ERS Employer Manual

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1. From the Executive Director

Dear Participating Employer:

The Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia (ERSGA) is pleased to present our ERS Employer Manual. We hope that you will find the Manual to be a valuable tool to assist you as you guide new employees through the enrollment process and report member data and contributions to ERSGA.

Within each section you will find information intended to summarize important Plan provisions and describe key processes and procedures. Please contact us if you have any questions about this Manual. We also encourage you to visit our website for additional materials and information, including downloadable forms and our Plan Handbooks.

The support we receive from you is critically important to our ability to administer our pension systems and provide the best possible customer service to our members. Thank you for your assistance. We welcome your feedback on how to improve this Manual and our communication with you and our members.

Sincerely,

2. Using the ERS Manual

The Manual contains employer information on the Employees’ Retirement System administered by ERSGA. Manuals are available by plan; therefore, if an employer wishes to download the Manual for only one plan they will be able to do so.

Users can click on a topic on the Table of Contents and will be taken to that topic.

Over time ERSGA will provide updates to reflect changes in statutory provisions or ERSGA policy. Notification of these updates will be communicated via memo or the Employer Newsletter.

3. System Overview

An overview of the Employees Retirement System of Georgia.

3.1 ERSGA History and Purpose

The Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia (ERSGA) was created to administer retirement benefits for State of Georgia employees under the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and other pension plans. ERSGA was established on February 3, 1949, as provided by laws enacted through the Georgia General Assembly.

In addition to the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS), ERSGA administers the following pension plans: Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS), the Legislative Retirement System (LRS), the Georgia Judicial Retirement System (GJRS), the Georgia Defined Contribution Plan (GDCP), and the Georgia Military Pension Fund (GMPF). ERSGA also administers the State Employees Assurance Department (SEAD) insurance program, as well as the Peach State Reserves program (PSR) — the state’s 457 and 401(k) Plans.

The mission of ERSGA is to be the guardian of the retirement systems it administers for the ultimate benefit of the members, retirees and beneficiaries of those systems. This mission is accomplished through ERSGA’s core responsibilities which include pension administration; the collection, reconciliation and disbursement of contributions for the welfare of the members, retirees and beneficiaries of the plans; and the sound and secure investment of the retirement funds.

A Board of Trustees is responsible for the administration of ERS and other pension plans. Daily operations are under the direct administration of the Executive Director and staff of ERSGA. The laws governing ERSGA provide service retirements, death benefits and disability benefits, and permit refunds of contributions and interest to members who leave State employment. Employee and employer contributions are paid into the retirement fund for the welfare of members and their beneficiaries.

4. ERSGA Administered Retirement Plans

ERSGA has the responsibility of administering the following retirement plans as mandated under Title 47 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.).

4.1 Plans under ERSGA

Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) O.C.G.A. Title 47 Chapter 2
Largest and oldest defined benefit plan; established January 1, 1950, to provide retirement pension and benefits to full-time eligible state and local employees. 

  • Old Plan — Eligible employee memberships established prior to July 1, 1982
  • New Plan — Eligible employee memberships established between July 1, 1982 and December 31, 2008
  • GSEPS — A combination Defined Benefit/Defined Contribution program. New full-time employees to state government eligible for ERS membership hired on or after January 1, 2009 are enrolled in GSEPS. Rehired employees on or after January 1, 2009 with prior refunded or lost ERS memberships are also enrolled in GSEPS.

Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) O.C.G.A. Title 47 Chapter 4 
Defined benefit plan created January 1, 1970 to provide retirement pension and benefits to eligible public school employees.

Legislative Retirement System (LRS) O.C.G.A. Title 47 Chapter 6 
Defined benefit plan created July 1, 1967 to provide retirement pension and benefits to eligible members of the Georgia General Assembly.

Georgia Judicial Retirement System (JRS)  O.C.G.A. Title 47 Chapter 23 
Defined benefit plan created July 1, 1998 to provide retirement pension and benefits to eligible judicial branch employees within state and local government; specifically, superior, state and juvenile court judges, district attorneys, solicitors-general and other state prosecuting attorneys. 

Georgia Defined Contribution Plan (GDCP) O.C.G.A. Title 47 Chapter 22 
Defined contribution plan created July 1, 1992 to provide a retirement system for temporary, seasonal and part-time employees of eligible state agencies, departments, bureaus, institutions, boards, or commissions of the State of Georgia, including the State Board of Education and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

State Employees’ Assurance Department (SEAD) O.C.G.A. Title 47 Chapter 19 
Created in 1963, provides governance for the administration of the Georgia Employees’ Group Term Life Insurance Plan (GTLI) for eligible state and local employees.

Georgia Military Pension Fund (GMPF) O.C.G.A. Title 47 Chapter 24
Provides supplemental retirement allowances for eligible members of the Georgia National Guard; created July 1, 2002. 

Georgia Peach State Reserves (PSR) – Deferred Compensation 457 Plan O.C.G.A. Title 45 Chapter 18 Section 30; 401(k) Plan O.C.G.A.  Title 45 Chapter 18 Section 50
Peach State Reserves is offered by the State of Georgia to eligible employees to provide an opportunity to save for retirement while reducing current taxable income and accumulating tax-deferred savings. Peach State Reserves offers two Deferred Compensation/Defined Contribution Plans for employees to take advantage of: a 401(k) Plan and a 457 Plan. Employers may contact GaBreeze for additional information (1-877-342-7339 or gabreeze.ga.gov).

5. Contact Information

5.1 Mailing Address and Location

Two Northside 75 NW
Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30318

Third Floor

5.2 Electronic Communication

General email address – ers.contacts@ers.ga.gov

5.3 Customer Care Group

LaToya Rogers-Bradley, Manager

ERSGA General: General Member and Employer related calls

Toll free number: 800.805.4609
Local number:     404.650.6300
Fax:                     404.350.6310

5.4 Member Services Division

Susan Anderson, MS Director and  ERSGA Chief Operating Officer

  • Application for Refund
  • Application for Retirement
  • Death of Member
  • Estimate Requests
  • Forfeited Leave
  • Member Statements
  • Retirement Counseling
  • Service Accrual
  • Service Purchase and Transfer
  • Workshop for Retirement Answers and Preparation (WRAP)

5.5 Financial Management Division

Carolyn Kaplan, Financial Management Director 

Contact information on the Employer Reporting Representative by Plan and Employer assignment is available on the Employer Website.

  • Adjustments of Contributions to Prior Periods
  • Change in Employer Contact Information
  • Contribution Reporting
  • Earnable Compensation Definition
  • Invoices
  • Plan Contribution Rates
  • Plan Membership Eligibility and Enrollment
  • Re-Employment Before and After Retirement
  • Rehired Retiree Reporting
  • Special Reporting Situations
     

6. Enrollment

Full-time employees of participating departments and agencies are required to become members of ERS as a condition of employment. (Full-time employment status is defined as thirty-five (35) hours per week for a minimum of nine months a year.) [O.C.G.A 47-2-70; 47-2-334; 47-2-351]

6.1 Membership Eligibility

Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) (including GSEPS)

Employees establishing membership prior to July 1, 1982 are members of the Old Plan. Employees establishing membership on or after July 1, 1982 and prior to January 1, 2009 are members of the New Plan. Effective January 1, 2009, new hires to state government are members of the Georgia State Employees’ Pension and Savings Plan (GSEPS). Members of the Old and New Plans may opt-in to GSEPS at any time. Employers with members interested in opting in should contact ERSGA.

In addition to mandatory participation in the defined benefit (pension) portion of GSEPS, members must be automatically enrolled upon hire into the Peach State Reserves 401(k) plan with matching employer contributions, unless they choose to decline participation in the 401(k) upon hire. All GSEPS new hires/rehires must be given the GSEPS 401(k) Automatic Enrollment Information notice at the time of hire. The Information notice provides details on the automatic enrollment process and directs employees to the GaBreeze website if changes are desired. Employees have up to 90 days to withdraw from the plan and receive a refund of their employee account balance. If automatically enrolled, 401(k) participating members can stop and restart 401(k) participation at any time by contacting the 401(k) administrator through GaBreeze (1-877-342-7339 or gabreeze.ga.gov).

Membership Exceptions
  1. Employees who first become eligible for membership after they turn age 60 may decline membership in ERS. This decision must be made within 30 days of hire and is irrevocable. Note: A member declining ERS membership must be enrolled in the GDCP Plan if the employer reports GDCP.  Employer categories reporting GDCP are as follows: DFACS, Health Departments, State Colleges and Universities, State Authorities, Statewide Employers, Technical Colleges, and Mental Health and Retardation Centers.
  2. ERS members who have at least 10 years of creditable service and accept a position covered by the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) may elect to remain active members of ERS rather than becoming members with a TRS covered employer. The decision is irrevocable and must be submitted in writing to ERS and TRS within 60 days of hire. Likewise, active members who have 10 years of creditable service under TRS may elect to remain under TRS if they accept a position covered by ERS.
  3. Effective July 1, 2012, new full-time tax office employees are not eligible for ERS membership absent a county resolution to participate in the plan.
  4. Any ERS member appointed or elected as a Superior Court judge or as a district attorney may elect to continue membership in ERS while holding office as a Superior Court judge or district attorney. The election must be filed with ERS within 30 days of appointment or election.

6.2 Earnable Compensation

Generally, only state (GA) compensation is eligible for consideration when computing benefits.  Georgia laws refer to this compensation as “earnable compensation.” It is defined as the “full rate of regular compensation payable to a member employee for his full normal working time.” [O.C.G.A. 47-2-1(15)] The law excludes supplements from local funds. 

A key employer responsibility is making the factual determination that employee compensation is within the statutory definition of “earnable compensation.” Employers must make the initial underlying factual determinations necessary to determine the nature of any compensation in question. This section will outline what earnable compensation is and is not and give clear guidance on determining if the compensation should be included in monthly reports of salary to ERS subject to pension withholding.

Only regular compensation for the normal or scheduled working time is reportable monthly to ERS. This generally excludes overtime pay, stipends, or special pay supplements unless specifically approved in advance by ERS. If you have questions on whether certain compensation is pension eligible, please read on.

6.3 What is Considered Pension Eligible?

The employee contributions to GDCP are deducted by payroll deduction and submitted to ERSGA each month. GDCP does not have an employer contribution. All GDCP members contribute 7.5% of their gross compensation.

6.4 Plan Contribution Rate

In addition to regular pay, ERS includes conditional pay supplements for duties that are performed as a regular part of an approved incentive compensation plan. Over the years, a number of these conditional pay supplements have been approved and documented by the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS). These include, for example, high-risk pay, supervision of prisoners’ increment, tip income, etc. Please consult DOAS if your agency is considering adding a new earnings code and for the most up to date approved earnings code list.

The DOAS list of approved earnings codes includes both pension eligible and ineligible codes. For employers on statewide payroll, pension eligible pay codes are predefined in PeopleSoft. However, non-statewide employers will need to consult ERS Financial Management Group to determine if any proposed compensation is pension eligible. Examples of non-pension eligible compensation include:

  • Pay for temporarily assigned job duties
  • Supplements from county or municipal funds
  • Pay for overtime
  • Pay for working a holiday
  • Pay for relocation/moving expenses

6.5 Maximum Compensation

ERS is a multiple employer defined benefit plan covered by Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 401(a). Per O.C.G.A. 47-1-13, the compensation used in computing employee and employer contributions is subject to  the maximum compensation set forth in IRC § 401(a)(17).  The annual compensation limit under IRC § 401(a)(17) is subject to change annually.*

*Note: A person who became a member of a public retirement or pension system prior to the calendar year beginning January 1, 1996 is not subject to the limits of IRC § 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code. The annual compensation limit for fiscal year 2013 is $250,000. For fiscal year 2014, the limit is $255,000.

6.6 Plan Contribution Rates

Employee and employer contributions are used to fund retirement, disability, survivor’s and refund benefits to covered employees.  

Employer contributions are not refundable to members or employers with refunds.

Each year fund actuaries evaluate the plan to determine the appropriate funding needed from participating employers. Employer contributions vary by contribution group (members with same plan benefits) within the ERS Plan. The ERS plan has approximately 50 contribution groups, including the three most common: Old Plan, New Plan and GSEPS. (O.C.G.A. 47-2-26)

You can find current and historical contribution rates on the Employer Forms and Information page.

GSEPS 401(k) Matching Contributions

The GSEPS plan combines a traditional pension with a 401(k) plan that includes a matching employer contribution. Employees participating in the 401(k) must contribute in 1% increments, and those covered under GSEPS receive the employer match.

Effective July 1, 2022, the employer match was increased as shown below.

Employer Match

Effective July 1, 2022

  • 100% employer match of employee contributions up to the first 5% of employee pay;
  • Plus, for members savings at least 5%, an additional half percent for every full year of creditable service in excess of five years, up to a maximum match of 9% of pay
  • The automatic enrollment contribution rate is 5%. An employee can increase, decrease or stop contributions at any time by accessing their account through GaBreeze at 1-877-342-7338 or gabreeze.ga.gov.

Prior to July 1, 2022

  • 100% match for the first 1% of employee contributions up to 1% of pay
  • 50% match for each additional full percentage the employee contributes up to a maximum match of 3% of pay.
  • The automatic enrollment contribution rate is 5%. An employee can increase, decrease or stop contributions at any time by accessing their account through GaBreeze at 1-877-342-7338 or GaBreeze.ga.gov.

Tax Office and State Court employees who participate in GSEPS receive matching contributions via the Georgia Department of Revenue and the Administrative Office of the Courts, respectively.

6.7 Tax Status of Contributions

Employee contributions must be deducted from members after social security, federal and state taxes have been paid. Employee contributions are considered after-tax contributions (O.C.G.A 47-2-331). Employer contributions and employee contributions paid by employers (pickup) are considered before tax contributions. Employee contributions are used to fund the annuity part of the retirement benefit. 

Employees can make before-tax or after-tax (Roth) contributions.

6.8 The Enrollment Process

ERS has an electronic enrollment process for new and rehired employees. Membership accounts are created electronically based on data transmitted in the monthly detail file from all File Transfer Protocol (FTP) employers or on-line via the Employer Reporting Website for manual employers. Employers are required to provide the following demographic data for successful enrollment of each new employee:

  • Valid Social Security Number
  • Full Legal Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Valid Address
  • Valid Contribution Group Code (as designated in your payroll system)
  • Valid Plan Eligibility Date (also required for rehires/transfers and anyone with a plan/contribution group change)

Upon receipt of detail for any new employee to the ERS system, membership and enrollment records are created by ERS assigning a unique pension identification number to the account. Upon receipt of detail for any rehired former plan member, the account is reactivated and enrollment records are updated.

Employers should contact their ERS employer representative to verify plan eligibility. This information is also available under the Plan Eligibility Module on the Employer Desktop.

GSEPS Enrollment

All New Hires covered under GSEPS should be provided a GSEPS 401(k) Information notice and a GSEPS Automatic Enrollment Acknowledgement Form at the time of hire, both of which are available for download on the Employer Forms page here.

The GSEPS Automatic Enrollment Acknowledgement Form must be signed, returned to HR (please do not return to ERSGA), and kept in the employee’s personnel file.

Employers Using TeamWorks/SAO
Employers who use TeamWorks/SAO to establish employment records must create the GSEPS retirement plan membership record in PeopleSoft using the Pension Panel, and check the box titled Employee Notified of GSEPS Default Contribution Amount upon receipt of the signed Acknowledgement Form from the employee. The code for GSEPS is E2GAR. Creation of this record is required for ALL GSEPS members by all employers who use TeamWorks, including state agencies, county public health and DFACS offices and any other employers using TeamWorks.

Employers NOT Using TeamWorks/SAO
Employers who do NOT use TeamWorks/SAO to establish employment records must access the GaBreeze Employer website at GaBreeze Employer Website to create a record of GSEPS membership.

Employers who:

  • Upload a file must have a GSEPS Notification Indicator in your payroll system. This must be used upon receipt of a signed Acknowledgement Form from the employee.
  • Report employee detail using the Monthly Detail module on the ERSGA Employer website must check the Employee Notified button on the Demographics Tab. This must be used upon receipt of a signed Acknowledgement Form from the employee.

All GSEPS-covered employees must have an account created and be automatically enrolled in the 401(k) plan at GaBreeze. For assistance with the 401(k) Employer website, email psrpayrollsupport@alight.com or call 1-800-698-7719.

GSEPS 401(k) Plan Enrollment

Employers Using TeamWorks/SAO for Payroll
Employers should no longer enter the 5% employee contribution for auto enrollment into the Savings Plans panel in TeamWorks. The Savings Plans panel should only be updated by a file from GaBreeze or by SAO.

Entering GSEPS for new hires on Pension Plans panel activates GSEPS auto enrollment. Once the GSEPS new hire data is entered into TeamWorks, it is sent to GaBreeze that night. The following night, GaBreeze sends employee contribution percent and associated matching percent back to TeamWorks to populate the Savings Plans panel and completes the automatic enrollment process.

Employers NOT Using TeamWorks/SAO for Payroll
All GSEPS new hire/rehire records must be sent to GaBreeze and must be entered into your payroll system with a 5% Employee contribution rate AND a 5% Employer match rate.  Once GaBreeze receives the GSEPS new hire record, GaBreeze will generate the automatic 401(k) enrollment with employee contribution and employer matching percents for employer payrolls. This step ensures the correct GSEPS employer match is used by payroll, including instances of employees with existing ERS creditable service that is eligible for the GSEPS employer match determination.  

Important things to note regarding GSEPS enrollment:

  • Employers using TeamWorks/SAO should never make entries or updates to the Savings Plan panel.
  • All employee contribution changes must be processed by the employee through GaBreeze; this includes changes to stop contributions. 
  • For agencies that use TeamWorks/SAO for payroll, employee actions taken via GaBreeze will automatically be updated on the TeamWorks Savings Plan panel.
  • For non-TeamWorks/SAO payroll agencies, employee changes to contribution rates made using the GaBreeze website will be on PSR Deduction Report generated on the GaBreeze Employer Website.
  • Effective July 1, 2022, payrolls no longer calculate the employer match percent. ERS sends creditable service to Alight. Alight then sends the matching percent to payrolls, based on the creditable service and employee contributions. Payrolls need to apply the ER matching percentage to eligible pay to determine the ER contribution dollar amount.   

For questions about Peach State Reserves payroll or the GaBreeze Employer website, please email psrpayrollsupport@alight.com or call 1-800-698-7719.

7. Active Member Reporting

Employees Retirement System (ERS) statute (O.C.G.A. 47-2-52) requires each employer responsible for the payment of compensation to contributing members to deduct and collect from each member’s earnable compensation the employee contributions required under the retirement system. It is the employer’s responsibility to report and remit these contributions along with employer contributions each month. 

7.1 Contribution Reporting

Pension Plan contributions are reported to the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia on a monthly basis. GSEPS 401(k) Plan contributions and matching employer contributions are reported to GaBreeze every pay period. 

Pension Plan Contribution Reporting
There are three components required in the reporting process: summary of monthly payroll data, detail of monthly payroll data and remittance of contributions via Automated Clearing House (ACH). 

  • The monthly summary report — This report is used to submit earnable compensation and appropriate retirement contributions due for the payroll reporting period.
  • Employee detail data — A member record must be submitted for all eligible ERS employees. Consult the employer record file layout (available from ERSGA) for the detail of the member record. The record should include SSN, demographic information, salary and contributions, percent time worked etc.
  • Contribution payment — The total of the employee and employer contributions.  All contribution payments must be submitted via ACH. The ACH debit transaction is created for the total net payment due from the summary report when submitted each month. 

The deadline for each employer to complete the process is the 1st of each month.

All employers reporting ERS members are required to do so online using the employer reporting website. The ERSGA online employer reporting module allows employers to submit all components safely, securely and efficiently.

7.2 Using the ERSGA Employer Reporting Website

Employers log on and enter the summary of monthly payroll totals. Using the same module, employers are required to upload the detail of monthly payroll data either through a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or manual entry. Payment is made via ACH. The debit to the employer’s account is made two to three days after the submission of the summary report. 

Registration
Users must be registered to report data. A unique user id and password are required for access to the Employer website. Upon submitting a completed contact form, designated payroll or human resources personnel at the employer agency are added to the ERSGA employer contact database. If you are a new employer and you are unaware of your employer code, please refer to Appendix 1. New users can use the Employer Reporting Quick Reference Guide provided on the ERSGA website to assist them with the employer reporting registration process. Once the user is registered he or she will log on to the website using the new user id and password.

Passwords should not be shared. LRS must be notified whenever there is a change in payroll or human resources personnel.

Maintain Bank (ACH) Info (for all employers using Web ACH)
The Maintain ACH Details page is used by employers to set up ACH for each plan reported. This must be done prior to entering and submitting any report information. The following tasks must be completed to set up ACH:

  • Select ERS on profile maintenance.
  • Provide the routing and bank account number for the account to be debited.

Upon submitting your summary report, ERSGA will debit the account for the net payment due (as determined by the summary report total) within two to three business days. (Use Quick Reference Guide for instructions)

Maintain Monthly Summary Report (all employers)
The Maintain Monthly Summary Report page is used to submit total monthly salaries and contributions based on payroll actions. There are four tabs: Reports, Invoice, Adjustments, and Comments. (Use Quick Reference Guide for instructions.)

  • The Reports tab is used to enter the monthly payroll salary and contribution information. Once you have submitted your summary report to ERS, you will not be allowed to change it. If an error has occurred contact your reporting representative at ERS and they will assist you with a resolution. This page features a calculate button which calculates the expected contributions based on the total salary entered and the rate of each contribution component. These amounts can be over-written to submit exact amounts based on payroll actions. The report total field is read-only and dynamic, and reflects a total of all contribution components entered.
  • The Invoice tab is used to apply any outstanding invoices.
  • The Adjustments tab is used to submit salary and contribution corrections to an employee’s account for prior reporting months. This feature is available to employers that do not have the functionality to submit these adjustments via the monthly contribution detail. Employers who submit adjustments with their detail file data will not be able to enter adjustments on the adjustments tab. 
  • The Comments tab is used to submit comments which will be useful to ERSGA in balancing the agency/ employee account.

The deadline to enter and submit the data is the 1st of each month.

Upload Salary Detail File (all employers using (FTP) File Transfer Protocol)
Upload Salary Detail File is used by employers who currently upload detail files each month. On the Employer Salary Files page, a list containing the files previously uploaded will be displayed (this is a read-only status page). This process is independent of the monthly reporting process. The file can be submitted at any time. However, the deadline is the 1st of each month. (Use Quick Reference Guide for instructions)

Changes in employee’s demographic information?

  • File Uploaders: Change in HR/Payroll system
  • Manual Employers: Change in Monthly Detail Demographics tab

Maintain Monthly Detail (Manual Employers)
This selection is only available to non-statewide agencies which manually create and submit their monthly employee detail. The Maintain Monthly Detail page is used by employers each month to enter employee salary and contribution for submission to GDCP, update employee information, or terminate or create a new member. There are five tabs on this page.

  • The Demographics tab is used to update or make changes to employee demographic data.
  • The Details tab is used to change the employee contribution group, job classification, payment reason, payroll frequency, and plan eligibility date.
  • The Salary and Contribution tab is used to report monthly salary and contribution data for eligible employees.
  • The Comments tab is used to submit comments which will be useful in balancing the agency/employee account.
  • The Summary tab is a read-only overview of the information contained on all the tabs.

This process is dependent on the Monthly Summary Report process and must be completed prior to submitting the monthly summary report. The deadline to submit this data is the 1st of each month. (Use Quick Reference Guide for instructions)

GSEPS 401(k) Reporting through GaBreeze

GSEPS 401(k) contributions are reported every pay period through the GaBreeze Employer Website, managed by Alight:

https://lb32.resources.alight.com/sga/login.htm

Detailed instructions on how to upload payroll contribution files (for those employers who do not use PeopleSoft for payroll purposes) are available on this website. Detailed instructions are also available on how to set up employee records (for those employers who do not use PeopleSoft for employment records).

ALL employers use this website to confirm payroll totals each pay period.  Alight provides an email address and telephone number for employers to use with any questions about reporting to Peach State Reserves. psrpayrollsupport@alight.com 1-800-698-7719

7.3 Adjustments to Prior Periods

During the reporting process it is sometimes necessary to make corrections to reported data. The reporting official can make corrections to the contribution detail file prior to submitting it on the 1st of each month. In the event the error is not discovered prior to reporting, the reporting official may make the correction so that it is reported with the next report month’s data. This adjustment is referred to as a prior period adjustment.

ERS Contribution Rate History

An employer may submit an adjustment for the following reasons:

  1. Changing the salary and contributions previously reported
  2. Adding salary and contributions previously omitted
  3. Changing contribution group previously reported
  4. Changing percent time worked previously reported
Submitting Prior Period Adjustments Electronically

Employers that upload a detail file​
Employers with the functionality may submit adjustments to reported salary and contributions within their employee detail file.

  • The PeopleSoft module Benefits-Pension Summary/Adjustments provides the functionality for reporting officials at Statewide Agencies and Technical Colleges to make adjustments to salary and contributions.
  • Other employers who submit a contribution detail file should confer with their payroll file providers to determine the best approach to include prior period adjustments in the employee detail file.

Reporting officials should ensure that adjustments submitted via the employee detail file include adjustments to all components: salary, contributions and percent time worked.

Employers that enter detail manually
Employers that enter employee detail manually or do not have the functionality to submit adjustments using the employee detail file can use the Maintain Monthly Summary Report adjustments tab. These adjustments are submitted with summary report data for the current report month. (Use Quick Reference Guide for further instructions)

Submitting Prior Period Adjustments on Paper

Employers are encouraged to submit adjustment data electronically either online or within the employer detail file; however, there are a few exceptions. The following exceptions require an employer to submit a paper adjustment:

  • Statewide employers and Technical Schools on PeopleSoft should provide a paper adjustment for corrections made to periods prior to 07/2005.
  • Missing contributions: If the employer is unable to recoup all contributions in a single month, they should send a paper adjustment and check for employee and employer contributions for the entire amount in arrears.
  • Change in contribution group: If the employer or GDCP discovers that a member has been reported under the incorrect contribution group after the reported data has been confirmed, the employer should submit a paper adjustment (for documentation purposes) indicating the months that should be adjusted. GDCP will make adjustments, creating an invoice for any differences.
  • Contribution rate error: Employer should submit a paper adjustment indicating the corrected contributions based on the contribution rate for that period.
  • Change in percent time worked: ERS discovers that percent time worked is inconsistent with salary reported. Employer should submit a paper adjustment to correct percent time worked.

Service credit for periods where no contributions were received will only be granted when contributions are paid in full.

7.4 Invoices

Invoices are created during the reporting process due to discrepancies between the summary report, contribution detail, and/or payment remitted. These invoices can be positive or negative indicating a shortfall or overpayment respectively.

Summary Report Discrepancies

Once the reporting official has submitted all components to GDCP, a balancing process is run during which the contribution totals are compared to payment remitted. Invoices are created as a result of differences between the amount of the payment remitted and the total contributions reported on the summary report. 

Contribution Detail Discrepancies

The reported contribution for each individual is compared to the expected contributions. Expected contributions are calculated based on reported salary and the contribution rate for the report month. Contributions are flagged and corrected to expected values. The following scenarios are examples of contribution detail discrepancies:

  • Contributions reported for ineligible employees
  • Member reported under the incorrect contribution group
  • Contributions reported in error
Allocating/Applying an Invoice

Outstanding invoices are allocated to the current summary report. On the Maintain Monthly Summary Report page there is a tab for Invoices. The Invoice tab page lists all outstanding invoices to be allocated. The employer selects the invoice to be allocated and clicks the Allocate button. On the summary report the employer enters the total of the invoices allocated in the Invoice Adjustment field. Depending on the type of invoice (debit or credit) the amount entered may increase or decrease the report total. Employers should review any outstanding invoices prior to allocating.

Contact ERSGA if your credit invoice total is larger than your report total.

7.5 Special Reporting Situations

Reporting Members on Military Leave without Pay/Leave without Pay

Members on LWOP for the full payroll reporting period should be reported electronically in the Employee Details fi le for File Transfer Protocol (FTP) employers or on-line via the Employer Reporting website for manual employers.

  • FTP employers — would report a detail row with zero salary, percent time, employee and employer contributions along with payment reason code 01 for LWOP or 02 for MLWOP.
  • Manual employers — from the Maintain Monthly Detail window (Salary and Contribution Tab) enter zero salary, percent time, employee contributions, and employer contributions (if applicable) and save. On the Details Tab, enter payment reason code 01 (LWOP) or 02 (MLWOP) and save.
Death in Service

All employers must report deceased members in their monthly employee detail files (via employer reporting website or FTP).

  • FTP employers — report a detail row with actual salary, percent time, and employee contributions along with payment reason code 00 for Regular Pay. Include Termination Date (Date of Death) and Termination Reason code 02 for Death.
  • Manual employers — from the Maintain Monthly Detail window: Salary Tab: Enter salary and percent time. Click the calculate button and save. Details Tab: Enter payment reason code 00 for Regular Pay, use Date of Death for Termination Date and enter Termination Reason code 02 for Death and save.

Regardless of the amount of time the member worked during the month of death, their final paycheck should reflect prorated salary, contributions and percent time.

Reporting Contract Employees — 10 Month Term

The ERS plan grants service credit each month based on employment, salary, and contribution records received. Reporting for a full 12 months each fiscal year (July 1 – June 30) is required for a year of service credit to be granted. All employers must report annual salaries and contributions equally over a 12-month period regardless of the number of months for which an employee is actually paid. This means, for example, that an employee that begins work in August of a particular year must be reported for 1/12 of their annual salary for August regardless of when the school year begins or ends. At termination or retirement, many employers reporting employees in less than 12-month positions issue retro-pay adjustments (typically referred to as a contract payout) to make an employee whole when such employee retires before the end of the school year. Employee or employer contributions should not be deducted from these salaries.

For example, an employee earning $50,000 annually is paid $4,166.67 per month. If an employee resigns at the end of the semester in December, he or she has only received pay for four months (September – December) totaling $16,667. Since four months represents 40% of a 10-month school year, employers issuing retro pay adjustments would issue a check to such an employee for the diff erence in the amount of $3,333 ($20,000-16,667). This process is correct and should continue to ensure that the employee is paid in full for time worked. However, no employee or employer contributions should be paid on such retro pay adjustments. 

Reporting % Time Based on Reduced Work Schedule

Eligibility for ERS membership requires that a member hold a position which is the employee’s primary occupation and which calls for performance of duties for at least 35 hours per week for a minimum of 9 months each year. After membership is established, if an employee remains in a position which meets these requirements, he or she may continue to participate as a member even if the hours actually worked are less than the full-time requirement.

You should report the employee at percentage time, determined by dividing the actual hours worked during a pay period by the normal full-time hours for the pay period. Service is credited at the percentage reported. For example, if reported at 60% time, the employee receives .6 months credit for that month.

Members who transfer into a part-time or hourly position are not eligible for ERS membership.

Reporting Members who are Furloughed

An employer’s reporting of pensionable earnings and retirement contributions shall not be affected for employees that are placed on temporary furlough for less than a full pay period. Full earnings and percent time worked must be reported for an employee placed on temporary furlough when his compensation after the furlough is sufficient to cover the employee retirement contribution. Employers and reporting units with employees on furlough must ensure that the reported earnable compensation is not decreased for employees on furlough during any reporting period. 

Reporting Members on Worker’s Compensation

Employees who have been placed on leave due to an injury and are receiving worker’s compensation should be reported as follows:

  • payment reason — Leave Without Pay
  • salary, contributions and percent time — zero

See Optional Service Purchase and Transfer under Membership Service

Reporting a Member Using an Incorrect SSN

When the reporting official has discovered that an incorrect SSN has been reported, he/she should immediately contact ERSGA before the correct employee SSN is submitted in the next monthly employee detail file. ERSGA will require a copy of the affected employee’s social security card for documentation/validation to correct/change the SSN submitted in error.

8. Membership Service

Creditable service is used to determine a member’s eligibility to receive retirement pension benefits and the amount of the benefit. It is earned each month the member works and salary and contributions are reported by the employer. Creditable service consists of prior service and service credited as a member. Creditable service can be earned, transferred into ERS, or purchased.  

8.1  Service Accrual

Members who are compensated for a full month receive a month of creditable service. If a member is compensated for a partial month, the member will receive pro rata creditable service. When partial months are credited to a member during a fiscal year, the total months credited for the fiscal year are rounded to the nearest number of months. Half months of creditable service are rounded to the next full month.

For example: A member who works 60% time for a fiscal year (.720), or 8.64 months, total service for the year is rounded up to (.750) or nine months of creditable service. 

Transferring Service from TRS

Members who previously worked in a position covered by the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS) may have their TRS creditable service and TRS annuity savings fund account transferred to ERS. The member should submit a written request to ERS for transfer. A previous TRS member who received a refund of their contributions may reestablish the service by repaying the refund to ERS after two years of active membership.

Restrictions: A member must be ineligible to receive TRS benefits in order to obtain creditable service under ERS for this employment.

Cost: The member would have to pay employee contributions as well as interest, compounded annually from the time of service to the date of payment.

Additional Documentation: The member may need to provide bona fide proof or payroll records, provided by the school to certify service prior to membership.

Forfeited Leave Service

Forfeited leave time (which consists of forfeited annual leave, forfeited sick leave, and accrued sick leave) may be converted to creditable service at the time a member retires. Members receive one month of creditable service for every 160 hours of forfeited leave. All forfeited leave accrued must be certified by the last employer in order to receive credit.

Restrictions: The member must have at least 960 hours total of current sick, forfeited sick and forfeited annual time to be eligible to receive creditable service towards retirement.

Cost: The last employer is responsible for the certification and payment of all Accumulated Forfeited Leave. The cost for this service is based on the member’s salary at retirement multiplied by the employer contribution rate (rate at retirement) times the months of service.

For example: A New Plan Member retires on August 1, 2012 (FY2013 rates) with 960 hours (6 months) of forfeited leave. The member’s monthly salary at retirement is $4,000.00. Calculation:  

$4,000 x 6  x 14.9% = $3,576.00

Receiving Creditable Service for a Job Related Temporary Disability / Leave Without Pay

Upon written request, members returning to active employment after a period of leave without pay due to a physical or mental illness or disorder caused by a job-related disease or accident may establish creditable service.  

Restrictions: Creditable service for up to 12 months of such absence during any 5-year period can be established. Payment must be made within 6 months of the date the member returns to full time employment.

Cost: The member must make a payment to ERS in an amount equal to the applicable employee contributions plus 4% interest.  

Additional Documentation: Employer would need to certify that injury or disease was job-related, as well as salary information and dates of period of leave without pay.

Prior Law Enforcement Service

Members previously employed as full time law enforcement officers with a local government and who were not covered under a local retirement plan (excluding Peace Officers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund), may be eligible to purchase up to five years of Creditable Service.

Restrictions: The member must currently be in a law enforcement position and have at least ten years of creditable service.

Cost: The member must pay the full actuarial cost of the additional service.

Additional Documentation: The member must provide P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification for the service period requested and have the former employer certify the prior employment. 

8.2 Vesting

The word vested means that a member has a non-forfeitable right to benefits. Employee Contributions made to ERS and to the GSEPS 401(k) plan are always 100% vested.  Members with 10 years of creditable service have a vested right to service retirement upon reaching age 60. 

Pension Plan Vesting

Normal Retirement Age under ERS is defined as:

  • age 60 and 10 years of creditable service or
  • 30 years of creditable service regardless of age
  • Law enforcement positions — age 55 and 10 years of Creditable Service
GSEPS 401(k) Plan Vesting

Employer Matching Contributions to the GSEPS 401(k) plan are subject to a five-year vesting schedule, vesting 20% for each completed year of service, beginning with the date of hire into a GSEPS-eligible position.

Years of Continuous Service Vested Amount
After 1 year 20%
After 2 years 40%
After 3 years 60%
After 4 years 80%
After 5 years 100%

*For the GSEPS 401(k) Matching Contributions, any break in service of greater than 31 days will cause the fi ve-year 401(k) Plan vesting schedule to restart as of the new date of hire. For ERS “new” or “old” Plan members who chose to transfer their retirement Plan membership to GSEPS through completion of the GSEPS Opt-In form, the 401(k) Plan vesting schedule began as of the date of transfer to GSEPS (the month GSEPS contributions began).

8.3 Optional Service Purchase and Transfer

Transferring Creditable Service from the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia

Active ERS members with creditable service with TRS may have such service and accumulated contributions transferred to ERS. Members must submit a written request to ERS for the transfer of TRS creditable service.

Additional Documentation: Certification of service from TRS

Establishing Creditable Service through Refund Payback

Members returning to state employment after receiving a refund of contributions may re-establish creditable service for the time forfeited after completion of two years of service. Previously refunded members of TRS may also re-establish creditable service after completion of two years of service.

Restrictions: Entire period of refunded membership must be purchased.

Cost: Member must make a lump sum payment to ERS in an amount equal to the refund originally received plus 4.25% interest compounded annually from the date of the refund until the date of payment.

Establishing Creditable Service for Military Service

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) provides certain employment rights, including rights with respect to retirement plan benefits, to employees who perform qualified military service. Members who return to employment after being absent while performing qualified military service, may establish creditable service for the period of absence.

In order to do so, the member must notify ERS of their intent to make the contributions, and the contributions must be paid within a period of no longer than 3 times the length of qualified military service or 5 years (whichever is less).

Members, who are called to active duty in the National Guard or reserves, are permitted to make employee contributions to ERS during their period of active duty. Member should provide ERS with a copy of active duty orders.

Restrictions: Members who left state employment to perform military service before October 13, 1994, should contact ERS for information about your rights to establish Creditable Service.

Cost: Member should contact ERS.

Purchasing Creditable Service — Air Time

Active members have the opportunity to purchase up to 3 years of creditable service, commonly known as air time. A member may purchase air time when submitting a retirement application.  

Restrictions:

  • Air time cannot be counted toward the 10 years of Creditable Service required to become vested in a retirement benefit under ERS
  • Must be purchased in monthly increments
  • Must be purchased at the time of retirement

Cost: The cost of this additional service is equal to the full actuarial cost of the future benefi ts that will be received.

9. Leaving Employment

Your general responsibilities are to:

  • Report employees’ termination dates to ERS
  • Inform employees of their options on termination of employment

Refer employees to the ERSGA website to access the online ERS Handbook. They can also access their account online to verify their account balances. If employees need more information, please ask them to contact ERS.

9.1 Termination Process

In order for termination dates to be transmitted to ERS on the monthly contribution detail fi le, they must be entered into your HR system in a timely manner. This process could take several weeks from the employee’s actual termination to the time ERS receives this file and updates our records. To expedite this process, ERS has provided the Ad Hoc Termination Reporting module on the ERSGA Employer website. (Use Quick Reference Guide for further instructions)

Please use this option whenever an employee will be applying for a refund of contributions or retirement before the next monthly file update. For example, an employee resigns on February 2, 2013 and wants to apply for a refund. The February 2, 2013 termination date will not reach ERS in the monthly file until March 2013. An employer can use Ad Hoc Termination to supply the termination date in real time, allowing the member to successfully submit their application for benefits sooner. Salary and contributions must be reported for the employee through date of termination.

9.2 Application for Refund

Members terminating employment before becoming eligible for retirement may receive a refund of contributions and interest. To receive a refund, members must access their account online on the ERSGA website and select Request a Refund. A termination date is required for online processing. 

Refund requests are generally processed within 3-4 weeks of receipt.

9.3 Application for 401(k) Distributions

After separation from all state service for a minimum of 30 days, members may request a withdrawal of some or all of their vested 401(k) account by contacting GaBreeze at at 1-877-342-7338 or through the GaBreeze website.

9.4 Application for Service Retirement 

Encourage employees to request an estimate from ERSGA within six months of their anticipated retirement date. Applications cannot be accepted more than 90 days before their retirement date and should be received no later than 30 days before their retirement date to ensure timely payment of their first check. Completed applications should be submitted directly to ERS and are not valid until received.

When a member inquires about the retirement application process:

  • Direct employee to the ERSGA website to access their account and use the Retirement Online feature, or download the latest version of the retirement application.
  • Inform employees that assistance is available for completing the retirement application process.
  • Caution employee that application for retirement by periodic payment is irrevocable.
  • Retiree will have no access to funds once periodic payments begin.
  • Periodic payment is annual, until balance is paid in full or until death of member (whichever is first).
  • Payment is made based on actuarial life expectancy tables and the amount contributed plus accumulated interest.

Employers will receive an acknowledgement of the retirement application 7-10 business days after receipt.

9.5 Application for Disability Retirement

Members may qualify for disability retirement if they:

  • Have attained 13 years and four months of creditable service (Old Plan, New Plan) 
  • Have attained 15 years of creditable service (GSEPS)
  • Are on a leave of absence (with or without pay) while the disability retirement application is being processed
  • Are unable to perform their job or any offered alternative position due to a permanent medical condition(s)

Upon receipt of a completed disability retirement application, the employer must offer the member an alternative position, if available.

The requirements for an alternative position are:

  • The physical requirements are compatible with an employee’s physical limitations;
  • The annual compensation and possibility for future advancement are the same as or greater than an employee’s current position;
  • The duties are reasonably compatible with an employee’s experience and educational qualifications;
  • The position is covered under ERS; and
  • The position must be available and offered to the member in writing no later than 45 days after the disability application is submitted.

If an alternative position is offered, the employee must within 30 days of the offer:

  • Accept the offer or
  • Dispute their ability to perform in the alternative position by submitting a written appeal to both ERS and their employer.

The application for disability retirement will be denied if:

  • The employee does not accept the alternative position 
  • The employee disputes his/her ability to perform in the alternative position

The following outlines the disability retirement application process:

  • The disability retirement application and supporting documentation cannot be accepted more than 90 days before the retirement date and should be received no later than 30 days before the effective retirement date.
  • The ERS Medical Board evaluates disability retirement applications to determine whether the applicant is eligible for disability retirement based upon their inability to perform their original position as well as an alternate position, if applicable.
  • If the Medical Board determines that the applicant is incapable of performing the duties of either position, the retirement application will be approved; otherwise the application is denied.
  • Incomplete submissions will not be accepted. Employees who have applied for Social Security disability benefits must submit a copy of their Social Security Disability application.

9.6 Forfeited Leave and Salary Certification

Employer Responsibilities

Your general responsibilities are:

  • Certify all creditable leave earned during state employment
  • Certify the amount of forfeited annual and sick leave upon notification of retirement (Preliminary – NonStatewide Employers)
  • Certify final amount of forfeited annual and sick leave after termination date
The Process

Upon receipt of an Application for Retirement from one of your employees (or former employees if their last State employment was with your Agency), an e-mail will be generated acknowledging receipt. In lieu of a preliminary certification, we will use the leave information from the PeopleSoft Payroll application for statewide employers. If you do not use the statewide PeopleSoft application for your payroll, a preliminary certification of the member’s forfeited leave at retirement must be submitted upon request.

Prior to the retirement payroll, we will send your agency an e-mail requesting final certification of the member’s final forfeited leave.

10. Other Benefits

10.1 Active Member Death and Survivor Benefit

Employer Responsibilities
  • Encourage members to keep their beneficiary designations updated with current mailing addresses. Failure to do so may cause delay in payment.
  • Contact ERSGA as soon as possible upon the death of an active member. You may contact ERSGA to provide whatever information you have concerning the death, even if the survivor/beneficiary is not known.
  • Certify current Fiscal Year Contributions and Final Certification of Forfeited and Sick Leave. 

ERSGA will require a certified death certificate and completion of benefit applications from beneficiary or family.

ERS Employer Death Notification Form

Depending on the total creditable service of the deceased member, the following benefits are available to designated beneficiaries:

  • Under the Old Plan and the New Plan, if a Member has less than 13 years and 4 months of Creditable Service at the time of his death, the Member’s surviving beneficiary will receive a refund of the Member’s annuity savings fund account.
    • If a Member has at least 13 years and 4 months of Creditable Service at the time of his death, the Member’s surviving beneficiary will receive a monthly lifetime benefit.
  • Under GSEPS, if a Member has less than 15 years of Creditable Service at the time of his death, the Member’s surviving beneficiary will receive a refund of the Member’s annuity savings fund account.
    • If a Member has at least 15 years of Creditable Service at the time of his death, the Member’s surviving beneficiary will receive a monthly lifetime benefit.
  • If a Member is age 60+ and has less than 10 years of Creditable Service at the time of his death, the Member’s surviving beneficiary will receive a refund of the Member’s annuity savings fund account.
    • If a Member is age 60+ and has at least 10 years of Creditable Service at the time of his death, the Member’s surviving beneficiary will receive a monthly lifetime benefit.
  • Monthly benefits cannot be paid to an estate or an organization.  If there is not a living person or persons named as beneficiary, the only benefit payable is a refund of the member’s annuity savings fund, regardless of age, service or retirement plan.

10.2 Other — GTLI Continuation on LWOP, MLWOP

The Group Term Life Insurance (GTLI) benefit is administered by the State Employees’ Assurance Department (SEAD) Boards. The GTLI benefit provides coverage to both active and retired members of ERS. Coverage is equal to 18 times their monthly salary should they pass away while in active status. (Note: At age 60, benefits begin to reduce. Refer to the ERS Plan Handbook for more details.)

If an active member terminates employment with at least 18 years of Creditable Service (excluding forfeited leave), GTLI coverage is automatically retained. Premiums in the amount of 1% of the final monthly salary accumulate each month while vested, and are due at retirement, refund of annuity savings fund account, or death.

The coverage can be discontinued only by a written request to ERSGA. The premiums will continue to accrue until request is received by ERSGA. GTLI coverage is revoked upon refund. In the event that a member is on LWOP or MLWOP where employee contributions for Group Term Life Insurance (GTLI) are not being deducted, the law provides that for members with at least one year of service, coverage can be continued while the member is on leave.

Encourage your employees with GTLI to complete a GTLI Continuation While on Leave Without Pay Form.  The form is located on the ERSGA website under Group Term Life Insurance.

In cases of extended leave, note that the election lapses after four years if not renewed.

11. Re-Employment

Employers must contact ERSGA when a former employee returns to service before or after retirement.

11.1 Before Retirement

The most important employer responsibility relative to former employees returning to State service is determining ERS membership status. ERS membership status dictates appropriate plan eligibility. Employers should verify plan eligibility by:

  • Using the Plan Eligibility module on the ERSGA Employer website. (Use Quick Reference Guide for instructions) or
  • Calling your ERS employer representative.

11.2 After Retirement

To ensure that ERS is compliant with IRS regulations and maintains its qualifi ed status, a retiree must be terminated. The retiree must remain out of service for a period of time depending on age at retirement. For employees retiring at  or after normal retirement age, the required break in service is one month. For employees retiring at less than normal retirement age, the required break in service is two months. In addition, there must be no pre-existing agreement to return to service prior to retirement.

Normal Retirement Age is defined as:

  • Age 60 with at least 10 years of service
  • 30 years of service at any age
  • Age 55 with at least 10 years of service for certain law enforcement positions

Failure to adhere to the above requirements will result in the employee’s retirement application being rendered null and void, upon which retirement benefits will cease and any payments made must be returned. The employee will be required to re-apply for retirement.

A retiree who is re-employed by an employer participating in ERS is limited to no more than 1,040 hours worked during a calendar year. This work restriction has been law since 1992 and failure to adhere will result in the suspension of the retiree’s benefits for the remainder of the calendar year. A retiree is re-employed if he/she works for an ERSGA covered employer after receipt of first benefit check.

Employer includes any entity authorized by law to report its employees as members of ERS, (in some cases) the Board of Regents of the University of Georgia and the member’s last employer prior to retirement, including a local school system. Re-employment after retirement also includes service by a retiree as or for an independent contractor.

Note: Disability retirees are prohibited from returning to state employment.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers are required to notify ERSGA of any current or newly hired retirees by submitting a rehired retiree reporting form within 30 days of the hire. The form is available on the ERSGA website. We recommend that employers inquire about a new hire’s retirement status during the hiring process.

  • Employers are liable for any pension overpayments in the event the employer fails to notify the retirement system.
  • Employers are also responsible for reporting monthly hours worked for rehired retirees. To facilitate this, a Rehired Retiree reporting module is available on the Employer Desktop.
  • Rehired retirees are not eligible to contribute to the GDC plan. Employers should ensure that they have not been enrolled or contributing to this plan.
  • The employer is responsible for submitting the completed Independent Contractor Verification form, which is available on the ERSGA website.
    • Non-exempt contractors are reported using the Rehired Retiree Reporting Module
    • Exempt contractors are not subject to the 1040 hour limits (see exceptions below)
Independent Contractor Exceptions

A retiree is not subject to the 1,040 hour restrictions when all the following conditions have been met:

  • The retiree is working for or as a contracting entity where the entity has multiple employees;
  • The contracting entity has multiple contracts and the contracts are not limited to State of Georgia Employers; and
  • The contractual relationship was not created to extend employment to a retiree in a position similar to that held prior to retirement.

12. Rehired Retiree Reporting

All state agencies are required to submit rehired retiree data to the retirement system.  Any rehired retirees contracted or on an employer’s payroll are reported either via FTP (file upload) or manually entered on the Employer Reporting website.

The rehired retiree reporting process requires employers to logon to the Employer Reporting website and review the data uploaded from their file and add any contractors’ hours and salary to the file. Manual entry employers are required to enter and approve the monthly hours for their retirees each month. Once the data has been reviewed, the employer is required to approve the data reported.

Files and reports are due the 5th of each month. 

12.1 Employer Reporting Methods

File Upload — Employers in the employer categories below upload a rehired retiree detail file:

  • CSBs • DFACs-127 (SMI all files)
  • Statewide ([400s, 800s-Technical Schools, 900s] SAO all files)
  • HealthDepts-128 (Individual upload)
  • 75-044
  • 910-0910
  • 913-0913
  • 972-0972

Manual Entry — Employers in the employer categories listed below enter rehired retiree detail via the ERSGA Employer Reporting website.

  • Tax Offices – 75s
  • State Courts-51s
  • 900-0900
  • 200-0200
  • 129-009
  • 129-137
Reporting Hours Worked

Users must be registered to report data. A unique user id and password are required for access to the module. Upon submitting a completed contact form, designated payroll or human resources personnel at the employer agency are added to the ERSGA employer contact database. An employer can access the Rehired Retiree desktop by clicking Maintain Rehired Retiree on the Employer desktop. 

The Rehired Retiree desktop includes the following links:

  • Report Rehired Retiree Data
  • Upload File for the Current Month
  • Approve Submitted Data
  • Rehired Retiree Adjustments
  • No Rehired Retiree Data
  • View Yearly Summary
Report Rehired Retiree Data

Manual entry employers will use this module to report their rehired retirees.

(Use Quick Reference Guide for further instructions)

Retirees entered in previous months will be listed when the user reports for the following month, that is, until a termination date field is updated. After termination retirees will not appear in the list for future months.

Upload a File for the Current Month

Employers will use this module to upload their rehired retirees.

(Use Quick Reference Guide for further instructions)

A file that has been successfully uploaded will be available for approval within 30 minutes. Approve the uploaded detail by navigating to Approve Submitted Data.

Approve Submitted Data

Employers will use this module to approve their rehired retirees.

(Use Quick Reference Guide for further instructions)

Once data has been approved, corrections or updates can only be made using Rehired Retiree Adjustments.

Rehired Retiree Adjustments

Employer will use this module to adjust or add previously approved data.

(Use Quick Reference Guide for further instructions)

Once data has been updated, navigate to previous page to confirm that the change has been made.

No Rehired Retiree Data

(Use Quick Reference Guide for further instructions)

  • Employers cannot report for a month that has a status Non-Report.
  • To re-open a month that may have been set to Non-Report in error, check the Delete check box and click on the Delete button. This activates that report month and user can enter and approve data for that month.
View Yearly Summary

Employers will use this module to review reported data. 

Rehired Retiree Monthly Assessment

Legislation effective January 1, 2021 mandated employers are assessed a monthly cost for each ERS rehired retiree based on contribution rates for that rehired retiree’s last employer while active. Monthly invoices are posted to the Employer portal and payment methodology is the same as for contributions. For more information on Rehired Retiree Assessments, please see the Rehired Retirees section in the Employer section of this website.

13. Glossary

This glossary contains terms used in this manual as they apply to ERSGA administration.

13.1 Terms

Annuity
Annual payments for life derived from the accumulated contributions of a member.  

Annuity Savings Fund
The fund in which the employee’s contributions and interest are deposited each month.

Annuity Savings Fund
The fund in which the employee’s contributions and interest are deposited each month.

Beneficiary
Any person designated by the member to receive a pension, an annuity, a retirement allowance, or other benefit under the retirement plan. 

Board of Trustees
The board of trustees provided for in O.C.G.A. Section 47-2-21 to administer the retirement system.

Conditional Pay Supplements
Additional payments provided by an employer when certain conditions have been met.  For example, an agency may develop and implement plan(s) to provide conditional pay supplements to employees who meet established criteria (e.g., attaining a certain certification, performing additional duties, etc.). Such plans are subject to approval by the DOAS Commissioner and Director of the Office of Planning and Budget.

Contribution Group
A group of employees or members who have the same retirement contribution rates and benefits. Examples include: New Plan, Old Plan and GSEPS. Creditable Service Prior service plus membership service and any other service recognized as creditable service under O.C.G.A. 47-2.

Defined Benefit Plan
An employer-sponsored retirement plan where employee benefits are calculated based on a formula using factors such as average salary history and service (duration of employment).

Defined Contribution Plan
A plan which provides for an individual account for each participant and for benefits based solely on the amount contributed to the participant’s account; any income, expenses, gains, and losses; and any forfeiture of accounts of other participants which may be allocated to such participant’s account, which plan is intended to be qualified under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, 42 U.S.C. Section 401(a).

Earnable Compensation
The full rate of regular compensation payable to a member employee for his or her full normal working time, excluding any supplements from local funds.

Employee
Any regularly classified worker, elected or appointed officer, or employee of a state agency or any employee of a county, city-county, or city board, which agency or board is subject to the state system of administration, including a merit system for employees of the Department of Public Safety. For more information see O.C.G.A. 47-2-1(16).

Employer  

  • Any branch of State government, any State agency, department, board or other instrumentality.
  • Any new state agency described under O.C.G.A 47-2-70.1 and any other entity authorized by law to report any of its employees as members of this system. For further information see O.C.G.A 47-2-1(17)

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
A standard communication protocol used to transfer files from one computer/network to another.

File Uploaders
Employers that create a payroll detail file and use FTP to transfer that data to ERSGA.

Fiscal Year
The 12-month period beginning on July 1 of each year.

Group Term Life Insurance
The survivor benefits administered by SEAD. It provides benefit coverage to active and inactive members. Benefit coverage varies based on age and status. Refer to the ERS Plan Handbook for more details.

GSEPS 401(k)
A component of the GSEPS program, to which employees make salary pre-tax or after-tax (Roth) contributions, and an employer match is offered.

Manual Employers
Employers that do not create a payroll detail file but manually enter member payroll detail information on the employer website.

Medical Board
The board of physicians established under O.C.G.A. Section 47-2-24 for the purpose of determining eligibility for disability retirement.

Member
Any employee included in the membership of the plan.

Membership service
Service which is rendered by an employee while he is a member of the retirement system and for which credit is allowable under O.C.G.A. 47-2.  ERSGA Employer Manual: ERS July 2016 36

Non-forfeitable
Cannot be lost.

Non-reporter
The status of a report month indicating that the employer has no one to report for that period. It may also be used to refer to an employer that does not typically report for at least one plan.

Opt-in
A member election to transfer ERS Old or New Plan retirement membership to GSEPS.

Opt-out
A member declination to participate in 401(k) component of GSEPS.

Plan Eligibility Date
The date an employee is first eligible to participate in an ERS administered plan. Generally date of hire but can also be re-hire date, or date member changes contribution group.

Regular Interest
Interest at such a rate as shall be determined by the board of trustees in accordance with O.C.G.A. Section 47-2-26, currently 4% compounded annually.

Retirement
Withdrawal from service with a retirement allowance granted under O.C.G.A. 47-2.

Retirement Allowance
The sum of the annuity and the pension, or any optional benefit payable in lieu thereof. All retirement allowances shall be payable in equal monthly installments, except that the board of trustees may adopt regulations providing for the payment of a lump sum, not to exceed the equivalent actuarial value of the retirement allowance, in lieu of a retirement allowance of less than $10.00 per month or in lieu of part of an annuity.

Retirement System
The Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia.  

Service
Service rendered as an employee and paid for by an employer. Service Credit Creditable service, as defined in O.C.G.A. 47-2.

Termination Date
A date employee terminated employment or date employee is no longer eligible for pension plan participation.

WRAP
Workshop for Retirement Answers and Preparation.

14. Appendix

Departments and Agencies (by Employer Category) Participating in ERS as of January 1, 2021

14.1 Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS)

127-001  Appling County DFACS
127-003  Bacon County DFACS
127-008  Bartow County DFACS
127-012  Bleckley County DFACS
127-013  Brantley County DFACS
127-014  Brooks County DFACS
127-018  Butts County DFACS
127-022  Carroll County DFACS
127-027  Chattooga County DFACS
127-028  Cherokee County DFACS
127-029  Clarke County DFACS
127-031  Clayton County DFACS
127-038  Coweta County DFACS
127-041  Dade County DFACS
127-044  Dekalb County DFACS
127-048  Douglas County DFACS
127-052  Elbert County DFACS
127-057  Floyd County DFACS
127-060  Fulton County DFACS
127-064  Gordon County DFACS
127-076  Houston County DFACS
127-077  Irwin County DFACS
127-078  Jackson County DFACS
127-080  Jeff Davis County DFACS
127-087  Laurens County DFACS
127-095  Madison County DFACS
127-099  Meriwether County DFACS
127-105  Murray County DFACS
127-108  Oconee County DFACS
127-113  Pierce County DFACS
127-115  Polk County DFACS
127-121  Richmond County DFACS
127-133  Taylor County DFACS
127-141  Troup County DFACS
127-145  Upson County DFACS
127-147  Walton County DFACS
127-148  Ware County DFACS

14.2 Health Departments

128-005 Baldwin County Health Dept
128-008 Bartow County Health Dept
128-010 Berrien County Health Dept
128-017 Burke County Health Dept
128-021 Candler County Health Dept
128-022 Carroll County Health Dept
128-025 Chatham County Health Dept
128-026 Chattahoochee County Health Dept
128-028 Cherokee County Health Dept
128-030 Clay County Health Dept
128-031 Clayton County Health Dept
128-033 Cobb County Health Dept
128-037 Cook County Health Dept
128-038 Coweta County Health Dept
128-044 Dekalb County Health Dept
128-045 Dodge County Health Dept
128-048 Douglas County Health Dept
128-049 Early County Health Dept
128-059 Franklin County Health Dept
128-063 Glynn County Health Dept
128-064 Gordon County Health Dept
128-067 Gwinnett County Health Dept
128-068 Habersham County Health Dept
128-069 Hall County Health Dept
128-076 Houston County Health Dept
128-078 Jackson County Health Dept
128-086 Lanier County Health Dept
128-087 Laurens County Health Dept
128-089 Liberty County Health Dept
128-090 Lincoln County Health Dept
128-092 Lowndes County Health Dept
128-096 Marion County Health Dept
128-099 Meriwether County Health Dept
128-106 Muscogee County Health Dept
128-107 Newton County Health Dept
128-109 Oglethorpe County Health Dept
128-115 Polk County Health Dept
128-118 Quitman County Health Dept
128-120 Randolph County Health Dept
128-121 Richmond County Health Dept
128-124 Screven County Health Dept
128-126 Spalding County Health Dept
128-127 Stephens County Health Dept
128-130 Talbot County Health Dept
128-137 Tift County Health Dept
128-141 Troup County Health Dept
128-148 Ware County Health Dept
128-151B Wayne County Home Health
128-152 Webster County Health Dept
128-154 White County Health Dept
128-155 Whitfield County Health Dept
128-156  Wilcox County Health Dept

14.3 State Colleges and Universities

503-0503 GA Institute of Technology
509-0509 GA State University
512-0512 Georgia Regents University
518-0518 University of GA
521-0521 Albany State University
524-0524 Armstrong Atlantic State University
528-0528 Clayton College & State University
530-0530 Columbus State University
533-0533 Fort Valley State University
536-0536 GA College and State University
539-0539 GA Southern University
540-0540 Georgia Gwinnett College
542-0542 GA Southwestern State University
543-0543 Kennesaw State University
545-0545 N GA College and State University
548-0548 Savannah State University 
550-0550 So Polytechnic State University
551-0551 Valdosta State University
554-0554 State University of West GA
557-0557 Abraham Baldwin Agric College
561-0561 Atlanta Metropolitan College
562-0562 Bainbridge College
563-0563 College of Coastal Georgia
569-0569 Dalton College
570-0570 Darton College
571-0571 GA Perimeter College
572-0572 East GA College
573-0573 Georgia Highlands College
575-0575 Gainesville College
576-0576 Gordon  College
581-0581 Macon State College
584-0584 Middle GA College
587-0587 South GA College
589-0589 Waycross College
598-0598 Regents Central Office

14.4 Statewide

402 Ga. Dept. of Agriculture
403 Ga. Dept. of Admin. Services
404 Ga. Dept. of Audits
405 Department Of Public Health
408 Office of Comm. of Insurance
409 GA State Finance & Investment Commission
411 Ga. Dept. of Defense
414 Ga. Dept. of Education
415 The Technical College System Of Georgia
416 Ga. Employees Retirement Sys.
418 Prosecuting Attorneys Council
419 Ga. Dept of Community Health
420 Georgia Forestry Commission
422 Office of Planning and Budget
427 Ga. Dept. Of Human Services
428 Ga. Dept. of Community Affairs
429 Dept. of Economic Development
430 Admin. Office of the Courts
432 Ga. Court of Appeals
436 Superior Courts of Georgia
438 Supreme Court
440 Ga. Dept. of Labor
441 Dept. of BH And Developmental Disabilities
442 Georgia Department of Law
444 General Assembly of Georgia
461 Dept. of Juvenile Justice
462 Ga. Dept. of Natural Resources
465 State Board  Pardons & Paroles
466 Ga. Dept. of Public Safety
467 Ga. Dept. of Corrections
471 Ga. Bureau of Investigation
474 Department of Revenue
475 Ga. Dept. Of Driver Services
478 Secretary of State
480 Soil And Water Commission
484 Ga. Dept. of Transportation
489 Subsequent Injury Trust Fund
490 State Board of Workers Comp
492 GA Public Defender Standards Council
900 Georgia Building Authority
921 Ga. Correctional Industries
922 George L. Smith II – GWCCA
927 State Road And Tollway Authority
976 GA Regional Transportation Authority
977 Georgia Public Broadcasting
980 GTA Georgia Technology Authority

14.5 Technical Colleges

817 Oconee Fall Line Technical College
818 Okefenokee Technical College
820 Albany Technical College
821 Altamaha Technical College
822 Athens Technical College
823 Atlanta Technical College
824 Augusta Technical College
826 West Georgia Technical College
827 Chattahoochee Tech College
828 Columbus Technical College
829 Georgia Northwestern Technical College
830 Georgia Piedmont Technical College
831 Southern Crescent Technical College
832 Gwinnett Technical College
834 Lanier Technical College
835 Central Georgia Technical College
836 Middle Georgia Technical College
837 Moultrie Technical College
838 North Ga Technical College
841 Savannah Technical College
842 South Ga Technical College
843 Southeastern Technical College
844 Ogeechee Technical College
846 Southwest Georgia Tech College
848 Wiregrass Georgia Technical College

14.6 State Authorities

910-0910 Jekyll Island State Park Authority
926-0926 GA Agricultural Exposition Authority
928-0928 GA Environmental Finance Authority

14.7 Mental Health and Retardation Service Centers

129-008 Woodright Industries
129-009 Jessamine Place
129-022 Carroll County MR Services
129-071 Haralson Co. Center (MH/MR/SA)
129-137 Tift County – Diversified Enterprises