Assemblywoman Russell: Call My Office If You Are Missing Pension Check

January 8, 2010

I have been working with constituents and the New York State Comptrollerís office on the problem of missing pension checks since Monday. The Comptrollerís office has been working with the US Postal Service to find out what happened and to locate the missing checks. The amount of calls generated on this problem demonstrate that the North Country is one of the pockets in the state where people that were due their pension checks still have not received them.

According to the Comptrollerís Office it appears that the pension checks were mislabeled when they were processed at an Albany area postal facility. They were misdirected to a bulk mail processing facility either in Massachusetts or Pennsylvania. Bulk mail is much slower than first class mail.

Now that the problem has been identified, hopefully postal officials are on the lookout for these checks, likely intermingled with bulk mail, so that they can deliver the checks as soon as possible. Not having our processing center in Watertown may be slowing down delivery in our area.

If retirees have not received their checks by the end of the weekend please call the Retirement System at 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736). If you cannot get through because of the high volume of calls, please contact my office at 315-786-0284 and my staff will forward your information directly to the Comptrollerís office. If you receive your check in the next few days and have already called to have your check reissued, call the Comptrollerís Office back immediately so they can try to reverse the stop payment order. Please let my staff know of any emergency you may be experiencing waiting for your check in the event we can refer you to an agency that can provide assistance.

I am deeply concerned about this problem and how it is affecting our state retirees. I join Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in calling for an investigation into the events that led to this problem so that we can ensure it does not happen again.