Chapter 5: Special Conditions - Reporting Substitutes

Summary

Substitute teachers employed by the School for the Deaf, School for the Blind or any Higher Education Institution must include the quarterly report when they submit their application to purchase service credit.

Beginning with the 2004-05 school year, school district and educational service district covered employers will be required to report hours and compensation for substitute employees on their monthly transmittal report. Refer to Reporting Substitutes on the Transmittal.

The quarterly report will no longer be required unless the substitute is applying for service credit for a time period prior to the 2004-05 school year. Refer to the Quarterly Report section for additional information.

A substitute employee includes:

  • A substitute SERS employee working for any school district or educational service district.
  • A substitute teacher working for any of the following TRS employers: school districts, educational service districts, community or technical colleges, the State School for the Deaf, or the State School for the Blind.

Definition of a Substitute

A substitute is defined as "a classified or certificated employee who is employed as a substitute for an absent employee or is working in an ineligible position" for a school district or an educational service district. [ WAC 415-110-010(9)]; [ RCW 42.32.010(36)]

A substitute teacher is defined as (see RCW 41.32.010(36):

  • any teacher hired as a temporary teacher, except for teachers who are contract employees and are guaranteed a minimum number of hours; or
  • any teacher who works in an ineligible position for you and works for another TRS employer in an eligible or ineligible position, or as a substitute.

A temporary teacher is someone who has no written agreement to work for you, who reports for teaching only when contacted, and who may refuse any offer of employment.

The term ineligible position is used in SERS Plan 2 and Plan 3 and TRS Plan 2 and Plan 3 law but not in TRS Plan 1 law. An ineligible position for Plan 2 or Plan 3 is any position that normally requires fewer than five months of 70 or more hours of compensated employment during the school year (September 1-August 31).

Reporting Substitutes on the Transmittal Report

What system and plan?

The following charts must be used in the order as listed. When determining type codes, retirees take precedence over all types of reporting.

Reporting Considerations for Substitutes

  • Begin and End Dates. Report the first day that the substitute actually works as their begin date. Do not report the first day of the month or the start of the school year unless that is the first day they actually work for you as a substitute. Report the last day a substitute actually works as their end date. Do not report the last day of the month or the end of the school year unless that is the last day they actually work for you as a substitute.
  • Status Changes. If an employee transitions from substitute status to active/eligible member status, report an end date as indicated above for their substitute service and a new begin date for their active/eligible service. However, report all earnings for the month under the active/eligible type code. Follow these same procedures if the employee transitions from active/eligible member status to substitute status.
  • Separation. Do not assume an ongoing month-to-month or year-to-year employment arrangement for substitute employees. Report end dates promptly for anyone who terminates employment with your organization. In certain situations, a retiree who is working as a substitute employee may have their retirement benefit stopped based on information that you report to the department. Failure to report an end date on a timely basis in this situation could result in loss of benefit due to the retiree, or delay in payment of the benefit due.

For Additional Information:

The New Hire Pyramid provides links to key substitute information, such as Substitute Fact Sheets and substitute application packets.

The Quarterly Report

The quarterly report provides a record of the number of hours or days a substitute employee worked and the amount of compensation earned. The substitute can use this information to estimate the cost of purchasing service credit. Substitutes must apply to DRS by submitting the appropriate “Substitute Guide to obtaining Service Credit”. Substitutes employed by the School for the Deaf, School for the Blind or any Higher Education Institution must include the quarterly report when they submit their application to purchase service credit.

Beginning July 27, 2003, school district and educational service district employers are required to provide SERS classified substitute employees with quarterly reports showing hours worked and compensation earned in each month.

Beginning with the 2004-05 school year, school district and educational service district covered employers will be required to report hours and compensation for substitute employees on the monthly transmittal report. The quarterly report will no longer be required unless the substitute is applying for service credit for a time period prior to the 2004-05 school year.

What to Include on the Quarterly Report

To be accepted as proof of service and compensation, the quarterly report must provide:

  • your organization's name and TRS or SERS reporting group number. The reporting group number is not required by law on the quarterly report; including it will assist Retirement Services in processing the substitute's application;
  • the employee's name and Social Security number;
  • the total number of hours (for Plan 2 or Plan 3) or days (for TRS Plan 1) the employee worked for you each month. (If you are not sure of an employee's plan, report the employee's hours or days and give the conversion rate; for example, 7.5 hours = 1 day.);
  • the total amount of compensation the employee earned with you each month. (Be sure to identify compensation by when it was earned, not by when it was paid.); and
  • the signature of the payroll officer or other person authorized to sign Verification of Employment forms. (A signature plate may be used.)

If your quarterly report does not provide this information, you will be required to provide any missing details at the time the substitute applies for service credit.

What the Quarterly Report Should Look Like

Figure 5-1 is an example of a quarterly report using the recommended format. This sample shows how information should be reported for the first quarter of a school year. The remainder of the report is completed as the employee worked the remaining quarters of the year.

How the Quarterly Report is Used

Substitutes must submit their quarterly reports to DRS with their application to purchase service credit for a period of employment prior to the 2004 – 2005 school year. Substitute teachers employed by the School for the Deaf, School for the Blind or any Higher Education Institution must continue to submit quarterly reports. Substitutes can apply for service credit any time before their retirement. To receive service credit, the individual must:

  • be an active TRS or SERS member (or be eligible for TRS or SERS membership based on the service as a substitute);
  • submit the quarterly reports after the end of the school year for which application is being made (June 30 for TRS Plan 1 or August 31 for Plan 2 or Plan 3) and before retirement; and
  • pay all employee contributions due, as well as any interest that may apply.

Note: The employee will be billed for the interest on both employee and employer contributions if payment is made more than six months after the end of the school year for which application has been made. The employer will be billed for employer contributions only after the employee's contributions and any applicable interest have been paid.

If employees have questions about their option to establish service credit for substitute employment, refer them to the New Hire Pyramid Substitutes. This site provides links to fact sheets, reporting charts, DRS Notices, FAQ's and the Substute Guides that must be submitted to DRS. If the member has additional questions, have the employee contact the SERS or TRS Retirement Services divisions.

Substitute Reporting Charts

These charts provide information for correctly reporting a substitute working in a school district or Educational Service District:

Refer to School District and ESD Substitutes for more information.

Quarterly Report

Substitutes employed by the School for the Deaf, School for the Blind or any Higher Education Institution are not reported on the transmittal, but are provided a quarterly report.

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