Employer News | January 2016

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January | VOLUME #125

2015 PERS and TRS CAFRs Now Available


The 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) for the PERS and TRS are now available online. To request hard copies, please call (907) 465-5711. The financial statements are also available.

PERS Publications

TRS Publications

Social Security Administrator Update: Mandatory and Section 218 (Voluntary) FICA Coverage for State and Local Employers

State and local governmental employers are classified for Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) purposes as either mandatory or Section 218 (voluntary). FICA is the federal tax law which requires employers to withhold taxes from employee earnings and funds the Social Security and Medicare programs.  

Mandatory Coverage
Mandatory coverage can be simply explained as, “it is mandatory that you enroll your employees in Social Security unless they are enrolled or tied to a qualified FICA replacement system.” PERS and TRS are qualified FICA replacement systems. In general, PERS and TRS employees working for a mandatory employer should not be enrolled in Social Security. State and local government employees hired (or rehired) after March 31, 1986 are subject to mandatory Medicare coverage.

Voluntary or Section 218 Coverage
A Section 218 agreement is a written voluntary agreement between the states and the Social Security Administration to provide Social Security coverage to state and local government employees. Section 218 refers to 218 of the Social Security Act. All 50 states have Section 218 Agreements. Political subdivisions of states are allowed to join their state's Section 218 Agreement via a modification to the original state agreement. Section 218 Agreements allow employers and their employees who are covered by a qualified FICA replacement retirement system to also be enrolled in Social Security. State and local government employees hired (or rehired) after March 31, 1986 are subject to mandatory Medicare coverage.

The FICA coverage rules above are meant to be a general guide to Social Security and Medicare coverage for governmental employers. Every one of our ~240 State of Alaska political subdivisions are unique! Should you have any questions about your entity, please do not hesitate to contact us directly and please contact us prior to making any changes to your entity based on the information above.

Melanie Helmick
State Social Security Administrator

Nimeri Denis
Assistant State Social Security Administrator

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No Change in Social Security Wage Base for 2016


Social Security's Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program limits the amount of earnings subject to taxation for a given year. The Social Security wage base limit changes each year with changes in the national average wage index, however, this limit has not changed from last year and remains $118,500 for calendar year 2016. There is a wage limit for Defined Benefit Plan members and a contribution limit for Defined Contribution Plan members. Read more...

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Employer Summary Reminder


Employers may scan and email their Employer Summary to the following email address:


Using this email address is fast and efficient and is less likely to be lost. This email address is the designated email address for the Employer Summary.

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