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Retirement Disability Program Manager

Salary: N/A

DEFINITION: Under general direction, manages the Disability Retirement Program activities for the Santa Barbara County Employees' Retirement System (SBCERS) in accordance with the County Employees' Retirement Act of 1937; acts as liaison with hearing counsel; prepares appeals hearing strategies and plans; conducts the most complex or sensitive disability retirement investigations; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Retirement Disability Program Manager is a single-position classification reporting to the Retirement Administrator. Incumbents are responsible for the development of the Disability Retirement Program's goals, policies, and procedures as well as for supervision of staff. Retirement Disability Program Manager is distinguished from Retirement Disability Specialists I/II by the latters' responsibility for performing investigative and case management activities for service-related disability applications and cases.


1. 1. Manages the daily operations of the Disability Retirement Unit; trains and supervises paraprofessional and professional staff; establishes performance measures; determines appropriate methods and levels of case investigations; provides analytical and technical expertise to staff; reviews staff work and proposed case management actions; and ensures compliance with county, state, and federal retirement policies, procedures, laws, Board By-laws, and fiduciary responsibility.
2. 2. Establishes, revises, and implements policies and procedures; measures performance and implements process improvements; recommends revisions to Board by-laws; interprets and explains the Employees' Retirement Act of 1937, Retirement Board by-laws, and proposed legislation to County managers, Risk Management staff, Retirement Board Trustees, Board counsel, and other interested parties; represents SBCERS on the County of Santa Barbara's Back-to-Work Committee; and represents the Retirement Board on statewide retirement associations and committees to advocate disability retirement policies and legislation.
3. 3. Prepares retirement appeal hearing strategies and plans, including budget allotments; participates in the selection of outside hearing counsel and case assignment; advises counsel on case history, key evidentiary issues, and Retirement Board recommendations; reviews and approves counsel requests for subpoenas, depositions, and expert witnesses; assists counsel with hearing and legal proceeding presentations; conducts legal research; drafts and/or edits documents for counsel; reviews and approves counsel billing; and acts as SBCERS Hearing Representative at hearings where applicants are not represented by counsel.
4. 4. Researches, compiles, and analyzes a variety of disability retirement statistical information; prepares related statistical and narrative reports for Retirement Administrator and Retirement Board; composes information for SBCERS brochures; develops and administers program budget, including projecting expenditures and authorizing and monitoring expenditures.
5. 5. Conducts investigative and case management activities for the most complex and/or sensitive disability retirement applications.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS: Possession of a paralegal or legal assistant certificate approved by the California or American Bar Association and:

1. possession of a bachelor's degree in legal studies, business administration, public administration, management, benefits administration, or other field directly related to the required knowledge and abilities and four years of retirement disability administrative and investigative experience in a public agency operating under the County Employees Retirement Act of 1937; or,
2. two years of experience performing duties equivalent to the class of Retirement Disability Specialist II with Santa Barbara County Employees' Retirement System; or,
3. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to one of the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Qualifications: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License is required.

Knowledge of: the County Employees Retirement Act of 1937; disability retirement standards, principles, precedents, and clarifications as established by case law; SBCERS Board of Retirement by-laws; reciprocal disability retirement procedures with other 1937 Act counties; legal procedures, concepts, filing requirements, documents, and document control techniques; legal and medical/legal terminology; retirement, California Workers Compensation, Americans with Disabilities Act, Social Security Disability, and administrative law; Code of Civil Procedures; information gathering and legal research techniques; interviewing, deposition, and group presentation techniques; legal writing formats; and English usage, grammar, and spelling.

Ability to: learn and apply management principles and practices; plan, assign, coordinate, organize, and prioritize work of self and others; train and motivate staff; establish work standards and evaluate staff performance; work independently; research, compile, organize, and analyze data; understand, interpret, and apply the federal, state, and local laws pertaining to disability retirement, reasonable accommodation, and related law; present arguments and recommendations in written and oral form; prepare written correspondence, reports, and legal documents; compile, organize, and document information and/or evidence; analyze and interpret information and develop conclusions, formulate strategies, and make recommendations; explain technical information; obtain cooperation from applicants, department representatives, attorneys, and medical personnel; exercise tact, diplomacy, and independent judgment; make presentations to groups; communicate with a wide range of people, including department heads, elected officials, grand jury members, labor union officials, and members of the legal community; work independently; operate a personal computer; work effectively under deadlines; and maintain confidentiality of applicant data.

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