Employer News | August 2015

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August | VOLUME #120

New State Social Security Administrator


Since the previous State Social Security Administrator, Kay Gouyton, retired last month, Melanie Helmick has taken on the role. Melanie is a lifelong Southeast Alaska resident who grew up in Petersburg. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Alaska Southeast and worked in private accounting for years before coming to the State. Melanie's almost nine years of State employment include auditor work with the Division of Legislative Audit and accountant work with the Department of Administration at both the Division of Retirement and Benefits and the Division of Finance, as well as with the Department of Environmental Conversation’s Division of Water. She is currently an Audit and Review Analyst for the Division. Melanie can be reached at:

(907) 465-4469

How State and Local Government Employees Are Covered by Social Security and Medicare


The Social Security Administration has published a fact sheet outlining Social Security and Medicare coverage for state and local government employees. Unlike workers in the private sector, not all state and local employees are covered by Social Security and are sometimes covered by their public retirement pensions instead. Many state and local government employees are automatically covered by Medicare, and Medicare coverage can be obtained for certain qualifying workers who are not automatically covered.

The Social Security fact sheet, How State and Local Government Employees Are Covered by Social Security and Medicare, provides further details and can be found on the Social Security Administration website.

The designated State Social Security Administrator, Melanie Helmick, is responsible for the state’s agreement with the Social Security Administration and can provide information and answer questions about Social Security and Medicare coverage under the agreement.

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GASB 68 | Allocation of Net Pension Liability Schedules

As you know, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued GASB Statement No. 68, “Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions," which is effective for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2014. For most employers, that would be the fiscal year July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

GASB 68 replaces the requirements of GASB No. 27, “Accounting for Pensions by State and Local Governmental Employers," as well as the requirements of GASB No. 50, “Pension Disclosures," as it relates to pensions provided through pension plans administered as trusts, such as the Alaska Public Employees’ Retirement Systems (PERS) and the Teachers’ Retirement Systems (TRS).

In your governmental fund financial statements, the cost-sharing employer’s proportionate share of the collective net pension liability (NPL) is required to be recognized to the extent that the liability is normally expected to be liquidated with expendable available financial resources. As part of the Division’s effort to provide information that is consistent and helpful with GASB No. 68’s requirements, the Division will provide the NPL allocation schedule to participating employers to assist in financial statement preparation.

The Division has developed the allocation schedule of the NPL for both PERS and TRS to distribute to participating employers of both plans to assist in the proper recording of the NPL on employer financial statements. The Division had anticipated releasing the NPL schedule to employers by August 15, 2015. The Division continues to work with our auditors and actuaries to finalize the schedules as soon as possible.

We know these are very time sensitive schedules in order to meet the reporting deadlines each of you has and are working diligently to get you the information you need. The Division will send out another notice by September 1, 2015. We apologize for the inconvenience this is causing.

Kevin Worley
Chief Financial Officer

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Employer Task Force


The Division of Retirement and Benefits will be conducting a series of task force meetings to discuss the development of a new eReporting web application. The goal of this task force will be to gather ideas and feedback from employers to use as a foundation for the development of the new reporting application.

The Division will soon create a survey to capture employer feedback regarding the functionality of the eReporting application and upcoming possible changes. Once complete, the survey invitation will be sent via email to all employer payroll contacts.

If you would like to participate in the Division’s task force meetings, please contact:

John Ostrander

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