Improving Human Resources Processes with Automation

For over 30 years Economic Systems (EconSys) has been developing automated state of the art products for federal Human Resources (HR) offices. With the experience of our staff subject matter experts and input from our customers, we have developed an entire range of products that support a federal employee’s career lifecycle (from “hire-to-retire”) for every division within an HR office, on a single platform:

  • Workforce Planning
  • Recruitment and Hiring
  • Onboarding
  • Performance Management
  • Employee and Labor Relations
  • Benefits
  • Retirement
    Training and development

Automated Service History.

You have been there many times. It is peak retirement season and you find when processing the retirement application there is no service history for the employee. You work in an HR office where there is never enough time to complete a service history for every employee as, regardless of agency population size, the HR office is understaffed.

Without the service history you must go to the eOPF and enter the service history before you can complete the remaining steps to finalize the retirement application. As you know, the manual entry of a service history is the most time-consuming part of processing a retirement application. How would you like to have service histories entered for you to process service computation dates and retirement applications?

Economic Systems has now developed a revolutionary product. For customers who have the FedHR Navigator Data Import productivity tool, a new feature has been added – The Service History Generator (SHG). Using nature of action codes that are already included in the bi-weekly data import file, the SHG determines personnel actions that impact the calculation of creditable service, e.g. change in retirement plan, work schedule, or changes to part-time hours of duty. If data is made available, SHG can look back and populate service history changes from the employee’s appointment date to the current date.

For our customers who subscribe, the bi-weekly data import file already supports agency HR specialists by prefilling salary history, sick leave amounts, premiums and plans for health and life insurance, FEDVIP, Long-term Care and the current value of annual leave. In short, about 90% of the time normally spent to create a retirement estimate is saved by SHG and the data import. With the SHG, the data import builds a retirement history report that is ready to be used for reference when counseling an employee and then for submission to OPM with the retirement application. About the only information that is not supplied by the data import are elections that must be made by the employee regarding the survivor benefit election and health and life insurance to carry into retirement. Below is an example of a service history generated using SHG.

Think about the time you will save if you have the service entered for all your employees using the data import. Think about the time it takes to enter the service history for employees in the Pathways intern program. The hours of duty for interns can change every semester over a period of years. The SHG also computes the service computation date based on changes that impact the service history such as FICA service on or after January 1, 1989.

Prior military service and civilian service must still be entered manually, but the time spent entering service history is greatly reduced.

A Healthy Retirement Package

Are you are occasionally getting audited by OPM for problems with a retirement package? Did you know there is no room for error if you require employees to submit their applications using the eRetirement tool aka Apply to Retire. This feature is in included in the FedHR Navigator Employee center module. It is an expert wizard type tool which makes applying for retirement fool proof for employees.

Using Apply to Retire, the employee answers a series of questions that are based on CSRS (including CSRS Offset) and FERS retirement applications. Context programming on each screen provides expert edits that guarantee the employee must answer all questions, and there cannot be any conflict in the answers or missing answers. FedHR Navigator is running behind the scenes. The program recognizes which retirement system the employee is covered by and selects the appropriate forms for the retirement application.

Many of our customers have the Employee Center and Case Tracking. With both products agencies can take advantage of Apply to Retire by requiring their employees to us this tool to submit retirement applications. Some of our customers will only let employees submit their retirement applications in this way. With Case Tracking there is communication between the employee and the retirement specialist and no need for back and forth emails.

The Wizard asks all the questions necessary for completing a retirement application, and even verifies retirement eligibility. At the end of the eRetirement process, the Wizard produces all the required forms applicable to the employee’s type of retirement filled in and ready to submit. The only document the employee must complete separately is the notarized reduced survivor annuity election. If the employee then elects “less than a full survivor benefit”, Apply to Retire will include this form in the retirement package. If this is the case, the HR specialist will notify the employee to obtain the notarized form and submit it to HR.

Although eRetirement is designed for use by the employee, an HR specialist can also use it to assist employees with their applications to retire. Some of our customers have purchased Apply to Retire for specialists to assist employees with their retirement applications. This is a significant benefit for employees who work in the field and who do not have easy access to a computer. With a telephone counseling session all the forms can be completed with Apply to Retire. Wet signatures may be required on several forms but OPM may be relaxing these rules in the future.

When all the questions are answered, the user clicks on Submit and the package of forms are electronically transmitted to the HR office and appear in Forms Manager for the specialist to review. With Case Tracking the employee knows which specialist is working on his or her retirement application and can track the status.

For further information, contact EconSys today.

FedHR Navigator

A fully configurable Federal HR solution that meets your agency’s unique Human Resources requirements.

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