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Member Services and Benefits
In addition to the work that CSU-ERFA does to protect and enhance the pension and healthcare benefits of retirees from the California State University system, we provide important benefits and services to our individual members. These include:
Personal Assistance to members who are having difficulty resolving pension or health care benefit issues, or who have been subject to an adverse administrative ruling by their campus, their health care providers, CalPERS (including the CalPERS long-term care program) or CalSTRS. In most cases CSU-ERFA members are able to resolve issues relating to their pension or health care benefits by calling CalPERS (or for a few members CalSTRS) or by calling the provider directly. In other cases, particularly for members who are in the Faculty Early Retirement Program, the Human Relations office at the member's campus often can provide assistance. However, when a CSU-ERFA member has been unable to resolve these issues with the agency or provider, or when the member has received an adverse administrative ruling from the agency, provider, or - for those in the Faculty Early Retirement Program - from the member's campus; CSU-ERFA often can provide the member with assistance that is helpful. Our experienced professional staff together with a cadre of dedicated volunteers has had years of experience dealing with such problems.
If you are a CSU-ERFA member who has been unable to resolve a problem with your pension or health care benefits, or if you have been subject to an adverse administrative ruling, call the CSU-ERFA headquarters at 818-718-7996 for help.
A detailed Survivor's Guide. This 30-page document, which was developed by the CSU-ERFA Pre- and Post-Retirement Concerns Committee, has been described as "invaluable" by many members. As noted in the introduction to the Survivor's Guide, "No one wishes to think about death, but the prudent person knows that it is inevitable and advanced preparation reduces the concerns and anxiety of the survivor at a time of stress. [The] Guide [identifies] items that can be considered and developed in advance of a death as well as items with which to be concerned when a death occurs." The Guide, which is tailored to the needs of CSU retirees and their spouses, provides a wealth of practical information. The Guide, which is remarkably complete, includes a Master Document Locator and a number of lists that the member can fill out and keep up to date. These include lists of assets and liabilities, employment records, military records, family records, insurance policies, pension and annuity benefits, professional advisors, bank and financial records, real and personal property. The Guide also has pages where the member can record funeral preferences, obituary information, and information regarding wills and trusts.
A copy of the Survivor's Guide is provided free of charge to each new member when he or she joins CSU-ERFA. Replacement copies of the Guide are available to members for a nominal fee. (Contact CSU-ERFA headquarters at 818-718-7996 for more information.)
A Grant Awards Program. CSU-ERFA members in good standing (a membership application may be made concurrently with a grant application) may apply for funds to support research and creative projects that are in accordance with the following goals: 1) Scholarly research on issues important to the retiree as a continuing member of an academic discipline or community, 2) Research and scholarly projects that contribute to the quality of life of the retirees in the University system, 3) Research and creative projects that contribute to a given academic discipline, 4) Research pertaining to the retirement concerns of faculty within the California State University System. Links to the complete guidelines for the Grant Awards Program and the application form are provided below. Funds for the CSU-ERFA grants are provided by the CSU-ERFA Charitable Foundation. CSU-ERFA makes a contribution of $50 to the Foundation in memory of each deceased member. Individual members and friends also may make contributions to the the CSU-ERFA Foundation to support the Grant Awards Program. Contributions can be made either by check or, in the case of members, by a monthly deduction from their CalPERS annuity payment. (Contributions made by individual members and friends to the Foundation are tax deductible.)
Typically, one to four grant awards are made each year, and the grants range from a few hundred dollars to $1,000 in value, though larger awards are possible. A total of $5,000 will be available for the 2014-15 grants program.
The deadline for the submission of proposals for the 2014-15 grant award cycle is December 19, 2014. Proposals may be submitted anytime after May 19, 2014, but must be received by the December 19th deadline. Notification of grant awards will be made February of 2015. Contact CSU-ERFA headquarters at (818) 677-6522 for application materials, or for more information about contributing to the CSU-ERFA Charitable Foundation.
Please note that CSU-ERFA grant recipients are required to submit a brief year-end report describing the results of their projects. The following may be used for the 2014-15 grant cycle. Note that the guidelines for the 2014-15 cycle remain the same as for the 2013-14 cycle.
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