JRS Employer Manual
Welcome to the Judicial Retirement System (JRS) Employer Manual. This manual is a valuable tool to assist you in guiding new employees through the enrollment process and reporting ongoing Member data and contributions to ERSGA.
Over time ERSGA will provide updates to reflect changes in statutory provisions or ERSGA policy. Notification of these updates will be communicated through email, portal announcement, or the Retirement Minute.
Within each section you will find information intended to summarize important Plan provisions and describe key processes and procedures. The Employer portal contains additional materials and information, including downloadable forms and other Plan manuals. For more information about the JRS Plan, visit the JRS Plan page.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Thank you for your partnership!
2. Contact Information
2.1 Mailing Address
Two Northside 75 NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
2.2 General Email Address
General email address: email@example.com
2.3 Financial Management Division
General FMD email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FMD Representative Contact List (file will automatically download)
- Adjustments to Contributions to Prior Periods
- Change in Employer Contact Information
- Contribution Reporting
- Earnable Compensation Definition
- Plan Contribution Rates
- Plan Membership Eligibility and Enrollment
- Re-Employment Before and After Retirement
- Rehired Retiree Reporting
- Special Reporting Situations
2.4 Customer Care Group (CCG)
CCG Email: email@example.com
ERSGA Phone numbers: General Member and Employer related calls
Toll free number: 800.805.4609
Local number: 404.650.6300
2.5 Member Services Division
- Application for Refund
- Service Retirement
- Disability Retirement
- Death of Member
- Estimate Requests
- Forfeited Leave
- Member Statements
- Retirement Counseling
- Service Purchase and Transfer
- Workshop for Retirement Answers and Preparation (WRAP)
3. ERSGA Overview
An overview of the Employees Retirement System of Georgia (ERSGA).
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.
ERSGA administers the following pension plans:
- Employees’ Retirement System (ERS)
- Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS)
- Legislative Retirement System (LRS)
- Georgia Judicial Retirement System (JRS)
- Georgia Defined Contribution Plan (GDCP)
- Georgia Military Pension Fund (GMPF)
In addition, ERSGA also administers:
- The State Employees Assurance Department (SEAD) insurance program
- Peach State Reserves (PSR) 401(k) and 457 plans
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.
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.
Our Vision is to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to delivering accurate and timely retirement benefits utilizing a knowledgeable staff and state-of-the-art technology to best serve the retirement needs of current and future Members.
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.).
Employees’ Retirement System (ERS)
Largest and oldest defined benefit plan; established January 1, 1950, to provide retirement pension and benefits to full-time eligible state and local employees. (O.C.G.A. 47-2)
- 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.
- New Plan: Eligible employee memberships established between July 1, 1982 and December 31, 2008
- Old Plan: Eligible employee memberships established prior to July 1, 1982
Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS)
Defined benefit plan created January 1, 1970 to provide retirement pension and benefits to eligible public school employees. (O.C.G.A. 47-4)
Legislative Retirement System (LRS)
Defined benefit plan created July 1, 1967 to provide retirement pension and benefits to eligible Members of the Georgia General Assembly. (O.C.G.A. 47-6)
Georgia Judicial Retirement System (JRS)
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. (O.C.G.A. 47-23)
Georgia Defined Contribution Plan (GDCP)
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. (O.C.G.A. 47-22)
State Employees’ Assurance Department (SEAD)
Created in 1963, provides governance for the administration of the Georgia Employees’ Group Term Life Insurance Plan (GTLI) for eligible state and local employees. (O.C.G.A. 47-19)
Georgia Military Pension Fund (GMPF)
Provides supplemental retirement allowances for eligible Members of the Georgia National Guard; created July 1, 2002. (O.C.G.A. 47-24)
Peach State Reserves (PSR): 401(k) Plan and 457 Plans
Peach State Reserves (PSR) is a retirement savings option for eligible state of Georgia employees. Two plan options are available under PSR, a 401(k) plan and a 457 plan, both of which allow pre-tax and Roth (after-tax) savings. For more information about PSR, please see the PSR Handbook. (O.C.G.A. 45-18-30 and O.C.G.A. 45-18-50)
The Georgia Judicial Retirement System (JRS) was created July 1, 1998 to provide retirement pension benefits to eligible judicial branch employees of state and local governmental entities under one consolidated system. Three predecessor systems were combined to form JRS [O.C.G.A. 47-23-40 & 41]:
- District Attorneys’ Retirement System
- Superior Court Judges Retirement System
- Trial Judges and Solicitors Retirement Fund
5.1 Membership Eligibility
JRS Membership is for Superior Court Judges, Judges or Solicitors-General of State Courts, Juvenile Court Judges, and District Attorneys of predecessor systems, and for any person who becomes a superior court judge, a judge or solicitor-general of a state court, a juvenile court judge, or a district attorney on or after July 1, 1998 [O.C.G.A. 47-23].
5.2 Earnable Compensation
Earnable monthly compensation is the full rate of regular monthly compensation payable to a Member employee for their full working time, excluding any local supplements. It refers to the amount of pay used to determine contributions and to be used in calculating benefits.
Compensation Limits: Members hired before July 1, 1998
There are limits on the compensation that can be considered pension eligible. These amounts are determined by rights established at membership. Members of predecessor retirement systems, such as the District Attorneys’ Retirement System, The Trial Judges and Solicitors Retirement Fund, or the Superior Courts Retirement System are limited by source (state funds) and federal 401(a)(17) compensation limits.
Compensation Limits: Members hired on or after July 1, 1998
Additional limits to Member salaries became effective July 1, 1998. These limits only apply to new Members beginning on or after July 1, 1998. The specific limits are discussed below.
5.3 What is Considered Pension Eligible?
JRS statutes define salary as earnable monthly compensation from state funds provided by law for judges, district attorneys, and solicitors-general of the state courts. Salary also includes employer paid employee contributions [O.C.G.A. 47-23-80, 47-23-81, and 47-23-82].
Superior Court Judges and District Attorneys have an employer pickup of 5% -$7. This employer pickup is also included in earnable compensation.
5.4 Maximum Compensation
JRS is a multiple-employer defined benefit plan covered by Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 401(a). Georgia law limits the compensation used in computing employee and employer contributions 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.*
*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.
In addition to these limits, there are specific plan limits for memberships effective July 1, 1998. As noted, Members of predecessor retirement systems (membership began before July 1, 1998) do not have their earnings limited by JRS limits established on July 1, 1998.
Superior Court Judge salary limits also apply to state court judges, solicitors-general, and juvenile court judges who began service on or after July 1, 1998.
5.5 Plan Contribution Rates
The base employee contribution rate for JRS Members is 7.5% of earnable compensation. Eligible Members (memberships before July 1, 2012) can make an additional 2.5% contribution for spousal coverage.
Members who elected GTLI coverage in 2002, or who were hired before July 1, 2009, pay .25% for life insurance coverage. Effective July 1, 2012, new Members of JRS pay only the base employee contribution rate of 7.5%. The law allows county employers to pay all or a part of this contribution.
Note: Employers paying all or a part of the employee contribution must do so for all members eligible for the plan.
5.6 Tax Status of Contributions
Employee contributions must be deducted after federal, state, and social security taxes have been paid. Employee contributions are considered after-tax contributions unless paid by the employer. As noted earlier, county employers have the authority to pick up all or a part of the 7.5% employee contribution. The Superior Courts (Judges) and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Council (District Attorneys) pick up 5%-$7.
5.7 The Enrollment Process
JRS 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 online through the Employer portal 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
- Valid Address
- Valid Contribution Group Code (as designated in your payroll system)
- Valid Plan Eligibility date (also required for rehires or transfers and anyone with a plan or contribution group change)
Upon receipt of detail data for any new employee to the system, membership and enrollment records are created assigning a unique pension identification number to the account. Upon receipt of detail data for any rehired former plan member, the account is reactivated and enrollment records are updated.
6. Active Member Reporting
The members of the Georgia Judicial Retirement System (JRS) include:
- Judges of the Superior Courts
- Judges of the State Courts and Juvenile Courts
- District Attorneys
- State Court Solicitors-General
- Assistant Attorney Generals
- Deputy Attorney Generals
- Legislative Counsel
Since July 1, 1998, these judicial and executive branch employees have their earnings and retirement contributions reported monthly to JRS [O.C.G.A. 47-23-80(c), 47-23-81(c)(1) and 47-23-82(c)].
JRS members are automatically enrolled and contributions are deducted as a condition of employment. It is the duty of each employer to designate a responsible person (Reporting Official) to compile and submit the required reports and contributions to JRS monthly.
6.1 Contribution Reporting
Pension Plan contributions are reported to JRS on a monthly basis.
Pension Plan Contribution Reporting
There are three components required in the reporting process:
- Monthly Summary Report: Used by employers to report the total earnable compensation and appropriate retirement contributions due for the payroll reporting period.
- Employee Detail Data: A member record must be submitted for all eligible JRS employees. Consult the employer record file layout 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 to JRS are required to do so online using the Employer secure portal. The ERSGA online employer reporting module allows employers to submit all components safely, securely, and efficiently.
Using the ERSGA Employer Secure Portal
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 within three days after the submission of the summary report.
Users must be registered to report data. Registration requires the submission of a completed contact form (last four of SSN required for reporting officials). Designated payroll or Human Resources personnel at the employer agency will be added to the ERSGA employer contact database. A unique user ID and password are required for access to the module. If you are a new employer and are unaware of your employer code, please refer to Section 14.1.
JRS employers consist of four Statewide Agencies and approximately 90 County employers.
New users can use the Employer Reporting Quick Reference Guide provided on the Employer portal to assist them with the employer reporting registration process. Once the user is registered, they will log on to the website using the new user ID and password.
Passwords should not be shared. JRS 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 JRS 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 three business days. (Use Quick Reference Guide for instructions.)
Maintain Monthly Summary Report (all employers)
Employers should contact their employer representative to verify plan eligibility. This information is also available under the Plan Eligibility module on the Employer Desktop.
FMD Representative Contact List (file will automatically download)
- Reports tab: Used to enter the monthly payroll salary and contribution information. Once you have submitted your summary report to JRS, you will not be allowed to change it. If an error has occurred, contact your reporting representative at ERSGA 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 overwritten to submit exact amounts based on payroll actions. The report total field is read only and dynamic, reflecting a total of all contribution components entered.
- Invoice tab: Used to apply any outstanding invoices.
- Adjustments tab: Used to submit salary and contribution corrections to an employee’s account for prior reporting months. This feature is available to employers who cannot submit these adjustments via the payroll detail file. Employers who submit adjustments with their detail file data will not be able to enter adjustments on the Adjustments tab.
- Comments tab: Used to submit comments useful to JRS in balancing the agency or employee account. (Use Quick Reference Guide for instructions.)
The deadline to enter and submit the data is the 1st of each month.
The employer contribution field is calculated, and then billed to the Prosecuting Attorneys Council, Council of Juvenile Courts, and Council of State Courts.
Upload Salary Detail File (Statewide Employers and DeKalb County)
File upload is independent of the Maintain Monthly Summary Report process. State Accounting Office and DeKalb County upload files to the ERSGA employer secure each month. They include salary and detail data for eligible JRS members. The file must be submitted by 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 Submitters: Change in Monthly Detail Demographics tab
Maintain Monthly Detail (Manual Employers: County Boards of Commissioners)
This selection is only available to non-statewide agencies who 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 detail for submission to ERSGA, update employee information, or terminate or create a new member.
There are five tabs on this page.
- Demographics tab: Used to update or make changes to employee demographic data.
- Details tab: Used to change the employee contribution group, job classification, payment reason, payroll frequency, and plan eligibility date.
- Salary and Contribution tab: Used to report monthly salary and contribution data for eligible employees.
- Comments tab: Used to submit comments which will be useful to ERSGA in balancing the agency/ employee account.
- Summary tab: 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.)
6.2 Prior Period Adjustments
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.
An employer may submit an adjustment for the following reasons:
- Changing the salary and contributions previously reported
- Adding salary and contributions previously omitted
- Changing contribution group previously reported
- Changing percent time worked previously reported
Employers that upload a detail file
Employers should check with their payroll file providers to determine the best approach to include prior period adjustments in the contribution file.
Reporting officials should ensure that adjustments submitted through the contribution detail file include adjustments to both payroll components:
Submitting Prior Period Adjustments Electronically
Employers who Upload a Detail File
Employers with the functionality may submit adjustments to reported salary and contributions within their employee detail file.
Employers who Enter Detail Manually
Employers who 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 of the current report month. (Use Quick Reference Guide for instructions.)
Submitting Prior Period Adjustments on Paper
Employers are encouraged to submit adjustment data electronically, either through our online reporting portal or within the employee detail file. The following exceptions require an employer to submit a paper adjustment:
- PeopleSoft module Benefits-Pension Summary/Adjustments: Provides the functionality for reporting officials at Statewide Agencies to make adjustments to salary and contributions.
- Statewide employers on PeopleSoft: Should provide a paper adjustment for corrections made to periods prior to 07/2005.
- Missing contributions for an extended period of time: 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 JRS discovers that a member has been reported under the incorrect contribution group, the employer should submit a paper adjustment indicating the months that should be adjusted. ERSGA 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: JRS discovers that percent time worked is inconsistent with salary reported. Employer should submit a paper adjustment to correct percent time worked.
Reporting officials should ensure that adjustments submitted through the employee detail file include adjustments to all components:
- percent time worked
Service credit for periods where no contributions were received will only be granted when contributions are paid in full.
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.
Summary Report Discrepancies
Once the reporting official has submitted all components to JRS, 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 or 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 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 JRS if your credit invoice total is larger than your report total.
6.4 Special Reporting Situations
Reporting Members on Leave without Pay (LWOP)
Members on LWOP for the full payroll reporting period should be reported electronically in the Employee Details file for Statewide employers or online through the Employer Reporting portal for manual employers.
- Statewide employers: Report a detail row with zero salary, percent time, employee and employer contributions, along with payment reason code 01 for LWOP.
- County Board of Commissioners: On the Salary and Contribution tab on the Maintain Monthly Detail window, enter: zero salary, percent time, employee and employer contributions (if applicable), and then save. On the Details tab, enter payment reason (LWOP) and save.
Death in Service
All employers must report deceased members in their monthly employee detail files.
- Statewide 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.
- County Board of Commissioners:
On Salary tab in the Maintain Monthly Detail window: Enter salary and percent time. Click the calculate button and save.
Details tab: Enter payment reason Regular Pay, use Date of Death for Termination Date and enter Termination Reason for Death and save.
Regardless of the amount of time the member worked during the month of death, their final pay check should reflect prorated salary, contributions, and percent time.
Discontinuation of Spousal Contributions for Members Hired before July 1, 2012
Members of JRS who have elected Spousal Coverage are required to pay an additional 2.5% monthly contribution. This is in addition to the 7.5% required for membership. Such contributions cease after the member has paid the contribution for a total of 16 years.
The employer will be notified by JRS when the member has a total of 16 years of spousal coverage, at which time the additional 2.5% contribution deduction should be discontinued. The employer should select the appropriate contribution group code with No Spousal coverage. A refund will be issued for any overpaid contributions.
Members of JRS may be employed by more than one County Board. In these cases, each County Board of Commissioners is required to report the member with full salary and contributions at 100% of time for each month.
JRS Employer Pickup (Non-Statewide)
Employers who pay monthly employee contributions on behalf of the member will be required to submit a resolution signed by the County Board of Commissioners or the appointee. The resolution must include an effective date and the percentage of the employee contribution paid by the county.
Maximum Salary Limit for JRS Members
The average earnable compensation for a judge, solicitor-general, or juvenile judge who become a member on or after July 1, 1998 shall not exceed the salary from state funds provided by law for superior court judges. This limit changes annually. The current salary limit can be found <here>
Employers will continue to report full salary and contributions for members who were appointed prior to July 1, 1998.
Reporting a Member Using an Incorrect SSN
When the reporting official has discovered that an incorrect SSN has been reported, they should immediately contact ERSGA before the correct employee SSN is submitted in the next monthly employee detail file. JRS will require a copy of the affected employee’s social security card for documentation and validation to correct the SSN submitted in error.
7. Membership Service
Membership service is established for actual time served as a contributing member of JRS.
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 JRS, or purchased.
7.1 Service Accrual
Members of JRS are considered constitutional officers, and receive a month of creditable service for each month worked.
Service credits accumulated under predecessor systems (Superior Court Judges Retirement System, District Attorneys’ Retirement System, and the Trial Judges & Solicitors Retirement Fund) were transferred to JRS for individuals in a covered position on June 30, 1998. [O.C.G.A. 47-23-60]; [O.C.G.A 47-23-46]
Transferring Service from ERS
Individuals who become members on or after July 1, 1998 and previously worked as a state-paid assistant district attorney or as an employee of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of the State of Georgia, may receive creditable service for the number of years they contributed to the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia (ERS).
The member should submit a written request within 90 days of becoming a JRS member. The required payment for such service must be received within six months of the certification of the service. No creditable service transferred from ERS shall be used in determining the minimum number of years of creditable service required for vesting.
Part-time service means any service during which a member is generally not prohibited from the practice of law.
Members working part-time accrue a full month of creditable service. The part-time service shall not be used for vesting for benefits, unless a member is retiring from a part-time position.
Members who have accrued part-time service and are retiring from a full-time position receive credit of one month of service for three months of part-time service. [O.C.G.A. 47-23-63]
Members with ten years of creditable service have a non-forfeitable right to service retirement at age 60. Depending upon their hire date and years of Creditable Service, members may be eligible for one of the following types of benefits:
- Normal Retirement Benefit
- Early Retirement Benefit
- Refund of Contributions and Interest
- Disability Benefit
- Death Benefit
Normal retirement is age 60 with 16 years of creditable service.
Early retirement is at age 60 with creditable service between 10 and 16 years.
7.3 Optional Service Purchase and Transfer
Transferring Creditable Service from ERS
Members who have transferred service from ERS to JRS will be credited with an actuarially determined amount of service. If the member has received a refund of contributions from ERS, this service may be established under JRS by repaying the total amount refunded plus regular interest from the date of refund to the date of payment. A member may supplement the amount required to establish full credit for ERS service in JRS.
Establishing Creditable Service through Refund Buyback
Members returning to employment as a superior court judge, a judge or solicitor-general of a state court, a juvenile court judge, or a district attorney after receiving a refund of contributions may reestablish refunded service. Members must make a lump sum payment to JRS equal to the refund originally received plus interest (6% compounded annually) from the date of withdrawal to the date of repayment.
8. Leaving Employment
Your general responsibilities are to:
- Report employees’ termination dates to JRS
- Inform employees of their options on termination of employment
Refer employees to the ERSGA website to access their account online to verify their creditable service and account balances, or run estimates of their benefit. If members need more information, please ask them to contact JRS.
8.1 Termination Process
In order for termination dates to be transmitted to JRS on the monthly contribution detail file, 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 JRS receives this file and updates our records. To expedite this process, ERSGA has provided the Ad Hoc Termination Reporting module on the ERSGA Employer secure portal.
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, 2023 and wants to apply for a refund. The February 2, 2023 termination date will not reach JRS in the monthly file until March 2023. An employer can use Ad Hoc Termination to supply the termination date real time, allowing the member to successfully submit their application for benefits sooner.
8.2 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 and use the Request a Refund tool. The termination date from the employer is required for online processing.
Requests are generally processed within 8 weeks of receipt.
8.3 Application for Service Retirement
Encourage Members to request an estimate from JRS within six months of their anticipated retirement date.
Applications cannot be accepted:
- More than 90 days before their retirement date
- Fewer than 30 days before their retirement date
Completed applications should be submitted directly to JRS 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, estimate their benefits, and download the latest version of the retirement application.
- Inform employees that assistance is available for completing the retirement application process if needed. Direct employees to the WRAP section of the ERSGA website.
Employers will receive an acknowledgement of the retirement application 7-10 business days after receipt.
8.4 Application for Disability Retirement
Members may qualify for disability retirement if they:
- Have attained four years of creditable service
- 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 an alternative position, if available.
The requirements for an alternative position are:
- The physical requirements are compatible with the member’s physical limitations
- The annual compensation and possibility for future advancement are the same or greater than the member’s current position
- The duties are reasonably compatible with the member’s experience and educational qualifications
- The position is covered under JRS
- The position is available and offered to member in writing no later than 45 days after the disability application is submitted
If an alternative position is offered, the member must within 30 days of the offer:
- Accept the offer, or
- Dispute in writing their ability to perform in the alternative position by submitting a written appeal to both the JRS Medical Board and their employer
The application for disability retirement will be denied if:
- The member does not accept the alternative position
- The member disputes their ability to perform in the alternative position
The following describes the disability 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 retirement date.
- The JRS 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 capable of performing the duties of either position, the disability retirement application will be denied.
- Members considering applying for disability retirement should first consult with JRS and their personnel department.
- Incomplete submissions will not be accepted. Members who have applied for Social Security Disability benefits must provide a copy of their Social Security application.
9. Other Benefits
9.1 Active Member Death and Survivor Benefit
- Encourage members to keep their beneficiary designations updated with current mailing addresses. Failure to do so may cause delay in payment.
- Contact JRS as soon as possible upon the death of an active member. Provide whatever information is available concerning the death, even if the beneficiary or survivor is not known.
- Certify current Fiscal Year Contributions.
For certain members of JRS, the election of Spousal Coverage and the member’s creditable service years upon their death determine eligibility for death benefits, refunds of contributions and interest, or payment of GTLI. Please contact JRS for further information.
Employers must contact JRS when a former employee returns to service before or after retirement.
10.1 Before Retirement
The most important employer responsibility relative to a former employee returning to service as superior court judge, a judge or solicitor-general of a state court, a juvenile court judge, or a district attorney is determining JRS membership status and correct pension contribution rate.
As plan rules governing JRS members have changed in recent years, it is important to determine how the member returning to service should be enrolled. Contact your employer reporting representative to determine the correct contribution group for the returning member.
FMD Representative Contact List (file will automatically download)
10.2 After Retirement
To ensure JRS is compliant with IRS regulations and maintains its qualified status, an employee must have a terminated status. IRS regulations require the employee have a true termination with an actual break in service for a minimum one month.
A retiree who is reemployed by any employer, with the exception of the General Assembly, is limited to no more than 1,040 hours of work per calendar year. There is no limit on a JRS member returning to service for the General Assembly.
Failure to adhere to the 1,040 hour work limitation will result in the suspension of the retiree’s benefit for the remainder of the calendar year.
Note: Disability retirees are prohibited from returning to State employment.
- Employers are required to notify ERSGA of any current or newly hired retirees by submitting a Rehired Retiree Reporting Form within 30 days of hire. We recommend that employers inquire about a new hire’s retirement status during the hiring process.
- Employers are liable for any pension overpayments if 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 GDCP. Employers should ensure that they have not been enrolled or are not contributing this plan.
- The employer is responsible for submitting the completed Independent Contractor Verification form
- Non-exempt contractors are reported using the Rehired Retiree Reporting module
- Exempt contractors are not subject to the 1,040 hour limits (see exception below)
Independent Contractor Exceptions
A retiree is not subject to the 1,040 hour restriction when all the following conditions have been met:
- 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
- The contractual relationship was not created to extend employment to a retiree in a position similar to that held prior to retirement
11. Rehired Retiree Reporting
Statewide employers and County Boards of Commissioners are required to submit rehired retiree data to the retirement system. Any rehired retirees contracted or on an employer’s payroll are reported either through FTP (file upload) or manually entered on the employer reporting website.
The rehired retiree reporting process requires employers to log on to the Employer Reporting portal to access the Rehired Retiree Reporting module, review the data uploaded from their file (Statewide employers), and add any contractor hours and salary to the file.
County Boards of Commissioners are required to enter and approve the monthly hours for their retirees each month on the Employer Reporting portal. 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.
11.1 Employer Reporting Methods
- File Upload: Statewide-DeKalb (50-044) and 400’s SAO upload a file
- Manual Entry: County Board of Commissioners-50’s enter data on the employer reporting website
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
County Boards of Commissioners will use this module to report their rehired retirees. (Use Quick Reference Guide for further instructions.)
Retirees entered in previous months will remain on the list until a termination date is entered.
- Upload a File for the Current Month
State Accounting Office uploads a file for Statewide employers reporting JRS rehired retirees.
- 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
Use this module to adjust or add previously approved data. (Use Quick Reference Guide for further instructions.)
Once data has been updated, navigate to the previous page to confirm the change was 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
Employer will use this module to review reported data.
This glossary contains terms used in this manual as they apply to ERSGA administration.
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 Code Section 47-23-20 to administer the retirement system.
A group of employees or members who have the same retirement contribution rates and benefits.
Creditable Service is used to determine eligibility for a benefit, and the amount of that benefit. Creditable Service consists largely of Membership Service, but can also include prior service, purchased service, transferred service, or military service, depending on the plan. Members earn a year of Membership Service for each year (according to each plan’s definition of ‘year’) they contribute to a plan.
Any district attorney holding office on July 1, 1998, and any district attorney taking office on or after July 1, 1998, except that the term district attorney shall not include any district attorney who:
- Was serving as a district attorney on June 30, 1998, and who was not a member of the District Attorneys’ Retirement System; or
- Is a member of any other publicly-supported retirement or pension system or fund created by any law of this state if the retirement or pension benefits are based in any part on the compensation payable from state funds.
District Attorneys’ Retirement System
Predecessor retirement system prior to July 1, 1998. [O.C.G.A 47-13]
Employee contributions paid by the employer.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
A standard communication protocol used to transfer files from one computer or network to another.
Member required to suspend practice of law.
Judge, Solicitor, or Solicitor-General of a State Court
A person elected or appointed to such office for a specific term. Such term shall not include any person acting as a judge or solicitor of a state court on a temporary basis, or serving as judge or solicitor-general pro tempore of a state court.
Juvenile Court Judge
A current or appointed juvenile court judge, except [Code Section 15-11-18]:
- Judges of the superior courts sitting as juvenile court judges
- Juvenile court judges who are members of local retirement or pension systems created by local law
Member not required to suspend practice of law.
Predecessor Retirement System
The District Attorneys’ Retirement System, the Superior Court Judges Retirement System, and the Trial Judges and Solicitors Retirement Fund, collectively or individually.
Service granted under the predecessor retirement system
- Judges and solicitors prior to June 01, 1968
- Juvenile judges prior to June 30, 1972
Interest rate determined by the board of trustees, compounded annually.
Superior Court Judges Retirement System
The retirement system created as it existed prior to July 1, 1998. Any superior court judge appointed or elected to office on July 1, 1998, and any superior court judge taking office on or after July 1, 1998. [O.C.G.A 47-9]
Trial Judges and Solicitors Retirement Fund
The retirement fund created as it existed prior to July 1, 1998. [O.C.G.A 47-10]
Workshop for Retirement Answers and Preparation.
Departments and Agencies (by Employer Category) Participating in JRS as of April 1, 2023.
418 Prosecuting Attorneys Council
430 Admin. Office of the Courts
436 Superior Courts of Georgia
442 Georgia Department of Law
444 General Assembly of Georgia
13.2 County Board of Commissioners Reporting Juvenile Court Judges, State Court Judges and Solicitors
50-001 Appling County Board of Commissioners
50-003 Bacon County Board of Commissioners
50-005 Baldwin County Board of Commissioners
50-007 Barrow County Board of Commissioners
50-008 Bartow County Board of Commissioners
50-011 Bibb County Board of Commissioners
50-014 Brooks County Board of Commissioners
50-015 Bryan County Board of Commissioners
50-016 Bulloch County Board of Commissioners
50-017 Burke County Board of Commissioners
50-020 Camden County Board of Commissioners
50-021 Candler County Board of Commissioners
50-022 Carroll County Board of Commissioners
50-023 Catoosa County Board of Commissioners
50-024 Charlton County Board of Commissioners
50-025 Chatham County Board of Commissioners
50-027 Chattooga County Board of Commissioners
50-028 Cherokee County Board of Commissioners
50-029 Clarke County Board of Commissioners
50-031 Clayton County Board of Commissioners
50-032 Clinch County Board of Commissioners
50-033 Cobb County Board of Commissioners
50-034 Coffee County Board of Commissioners
50-035 Colquitt County Board of Commissioners
50-036 Columbia County Board of Commissioners
50-038 Coweta County Board of Commissioners
50-043 Decatur County Board of Commissioners
50-044 Dekalb County Board of Commissioners
50-047 Dougherty County Board of Commissioners
50-048 Douglas County Board of Commissioners
50-049 Early County Board of Commissioners
50-051 Effingham County Board of Commissioners
50-052 Elbert County Board of Commissioners
50-053 Emanuel County Board of Commissioners
50-054 Evans County Board of Commissioners
50-055 Fannin County Board of Commissioners
50-056 Fayette County Board of Commissioners
50-057 Floyd County Board of Commissioners
50-058 Forsyth County Board of Commissioners
50-060 Fulton County Board of Commissioners
50-061 Gilmer County Board of Commissioners
50-063 Glynn County Board of Commissioners
50-064 Gordon County Board of Commissioners
50-065 Grady County Board of Commissioners
50-067 Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners
50-068 Habersham County Board of Commissioners
50-069 Hall County Board of Commissioners
50-071 Haralson County Board of Commissioners
50-074 Heard County Board of Commissioners
50-075 Henry County Board of Commissioners
50-076 Houston County Board of Commissioners
50-077 Irwin County Board of Commissioners
50-078 Jackson County Board of Commissioners
50-080 Jeff Davis County Board of Commissioners
50-081 Jefferson County Board of Commissioners
50-082 Jenkins County Board of Commissioners
50-085 Lamar County Board of Commissioners
50-086 Lanier County Board of Commissioners
50-089 Liberty County Board of Commissioners
50-091 Long County Board of Commissioners
50-092 Lowndes County Board of Commissioners
50-093 Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners
50-095 Madison County Board of Commissioners
50-097 McDuffie County Board of Commissioners
50-098 McIntosh County Board of Commissioners
50-099 Meriwether County Board of Commissioners
50-100 Miller County Board of Commissioners
50-101 Mitchell County Board of Commissioners
50-106 Muscogee County Board of Commissioners
50-107 Newton County Board of Commissioners
50-108 Oconee County Board of Commissioners
50-110 Paulding County Board of Commissioners
50-112 Pickens County Board of Commissioners
50-113 Pierce County Board of Commissioners
50-115 Polk County Board of Commissioners
50-117 Putnam County Board of Commissioners
50-121 Richmond County Board of Commissioners
50-122 Rockdale County Board of Commissioners
50-124Screven County Board of Commissioners
50-126 Spalding County Board of Commissioners
50-127 Stephens County Board of Commissioners
50-129 Sumter County Board of Commissioners
50-132 Tattnall County Board of Commissioners
50-136 Thomas County Board of Commissioners
50-137 Tift County Board of Commissioners
50-138 Toombs County Board of Commissioners
50-140 Treutlen County Board of Commissioners
50-141 Troup County Board of Commissioners
50-142 Turner County Board of Commissioners
50-145 Upson County Board of Commissioners
50-146 Walker County Board of Commissioners
50-147 Walton County Board of Commissioners
50-148 Ware County Board of Commissioners
50-150 Washington County Board of Commissioners
50-151 Wayne County Board of Commissioners
50-154 White County Board of Commissioners
50-155 Whitfield County Board of Commissioners
50-159 Worth County Board of Commissioners
50-161 Eighth Judicial Board of Commissioners
50-162 Atlantic Judicial Circuit