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Employer FAQs


 

Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions section. This page is designed to provide additional information to employers in the form of a Q and A, using real examples from employers.

If you would like to submit questions for use in a Q&A, or would like to suggest ideas for other topics to consider, please contact us.

Seasonal Employees

Many employers utilize seasonal employees. For PERA purposes, a “seasonal position” means a position where the nature of the work or its duration is related to a specific season or seasons of the year. Among some of Minnesota’s traditional seasonal jobs are plowing snow, maintaining parks or roads, and operating outdoor skating rinks, ski lodges, golf courses, or outdoor swimming pools. In addition, the PERA law specifies that coaches of athletic activities are also considered to be seasonal positions.

What has changed about the way PERA evaluates seasonal positions?

Before January 1, 2015, if a single employee held more than one seasonal position with an employer, all of the positions that meet PERA’s definition of seasonal were excluded. Similarly, if an employee held both a seasonal position and a part-time permanent position, eligibility for PERA membership was based on the facts of each separate position.

Effective Jan. 1, 2015, the seasonal exclusion will apply only to employees whose sole employment is a seasonal position t that’s duration is being limited by the employer to 185 consecutive calendar days or less in each year of employment. The exclusion applies regardless of whether or not the employing unit anticipates that the same employee will return to the position each season in which it becomes available.
Under the 2015 PERA provisions, if an employee holds two positions with a single employer, one permanent and the other seasonal (less than 186 consecutive calendar days in a year), the compensation from both must be added together to determine whether the employee will exceed the earnings threshold since the employment is not solely in a seasonal position.  A common example of this is when a school district employs a person as both a part-time paraprofessional and a coach.
Our school district employs paraprofessionals who work only 174 student days per school year. Could they be excluded as seasonal employees?

No.  A paraprofessional position is not seasonal in nature, as it is not related to a specific season or seasons of the year. The position may require the employee to report to work for only 174 days in a school year, but the period of employment is for the 9 or 10 month school year. Moreover, PERA’s exclusion for a seasonal position requires the duration of employment to be limited by the employer to 185 consecutive calendar days or less in each year of employment. This is approximately 6 months, give or take a few days.  The duration of the employment starts the first day the employee works and every subsequent calendar day is counted, regardless of whether the employee actually works on that day. 

We have a part-time employee who was enrolled in PERA. This individual also coaches baseball each spring. Can I exclude the coaching wages for this individual?

No, the employee’s coaching pay is subject to PERA deductions as of Jan 1, 2015 because the coaching job is not the sole position with a single employer.

An on-call employee for our City who was excluded from PERA because they were not expected to meet the salary threshold has just accepted a seasonal position as a golf course attendant. What should we do?

Project the total earnings from both positions for the next 12 months to determine whether the employee’s gross pay is anticipated to exceed the $5100 annual threshold. If it is, enroll the employee when the attendant position begins.

We have a seasonal employee who is unexpectedly working longer than 185 days. Do we have to submit contributions back to when he first started?

No. If the original employment dates fit PERA’s definition of a seasonal position, you must review the earnings of the employee once you know that the term of employment will exceed 185 days. If you anticipate that the employee will exceed the annual earnings threshold, you must complete the PERA enrollment immediately.  Do not wait until 185 days has passed; the seasonal exclusion becomes invalid at the time it is known that the position term will be extended beyond 185 days.

A seasonal employee is starting on March 1. However, we do not know how long they will work for us. Can we exclude them as a seasonal employee?
No. In order to qualify for exemption from PERA membership as a seasonal employee, the employment period must be pre-determined to be 185 calendar days or less. In this example, you must enroll the employee into PERA immediately if you project that the annual earnings will exceed the annual threshold.
If you are unable to accurately predict the annual earnings and no other exclusion applies, you have the option to exclude the employee and monitor earnings, or to provisionally enroll him/her into PERA. If you choose to enroll the person in PERA, you must give the Notice of Non-Covered Employment or Provisional Coverage to the employee within two weeks of making the PERA eligibility decision.  
If a seasonal employee is hired for another seasonal position after the first employment ends, do we need to enroll the employee in PERA?

When someone holds consecutive seasonal positions, eligibility is dependent on the length of the break between the two positions.

If there is a 30-day (or more) break between them, the 185-day window ‘resets’ and you look at the duration of each position independently. For example, if the first position had an employment period of 120 calendar days, a break of 45 days occurred and then the employment period for the second seasonal job was 185 days, the employee is excluded from PERA under two separate seasonal employee exclusions.

On the other hand, if the break between the two positions is not less than 30 days, the 185-day window continues. Example: the first position is 120 calendar days. A 15 day break occurs before the person is hired to a second seasonal job that will last 185 calendar days. In this case, you must make an eligibility determination based on anticipated annual earnings because you know that the total employment period (position 1 plus position 2) will extend beyond the 185 calendar days allowed under the seasonal employee exclusion. If the annual earnings are expected to exceed the threshold, enroll the employee at the start of the second position.

What about multiple seasonal positions? We have someone who plows snow for us in the winter and does road-grading in the summer.

If the seasonal work is the employee’s only employment with your agency, it is possible this could be treated as two separate seasonal positions.  You must look at the length of the break between the two positions. If there is at least a 30-day break between the end of snow-plowing and the beginning of road-grading (and then again between when the road-grading ends and snow-plowing begins again), then you can consider each a separate seasonal position.

However, if one or both of the breaks are less than 30 days, you must review the earnings of the employee and enroll him/her immediately if annual earnings are expected to exceed $5100. You should also ensure that the person is an employee rather than an independent contractor. For information on this, refer to the Independent Contractor or Employee Brochure and Worksheet.

 

 

Election Workers

The eligibility of Election Workers is sometimes a difficult decision. The following FAQ is designed to provide information and previously addressed situations to help with these determinations.

What is the definition of an “election official, election judge, and election worker”?

The term is listed in IRS Publication 15 and defined in IRS Revenue Ruling 2000-6 as follows:  "Election workers are individuals who are generally employed to perform services for state and local governments (governments) at election booths in connection with national, state, or local elections." The term is to be narrowly applied and refers to services performed only at election booths.  It does not include compensation earned by a worker for administrative work done at locations other than at the polling place on the day of the election. Thus duties such as mailing absentee ballots or doing administrative duties after the Election Day would not be considered pay to an election worker. Revenue Ruling 2000-6 does state that an individual who is employed as an election worker may also perform services for the government in another capacity.

Note: Although the IRS states that election worker wages is only applicable to services performed at election booths, it does also include any training undergone prior to the election.

If we hired intermittent employees who started working October 1st to prepare for the elections in November, whose work involves mailing of absentee ballots, etc. or those who work after the elections in filing, tabulating, phone answering, etc. are they “election workers”?

No, (see the previous answer)

A current employee will work overtime on election day/night because of his or her regular position (IT/computer personnel). Is he or she then considered an election worker?

No, employees such as this do not meet the definition of an election worker under Ruling 2000-6. Wages earned for overtime is considered PERA-eligible salary.

A regular, full-time employee will take on additional duties during the election, such as counting absentee ballots and performing prep work for the November elections. Then, on Election Day she will be assisting those at the polling places. Is she considered an election worker?

Effective January 1, 2015, an employee who performs election activity as part of the regular duties of his/her job is not considered to have election worker status while preparing for elections or working at polling places on Election Day.  The salary earned performing these duties is PERA-eligible salary. 

If we have election workers who do not have FICA withheld from their wages until they earn $1,800 for 2017 (or a following calendar year), and then they exceed that dollar amount, do we need to withhold FICA retroactively from the first dollar earned or only withhold it from earnings exceeding $1,800 in the calendar year?

If the election workers earn more than $1,800 in a year for the services they render, the entire amount earned as election workers becomes reportable—including the first $1,800.

We’ll hire several people to serve as election judges. They’ll go through the training process, work at the polling sites on Election Day and then will be done working. Is this the true definition of an election judge?
Yes, this is exactly how the IRS wants employers to interpret Revenue Ruling 2000-6 (see first answer, #1).

 

We had a part-time regular employee also serving as an election judge who then worked additional hours due to a recount. Are the hours from the recount considered election judge pay?
The work associated with a recount is an extension of the election judge duties and all earnings should be considered election judge wages and treated the same as those earned while working at the polls on Election Day.

 

Exclusion Reports

What is an Annual Exclusion Report?

PERA’s Annual Exclusion Report lists the names of all employees who worked for an employer any amount of time in the previous school or calendar year but did not contribute to PERA or another qualified pension plan.

Why do I have to fill out an Annual Exclusion Report?

Minnesota Statutes, section 353.27, subdivisions 10 and 11 state that all school districts and local units of government that meet the definition of “governmental subdivision” are required to submit an Annual Exclusion Report to PERA at the end of the school or calendar year.

What is the purpose of the Annual Exclusion Report?

The purpose of the report is to identify all employees and non-governing body elected or appointed public officials who do not have coverage in a PERA retirement plan or another statewide system such as the Teachers Retirement Association or the Minnesota State Retirement System.  PERA reviews the reports to ensure that exclusions are applied appropriately. PERA may contact the employer with questions about a person’s exclusion from membership in a PERA Defined Benefit Plan.

How do I complete the Exclusion Report?

Effective July 1, 2014, employers with internet and email capabilities are required to submit their Exclusion Report using PERA’s Employer Reporting and Information System (ERIS).  A revised paper Annual Exclusion Report is available only to employers who are exempt from ERIS reporting.

There are two options for using ERIS to submit an Exclusion Report:

1. Use ERIS to create your own online Exclusion Report and submit it to PERA electronically.
2 . Transmit a data file that meets PERA’s File Format Specifications. This can be a text file (.txt) with fixed length fields or an Excel file. (.xlsx preferred, but .xls is acceptable).

I created my Exclusion Report in ERIS but the Save/Submit button is gray. Why?

There are errors or missing data in one or more of the lines of your report. Open the report in ERIS and check the Status column on the left. Open any lines in Error and correct the data. Once all lines of the report are fixed, the Save/Submit button will be available.

 

What happened to the Exclusion Report Certification form?

Employers who transmit a data file or create and submit a report in ERIS automatically certify the information via their ERIS login information.
For employers who submit a paper Exclusion Report, the separate Certification of Annual Exclusion Report form is no longer required as long as the person completing the form provides his or her name, job title, and daytime phone number on the Exclusion Report.

When is the Annual Exclusion Report due?

The report is due Aug. 31 of each year for school districts and February 28 for all other employers.

When I transmitted my file in ERIS, the message said that it was submitted successfully. Does this mean that my report is done?

No. Upon receipt, PERA will review the information on your report and may contact you with questions or request additional information to determine if a person’s exclusion from PERA membership is valid. Once all follow-up (if any) is resolved, you will receive an email or letter confirming that your Exclusion Report is complete.

If I’m eligible to file a paper form and I fax the report, do I still have to mail the original?

No, a faxed copy is sufficient.

What code should I use if an employee is excluded due to two exclusion codes? Example: an employee who is an election judge and a firefighter.

List gross earnings under each code that wages were earned. In this example, you would list both exclusion codes on the report.

Which elected officials should be reported on the Exclusion Report?

Due to a change in state law, governing-body elected officials (such as city council, school board and township supervisor) are no longer required to be reported on the Exclusion Report. Employers must continue to list non-governing body elected officials (such as clerks and treasurers) on the Exclusion Report.

Do we have to complete the report if all employees are PERA members?

Yes. All employers are required to submit a report annually. If there are no excluded employees to report:

  • Employers with ERIS access should log into ERIS to create an online Exclusion Report, check the box marked “No Excluded Employees/Elected Officials”, and click “Save – Submit to PERA.”
  • Employers exempt from ERIS reporting should check the box on the paper form to indicate that they have no excluded employees or elected officials and return the form to PERA.
None of our township officials participate in PERA and we have no employees. Do we still need to submit an Exclusion Report?

Yes. Minnesota law requires an annual Exclusion Report from every school and governmental unit that is eligible to participate in PERA. The report must provide information about all employees – including non-governing body elected officials (clerks/treasurers) – who worked during the reporting year and did not contribute to a PERA plan or other MN public retirement system. If there are no non-governing body elected officials and no employees, follow the instructions in #13 above to complete your report.

Several of our employees are excluded because they are full-time students under the age of 23. How should we document their student status?

You must obtain certification and monitor the full-time student status. This can be done with PERA’s Full Time Student Exclusion form or by obtaining a fee statement which the student can generally access from the school’s website. Fee statements document the number of credits per semester and don’t require a registrar’s signature. Explain to student employees that it is their responsibility to provide you with documentation each semester. If they do not, and no other exclusion applies, contributions must be withheld until student status is verified.

Documentation of student status is to be kept by you and provided to PERA only if requested.

Our township has 5 elected supervisors, 3 of which are in the Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) and 2 who have chosen to not participate in PERA. Our elected clerk is enrolled in the DCP and our treasurer has chosen not to participate in PERA. We also contract with an individual for road grading and snowplowing. What do we need to put on our Exclusion Report?

In this case, only the treasurer should be listed on the Exclusion Report because he/she is a non-governing body elected official who is not participating in PERA. Anyone contributing to a PERA plan should not be reported because they are not excluded. The two elected supervisors who have chosen not to participate should not be listed on the report because they are governing-body elected officials. The individual who contracts with the township to perform road grading and snow plowing is not reported because he is an independent contractor.

What happens if an employer does not submit the report?

The Annual Exclusion Report is required by law and employers who fail to comply may be subject to a fine of $25 for each failure. PERA may also conduct a field audit to review an employer’s payroll records.

Paid Leaves of Absence

The following questions and answers are provided to help employers understand how to apply the PERA salary exclusion as it relates to paid medical, personal, parental or military leaves that began after May 23, 2013.

Should we withhold PERA contributions from paid leave time taken to supplement workers’ compensation benefits that an employee receives?

Yes. The 2013 law change did not alter the rules relating to reporting payments for leave time taken by members who are on a workers’ compensation leave.  The 2013 law change only applies to medical leaves, personal leaves, paternity leaves and military leaves of absence.

Where are the PERA definitions of medical, personal, and parental leave?

PERA law does not define these types of leaves. Generally, PERA will look to the employer’s policies or to applicable bargaining agreements for definitions of these leaves.

Is military leave defined in state statute for PERA purposes?

Yes. It is in Minn. Stat. § 353.01 Subd. 16(a)(8).

We have an employee who has a short-term disability policy that will provide payments equal to 60 percent of her gross pay while she is on maternity leave; therefore, she wants to draw pay from our agency during the leave that is equal to 40 percent of her normal wages. Her biweekly earnings average $1,600 for 80 hours. While on leave, we will issue her payroll checks of $640 and she will use 32 hours of accrued sick time. Are we to withhold PERA from the pay of $640?

No. The $640 is less than 50 percent of her normal biweekly pay of $1,600 and is based on 32 hours of sick leave usage rather than the 80 hours the employee normally worked. The amounts paid to the employee during the leave period are not PERA-eligible salary.

If an employee goes out on an unpaid leave of absence on the 2nd day of a pay period, are the earnings for that pay period subject to the 50% or 100% threshold test?

No. The salary threshold only applies to leaves of absence with pay. This employee is drawing wages for two days of actual work and then has no pay for the remainder of the pay period. All of the employee’s pay is subject to PERA deductions.

If an employee returns to work from a leave on the last day of a pay period, are the earnings for that pay period subject to threshold test?

No.  The wages or salary earned by the PERA member after his or her return to work following a leave are subject to mandatory PERA contributions. 

An employee who normally makes $800 biweekly asks to go on a personal leave and receive $200 biweekly for the full period of the leave. If we agree to this arrangement, will the pay she receives be subject to PERA contributions?

No. If you allow the employee to spread out her leave accruals in order to draw biweekly pay of only $200, rather than her normal $800, the compensation you pay to her during the leave period will not be subject to PERA contributions. 

If an employee goes out on a medical leave to care for a sick relative, is the salary threshold for the paid leave 100% of regular wages, even if the member is using sick leave?
If the policy of your entity considers this to be a medical leave for which the employee may use sick leave, PERA will recognize that leave classification and the medical leave pay will have the 50% minimum salary requirement.
 
If a PERA-covered employee will be absent without pay for only a few days in a pay period are PERA contributions required on the pay the person receives?

PERA deductions are required on the earnings that an employee has based on work performed in a pay period.  Having unpaid days off during a pay period does not affect the eligibility of the wages that the employee earns in that pay period. 

We have an employee using a combination of hours worked, PTO, and unpaid intermittent FMLA in the same pay period. The proportions vary each pay period. The person is using up the PTO earned each pay period but it isn't enough to cover all the time away from work so the balance is unpaid FMLA. How do we treat the employee’s pay?

As long as all available PTO is being used by the employee each pay period, the associated paid time off is salary for PERA purposes. All of the employee’s pay for hours worked and PTO must be reported to PERA with deductions.

Does the salary threshold (50% for medical leaves) apply for a FMLA leave? Bear in mind that two members could have identical medical conditions and one could qualify for FMLA and the other may not due to various reasons.
If you as the employer consider an employee’s absence to be a medical leave, the 50% salary threshold will apply. 

 

If a pay period contains some unpaid suspension days is the remaining pay still subject to PERA contributions?

Yes.  Pay for actual hours worked by a member is subject to PERA withholdings.

The 2nd Quarter 2013 PERAphrase states that a lump-sum donation of unused vacation, sick or personal leave to another employee under a benevolent leave donation program is not PERA-eligible salary. Does this mean that the ‘receiver’ is subject to PERA contributions when the hours are used, and the ‘giver’ is not subject to contributions when the hours are donated?

Yes, that is correct.

How do members earn or purchase service credit for a leave of absence period?

PERA-covered employees will receive service credit while on a leave of absence with pay from which contributions are made to PERA.  Members also earn service credits if, while drawing workers’ compensation benefits, they receive salary on which contributions are being made to PERA. Often, additional service credit may be purchased for complete calendar months in which the member did not pay PERA contributions. These purchases are described in the Building Service Credit brochure.

Annual Earnings Threshold

Effective Jan. 1, 2015, the annual earnings threshold of $5100 per year ($3800 for 9- or 10-month school year employees) replaces the longstanding monthly threshold of $425. Unless some other Minnesota law applies, PERA membership is generally required for public employees filling non-elected positions whose salary from one governmental subdivision exceeds the annual earnings threshold.  To learn about the specific positions that are excluded from PERA membership, please refer to Chapter 3 of the Employer Manual.

Availability

When is the Annual Threshold Report available to employers?

Calendar Year Employers (non-schools), the report is generated in March for review of the previous year’s earnings.

The report lists employees who have had a full year of earnings evaluated, and did not meet the $5100 threshold by December 31. MN statute requires us to evaluate annual earnings and does not include a provision for prorating.

What about calendar year employees hired between February and December?

The eligibility of employees with a partial year of earnings below the threshold will be determined based on the following year of earnings.  If they meet the threshold for earnings received the following year (i.e. between January through December), their eligibility will be validated back to their enrollment date during the partial year. If the earnings do not exceed the threshold, we will ask you to either approve a refund of all contributions made during any partial or full years, or provide additional information to support the employee’s eligibility.

Fiscal Year Employers (schools), the report is generated in August for review of the previous FY earnings.  The FY report lists employees who have had a full year of earnings evaluated between the dates of July 1 through June 30, and did not meet the $3800 threshold by the end of June. MN statute requires us to evaluate annual earnings and does not include a provision for prorating. 

 

What about fiscal year employees hired between October and June?

The eligibility of employees with a partial year of earnings below the threshold will be determined based on the following fiscal year of earnings. If they meet the threshold for earnings received the following year (i.e. between July through June), their eligibility will be validated back to their enrollment date during the partial year. If the earnings do not exceed the threshold, we will ask you to either approve a refund of all contributions made during any partial or full years, or provide additional information to support the employee’s eligibility.

When will refunds be issued once I’ve completed the report?

Once your report is submitted, PERA staff must review and approve your responses.  Typically, refunds and credit memos will be issued within a few weeks if is no additional follow up needed.

 

Glossary

Notice of Non-Covered Employment or Provisional Coverage form

The legislation that brought about the change in the membership earnings threshold also requires employers to provide a written notice to any employee who is excluded from PERA membership because the annual compensation is not expected to exceed the minimum threshold amount. The notice must be given to the excluded employee within two weeks of the date in which the employer makes the membership eligibility determination. Keep a copy of the notice in the employee’s personnel file to document the decision. Do not send a copy to PERA.

This new form is available on our website under Employers à Forms and Brochures. The form documents the eligibility decision and provides information to employees about the steps to take if they disagree with the exclusion. As an alternative to using the PERA form, an employer may create its own disclosure notice as long as the document provides information about the employee’s right to appeal the determination to PERA.

Although not required by law, employers are encouraged to use the form to provide written disclosure to ALL excluded employees at the start of employment so that the affected employees are informed about the eligibility determination.
See below for more information on the form’s use for provisional enrollment situations.

Provisional Enrollment

Provisional Enrollment is a new process that allows you to enroll certain members upon hire on a provisional basis rather than wait until the threshold is met and risk the possibility of an omitted deduction billing. In a provisional enrollment situation, an employer stipulates that they are unable to accurately predict whether the earnings in the coming 12 months will exceed the annual threshold. 

To enroll a new employee on a provisional basis, process the enrollment as usual and provide the employee with a Notice of Non-Covered Employment or Provisional Coverage within two weeks of hire.  The form is available on our website under Employers > Forms and Brochures.

PERA will monitor the earnings of all new employees and will generate a report at the end of each fiscal and calendar year to identify members who have had a full year of employment with a single employer, but have not met the annual salary threshold. At that time, we will contact employers to determine whether the enrollment was invalid and if a deduction-in-error refund is appropriate. 

Employees hired mid-year will not be included on the report for the first (partial) year because a full year of earnings is needed to determine whether the threshold was met.  As such, an employee’s enrollment may remain provisional for well over a year to allow for us to collect sufficient earnings data. 

 

How..?

How often will the report be generated?

This is an annual report. The annual reports will be provided approximately 2-3 months after the calendar or fiscal year ends.

How should an employee’s projected earnings be calculated?

To determine whether a new employee will meet the earnings threshold, calculate the gross earnings projected in the next 12 months.  For employees with a regular schedule, this is hourly wage x number of hours worked per week x number of weeks worked per year.

When an employee’s schedule is less certain, refer to internal documents that help define job factors such as pay and work schedule, which may be found in job announcements or budget documents. Past experience with other employees who have held that same position could also help to estimate the annual salaries of employees.

How can I tell whether the $3800 or $5100 threshold should apply?

 

The $5100 annual threshold is the general rule. The only exception is for employees whose work is limited to the 9/10 month school term.  Those employees have an annual salary threshold of $3800.

 

General Scenarios Regarding Money and Earnings

One of our employees is a current PERA member who qualified based on prior monthly earnings in excess of $425, but is not expected to exceed the annual threshold next year. Should we stop taking PERA deductions?

No.  Although the $425 per month threshold ended 12/31/2014, eligibility that was established under that guideline remains in effect. An employee who was a member of PERA on Dec. 31, 2014, based on employment that had previously qualified for coverage under a PERA Defined Benefit Plan (DBP) retains that membership for the duration of the person’s employment in that position.

An excluded employee earned $425 in one month due to unusual circumstances but is not expected to meet the annual threshold in a 12 month period. What should we do?

The annual earnings threshold replaces the previous $425/month threshold.  As such, earning more than $425 in any one month does not qualify an employee for PERA coverage – only the total annual earnings can.  You may wish to keep an eye on the employee’s earnings to confirm that he or she isn’t on track to go over the threshold.

We hired a full-time employee and enrolled them in PERA immediately. Six weeks later, she terminated and had not yet earned more than $5100. Will PERA automatically refund the employee and employer contributions?

 

No. The PERA membership is valid because the employee was hired to a position that was stipulated to provide an annual salary in excess of $5100. She may apply for a refund, but the employer contributions remain with PERA.

 

General Scenarios Regarding Date and Time

When would an employee be eligible if the annual earnings reported to PERA were less than $5100 ($3800 for school year employees)?

While not common, there are times when an employee’s PERA membership may be valid even though PERA’s records do not indicate that their annual earnings exceeded the annual threshold.  Examples:

  1. PERA records have only a portion of the employee’s earnings for the year
    There is a period during the applicable calendar year in which the employee had earnings that were excluded from PERA membership and when all earnings are totaled, the employee meets the salary requirement.   This can occur in these situations:

Employee is a seasonal worker who was not expected to work more than 185 consecutive days.  However, the employment was extended beyond 185 days and earnings from that point forward were reported to PERA.  When the amount of excluded earnings is added, the total annual earnings exceed $5100 (or $3800) for the year, making the employee’s PERA membership valid.

  1. The person terminated employment and only worked a partial year
    The employee was expected to earn more than the PERA threshold amount during the year, however, he/she terminated employment and only worked a partial year.  If the person’s employment had not ended before the end of the year, the employee’s earnings would have exceeded PERA’s Annual Threshold.  (In this situation, the employer did not report the date of termination to PERA prior to the date the Annual Salary Threshold report was prepared).
What should we do if an employee excluded under the annual earnings threshold actually does exceed the threshold?

Enroll the employee immediately.  When you complete the enrollment, list the actual hire date, the date of eligibility (the effective date of enrollment) and the exclusion code that was used between hire and enrollment (302 for earnings under $3800 or 303 for earnings under $5100). PERA will request the employee’s earnings during the year in which the membership threshold was exceeded and, where applicable, will generally bill omitted deductions. Limited exceptions may apply.

For omitted deduction billings, the employee pays member contributions on the most recent 60 days.  If the period of omission is greater than 60 days, any remaining omitted employee deductions must be paid by the employer. The employer is also obligated to pay the omitted employer contributions for the full period and annual compound interest.

If a new permanent employee is hired near the end of the (fiscal/calendar) year, how should we determine eligibility if they won’t meet the new annual threshold by the end of the current (fiscal/calendar) year?

Enroll the employee. The eligibility decision is based on anticipated earnings in the upcoming 12 month period rather than the remaining months in the calendar or fiscal year.

PERA has developed a Membership Eligibility Checklist that may help when making eligibility determinations.  To access the form, visit the Employers > Forms and Brochures page on our website.

One of our on-call employees is currently excluded from contributing to PERA because their earnings are below the annual threshold. He has just accepted a full-time position with us. How should we determine when his PERA eligibility starts?

When there is a change in an employee's position, always review for eligibility. Calculate his expected earnings 12 months from the start date of his new position using the pay rate and scheduled hours of the full-time job.  If the anticipated earnings exceed the annual threshold, enroll him as of the date the new position begins.