Employer News | April 2016

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Upcoming Seminars



Audit Section
(907) 465-5707

Financial Education and Advice Services
(800) 232-0859

Member Services Counseling Services
(907) 465-4460

Member Services Contact Center
(907) 465-4460

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April | VOLUME #128

Save the Date for EmCon 2016!

Employer Conference

The Division of Retirement and Benefits will be holding its biannual Employer Conference October 5 through 7, 2016. The Historic Westmark Baranof Hotel in Juneau will host the conference once again, with seminars and workshops to be held both at the hotel and at Division offices.

The Division is excited to introduce several new products available to employers beginning January 1, 2017, including:

  • E-Reporting 2.0, with hands-on training provided.
  • Alaska Public Employees’ Deferred Compensation Plan (457)—now available to ALL PERS employers.
  • New and improved Voluntary Supplemental Benefits, including Life Insurance, AD&D, Short- and Long-term Disability, and more.
  • New online benefit education delivery plan.

We also invite employers to contact us regarding topics they would like to see presented. Contact Kathy Lea, Chief Pension Officer, at kathy.lea@alaska.gov or (907) 465-3226.

New Termination Study Information Flyers Available

PERS logo

The Division is routinely asked for information regarding termination studies and when a study has to be considered. In anticipation of more frequent information being needed by employers during budget development, we have produced two informational flyers that are available on our website.

The “Termination Studies” flyer is intended to provide general information to employers regarding terminating groups, departments or job classifications from participation in the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and when a termination study may be required.

The “Actuarial Method Used to Calculate Termination Costs” flyer is intended to provide general information on how the plan actuary determines the costs and what factors and assumptions are included. The information will aid employers in understanding the results of a study they have requested.

Employers contemplating a reduction in force or contracting out aspects of their operation that may involve a termination study start the process by contacting their Regional Counselor for counseling and determination of whether a study is needed. The Regional Counselors are:

Lisa Templeton - Aleutians, Western Alaska, Kenai Peninsula
Natasha Golovatiuk & Brandon Roomsburg - Fairbanks and Railbelt, Tok, Glennallen, Valdez
Dawn Bonnett - Southeast

Regional Counselors can be reached by calling toll-free at (800) 821-2251 or in Juneau at (907) 465-4460.

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Determining Social Security and Medicare Coverage of State and Local Government Employees: Quick Guide


1. Is the positon or service covered for Social Security or Medicare under a Section 218 Agreement?

If the answer is “No,” then go to the next question.

If the answer is “Yes,” then withhold Social Security and Medicare, unless Section 218 Mandatory and Optional Exclusions apply.

2. Is the employee a qualified member of a public retirement system?

If the answer is “No,” then withhold mandatory Social Security and Medicare, unless an exclusion from mandatory Social Security and Medicare applies.

If the answer is “Yes,” then go to the next question.

3. Is the employee covered by a Section 218 Agreement that provides Medicare-only coverage for employees hired prior to April 1, 1986?

If the answer is “Yes,” then withhold Medicare for that employee, unless Section 218 Mandatory and Optional Exclusions apply.

If the answer is “No,” then go to the next question.

4. Does the Medicare Continuing Employment Exception apply?

If the answer is “Yes,” then do not withhold Social Security or Medicare.

If the answer is “No,” then withhold Medicare only, unless there is an exclusion from mandatory Medicare.

This information is meant as a guide only and is not a substitute for discussing Section 218 coverage situations with your State Social Security Administrator. Please do not hesitate to contact us at melanie.helmick@alaska.gov or nimeri.denis@alaska.gov.

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