DRS Email 16-013, Reporting Structure Reminder Regarding 2008 ERF Retirees

Notice No.: 16-013
Date: Aug. 11, 2016
Applies to: School Districts and Charter Schools
Subject: DRS Email 16-013, Reporting Structure Reminder Regarding 2008 ERF Retirees

With hiring for the new school year underway, we’d like to remind you that SB 6455 took effect in June. This new law allows retired Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) Plans 2 and 3 teachers who used the 2008 Early Retirement Factors (ERFs) to return to work as substitute K-12 teachers for up to 867 hours per calendar year without having their benefits suspended. This change is in effect from June 10, 2016, through July 31, 2020.

Please note that DRS needs separation dates for qualifying substitutes who worked for you before June 10, 2016, if they now want to take advantage of this opportunity.

To help ensure a teacher who retired using the 2008 ERFs continues to receive his or her monthly benefit while working for you, please keep the following rules in mind:

  • You must pay a substitute rate that is at least 85% of the full daily state rate. OSPI, not DRS, determines this rate.
  • The retiree must reenter employment on or after June 10, 2016.
  • The retiree must wait at least one calendar month between his or her retirement and returning to work.
  • The retiree must work only as a K-12 substitute teacher. This means working as a substitute coach, nurse, office-support person or administrator, even for just an hour, will suspend the retiree’s benefit.
  • Training, orientation and classroom preparation time all count as returning to work.

If the retiree has retired from more than one DRS-covered retirement system or has a disability retirement, encourage the retiree to contact DRS to discuss eligibility.

This new law requires a change to the DRS reporting structure. We’ll be implementing the change in two phases.

2016 phase

Follow these steps to report a teacher who retired using the 2008 ERFs who complies with the rules stated above:

  1. For employment beginning on or after June 10, 2016, send a begin date using type code 99 to report the retiree. Be sure to send a separation date for any prior employment with you.
  2. Email DRS at RRTW@drs.wa.gov to report that the retiree is returning to work as a substitute teacher.
  3. Email DRS at RRTW@drs.wa.gov if the retiree works in any capacity other than as a substitute teacher.

2017 phase

Follow these steps to report a teacher who retired using the 2008 ERFs who complies with the rules stated above:

  1. If you have been reporting the retiree using type code 99, send a Dec. 31, 2016, end date for the retiree.
  2. Starting Jan. 1, 2017, send a new begin date using type code 96 to report the retiree through July 31, 2020, if applicable.
  3. If you are reporting the retiree for the first time starting in 2017, use type code 96 to report the retiree through July 31, 2020, if applicable.
  4. Report the retiree’s hours and compensation to DRS.
  5. Email DRS at RRTW@drs.wa.gov if the retiree works in any capacity other than as a substitute teacher.
  6. Report all other employment using the current rules.

We are here to help you. If you have any questions or need technical support, please call Employer Support Services at 360-664-7200, option 2, or 800-547-6657, option 6 and then 2.

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