SACRAMENTO – June 21, 2023
CalPERS is alerting its retired members and their families that some of their personal information was involved in a worldwide data security incident that impacted one of its contracted third-party vendors, PBI Research Services/Berwyn Group (“PBI”).
PBI provides services to CalPERS to identify member deaths. These services ensure that proper payments are made to retirees and beneficiaries and prevent instances of overpayments or other errors.
The security incident did not impact information systems operated by CalPERS.
Retirees and beneficiaries with impacted personal information are being notified by mail with information on how to take additional steps to protect their information and are being offered free credit monitoring for two years. CalPERS is also providing information on its website and through its customer contact center.
PBI has notified CalPERS that retired member files were impacted. Some of those are inactive members who may soon become eligible for benefits.
In all, the PBI security incident impacts the personal information of approximately 769,000 members.
“This external breach of information is inexcusable,” said CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Marcie Frost. “Our members deserve better. As soon as we learned about what happened, we took fast action to protect our members’ financial interests, as well as steps to ensure long-term protections.”
PBI has reported the matter to federal law enforcement and has told CalPERS it has resolved the vulnerability, while also adding additional security measures.
In response to this incident, CalPERS has taken several additional and immediate actions to secure its members’ benefits. These include new protocols on the member benefits website, myCalPERS, as well as additional safeguards for those who use the member contact center and those who visit any CalPERS regional office.
On Thursday, CalPERS will begin sending letters to every retiree or designated family member with impacted personal information. Those letters include detailed information, including free access to credit monitoring through Experian for two years.
CalPERS is also setting up a dedicated page on its website for members who might have additional questions. Members can visit calpers.ca.gov/PBI or they can send questions by email to PBIquestions@calpers.ca.gov. They can also call 833-919-4735, Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. PT and Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT (excluding major holidays)