weeks. 


Q: Why is my pending Purchase of Service request(s) taking so long to process?

A: PSERS was in court for approximately six (6) years on your behalf about purchasing non-qualifying part-time (NQPT) service (less than 80 days or 500 hours worked in a school year).  Once we were ultimately successful at the Supreme Court level, the floodgates opened.  PSERS received over 30,000 applications to purchase this non-qualifying part-time service credit, in addition to the applications received to purchase other types of service credit. These NQPT applications contained every unreported day and/or hour; and in many cases, the service rendered dates as far back as the 1960's.  As a result, we have thousands of requests to be revised, calculated, audited, and processed. 

Although we have hired additional staff devoted to this project, processing is estimated to take approximately three years.  Members who qualify for this additional service credit and then retire without this credit being added to their account will either have the service credited at the time of retirement or will receive a post-retirement adjustment and applicable retroactive payment when we finalize the benefit. 

 Please note that in addition to the part-time service applications, PSERS receives applications to purchase other types of service.  Currently, we receive about a 1,000 applications each month, which includes all purchase types.


Q: What is the status of my refund? Why is it taking so long?

A: Every member account is exclusive and needs to be reviewed, audited, calculated and processed - based on information supplied to us by your employer(s).  Unfortunately, there are times when errors in reporting or posting have occurred and adjustments are necessary.  Normal processing for a refund takes approximately 3 to 4 months from the date the application was received, providing there is no missing or unclear information on the Application For Refund.


Q: I received my tax form and this is not the amount I have been paid.

A: Your Form 1099-R tax form lists the "Gross Distribution."  This is the amount before any deductions are taken from your check.  You may be comparing this figure to the "Net" amount that you actually received.