Notice No.: 16-020
Date: Dec. 20, 2016
Applies to: All Employers
Subject: DRS Email 16-020, Elected or Governor-Appointed Officials and Membership
When a newly appointed or elected official comes to work at your agency, please instruct that person to contact the DRS Elected Official Team at (360) 664-7966 for enrollment information, or you may contact the team on his or her behalf. Do not automatically report the person to membership.*
The term elected official applies to any individual elected to any state, local or political subdivision office and also includes those persons appointed to complete a vacant local elective office. The term governor-appointed official applies to any individual the governor appoints to a vacant elective office, or a board, commission, or administrative office that is subject to confirmation by the state Legislature. This often includes individuals who are appointed to lead a state agency.
Special requirements must be met before a newly elected or governor-appointed official can be reported to a retirement system, even if the official was previously a plan member.
To receive service credit as an elected official, you must be compensated for a minimum of $857.70 per month for 2017 (90 times the state minimum wage of $9.53).
Once the compensation level is reached, service credit is based on the actual hours worked during the month. Ninety hours or more equals one month of service credit, at least 70 hours but less than 90 hours equals 1/2 service credit month, and less than 70 hours equals 1/4 month service credit. For those elected officials who do not work full time, we recommend two different options for verifying hours:
DRS will advise you when to start reporting retirement data for elected or governor-appointed officials and the specific type code to use for reporting. You can also find the type code tied to your specific type of elected or appointed official here. For example, an elected city government official’s type code is 11.
Payroll offices must keep both types of hours records for the same amount of time as they keep payroll records.
For more information, see the Elected or Governor-Appointed Official page on the DRS website.
We are here to help you. If you have questions, please reply to this notice or call Employer Support Services at 360-664-7200, option 2, or 800-547-6657, option 6, then option 2.
*Note: Elected sheriffs who meet the definition of a Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System (LEOFF) member, as defined in WAC 415-104-225, are mandated into LEOFF. Elected sheriffs who meet this definition should be automatically reported into LEOFF.