News & Events

Why We Periodically Shut Down CalPERS Websites

While there are certain situations where we can make enhancements or fixes to our websites without taking them offline, there are instances where we need to occasionally shut them down to update our technology and deliver the latest online features. This short period is known as “downtime.”

We understand this can be inconvenient when you’re trying to make changes to your account, but downtime is necessary for members to get the information and services needed as quickly and securely as possible.

When and Why?

Downtimes are scheduled whenever updates need to be made to our websites. Typically, we take down the myCalPERS site about once every six weeks to implement changes.

We aim to take our sites offline with the least impact to our 2.1 million members and are strategic about when we choose to take our sites offline. We typically schedule downtime during weekends when we know members are less likely to conduct business. For instance, in the last 12 months, Saturdays and Sundays account for only 18% of myCalPERS activity. In contrast, Mondays and Tuesdays account for about 35% of weekly activity.

There are rare instances that we need to make unplanned upgrades. Like planned downtimes, we try to limit the scope of impact by taking down the site on a weeknight, typically between 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m.

Downtimes Mean Upgrades

If not for intermittent downtimes, we’d be unable to improve your online experience.

Throughout the years, we’ve made countless upgrades to both the CalPERS website and myCalPERS—upgrades that have earned customer satisfaction survey results in the 80-90% range.

We also frequently update security features, so your accounts stay protected from the latest cyber threats and trends.

Here’s a quick glance at some of the improvements and features we’ve added in recent years:

  • Responsive web design: This feature allows you to navigate our sites more easily from whichever device you prefer. Whether it’s on a desktop or a mobile device, responsive web design provides a fluid experience no matter your screen size.
  • Electronic Payment Gateway: Since June 2020, members can make CalPERS payments through our website using the Electronic Payment Gateway. We’ll soon expand this option to myCalPERS.
  • Health Plan Search by ZIP Code: Previously, members exploring health plan options had to search plans individually to determine if they were offered in their area. But thanks to a site upgrade, you can now search for health plans by ZIP code.
  • Two-factor authentication: In 2019 we boosted our security features to include two-factor authentication. Enable the tool today to ensure your sensitive information and benefits stay protected.

Downtimes are essential to providing the best online experience possible. We promise to have our sites back up and better than ever as quickly as possible, so please bear with us as we work behind the scenes. Thank you for your understanding.