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Webinars


Webinars offer you an opportunity to learn or review PERA’s membership and reporting requirements one topic at a time without the cost and time spent travelling to an in-person workshop. Attendees are able to ask questions and receive answers in real time and each session ends with a Q & A period to provide clarification or further discussion as needed.

Webinars are typically 15-30 minutes in length, not including Q & A time.

Once a webinar is complete, the recorded session will be posted online within a week for all employers to access. In addition, if you sign up for a webinar session but are unable to attend the event, a link to the session recording will be sent to you via email.

PERA webinars are FREE to attend, but you must register in advance to access each session. Webinar dates and topics will be announced in the PERAphrase employer newsletter and on this website.

Upcoming Webinars

Registration links will become available at least one month before each session takes place. Email Luis.Argueta@mnpera.org with questions or to request other topics.

**Topics and information presented are subject to change**

Sessions Description Registration Link
ERIS Pending Reports
2018
A walk-through of all Pending ERIS reports, which includes the newest pending report, the Summer Earnings Verification report. N/A

Resources

Quick Reference Guide

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(Changes to) Annual Salary Threshold, pt 2.5      Exclusions Reporting      Annual Salary Threshold, Part Two
  Annual Salary Threshold, Part One     PERA 101

(Changes to) Annual Salary Threshold, Part 2.5

Published on July 16, 2018  / /  Hosted on July 12, 2018

This webinar takes you through changes made to Annual Threshold Reporting reporting structure

Audience: All employers that deal with PERA eligibility and reporting.

In this webinar, we:
– Highlight changes
– Walk through the completion of an Annual Salary Threshold Report in ERIS
– Refund Details

Exclusions Reporting

Published on November 17, 2017  / /  Hosted on November 9, 2017

This webinar takes you through what plans exclusions apply to, exclusions are seen at a glance and the common exclusions are highlighted and touched on with examples to explain challenging scenarios that can apply.

In this webinar, we:
– Cover what entails exclusion reporting
– Go over who is being excluded
– Cover where and how this information is submitted
– Discuss why this information is required to be submitted

Helpful Resources

Live Webinars Exclusion Reporting

Annual Salary Threshold, Part Two

Published on July 26, 2017  / /  Hosted on July 20, 2017

A walk through on the Annual Threshold report in ERIS. Part TWO is a separate session that will be more practical where we:

– Cover employee changes
– Terminations and threshold reviews.
– Walk through the completion of an Annual Salary Threshold Report in ERIS.

Helpful Resources

Webinar Companion Sheet Annual Salary Threshold pt2 Live Webinars Annual Salary Threshold pt2 Powerpoint

In the case of David Bowie where PERA didn't have all of the wages earned. At what point do we submit omitted deductions?

Heather: In the case of David Bowie, there would not be omitted deductions due because you excluded him at the time of hire; you weren’t expecting him to exceed the threshold. You gave him that notice of exclusion, monitored his earnings, and he worked more than expected in the first few months. You got him enrolled before his earnings exceeded the threshold, and that’s why he showed up on the report. We only got his lowered half earnings that showed up in the first year. In the second year, he didn’t earn much either. Ordinarily, we would have refunded these earnings, but we don’t because of the salary earned during his employment before the enrollment. David’s enrollment begins the date you enrolled him into PERA. We are not going to go back and retroactively cover the period that the salary was not reported to PERA, because at the time, David had met the requirements to the salary exclusion.

After we submit our annual salary threshold report, how long until we can expect a refund from PERA for the employer portion if we have someone who shouldn't have been enrolled?

Heather: Typically, we would try to get to those within a few weeks. This is a new process, and we have received a lot more NO responses than we expected. It is taking longer, but going forward, we are adding more staff in our area, and going forward, we should have a faster turnaround. I would say within 30 days would be our performance goal that we’re trying to meet with those.

What was the reasoning for going to $5100 vs the old $425 a month? The new way is much more difficult for employers to determine eligibility, and the refunds and omitted deductions create a lot of work.

Luis: Prior to the current standing law, in 2013, we had a lot of employers reaching out to stakeholder groups, and they were upset. They were upset because their employees were upset. We had employers dealing with new employees, expecting to work a certain amount of hours. They worked the first month, kept under $425, and they didn’t exceed the threshold. Month 2, they worked more hours than expected because of a one-time event, exceeded the monthly threshold, and met eligibility.

Month 3, they went back down to their regular hours, and now these employees are upset because they’re in PERA, but they’re not making enough money for those contributions. After getting input from stakeholder groups, the current law came into being, and it makes eligibility smooth and intentional. So now we have an annual threshold, an entire year that PERA evaluates these earnings. If employees have these earnings spikes under the current law, it won’t affect employees that are making less than the threshold.

 

What do we do when we have a part time employee that has PERA for say 5 years previously and then drops down below the $5100 for future years. Should we stop PERA contributions or continue contributions until they terminate employment?

Luis: Continue contributions until they terminate employment. Once they are in PERA, they continue to be in PERA until they are terminated.

So back to the David Bowie scenario— if we don’t know if they will exceed the threshold, can we exclude them initially, and then only enroll them when they are going to exceed? This would be helpful so we don’t have to worry about refunds.

Luis: We went through this in a scenario regarding “Bill”— when we talked about the missing puzzle. You have the option to monitor your employees. You would need to make sure to keep up with the employees being monitored because if the employees exceed the threshold, you, the employer, would be on the hook for their omitted deductions. If they exceed the threshold, even by a small amount, we would have to bill for omitted deductions. So, you do have the option to monitor these earnings, just make sure those employees are enrolled before they exceed the threshold. If their names appear on the Annual Threshold report, make sure you let us know through the report that they did, in fact, make more money than was reported to PERA. In the report, let us know you were monitoring their earnings—and let us know what the difference was between the periods the employee was not reported to PERA.

Heather: The only caution with that is you still have to give that person a notice of exclusion at the time of hire, and you wouldn’t want to give someone an notice if they’re being hired at 40hrs a week @ $10/hr because that notice of exclusion gives them information about appealing or requesting a review of that eligibility. As Luis said, some employers prefer the provisional enrollment because they are just enrolling at the time, they don’t know either way, but they’re sending the money to PERA and PERA does the tracking. With the excluding/monitoring/enrolling, if they are going to go over, there is a time sensitivity to that, and if you miss that time, and they go over, we’re required by state statute to go back to the first month that $425 is reached. It’s just about, are you risking or dealing with the trouble of refunds? Or risking and dealing with the trouble of omitted deductions? Without a crystal ball, you just have to do the best situation that your HR/payroll situation allows for.

 

Your statement about someone remaining enrolled, once enrolled, does not pertain to students, correct? Say they weren’t a student, and now are, you can exclude them now right?

Luis: If they meet an exclusion, and they were enrolled—give PERA a call. If you find out they are 22 & under, and a full-time student, they meet that exclusion and can be excluded.

Will PERA go back to allowing employers to track employees, and re-enroll them when they reach the $5100 threshold like we did with the $425? This would seem to be less work for employers and PERA.

Heather: That is uncertain, and would require a change to state statute because during the time that the eligibility threshold, the change from $425 to the annual threshold was being discussed. Both in stakeholder groups and the Legislature, there was a group that was concerned about individuals who might lose out on valid coverage if they weren’t enrolled until the $5100 was reached. It would have to be a legislative statutory change. 

Does the annual year go by the pay date? Or the date when the pay was earned?

Heather: Pay date.

Are termination and a 30-day break in service similar as far as having a valid PERA membership one year and then having a 30-day break in service and being PERA excluded the following year?

Heather: I think what’s being asked is, if someone has valid PERA membership, and terminates, and then returns 30 days or more passed, and they are rehired by that employer, they do need to requalify under the terms and conditions of that new employment. If you have that 30-day break that stops PERA eligibility and they have to re-establish it based on what they will be working in the future. That’s been the case and predates the annual threshold. 

Annual Salary Threshold, Part One

Published on July 26, 2017  / /  Hosted on July 13, 2017

This is a high level overview of the Annual Threshold, the first part of a 2 part series. Part ONE is an educational webinar where we:
– Explain the basics of the Annual Salary Threshold
– How to project salary for your new employees
– Where to view tracked earnings

Helpful Resources

Webinar Companion Sheet Annual Salary Threshold Live Webinars Annual Salary Threshold Powerpoint

Is it required for us to provide a notice of provisional enrollment? Or are we just required to notify them if we are excluding them?

Luis: You are required to give your employees the notice of provisional enrollment when you are excluding them. Not only does it let them know why they are being excluded, but it also let’s them know that they have a right to a review of this decision by PERA. Rather than making sure you include what’s stated and required by law on your form, it would be best to use our form.

Heather: The exclusion portion, the non-covered employment, is required when you are excluding someone for salary based exclusion. The provisional enrollment section is required when you are enrolling someone, and not sure whether they are going to meet the threshold. That notice is in lieu of giving them an exclusion notice because if in the end they do not meet the threshold, that provisional notice serves as the notice that they could possibly be excluded. Based on the circumstances of their employment, eligibility isn’t certain, and they may get their contributions refunded to them and not receive those service credits on their account.

If the employee is enrolled provisionally and doesn't meet the threshold, you mentioned the employee receives their contribution refunded. What happens to the employer contributions?

Luis: Employers receive their contributions back in the form of a credit memo. You will receive an email notification when you have a credit memo on file.

 

How about seasonal workers who are hired for June through August? Should they be enrolled right away?

Luis: Ok, because they are seasonal workers, they are going to be excluded because they meet the seasonal worker exclusion. If you find yourself offering them a permanent position, you would enroll the employee into PERA because they no longer meet the seasonal worker exclusion.

So if I have a new staff that terminates prior to $5100 in a year but was doing PERA deductions, do they get a refund?

Heather: This is an advanced question that is covered in part 2 of our threshold series. The short answer? No, not automatically. If you hire someone, and they terminate before they reach the threshold, PERA changes their status to ‘closed’. If they stay a full year to collect earnings, they would go into review, but because we don’t have a full year of earnings to review, which is required by statute in order to make that eligibility determination. We presume that they would have met it had they stayed. There are ways for you to contact us to ask for a review, and provide additional information to document why a refund would be appropriate, but that’s not an automatic thing.

PERA 101

Published on May 3, 2017 / / Hosted on April 27, 2017
This PERA 101 session is designed for any employer representative who wants to learn the basics of PERA’s membership and reporting requirements.

During this session we will explore PERA’s Employer Resource kit. The Resource Toolkit is a helpful Go2 resource, containing frequently used information and links, all on one webpage.

Helpful resources:

Webinar Companion Sheet PERA101 Live Webinar PERA 101 Powerpoint

Is there a way to print the entire manual out vs printing chapter by chapter? [0:24]

There isn't [at the moment]. We're hoping you use the manual as a digital tool because we update it so often. If you do want to print [a physical copy], make sure you update the printed version every couple months. An easier way of [printing the manual] would be to download all the chapters, and by using Adobe Acrobat, you can combine the PDFs, and then print.

Do you have a new portal to upload new spreadsheets? [1:40]

No, we don't. [If you want to submit a spreadsheet], you will want to submit through ERIS. Just give someone a call on our end, especially if it isn't an SDR, or demographic file, if it's something we're not expecting, give us a heads up so we're looking for it.

Is there a way to flag pages so you don't always have to search? [2:20]

There is! You can always add a page to your favorites. One of the things [I like to do on my end] is if I know I'll be referencing pages often, I'll create a folder of bookmarks. I place them on the bookmarks [toolbar]. [Depending on your browser] you will hit settings, and [find something along the lines of 'organize favorites' or 'bookmarks'] -- another way to get here is by hitting CTRL + B on most browsers. I'm gonna hit, 'New Folder' and [name] it MNPERA. I will drag it into [Bookmarks toolbar.] Once I create a folder, I can then drag web pages into that folder, and reference them in the future.

Can you bookmark a page in the [employer manual]? [4:43]

No, not at the moment. Since it's a PDF, it's not within a browser. You can download a local copy, and the free version of [Acrobat reader] does allow you to create bookmarks within the PDF, and you can highlight and make comments if that is something you would like to do. You can flag it on a local copy, but unfortunately when a new version of the manual is uploaded, the notes made a previous version do not carry over.

I have a member that wants to update his beneficiary. His daughter just got married and he just wants to update her last name. Do I need him to complete the entire PERA change form which revokes all prior? Or is there an easier way to just change a last name? [5:32]

If you need to make a change on the member's last name, you would need to submit the PERA change form. [Unfortunately, the PERA change form would need to be filled for this request, but we are always looking into our processes. If there is a different process in the future, we will let our PERA administrating employers know!]

What exclusion code could we use for non-resident aliens with a J-1 visa? [6:27]

[Looking at the exclusion codes] I look at 004, because that's the only exclusion code that has to do with visas. "Foreign citizens with a work permit of 3 years or less or an H-1B visa valid for less than 3 years of employment" This question will crop up every now and then. [Right now], there is [an administrative bill] that is looking at changing the language, so that this exclusion doesn't just single out H-1B visas, but will list visas in general. [So, at the moment, you can ONLY use this exclusion code for H1-B visa]