FAQ

Web Member Services FAQs

Web Member Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Is the Forgot Name function for retrieving my username (email address) broken?

Yes, the Forgot Name function is not currently operating as designed. We are in the process of repairing it. You can contact us to retrieve usernames (email address) in the interim.

Which browsers work best to create an account?

WMS has been designed to work on the Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari browsers.  If you are having trouble creating an account from a small screen (e.g., iPad), please try to create your account from a PC or Mac.

Why are the Terms of Use so elaborate?

The Terms of Use agreement is designed to explain the limitations of the web-based retirement benefit estimating system and confirm that the estimated results might differ from the actual benefits received if there are any changes and/or differences in the facts and/or assumptions used to generate the calculations.

What if I cannot create an account?

ACERA uses certain basic personal data to verify your authority to create the account (e.g., your home zip code).  If you have answered the query correctly but continue to receive an error message indicating that the information does not match the database, there might be an issue with the information stored with your ACERA-affiliated employer or the County’s database.  If you encounter this situation, please contact us.

What’s my log in name?

Your log in name / username is whatever email address you provide(d) when you set up your account.   

What’s up with my password?

Due to the sensitive nature of your retirement data, the password security settings are high.  Hence, the rules to create a password require multiple characters and cases.  Likewise, the security question routine (create and answer three of your own questions) is also designed to heighten security in the event you forget your password.  For obvious reasons, you should not share your password with anyone, send it through email, write it on a note pasted to your computer, publish it in the Tribune, etc.

Why is my personal data wrong?

When you became an ACERA member, the personal data you gave your employer was loaded into our system.  If there was a data entry error or that data changed without being updated, the mismatch must be corrected.  Also, a data field left incomplete might get populated with a default number by the pension software program; for example, the year “1911” typically appears in place of a missing birth year for a designated beneficiary. In such cases, the information must be corrected/updated.

Retired Members

If you are changing your address, federal withholding, or state withholding, you may do so online by clicking on the link for Web Forms in the Web Member Service menu.  To change anything else, print and complete the appropriate change form.

Active Members

Changes to name, addresses, or phone numbers must be made through your employer since ACERA’s data derives from that source.  If you think your retirement data may need review, such as your amount of service credit, contact us.  To change your beneficiary, fill out and return an Active or Deferred Member Beneficiary Designation Form.

Deferred Members

If you are changing your address, you may do so online by clicking on the link for Web Forms in the Web Member Service menu.  To change anything else, print and complete the appropriate change form.

What is a benefit estimate?

A “benefit estimate” or “retirement allowance estimate” is an estimate of the dollar amount you will receive each month after you retire for the rest of your life (your retirement allowance).  Formerly, all requests for benefit estimates had to be manually compiled by staff in a time-consuming process.  With the new Benefit Estimator feature, you may obtain an estimate of your retirement benefit in just a few minutes, and under various hypothetical circumstances (e.g., different retirement dates, options, temporary annuity, etc.).

Remember, the rules governing eligibility to retire vary as follows:

  • at age 50, or older, with 10 or more years of membership (at least 5 years of service);
  • at any age with at least 30 (general members) or 20 (safety members) years of service credit;
  • at age 70 or older with any amount of service credit.

If you enter a pre-eligibility retirement date, the estimator will ask you to choose a later date.

What are “other accounts”?

Some members may have separate accounts from the main ACERA account.  If you don’t, the link will just take you to your Summary Information page.

Why does the Summary Information Screen show a balance for the end of the current year- even though that date has not yet occurred- and why is it different from the balance at the end of last year?

Last year’s balance is the amount in your account at the end of last year.  The balance at the “end” of the current year reflects last year’s balance PLUS the year-to-date contributions which have been added to your account during the current year.

Note: The current year balance is accurate as of the payroll date listed at the top of the screen and will continue to increase as contributions are made throughout the remainder of the year.

What should I do if I have additional questions?

If you haven’t yet found the answers to your questions, try viewing help page after you log in to Web Member Services.  If you still can’t find the answer, feel free to contact ACERA.

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