Employer News | October 2017

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In This Issue

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National Retirement Security Week October 15-21

Where are you in your story?

National Retirement Security Week is a national effort to raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement and is held every year during the third week of October. The week provides an opportunity for employees to reflect on their personal retirement goals and determine if they are on target to reach those goals.

The Division of Retirement and Benefits and a plan sponsor, Empower Retirement, invite you to take advantage of the educational events offered during NRSW week.  To review this week’s detailed events schedule or to sign-up for participation, click here.

Bona Fide Separation Regulations-Training and Update


The Division of Retirement and Benefits is sponsoring training in a question-answer format for participating employers through Web Ex on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.  Employers will receive an invitation from Roberto Aceveda, Counseling and Benefit Education Manager, to attend a Web Ex meeting.  Employers can also contact Roberto directly at roberto.aceveda@alaska.gov.  The invitation is open and can be forwarded to all interested employees who are involved in the hiring process.

Update on the Effective Date of the Regulations

The public notice period for the bona fide separation of employment regulations will end at 5:00 pm on October 20, 2017.  Comments can be sent to the Division address or emailed to Kathy Lea, Chief Pension Officer, at kathy.lea@alaska.gov

Stay tuned for upcoming information on the effective date of the regulations on bona fide separation of employment in the November edition of the Employer News.  The regulations are tentatively effective for members retiring December 1, 2017, however, that date may change depending on the public comment received during the public notice period.  The public notice period will end at 5:00 pm on October 20, 2017.  Comments can be sent to the Division address or emailed to Kathy Lea, Chief Pension Officer, at kathy.lea@alaska.gov

Geographic Differential Requirements for PERS Tier II & III

If you first entered the PERS on or after July 1, 1986 (Tier II or Tier III), and if you receive a higher salary based on the cost of living in a geographic region, then you will make contributions to the PERS based on that increased salary. This cost of living adjustment can only be applied to the time a person serves in State of Alaska employment.

You must serve one-half of your service time in an area with differential pay for that salary to count towards your retirement calculation. If you haven’t met this requirement, then the contributions based on the differential portion of your salary will be refunded when you retire. (For Tier-1 PERS members Geographic Differential is included in your Average Monthly Salary). 

Special note: The calculation of the percentage of service with differential is calculated on all membership service accrued, including non-state PERS service.

Alaska State Social Security Administrator (SSSA) Attends 67th National Conference of State Social Security Administrators (NCSSSA) Conference

The annual NCSSSA conference serves as a major forum to address a broad range of issues and concerns of state and local employers and SSSAs. It allows SSSAs to work efficiently and effectively with our Federal Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) partners about these matters and solve issues.

The NCSSSA annual conference always involves the discussion of topics of current interest and importance to state and federal officials involved in state and local Social Security, Medicare, and employment tax matters.

This year’s conference was held in Charleston, West Virginia, September 9-13th. The training portion of the conference included presentations on Public vs. Private Entities, Covering Police and Firefighters, Correction of Errors/W2, W3, and 941X Forms, IRS Field Audit Issues, and Section 218 Agreements and Newly or Reclassified Positions.

The Alaska SSSA served on three NCSSSA committees this past year; Chair Audit Committee, Member Program Committee, and Member Executive Committee.