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GERS ADOPTS NEW SYSTEM FOR SENDING CHECKS

April 12, 2002 – In the wake of recent problems with mail delivery of its checks, the Government Employees Retirement System has adopted a new "fail-safe" system, Laurence E. Bryan, GERS administrator, said in a news release issued Thursday.
Several hundred of the March 15 checks, mailed from Puerto Rico to the territory, went missing. Some eventually turned up, but GERs authorities already had stopped payment on them and reissued replacement checks.
The new system involves presorting and batching the checks by island destination, according to the release. This will be done by the Puerto Rico-based company that cuts the checks, Automatic Data Processing. The U.S. Postal Service will then pick up the checks from ADP for delivery to the mail facility at San Juan's Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.
The checks will go on the same midday flight that carries Express Mail to the territory, the release stated. The batched checks then will be distributed to postmasters on the respective islands for distribution. The Postal Service will keep a log tracking the movement of each payroll mailing.
Bryan said the process is similar to the one used in delivering Social Security checks to the territory's residents and that it was put into use on Thursday. Post office personnel picked up the checks from ADP at 9:30 a.m. and they were in the hands of V.I. postmasters by 2 p.m., he said. The checks were to be distributed on Friday.
Bryan has said that GERS issues about 6,000 checks to retirees and survivors of retirees. While about 20 percent of those people have direct deposit, he said, the rest receive their checks in the mail.

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