Employer News | June 2018

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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

Contact the editor with feedback. Archives are available. 

Employer Services


Payroll Processing

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JUNE 2018 | VOLUME #153

Enrollment of New Employees for Human Resource Staff


Employers must take the following steps for new employees hired into the Public Employees' or Teachers' Retirement Systems on or after July 1, 2006.

1. New employees on or after July 1, 2006, as well as existing    employees who have elected to convert to the new plans, will be automatically enrolled in an age-based target fund managed by T. Rowe Price. As the employer, you are required to provide the employee with:

  • a copy of the Target Fund Default Fact Sheet,
  • the Reality Investing Overview brochure,
  • general plan summary documents for each state-administered plan you, as the employer, offer your employees,
  • a required viewing of the new employee orientation video,
  • required new employee notifications, and
  • plan contact information.

You can find this information on the Division's website on the Employer Services/New Employee Orientation page.

2. Employees who do not wish to be enrolled into the Target Funds may opt out by telephone or via the website once they receive their Welcome Letter.

3. Employees new to the PERS/TRS DCR Plan will receive their Welcome Letter and Personal Identification Number from Empower Retirement within two weeks of their reported payroll.

4. Employees new to the PERS/TRS DCR Plan who have questions regarding their plan provisions prior to receiving the Welcome Letter may contact the Division's Member Services Contact Center toll-free at (800) 821-2251 or in Juneau at (907) 465-4460 Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

5. Employees new to the PERS/TRS DCR Plan must complete a beneficiary designation and submit the original to the Division’s record-keeper, Empower Retirement Services. Upon death of the employee, payments from the employee account will be paid according to the last beneficiary designation held by the Division’s record-keeper.

For more information and resources on New Employee Enrollment, click here.

Employer On-Behalf Funding for Fiscal Year 2019


On-behalf funding for PERS and TRS employers for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) is provided by House Bill (HB) 286 (Section 25).  HB 286 passed during the 2018 legislative session and was recently signed into law. This bill provides a set amount of funding to reduce the PERS Employer Effective Rate to 22% and the TRS Employer Effective Rate to 12.56% for FY19.

This funding is applied with the processing of each employer payroll. Employer on-behalf funding statements will be sent via email to payroll and finance contacts. For PERS on-behalf funding questions or statement copies, please email Tamara Criddle at tamara.criddle@alaska.gov or call (907) 465-2279. For TRS on-behalf funding questions or statement copies, please email Walter Agne at walter.agne@alaska.gov or call (907) 465-5711.

For PERS and TRS employer on-behalf funding provided in HB 286, the Division of Retirement and Benefits will apply payroll payments through pay period end date June 30, 2019. Fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019) payrolls must be received in our office by July 15, 2019, to be processed with HB 286 employer on-behalf funding.

For other questions, please contact:

Christina Maiquis

(907) 465-1845


Employer Conference 2018


The Division of Retirement and Benefits will be holding its biannual Employer Conference October 3 through 5, 2018. 

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.


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

7-8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30-8:45 a.m. Welcome/Announcements
8:45-10 a.m. Keynote Speaker - Financially Fit
10:15-11 a.m. Better Together
11 a.m.-12 p.m. Regional Group Discussion
12-1:15 p.m. Hosted Lunch/Commissioner's Office Speaker

1:15-2:30 p.m. Teacher Certification
2:30-3:30 p.m. DCR Plan Presentation-ER Perspective
3:45-4:45 p.m. Marketing the DCR Plan to Attract and Retain Employees

Breakout Sessions-Employer Services Hands-On
10:15-11:45 a.m. & 12:45-2:15 p.m. Annex Training Room

Thursday, October 4, 2018

7-8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:30-9 a.m. Welcome/Announcements
9-10:15 a.m. Deferred Compensation-Join the State Plan
10:30-11:30 a.m. Developing an Employee Financial Wellness Program
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch on your own

1-2:15 p.m. Financial Wellness Reviews and Services
2:15-3:15 p.m. GASB Updates
3:30-4 p.m. Compensation and Contribution Limits
4-4:30 p.m. Importance of Correct Reporting

Breakout Sessions-Employer Services Hands-On
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. & 1-2 p.m. Annex Training Room

Friday, October 5, 2018

8-9 a.m. Continental Breakfast
9-10:15 a.m. Highlights of Audit Findings
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. 2018 Most Common Audit Issues

12-1 p.m. Lunch on your own
1-2:30 p.m. IRS Presentation
2:30-3:30 p.m. SSA Presentation
3:45-4:30 p.m. Audit Round-table

Plan ahead—registration for EmCon 2018 begins in August!

The Division of Retirement and Benefits is negotiating for discounts on airfare for conference attendees, please look for more information in next month's Employer News. 

We 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.

Defined Contribution Retirement (DCR) Employer Forfeiture Balances and Usage

Calculator and Paper

A notification email was recently sent to all employers regarding the Defined Contribution Retirement (DCR) plan Employer forfeiture balance and its usage on future payrolls.

The DCR plans include PERS Tier IV and TRS Tier III. DCR employer forfeiture funds are created when a non-vested or partially-vested DCR employee terminates employment from the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) or Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) and refunds a portion or all their DCR account. The percentage the employee is vested in the DCR employer contribution is determined by the years of service worked by the employee for all participating employers in the system. The time worked is not combined for the PERS and TRS systems. The percentage vested is determined by Alaska Statute. The portion the employee is not vested in is forfeited upon refund of the participant account. The Division tracks forfeiture balances by employer.

The vesting statute reads as follows:

Sec. 39.35.790 and 14.25.390 Vesting

(b)  A member shall be fully vested in the employer contributions made on that member’s behalf, and related earnings, after five years of service. A member is partially vested in the employer contributions made on that member’s behalf, and the related earnings, in the ratio of 

(1) 25 percent with two years of service;
(2) 50 percent with three years of service; and
(3) 75 percent with four years of service.

The proper handling and usage of these funds by employers has been awaiting guidance. We have received approval to move forward with the usage of the funds to offset future payroll related DCR employer match contributions. Use of the forfeiture balance to cover the DCR employer match contribution will be mandatory and utilized on each payroll until the balance is exhausted. Employers can start using these funds for submitted payrolls beginning July 1, 2018.

The Division of Retirement and Benefits will be sending out monthly notifications to employers of their forfeited funds balance.

Instructions for processing the DCR employer forfeiture in eReporting can be found here.

If you have payroll questions, please contact your payroll contact at (907) 465-3363 or by email at doa.drb.activepayroll@alaska.gov. Please send all forfeiture balance questions to doa.drb.accountants@alaska.gov