The Board of Trustees for the Chicago Transit Authority Retirement Plan (“Retirement Plan”) is soliciting firms to provide proposals for a hosted Pension Administration System (PAS). This Request for Proposal (RFP) is not an offer to contract but seeks the submission of proposals from qualified, professional firms. The Retirement Plan reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and to solicit additional proposals if that is determined to be in the best interests of the Retirement Plan.
|#||RFP Section||RFP Page||Respondent Question & Response|
The Excel workbooks have lots of hidden rows. Are we to open these and respond to each? For example, see Template 2.
Yes, clear or remove filters and respond to all items in each template.
How many databases, Excel spreadsheets or other sources of data such as data maintained by Northern Trust or other service providers are in scope for data conversion to the new PAS? What is the volume of data in these sources that is in scope for data conversion?
Data conversion for “Core” functionality should only require data from the legacy AIS FoxPro database. The optional functionality will require additional data sources (e.g., Northern Trust / stored document images.The current PAS total space use is just under 2TB. This includes Fox Pro database, shared files, and scanned data. The bidder should refer to B.1.3 Key Processing Statistics in the CTA RP RFP Background & Instructions for participant counts.
Many of the business processes supported by the current PAS are customized and may be best handled through a payroll system. The RFP requests a new PAS that will meet all the requirements. Would CTA consider a solution where the Bidder’s pension administration solution interfaces with another vendor’s payroll system?
Proposals will be evaluated and scored based on what is defined as “Core” functionality (replacing FoxPro). The pension payroll is not a Core function as it is performed in Northern Trust. The CTA Retirement Plan is open to alternatives for providing the optional functionality, but is looking to work with one prime bidder for the implementation.
The expected start date is October 2023 – does CTA have an expected implementation date?
The CTA Retirement Plan is looking for a reasonable timeframe based on the bidder’s implementation methodology and the scope of the CTA RP required Core functionality. We are looking to transition away from the current FoxPro system as quickly as possible.
Can you clarify what "minimum requirements" must be met for our proposal to be deemed fit to continue to the next steps of the selection process?
The “minimum requirements” are for the bidder to complete the five templates and provide the appropriate attachments identified in "E.1.5 Attachments". The required questionnaire requires 3 references from 3 different retirement plans.
Would the Bidder need to take over the manual entry into the Pension Administration System or would we just need to provide a utility for the CTA Administrator to enter them?
This RFP is for the implementation and hosting of your software so that the CTA Retirement Plan staff can continue to perform pension plan administration in-house.
Would CTA be interested in replacing the manual calculator with one that already houses the participant data and does not require the user to enter their historical data? Would this be part of B.3.3.?
The CTA Retirement Plan staff currently use the FoxPro system to calculate estimated and final benefits. Should the BAFO include B.3.3 Member Self-Service, the expectations are for estimates to be based on data and calculation engines provided by the new PAS.
You state the system should determine eligibility for Retiree Health Benefits (RHB), would this include having an online module to capture the enrollment? Or are you asking for the system to be able to calculate eligibility and provide to the RHB vendor?
The new PAS would store the information to determine eligibility (age, service, member status, FT/PT indicators, waive indicators, etc.) to determine if member is eligible. The new PAS would collect and record H&W payroll deductions.
Is CTA looking to automate the Retirement Processing with Northern Trust (NT) to reduce the burden of manually entering into the NT system?
This is considered optional functionality. The RFP requests bidders to provide a separate cost to replace NT payroll processing with an integrated solution with the expectation to eliminate dual entry and interface with Northern Trust.
Is CTA looking to have the participants opt out online to reduce the manual burden of obtaining and manually entering the opt-out election?
No, this should not be an online self-service function, This is a consequential decision for the member and the CTA Retirement Plan will counsel active members when making this choice.
What is included in the “Substitutions of Earning” report?
Benefit calculations are based on the 4 highest years of last 10 years of earnings for FAE. This report presents members with calculations where the highest 4 years are beyond the last 10 years.
When was the current pension administration system implemented?
The current custom FoxPro PAS was implemented in 2006.
Our firm accepts unlimited liability for: (i) willful, fraudulent, or criminal misconduct, (ii) breach of the confidentiality provisions; and (iii) bodily injury, including death, or damage to tangible personal or real property incurred while performing the Services and to the extent caused by the negligent or willful acts or omissions of our personnel. However, we do require a limit of liability for other items. Please confirm that the Retirement Plan of Chicago Transit Authority is willing to negotiate a prudent amount of potential payment that is acceptable to both parties, with exceptions noted.
Yes, the CTA Retirement Plan will negotiate the final contract terms and conditions, including liability limits, as part of the vendor award process.
What are the annual fees for the administrative services?
The phrases “annual fees” and “administrative services” could not be found on page 42. The CTA Retirement Plan is looking for the bidder to fill the Information Technology role providing the administration software, technical architecture, and on-going support in a cloud-based environment. In Template 5 “annual fees” are identified as PAS License Fee, Hosting Services, and Support Services.
|15||RFP Background and Instructions||20-21||
Please provide a more detailed list of the expected reports.
The 12 reports listed in section B.2.28 Current Reports are the current custom reports in the FoxPro system. We expect standard reports and potentially ad-hoc reporting tools to satisfy the reporting needs. The CTA Retirement Plan expects a new PAS to be more robust and may require additional custom reports. Therefore, the RFP specifies the project scope to include a potential of 50 formatted reports in case vendor product standard and ad-hoc reports need to be supplemented to meet CTA RP needs.
|16||RFP Background and Instructions||Section 2.11.2, page 8||
Regarding the Certified Minority Business Enterprises in the second paragraph of this section, would you allow a minority business to quality under this section if they are registered in a state other than Illinois?
No. The CTA Retirement Plan expects the contract to be governed by applicable Illinois laws including the certification of the State of Illinois Business Enterprise Program (BEP).
|17||RFP Background and Instructions||Section 4.4.1, page 9||
Requirement 4.4 1 in Template 1 states “Describe your commitment and approach to providing a warranty from go-live until twelve (12) months go-live and release into production.” Please clarify the expectation in this requirement, specifically the section “twelve (12) months go-live and release into production”
This is a typo and should include the word “after” reading:
|18||RFP Background and Instructions||Section A.1.1, page 1||
Regarding the sentence “There will, of course, be special rules, laws, plan provisions, membership, and other situations that may require special handling rules and customized logic and we will look to the Bidder’s for suggestions.” When will CTA identify and provide a copy of these exceptions to their processes?
It is unrealistic to expect an administration system to meet all of CTA requirements and rules (legislation) out-of-the-box. By responding to this RFP, there is a common understanding by both the CTA Retirement Plan and the bidder that some custom logic may be required.
|19||RFP Background and Instructions||Section A.2.11.2, page 8||
Regarding the Certified Minority Business Enterprises in the second paragraph of this section, does the MBE have to be the prime on the contract or can they be a sub on a contract and still receive the increase in points?
Please refer to section A.2.11.2 Evaluation Criteria. The Certified Minority Business Enterprises is expected to be the prime vendor submitting the proposal or a subcontractor providing a substantial level of the effort (hours).
|20||RFP Background and Instructions||Section A.2.3, page 5||
When clicking on the link provided in this section for RFP amendments, an error that the site is suspicious and may be unsafe is returned and we’re unable to proceed to the site. Please confirm the link to the site is correct.
Please cut and paste the URL into your browser.
|21||RFP Background and Instructions||Section B.2.10, page 14||
In the statement “The current system captures the RHCT salary, RHCT contributions, and RHCT hours to determine if the participant qualifies for the RHCT health benefits.” What is the process for capturing the RHCT data and how often does that occur?
This information is part of the Employer Payroll interface and is provided monthly.
|22||RFP Background and Instructions||Section B.2.10, page 15||
Please confirm the following statement means that “check for or monitor compliance for eligibility” is out of scope for this project: “Not required for PAS: To maintain eligibility, the member must enroll for coverage and pay the required monthly premium in a timely manner to receive benefits from the Plan.”
The new PAS is responsible to determine initial eligibility.
|23||RFP Background and Instructions||Section B.2.11, page 15||
In the 3rd paragraph of this section, it mentions the Northern Trust Passport Application. Is CTA, through the implementation of a new PAS, looking to replace any services currently provided by Northern Trust or other third parties? If yes, please describe the services they are looking to replace and define the scope of these services that are in scope for this project?
Replacing Northern Trust functionality is identified as optional functionality. This functionality is identified: a) B.4 Pension Payroll (Northern Trust), b) Option 2 in Template 2 Functional Requirements, and c) Option 2 in Template 3 Technical Requirements.
|24||RFP Background and Instructions||Section B.2.9, page 14||
Regarding Deferred Vesting Retirement Processing, the statement “The Retirement Plan tracks and contacts, outside of the PAS, members approaching age 65 to commence benefits.” Is the data captured or tracked in this process in scope for this project? If yes, what format is this data in and what is the volume of data?
The CTA Retirement Plan runs a query to identify vested members approaching age 65. These are tracked and letters are formatted outside of the current PAS.
|25||RFP Background and Instructions||Section B.3, page 22||
Section “Highly Manual Tasks and Desired Automation” states “…the current manual efforts and the desired automation which the Retirement Plan may include as part of the PAS replacement project or a future project.” Are the subsections listed in this section in scope for the core replacement project?
No, the Core functionality is to replace the functions of the existing PAS.
|26||RFP Background and Instructions||Section B.3.4, page 22||
Section B.3.4 is part of the optional functionality. This section states “The current FoxPro system can search file folders to find member documents.” Please confirm if the ability to search the folders to find member documents is a core requirement of this project.
No. The CTA Retirement Plan realizes the new PAS may not be able to access documents in the current file folders.
|27||RFP Background and Instructions||Section B.4, page 23||
Section B.4 discussing Northern Trust states that “At present, the Retirement Plan expects to continue this relationship but is interested in learning about how they might move the payroll process in-house, utilizing a new PAS.” Please clarify for each of the requirements listed in Section B.4.1, B.4.2 and B.4.3 whether these are in scope for the core requirements of the project.
Unless Option 2 is elected (as described in the RFP Page 34) the expectation is that Northern Trust will continue doing these functions.
|28||RFP Background and Instructions, Part E – Bidder Proposal Format||38||
Part E states, “The proposals are to be prepared using the provided templates and appropriate attachments. Bidders should provide their proposal via email to the Procurement Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org in PDF format (please cc: email@example.com). This RFP provides templates for Bidders to complete in response to this RFP.” Please confirm that all proposal documents are to be in PDF format, including MS Excel templates.
Please provide all Excel templates in the original Excel format.
|29||Template 1, Question 4.1||8||
In the Background and Instructions document, Section A.1.1 Purpose, page 1, first paragraph, it states that CTA has no IT staff. As the knowledge transfer asked for in Question 4.1 of Template 1 is generally understood to refer to IT staff, please define the scope and type of knowledge transfer and to whom we’ll be transferring the knowledge.
The expectation is for the bidder to provide training and knowledge transfer to all CTA Retirement Plan staff (less than 15) to be able to proficiently use the PAS to complete their administrative responsibilities. Staff roles have been identified in section B.1.1 Organization and Staff.
|30||Template 2 Functional Requirements||ID: 92||
Clarify what third party is providing income verification for disability recipients. Is this information received and manually entered by a CTA user? Or is CTA expecting an interface to automatically exchange this information?
Disability certification is currently performed by CorVel. The CTA Retirement Plan has this requirement to potentially verify income for disability recipients.
|31||Template 3 Technical Requirements||ID: 17||
Provide additional information regarding the ‘Retirement Plan’ email system we are to connect with. Specifically:
Email System is Outlook
|32||Template 3 Technical Requirements||ID: 89||
Will CTA be providing the SMTP server or does the Bidder need to build and provide this server?
The CTA Retirement Plan expects any emails identified to be automatically sent from the application would be sent from the cloud-based infrastructure. Emails sent from individual administrators would be supported through the current CTA Retirement Plan infrastructure.
|33||Template 3 Technical Requirements||ID: 91||
As Internet Explorer was discontinued in 2015, please confirm IE is still valid as part of this requirement: “The PAS solution operates on the current and one prior version of the following browsers (Microsoft Internet Explorer, MS Edge, Google Chrome, Safari); as well as mobile browsers”
The CTA Retirement Plan uses Google Chrome on agency computers.
|34||Template 3 Technical Requirements||IDs: 50 – 55 and 70 – 71||
Requirement 70 requires single sign on with integration to the existing active directory. However, Requirements 50-55 and 71 include functionality around utilizing multifactor authentication and controls for gaining access to the system. We are assuming Active Directory integration will be utilized for the internal LOB and a third-party authentication system will be used for both Member Self-Service and Employer Self-Service. Please confirm our understanding is correct.
Correct. The CTA Retirement Plan expects staff to gain access by clicking an icon on their desktop with Active Directory allowing for SSO access.
|35||Template 4 #2||
When does CTA expect to make a decision on the hiring of a third-party oversight project manager?
The CTA Retirement Plan has a current relationship with a consulting firm for vendor selection and oversight project manager. The board will decide on an extension at the end of the vendor selection.
|36||Template 4 #28||
The incorporation of a “recommended project governance structure”, is this a governance structure that CTA will recommend or the apparent successful bidder?
Requirement #28 is that project governance is incorporated into a Project Management Plan. Expectations:
|37||Template 4 2.1 and # 23||
Request for named staffing – we will do our best to respond with the staff to be included on the project, but the response will be at least 5 months out from the beginning of the project. Please confirm changes in key resources are negotiable as part of contract.
Bidders are expected to provide named staffing for the project Key Resources, and have those Key Resources perform the majority of the solution presentation if the bidder is selected for finalist presentations.
|38||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 9||
Please clarify this requirement defining what the term “strong program management practices” means and the scope of what is expected in regard to time commitment when the account manager is to “contribute to standard implementation methodologies and management best practices.”
Page 30 of the CTA RP RFP Background & Instructions identifies the expectations of the Project Management Plan (PMP).
|39||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 38||
One of the requirements of the System Security Plan includes “- Passwords, multifactor, and other security controls on member web-based access.” Please confirm that CTA requires a multi-factor authentication process for member self-service and if so, please provide an estimate of how many concurrent users must be accommodated with the solution.
Yes, for the optional functionality of self-service, multi-factor authentication is a requirement.
|40||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 61||
Please provide the number of interfaces to internal and external systems that are required as part of this requirement.
The bidder should refer to B.2.25 Current Interfaces in the CTA RP RFP Background & Instructions for potential number of users.
|41||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 83 and 84||
Please explain the difference in requirements 83 and 84.
Requirement #83 is about the bidder executing a test plan to make sure functionality which worked as part of a previously software release is not broken by a defect fix or software change included in an update to UAT and Production.
|42||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 86 and 87||
Please explain the difference in requirements 86 and 87.
The key phrase is “isolated incident”.
|43||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 94 and 95||
Please explain the difference in requirements 94 and 95.
Requirement #94 is the testing of data transferred to/from third-parties. Files “to” a third-party need to be accepted by them. Files “from” a third-party have successfully been validated and updated member data.
|44||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 139||
This requirement states, “Describe the training and knowledge transfer process…”. If this description is to be part of the RFP response, where should it be provided? If it is not to be part of the RFP response but part of a deliverable during the project, please clarify the deliverable it should be provided in and when it should be provided.
Template 1 Question 4.1 – asks about the bidder’s Implementation Methodology including “Training and Knowledge Transfer”.
|45||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 140||
Please clarify the duration for the reference to “12 (twelve) after the cutover” in this requirement.
This is a typo and should include the word “weeks”.
|46||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 148||
Define the systems that are in scope for this requirement.
The “systems, environments, infrastructure” includes the cloud-based software and hardware for the Pension Administration System and options included in a BAFO. Multiple environments to facilitate the project life-cycles (i.e., configuration / development, testing, UAT, data conversion, production, etc.). Infrastructure would include, but not limited to, file transfers with third-parties, security protocols, system and data backup, etc.
|47||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 161||
This requirement states “Bidder must describe in detail how they intend to provide hosting, bandwidth, security, backup and recovery from the Bidder’s site. This detail must include specifications for the system being proposed.” If this description is to be included in the RFP response, where should it be provided? If it is not to be part of the RFP response, please clarify the deliverable it should be provided in and when it should be provided.
Detail the response in Template 1 Bidder Questionnaire as part of 3 Solution Overview and Hosting Services.
|48||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 164||
Please clarify the purpose and intended use for redundant Internet connections.
Redundant internet connections provide a measure of reliability for the solution and should be part of a Disaster Recovery plan.
|49||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 165||
Regarding the statement, “Retirement Plan reserves the right to use a third-party testing service to measure and validate response times.” Can the requirements clarify that this third-party will be compensated by the Retirement Plan? Also, can the response times be clarified to state which response times will be tested?
Yes, third-party testing would be a service outside of this RFP.
|50||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 168 and 173||
Please clarify if all data is confidential (requirement 173) or if only PII data is confidential (requirement 168).
Requirement #168 is specific to PII and PHI because of the reporting regulations and corrective actions required when this data is breeched.
|51||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 169||
This requirement states “The Bidder must describe in detail the processes and safeguards that will be utilized prior to Retirement Plan’ data leaving the premises.” If this description is to be included in the RFP response, where should it be provided? If it is not to be part of the RFP response, please clarify the deliverable it should be provided in and when it should be provided.
Detail the response in Template 1 Bidder Questionnaire as part of 3 Solution Overview and Hosting Services.
|52||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 174||
This requirement states “The respondent proposal must also include a proposed description of the process used for user access changes, as well as the proposed definitions for Critical, High, Medium, and Low severity issues.” Where in the RFP response should the requested description be included?
Detail the response in Template 1 Bidder Questionnaire as part of 4 Implementation Approach.
|53||Template 4 Project and Service Requirements||ID: 175||
This requirement states “Finally, the Bidder’s Proposal must include a complete description of proposed hosting service levels (SLA’s).” Where in the RFP response should the requested description be included?
Please provide a detailed response in Template 4 Column F “Bidder Explanation / Reference / Notes” for requirement 175.
Please provide a copy of the most recent pension valuation report, as well as a sample benefit calculation package and a sample annual benefit statement.
Please see CTA Retirement Plan website:
A sample has been provided on the following pages.