With the 2019-2020 school year underway, we would like to offer some reminders to help you have a more successful reporting year.

1. September deduction report audits

We will be reviewing the salaries and position codes reported in your September report, and may ask you 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 FY20 salary schedule.

2. Leaves of absence

Reporting leaves of absence using the MTRS Leave of Absence Information form helps us make sure your employees receive the correct service credit for their approved leaves. Experience has taught us that collecting details on a leave of absence when it occurs—and the details are fresh in your mind—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 9/20/2019 was paid two checks due to missing 09/06 payroll, new hire paperwork was turned in late, etc.)

4. Full-time equivalent salary and full-time percentage

Even for employees who work part-time or are hired mid-year, the full-time, full year, non-adjusted annual contractual salary for employees should always be reported in the Salary field. The full-time percentage (FT%) reported is the percentage the employee is working and must be reported as a percentage, not the decimalized equivalent.

Incorrectly reporting the salary or FT% 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

If you have employees who receive pension-eligible longevity or pension-eligible stipends, the longevity and stipend payments need to be 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 weekly/bi-weekly base pay.

6. Using the right service correction codes

We assign service credit to every normal record (RecType = Normal) once the reports are released. When employment circumstances change—such as leaves of absence, FT% changes or salary and 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.

Additional resources

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your assigned Employer Services Representative, or Robert George, Director of Employer Services, at 617-679-6869 or robert.george@trb.state.ma.us.

Thank you for your continued assistance to our members and us!