Dear School District Superintendents, Charter School and Education Collaborative Directors, Business Managers, Town Treasurers, Personnel Administrators and Payroll Officers,

Please note these important updates regarding:

1) the deadline for finalizing all calendar year 2013 deduction reports;
2) the upgrades to MyTRS that were implemented in September 2013; and,
3) tips and reminders for payroll deduction reporting.

1) The deadline for finalizing all calendar year 2013 deduction reports is March 31, 2014; if your district is currently severely delinquent in reporting, your superintendent will receive a notice from us soon.

Currently, 64% of the 2013 deduction reports for calendar year 2013 have been finalized. We have projected a 70% completion rate by the end of December, 80% by the end of January, 90% by the end of February and 100% by March 31. In the next few days, we will be sending individual notifications to superintendents of districts that are severely delinquent in their reporting. We will continue to communicate with delinquent districts on a monthly basis in order to meet the March 31 deadline. As I have noted before, this is a team effort so please don’t hesitate to notify us if we can be of any assistance.

2) Certain MyTRS deduction reporting features were upgraded in September 2013; please review these brief descriptions to ensure that you are familiar with the changes and how they work.

  • NEW: Apply button in the Deduction Report Editor
    Located between the Save and Cancel buttons on the Deduction Report Editor, Apply allows you to save changes made to a deduction report while you are correcting your report without leaving edit mode. Apply rechecks all errors and exceptions, just like the Save button; however, unlike Save, once Apply has completed processing, you can continue to the next correction without having to hit Edit and wait for MyTRS to return to edit mode. When making your last change, set your Report Status Override to “yes” and simply hit Save and then submit your report as you have been.
  • NEW: Service correction code of PO-Payout
    The equivalent of the MT-Midyear Termination code, the PO-Payout code provides a more appropriate, intuitive label for mid-year payouts that are not related to the termination of an employee’s service, such as when a teacher is being paid their summer pay as he or she starts a leave of absence in the middle of a school year.
  • MODIFIED: Processing of your EFT payments now includes additional behind-the-scenes verifications, and it may take slightly longer for the status to change from Pending to Issued
    The EFT payment option has not changed in MyTRS, but you may notice that it takes longer for your EFT to change from pending status to issued status. MyTRS now verifies member payments for service purchases as part of the EFT submission process, and this has extended the EFT posting processing time.
  • RE-ENABLED: Two enrollment exception messages
    While working on your deduction reports, you may notice two familiar exception messages. Both were initially introduced in 2010, but disabled until September 2013, when the member enrollment process was incorporated into MyTRS.

    Member not enrolled: MyTRS is again validating members’ enrollment status; if a member has not completed his or her online enrollment process, the exception message “Member not enrolled” will appear. To resolve the exception, instruct your employee to go to our website and enroll using the member self-service module in MyTRS. This message is an exception so it will not prevent a deduction report from being submitted; however, it will appear every pay period until your employee enrolls as required. As a result of this validation being restored, you will probably see a number of these exceptions now, but please remember that they will quickly be resolved when your employees complete their online enrollment process.

    Member’s rate and R+ status are on hold: If a member’s rate is awaiting determination (for example, because of a pending service transfer from another Massachusetts contributory retirement system or because the member is within their 180-day RetirementPlus election period), you will receive a new exception message saying “Member’s rate and R+ status are on hold.” In cases where MyTRS detected a possible rate discrepancy and the member’s rate is on hold, MyTRS will also display both messages so that you know that a rate change may be premature.

3) Tips and reminders for deduction reporting:

  • Reminder: Submit your payments and have your reports imported to MyTRS by the 10th of each month.
  • Tip: If you are still working on a reporting backlog, it is important to import your current report to avoid the risk of complications that may arise in the future by importing an outdated file later.
  • Reminder: Instruct new staff to enroll in the MTRS in a timely manner using the member self-service module of MyTRS.
  • Tip: You can now access the MTRS membership number and contribution rates for all registered employees by clicking on View/Update Employee Information in MyTRS. When setting up new employees, please check MyTRS first to verify their contribution rates.
  • Reminder: Keep your employees’ contract information up to date in your payroll software, especially for new employees, to ensure that the data you are reporting on a monthly basis is correct:
    • Full-time equivalent contract salary
    • Position code
    • Full-time percentage
    • Contract term
    • Pay Duration
    • Pay Frequency