COMPASS ESS is Coming!
Since 2012 APERS has been developing a new pension administration system called COMPASS. One of its main features will be your APERS Employer Self-Service Portal or ESS.
ESS: What is it?
The APERS Employer Self-Service Portal or ESS is a web-based system that will provide participating APERS employers a single access point through which you can electronically communicate and transact business with APERS far more easily and efficiently than our current paper-based legacy systems allow.
ESS: When is it coming?
COMPASS ESS will be fully operational in March 2017.
Remember that Act 91 of 2015 requires APERS participating employers to report compensation and service and to remit contributions electronically by July 1, 2017. Click here for a PDF copy of ACT 91.
ESS: Where will it be located?
COMPASS ESS is entirely web based and will be accessible right here on www.apers.org. You will log into an account which will give you access to the features you need.
ESS: How will employers use it?
Enrolling: ESS will provide an easy tool for you to enroll new members.
Using ESS, you will be able to
- Enroll a member
- Check eligibility for APERS participation for a prospective new hire.
- Get instant notice of any errors, omissions, or exceptions, itemized by member, in each uploaded reporting file.
Note that employers will no longer be responsible for an employee's beneficiary designation.
Reporting: Unless you are already reporting through AASIS (most state agencies), you will use ESS to report compensation and service.
Using ESS, you will be able to
- Input or upload payroll data to APERS for member contributions, compensation, and other information
- Immediately confirm the success (or failure) of any data submission
- Get instant notice of any errors, omissions, or exceptions, itemized by member, in each uploaded reporting file
Remitting: All participating employers will use ESS to remit contributions to APERS. The portal will allow you to
- Set up or change banking information
- Transfer funds electronically
- Generate reports of all transactions
Communicating: ESS will provide both APERS and employers a more efficient way to exchange information. You will use ESS to
- Send and receive documents
- Send and receive messages
- Access tutorials, guides, and support materials
ESS: What are some of its advantages for employers?
- It will eliminate most of the need for paper, postage, photocopies, and other legacy technologies
- It will reduce the possibility of errors and omissions that require correction later
- It will simplify and streamline most employer processes
ESS: How will reporting electronically to APERS change?
Employers have the option of reporting compensation and service to APERS by uploading an Excel spreadsheet. To see the layout of that spreadsheet click here (required fields are shaded in green). To download a sample spreadsheet click here.
ESS: When will I learn how to use it?
APERS will be hosting classroom training sessions, both at our Little Rock office and at locations around the state. By Fall 2016, APERS will also be making available a library of online tutorials and training materials you can access from any internet-connected device anytime you wish.
APERS will continue updating employers as our training schedule takes shape and our interactive resources come online.
ESS: Is there something I should be doing in the meantime?
You might consider whether your agency or entity has any board regulations, policies, or organizational structures that could hinder or delay compliance with Act 91. For example, an agency might have a regulation that specifies using checks for remittance, which would conflict with the requirement to remit electronically.
A printable version of this page can be found here.