Due to COVID-19 and out of an abundance of caution, PEBA canceled the 2020 Benefits at Work (BAW) conference. While we will miss seeing you this year, below you’ll find information that is typically presented at the conference, as well as links to applicable resources.
PEBA Update, our employer e-newsletter, is the best way to stay up to date with news from PEBA. Our distribution lists for PEBA Update are pulled from contact lists in EBS and EES. For EBS, we encourage you to have your authorizing agent log in to update the communications contact list and add you so you can receive communications from PEBA. For EES, anyone with access to EES can add you to the contact list so you can receive communications from PEBA.
Open enrollment and 2021 monthly premiums
Open enrollment time is approaching, and PEBA wants to help your employees get their ducks in a row to select their insurance benefits for 2021. Visit our open enrollment resources page for materials to help you promote open enrollment to your employees.
The 2021 monthly premiums will be available on our monthly premiums page by October 1, 2020.
Load factors for optional employers
Optional employers are subject to experience rating of health insurance premiums. This means your employer contributions and subscriber premiums may be different than those appearing in our publications. Participating optional employers should apply the load factor to both the employer health contributions and subscriber health premiums beginning January 1, 2021. If your premiums are different than those published in PEBA’s publications, use the fillable monthly premium worksheet for optional employers to communicate your group’s premiums to subscribers.
Learn more about open enrollment and the 2021 monthly premiums in these editions of PEBA Update.
Standard Plan name changed for Medicare-eligible members
Beginning January 1, 2021, the Standard Plan for Medicare-eligible members will be referred to as the Carve-out Plan to align with how benefits are paid. There is no change to the actual plan itself. You’ll notice the name change in our 2021 insurance publications, starting with the 2021 Insurance Benefits Guide. Learn more about the carve-out method in the Insurance Coverage for the Medicare-eligible Member handbook.
State ORP provider change
PEBA is required by state statute to contract with four service providers to provide third-party recordkeeping, administration and associated services for the State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP). The current contract with the four existing providers expires December 31, 2020. The new contract, which begins January 1, 2021, was awarded to AIG Retirement Services, MassMutual, TIAA and Voya.
As a result of this award, MetLife Resources will no longer be a State ORP service provider, and Voya will be a new State ORP service provider. PEBA will mail notices to participants with active State ORP accounts at MetLife Resources regarding the upcoming change. Stay tuned for more information about the transition process in PEBA Update over the coming months.
Employer Services' focus changes
Our Employer Services staff is working to meet the needs of employers remotely instead of being in the field. This means that visits to employers and training are cancelled until further notice. We are proactively contacting employers, so you may have already spoken with someone, but feel free to reach out at any time to let us know what you need. You can email us at EmployerServices@peba.sc.gov.
Presentations and videos for employer training are available online. Insurance presentations are available on the insurance employer training page and retirement presentations are available on the retirement employer training page.
2020 PEBA Partners
PEBA Partners awards are presented annually to employers that demonstrate a dedication to promoting a physically, emotionally and financially healthier workplace. Learn more about this year’s winners on our PEBA Partners page.
- Overall winner: York County School District 3
- Higher education: The Citadel
- Optional employer: CareSouth Carolina, Inc.
- Public school district: Lexington-Richland School District 5
- State agency: S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice
Using online resources
PEBA is committed to providing you with the tools and resources necessary to make your part of the benefits administration process as quick and easy as possible. Continuing to expand the functionality of our online resources, EBS and EES, is an important part of that commitment. We are actively working to move as many paper transactions to our online portals as possible. We will roll out new tools and resources as they become available. In the meantime, please help us help you by completing your transactions online. This ensures transactions are processed in a timely manner.
Pay insurance premiums in EBS
PEBA encourages employers to remit their insurance payments online using EBS. The Online Bill Pay feature is the easiest and most convenient way to pay your monthly insurance premiums. This feature allows your group to:
- Schedule a payment;
- View the status of your account; and
- View billing statements and payment history for the previous 12 months.
To participate in this feature, your group needs to submit an EBS Designated Employee Confidentiality Agreement form and select the Online Bill Pay authorization. This form must be signed by your group's authorizing agent. If you cannot print the form, we will accept an email from your group’s authorizing agent giving you permission to remit the payment online.
Please email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org. PEBA will process your request immediately.
Sign up for EES Electronic Payments
Electronic Payments is a secure feature that allows you to submit retirement monthly and quarterly deposit forms with payment through EES. It is convenient and eliminates the printing and mailing of paper deposit forms and paper checks. It allows for flexible date selection to schedule payments which ensures timely remittance. You can also view the status of submitted deposits and scheduled payments.
Additionally, you can create and edit your deposit forms, and manage bank accounts online. ACH debit and wire payments can also be easily changed to electronic payments. This means you no longer need to mail the deposit form to complete the payment process.
EES Electronic Payments is available to all employers, except for state agencies who report contributions through the Comptroller General’s payroll system.
To sign up, email these completed forms to email@example.com:
- Authorization Agreement for Participation in EES Retirement Electronic Payments (Form 1286); and
- EES Designated Agent Confidentiality Agreement (Form 6505), with the Electronic Payments option selected under Employer Reporting.
Online tools for members
Please encourage members to take advantage of our online tools.
MyBenefits is the fastest, most convenient way for subscribers covered by PEBA-administered insurance programs to manage their benefits. MyBenefits also ensures speedy transmission of coverage changes to our third-party claims processors. Subscribers can use MyBenefits to:
- Make changes to benefits due to birth, marriage, divorce or adoption.
- Complete new hire enrollment elections after their employer initiates the process.
- Upload any required documentation.
- Update beneficiary information for Basic Life and Optional Life insurance.
- Change their address and contact information.
Member Access is the online resource that allows members of a PEBA-administered retirement plan to view and update their personal information on file for their retirement account and conduct online transactions.
Active members can use Member Access to:
- Review and update active member beneficiary information.
- Apply for service retirement.
- Apply for a refund.
- Change their address and contact information.
- Create benefit estimates.
- Submit service purchase requests.
Retirees can use Member Access to:
- Review and manage their monthly benefit.
- Manage their tax withholdings.
- Review their beneficiaries.
- Find documentation for their account, including their Form 1099-R for filing their income tax return and their annuity verification letter.
- Review their payment option.
- Update their contact information.
State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) participants may contact their service provider for questions about their State ORP account.
Participants of the Deferred Compensation Program may log in to their Deferred Comp account at www.southcarolinadcp.com or call Empower Retirement at 877.457.6263.
Multifactor authentication for EBS and EES coming soon
Login credentials are more valuable than ever and are increasingly easy to compromise. Two-factor authentication will enhance the security of your account by requiring the use of a secondary device to verify your identity. This will help prevent anyone but you from accessing your account, even if someone knows your password.
More information about the two-factor authentication process will be sent to employers later this year.
In 2017, PEBA launched peba:connect, a multi-year project to replace our aging operating systems. The goal of the project is to buy a commercial off-the-shelf operating system and customize it to meet our needs.
Over the past three years, PEBA has hired a project manager to lead the project, a client services vendor to develop the functional and technical requirements for the new system and a data conversion vendor to analyze, clean and convert all of PEBA’s operational data for the new system. In 2019, PEBA issued a request for qualifications for an implementation vendor. With the request for qualifications now complete, a request for proposal has been issued and the procurement is now in process.
PEBA will continue to keep you informed on the progress of this project. For more information, go to peba.sc.gov/peba-connect.