This section outlines current rules for membership in TRS Plan 1. If you have questions about TRS eligibility, please contact Employer Support Services (ESS).
Plan 1 Member or Former Plan 1 Member
If you hire a person who has established membership in TRS Plan 1 before October 1, 1977, you must determine whether that person is a "TRS Plan 1 member" or a "former TRS Plan 1 member." Use Member Reporting Verification (MRV) to determine a member's status.
A "TRS Plan 1 member" means a person who has established membership and has not terminated membership by withdrawing his or her TRS contributions.
A "former TRS Plan 1 member" means a person who separated from service and withdrew his or her TRS contributions.
TRS Plan 1 Member
If you hire a TRS Plan 1 member, report the member on the TRS monthly transmittal from the first day of employment.
If the member is a substitute or works less than 20 days in the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) and is not a retiree, report using the chart, “Employees Working In School Districts & Educational Service Districts.”
Note: A TRS Plan 1 member working in any position for a TRS employer should be reported on the TRS transmittal. A TRS employer means school districts, the state of Washington, or any agency of the state of Washington by which the member is paid. [RCW 41.32.010 (11)]
Former TRS Plan 1 Member
If you hire a former TRS Plan 1 member, the following information will help you determine if and how the member should be reported to DRS.
Former TRS Plan 1 Members with full time contracts report as active members:
A former TRS Plan 1 member who is contracted to teach full time in a public school for 90 calendar days or more is required to be a member of TRS Plan 1. A teacher who is eligible for membership must be reported on the transmittal from the first day of eligible employment. [RCW 41.32.240]
Former TRS Plan 1 Members with less than full time contracts report as substitutes:
If you hire a former TRS Plan 1 member in a less than full time contract, report the member on the transmittal report using the substitute reporting codes from the first day of employment.
A former TRS Plan 1 member may qualify to re-establish membership by submitting a substitute service credit application at the end of the school year.
See the New Hire Pyramid Substitutes for reporting requirements or for obtaining an application packet. The application outlines the member requirements and includes the needed form.
Once membership is reestablished, the teacher must be reported on the transmittal.
Plan 1 Substitute Teachers
TRS membership and participation is optional for substitute teachers; however, all TRS substitutes must be reported on the transmittal using the substitute reporting codes. A substitute teacher may apply for membership and service credit in TRS if he or she is: [WAC 415-112-140]
- a TRS Plan 1 member and works a minimum of 20 full time days during a school year; or
- a former TRS Plan 1 member and works 90 or more full time days during a school year.
Plan 1 Retirees
- All retirees who return to work must be reported on the transmittal. Determining the eligibility of a position filled by a retiree uses the same eligibility criteria as a position filled by a non-retiring member.
- Retirees have special reporting codes. Refer to the Retiree Reporting Charts for the correct plan and type codes. See Chapter 5 Employing Retirees for additional information.
- A TRS Plan 1 retiree who returns to work as a full time teacher is not required to return to TRS membership but may elect to do so if he or she chooses. If a member chooses to reenter membership, the member must contact DRS. Do not report the retiree as an active member until you are notified by DRS to do so.
Plan 1 Teachers Elected to Statewide Office
A TRS Plan 1 teacher who is elected to statewide office (for example, state senator) may continue membership in TRS by making a written application to the Director of DRS. If the application is accepted, membership will continue during the term of office.
TRS Plan 1 serving in the Supreme, Appeals or Superior Courts may request to participate in the Judges Benefit Multiplier (TRS JBM) program by making a written application to the Director of DRS. If the application is accepted, the TRS JBM option requires a higher retirement contribution and provides a higher benefit multiplier used in the retirement calculation for their judicial service periods of employment.
Refer members to Elected Officials for additional information or contact TRS.
Plan 1 Teachers Working in More than One Position
If you have a teacher working in more than one retirement system during the same school year, the nature of the positions determine how you should report him or her on your transmittal. The member will be reported according to the following: