Employer News | September 2016

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In This Issue

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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Employer Services


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September | VOLUME #133

Register for EmCon 2016


You are invited to the 2016 Division of Retirement and Benefits Biennial Employer Conference. This conference is an opportunity for employers to learn from one another and to meet the service providers who provide valuable information and education about the plans. We are committed to providing outstanding information that is of value for all attendees.

This year our focus is on new products and opportunities that will be available to employers in 2017, including:

  • a new reporting tool,
  • a Deferred Compensation Program for employers interested in lower rates to their employees and less administrative burden, and for employers who participate in the Alaska Supplemental Benefits Plan, and
  • an introduction to the new product line-up and the new Voluntary Supplemental Benefits provider.

Registration for the 2016 employer conference is now open. Click here to register for the conference.

We have negotiated a reduced rate at the Baranof Westmark Hotel & Conference Center for conference attendees. Contact the Baranof Westmark Hotel directly to make room reservations. If you are reserving a hotel room online, please use the group code shown on the Employer Conference website.

Join us!

If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Lea, Chief Pension Officer, at kathy.lea@alaska.gov or (907) 465-3226.

Notice of Proposed Changes on the Operation of State Retirement Systems


The Division has submitted for public notice, regulation changes regarding retirement compliance audits and the State Social Security Administrator duties. A copy of the proposed regulation changes is available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and on the Division of Retirement and Benefits website.

Oral or written comments also may be submitted at a hearing to be held on September 22, 2016 in the Atwood Conference Center, Room 104, Robert Atwood Building, 550 West 7th Avenue, Anchorage. The hearing will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and might be extended to accommodate those present before 4:00 p.m. who did not have an opportunity to comment. You may also call the hearing on a conference line at (800) 315-6338, access code: 82190.

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Excess Contributions


Employers are advised of excess salary limitation on the Public Employees' Retirement System and Teachers’ Retirement System defined benefit plans set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for each year when reporting salaries to the plans. 26 U.S.C. 401(a)(17) defines the maximum salary requirements. The maximum for contribution reporting for 2016 is $265,000. Contributions from employee accounts must stop once the maximum salary level has been reached. Excess contributions cannot be accepted by the plans and will result in a refund to members through adjustments via the payroll process.

If an employer determines a member will likely exceed the salary limits for the year, they should inform the member. Ceasing contributions to the PERS and TRS will increase members' taxable income for the year.

The Division is currently reviewing member accounts to identify any members who may have exceeded the limits in past years. Members identified in this process will be refunded any excess contributions taken in years past with interest. The refund represents taxable income and employees will be issued a Form 1099 for the tax year in which the refund and interest are received.

You can find the salary limits for current and prior years for PERS and TRS on our website.

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Can Employers Terminate Their Section 218 Coverage?


State political subdivisions have the option of joining the State’s original Section 218 Agreement (pursuant to Section 218 of the Social Security Act) via a modification. These political subdivisions are commonly known as Section 218 or voluntary employers because they have voluntarily chosen to enroll their employees in Social Security.

Prior to 1983, Section 218 employers could terminate coverage in part or entirely. However, on or after April 20, 1983, neither employers nor the State could terminate Section 218 coverage. Section 218 coverage may be terminated only if an entity is legally dissolved and is no longer in existence.

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