With the 2020-2021 school year starting shortly, we would like to offer some reminders to help you have a successful reporting year.
1. September deduction report audits
An audit will be performed reviewing the salaries and position codes reported in your September report, you may be asked to confirm or edit the provided information. To help in this process, please make sure your assigned Employer Services Representative has a copy of your district’s current collective bargaining agreement that includes the FY21 salary schedule.
2. Reporting leaves of absences
Reporting leaves of absences using the MTRS Leave of Absence Information form helps us ensure your employees receive the correct service credit for their approved leaves. The updated form is now an interactive PDF. Experience has taught us that collecting details on a leave of absence when it occurs ensures we receive accurate and complete information.
We require a completed Leave of Absence Information form if…
- An employee misses one or more pay checks,
- An employee’s pay is recalculated using some form of “stretch pay” method, or
- If all unpaid time is docked in the lump sum check
3. Comments in the monthly deduction reports
The comment section provides the opportunity to further explain the use of a service correction code or unusual payroll scenarios (e.g., off-cycle payroll payments). Please make sure to always include the employee’s name, pay date and enough details to explain the situation (e.g., John Smith on 9/18/2020 was paid two checks due to missing 9/4/2020 payroll, new hire paperwork was turned in late, etc.)
4. Full-time equivalent salary and full-time percentage
Employees who work part-time—or are hired mid-year—should always have the full-time, full year, non-adjusted annual contractual salary in the Salary field. The full-time percentage (FTE%) reported is the percentage the employee is working and must be reported as a percentage, not the decimalized equivalent.
Incorrectly reporting the salary or FTE% may result in your employee receiving incorrect service credit.
5. Longevity, stipends and coaching pay must be reported separately from base pay and annual salary
Employees who receive pension-eligible longevity or pension-eligible stipends, need to have these earnings reported in the deduction report in the appropriately labeled fields. These earnings should not be reported as base pay and should not be added to the annual salary field, unless a contract specifies that the longevity is a component of the base salary and, thus, part of the week/bi-weekly base pay.
6. Using the right service correction codes
Service credit is assigned to every normal record (RecType = N-Normal) once the reports are released. When employment circumstances change—such as leaves of absence, FTE%, salary or position changes—it is important to use the right service correction code to appropriately apply service credit. We provide explanations of the proper usage of service correction codes in both our training manual Deduction Reporting in MyTRS and MyTRS Reference Guide 5: Understanding the Service Correction Codes.
7. Employing a retiree?
MTRS deductions should not be taken from compensation paid to a working Massachusetts (MA) retired public employee.
Prior to hiring a MA retired public employee, you should complete a retiree earnings limit calculation in MyTRS and comply with all of the Commonwealth’s working after retirement restrictions.
Please note that the earnings and hours restrictions in calendar year 2020 may be calculated differently per the Governor’s state of emergency order due to COVID-19. See PERAC memo #21 / 2020 Post Retirement Restrictions During the State of Emergency for details.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your assigned Employer Services Representative.