LACERS Financial Report: LACERS Begins Process of Rebuilding its Retiree Website


Michael Wilkinson, LACERS/Legal Representative

By Michael R. Wilkinson, LACERS/Legal Representative

LACERS is in the process of a major upgrade to its Internet website to make it more user friendly. This follows a user survey looking at what works and what needs improvement. The goal is not only to improve the overall operation of the site, but also to make it easy to use from smartphones, since the current site is not easy to use on the smaller screens.

The first step was the in-depth survey, to which 842 retirees and beneficiaries responded along with responses from active members, staff and Board Members. Not surprisingly, Retirees used the webpages to be confident about the performance of the LACERS fund. The top reasons to visit the webpage were tabulated as: news and updates, health benefits, contact persons for questions, and forms and handbooks.

LACERS asked for comments on shortcomings of the current website, and feedback indicated that members want the pages to be easy to use from smartphones and easy to navigate. The users commented that they wanted functionality over fancy graphics and an ability to find information quickly to go to where the answers could be found. One person asked to have more information in language without jargon, while another stressed the ability to go right to the information that applied to Retirees without having to plow through the pages that do not apply to Retirees.

LACERS used computer analytics to determine how long users stayed on the homepage, an indication of how effective the homepage is in helping members. A long time spent on the webpage could mean that the member could not easily navigate to the page that contained the needed information. The goal is to make the website so that the users can quickly find the link on the homepage to calculators, or forms, or whatever is needed without going in confusing circles.

The average member spent nearly 2.5 minutes on the home page and then went on to these top destinations on the website: Active Member, Retired Member, Retirement Seminars, Calculators, and Board Meetings. This survey is one of the first steps in the process, so stay tuned for a new and improved website to help you get to what you want to know quickly.