So, you just started working at your employer as the person repsponsible for payroll, bill paying, human resources or all of the above. You may have come from a position that doesn’t have a retirement plan like LAGERS, which can make our reporting processes seem difficult. So, here are some pointers about our monthly reporting process and why some of the processes are the way they are.
First and foremost, it’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with the LAGERS system. LAGERS may be unlike what you’re used to because it is a defined benefit plan. If you came from a place that only had a defined contribution (401k) plan, the nature of the information we need gathered may seem a little off kilter. That’s because with a defined benefit plan like LAGERS, the benefit is based on a person’s compensation and service. There is no account balance that drives the benefit. With that said, here are a few pointers to help you out with the monthly reporting process.
- Who is covered by LAGERS? When joining the LAGERS system, each employer elects an annual hours designation for coverage purposes. The employer can elect coverage as an employee working 1,500, 1,250, or 1,000 hours on a rolling calendar annual basis. Any person working the coverage hours or more must be covered under the LAGERS system and does not have the individual option to not participate.
- How do I report a new hire? Any new employee who is going to be working in a covered position must have an enrollment completed on ECLIPSE (LAGERS online reporting tool) as soon as they are hired. Enrollments are completed online. However, you can use the paper enrollment form for your internal purposes.
- What is the free 6 month period? Every new employee that you hire may be eligible for the free 6 month period where no employee or employer contributions are due.
- If the new employee has never previously worked for a LAGERS employer, they will receive a free 6 month period.
- If they took a refund or lump sum of a previous LAGERS benefit, they will receive a free 6 month period.
- If the employee has previously fulfilled their free 6 month period with another LAGERS employer(s), you will begin employee and employer contributions immediately.
- The ECLIPSE system will monitor the free six month period and will show you when contributions will be due on the employee’s behalf.
- Changes to the member’s information. Any changes to the member’s address, name, or beneficiaries must be done by the member through the Change of Beneficiary form or the myLAGERS portal.
- Completing your monthly wage report. Here are few things to know about completing your monthly wage report.
- The report is due on the 12th of the following month. You will receive an e-mail notification in the last week of the month.
- You must report total gross wages including elected deferrals. Also included in reported wages is any paid overtime, recurring bonuses, sick or vacation time used, and allowances. Any non-recurring lump sums (vacation payout at termination) are not included.
- You need to report wages on a when paid basis, not when earned. For example, if your employer paid two paychecks in the month of August, you will report the total of the two paychecks paid in the month of August for the August wage report, regardless of when the wages were earned.
- When employees transfer between the General and Public Safety (Police / Fire) department, you must terminate them from the General Department and enroll them in their new department.
Monthly reporting is an incredibly valuable and important task. It is certainly not our expectation that you know every inner working of the LAGERS system. However, I hope this blog gives you some tips and pointers that can help you navigate this new responsibility. As always, if you have questions, feel free to contact us!