Chapter 8: Transmittal Reporting

Summary

This chapter provides information about transmittal reporting to DRS. Retirement contributions and deferred compensation are both reported on the transmittal. Refer to this chapter for details about:

  • Transmittal reporting requirements
  • Making corrections to the transmittal report
  • Edits specifications by field
  • Sequencing of annual statements
  • Transmittal report technical requirements

See Chapter 6 for instructions on how to calculate and transmit employer and employee contributions. Refer to Chapter 9 for information about transmittal edit reports.

How Reporting Impacts Member Accounts

DRS depends upon receiving timely and accurate information from employers to provide service to retirement members and participants of the DCP. Accurate transmittal reporting by employers helps ensure:

  • Plan 3 member contributions and participant deferrals are posted in a timely manner
  • interest on member accounts is calculated and posted accurately
  • member requests to withdraw contributions or participant requests for distribution of deferrals are processed in a timely manner
  • member retirement benefits are calculated correctly
  • pension benefits for retirees who return to work or to membership are stopped, suspended and restarted as appropriate in a timely manner

Reporting Deadlines

Retirement Systems

Employers are required to report information to DRS about each employee who is a member of a Washington state retirement system. This process is referred to as the regular transmittal report. Transmittal reports are due to DRS by the 15th of the month following the month being reported. For instance, the December transmittal is due Jan. 15. If a transmittal report is late, DRS will assess a late penalty fee [RCW 41.50.110(5)].

Plan 3

DRS recommends employers send the Plan 3 member contributions and the transmittal report as close to each pay day as possible. This allows the Plan 3 member contributions to be invested as soon as possible.

Deferred Compensation Program

Participating employers are required to report employees who participate in DCP. This report must be submitted to DRS before, on or soon after each payday. Reports received more than five days beyond an employer's payday will be considered late. Provide a separate report for newly hired employees enrolled automatically.

Note: DRS will process DCP reports the day they are received if the money and the report are received together and can be reconciled.

Reporting and Your Payroll Cycle

Impacts to Plan 3

Retirement system transmittal reports are due to DRS by the 15th of the month following the month being reported. For instance, the December transmittal is due Jan. 15. However, DRS recommends employers transmit their retirement system reports as soon after each pay day as possible. This schedule supports timely investment of Plan 3 member contributions.

Deferred Compensation Program

The DCP transmittal report must reflect participants' deferral information as of each payday. Employers with more than one payday in a month must submit a DCP transmittal report for each payday. One exception to this rule applies to bi-weekly payroll cycles. (DRS expects only two reports–even for the two months that have three pay dates.)

Retirement Systems

The regular transmittal report must reflect the reportable compensation paid to retirement system members during the month being reported. Compensation must be identified by the month and year in which it is earned. Report compensation as earned, not as paid. (The earning period field allows employers to record when the compensation was earned.)

Note: School districts and educational service districts have special reporting situations that may allow them to report some compensation as paid or evenly over the work periods in the school year. Refer to Chapter 5, School District and Educational Service District Pay Adjustments for what qualifies.

Employers with more than one payroll cycle in a month can submit a transmittal report once a month or with each payroll cycle. Employers need to contact ESS to arrange the transition from one report per month to multiple reports. The following pages provide examples of transmittal reporting of retirement contributions for the different payroll cycles. The examples below explain only when information should be reported and does not reflect the multiple record layout.

Monthly Payroll Cycles
Example #1:

Your payroll cycle is set so an employee is paid on Jan. 31 for work performed from Jan. 1-31. You pay compensation in the same month in which it is earned.

You can report the employee using one line of the transmittal. Use a January earning period to report the compensation earned from Jan. 1-31. Report this information on the January transmittal due to DRS by Feb. 15.


Example #2:

Your payroll cycle is set so that an employee is paid on Feb. 28 for work performed from Jan. 16-Feb. 15. You pay compensation in one month that is earned in two different months (or earning periods).

You must report the employee using two lines on the transmittal. On one line, use a January earning period to report the compensation earned from Jan. 16-31. On a second line, use a February earning period to report the compensation earned from Feb. 1-15. This report would be for the reporting period of February due to DRS by March 15.

The transmittal for the reporting period of March would be due to DRS April 15 and would have the compensation earned from Feb. 16-28 and from March 1-15.

Bi-Weekly Payroll Cycles
Example #3:

Your payroll cycle is set so that an employee is paid on Feb. 13 for work performed from Jan. 25-February 7 and is paid on Feb. 28 for work performed from Feb. 8-21. You pay compensation in one month that is earned in two different months (or earning periods).

In this case, you must report the employee using two lines on the transmittal. On one line use a January earning period to report the compensation earned from Jan. 25-31. On a second line, use a February earning period to report the compensation earned from Feb. 1-21. Report this information on the February transmittal due to DRS by March 15.

Compensation earned from Feb. 22-March 7 and paid on March 13 is reported on two lines. On one line, use a February earning period to report the compensation earned from Feb. 22-28. On a second line, use a March earning period to report the compensation earned from March 1-21. These earnings are reported on the March transmittal due to DRS by April 15.


Note: The bi-weekly examples above can be applied to semi-monthly payroll cycles. As previously stated, reports are due on the 15th of each month, but DRS recommends employers submit reports as of each payday.

The Reporting Process

Summary

Starting Your Reporting

If you are a new employer or have resumed reporting, you must contact ESS to establish or reactivate your account. Once your account has been activated, you will be contacted by DRS when you can begin sending your transmittal reports.

Methods of Reporting to DRS
Retirement Systems
Employers can report members to DRS in several ways. See the sections Reporting Media Options and the File Format Options.
Deferred Compensation Program
Employees become participants through automatic enrollment or by sending DRS a DCP Enrollment Form. Participants may change their deferral amounts by phone or internet.

DRS informs employers of:

  • New participants
  • Deferral amount changes for current participants

Employers must report participants to DRS electronically using SFT or WBET. The new hire file for automatic enrollments must use SFT format. Contact ESS for assistance with monthly reporting.

Reporting Deadlines

See the section on Reporting Deadlines for when your transmittal is due.

When submitting your transmittal report include the following:
  • a summary record for each transmittal report (reporting group)
  • defined benefit information for members of all systems and plans (not applicable for DCP)
  • defined contribution/deferral information for Plan 3 members and DCP participants

Note: Use the other record types, such as member profile, employment information and plan choice, only when necessary.

To Stop Reporting

Do not simply stop sending the transmittal report. DRS expects to receive at least one transmittal report from you each month. If you no longer have any members or participants to report, contact ESS for instructions on how to stop reporting.

Before Adding a New Employee to the Transmittal

When you hire a new employee who is eligible for retirement system coverage or who participates in DCP, or when an existing employee becomes eligible for retirement coverage, you must begin reporting the employee to DRS.

You must also report to DRS any newly employed retiree of a Washington state retirement system, including anyone directly compensated for contracted services or any other similiar compensated relationship if they retired using the 2008 Early Retirement Factor (ERF) and are under age 65.

Retirement – Before Adding an Employee

Using Member Reporting Verification (MRV), determine whether the employee has any retirement history, and if so, in which retirement systems and plans they were members. Verifying prior plan membership and retirement status is critical to ensure accurate reporting. This includes determining if the employee can transfer into PERS Plan 3, or if he or she must choose between Plan 2 or Plan 3 within 90 days of employment. For additional information, contact ESS for assistance with verifying a plan assignment.

Determine the correct month to begin reporting the employee. If an employee first earns compensation in March, you would begin reporting the employee with a March earning period and begin date. The employee would be added to either the March or the April transmittal, depending upon your payroll cycle. See the section Reporting and Your Payroll Cycle.

For anyone compensated for contracted services performed, or as a result of contracted services performed by those in their employ, you must also determine from MRV if they retired using the 2008 ERF and are under age 65. You must report actual begin and end dates using ineligible type codes.

DCP – Employers Cannot Add a Participant to the Transmittal

DRS informs employers when to start deducting DCP deferrals. DRS will distribute an official DRS report to notify all employers except users of the Human Resources Management System (HRMS) payroll system. DRS uses an electronic report to inform employers of new participants' deferrals and any deferral amount changes. See Chapter 11 – Deferred Compensation for more information.

Note: Employers should not establish a DCP deduction before receiving approval from DRS.

Completing the First Transmittal for a New Employee

The following information must be included on your transmittal report the first time you report an employee to DRS. The employee's enrollment will not be completed until DRS has received this data. The transmittal system will reject any transactions for members whose information is incomplete on the transmittal report. This transmittal information does not apply to DCP automatic enrollment reporting.

The four fields in each record that follow the record type identifier are common (Key) fields and are part of each record type. They are:

  • Reporting Group Number
  • Reporting Period
  • Report Type
  • Report Version Number

In addition, when reporting a new employee you must report the employee's name, Social Security number, begin date, gender code, birth date, address, and if applicable, rate option and investment program. Create the following record types the first time you report an employee:

Note: Do not report the member profile record if you are reporting a retiree.

Member Profile Record

  • Record Type Identifier (Key)
  • Social Security Number
  • Member/Participant Name Change Flag = Y
  • Member/Participant Last Name
  • Member/Participant First Name
  • Member/Participant Middle Name*
  • Member/Participant Name Extension*
  • Member/Participant Name Title*
  • Member/Participant Name Suffix*
  • Address Change Flag = Y
  • Address 1
  • Address 2*
  • Address 3*
  • City
  • State
  • ZIP Code
  • ZIP Code Extension*
  • Gender
  • Birth Date

* Optional

Employment Information Record

  • Record Type Identifier (Key)
  • Social Security Number
  • System Code
  • Plan Code
  • Type Code
  • Eligibility Start Date

Defined Benefit Record
(not applicable for DCP)

  • Record Type Identifier (Key)
  • Social Security Number
  • System Code
  • Plan Code
  • Type Code
  • Earning Period
  • Status Code
  • Hours
  • Days
  • Compensation
  • Employer Contributions
  • Defined Benefit Member Contributions

Defined Contribution Record
(For Plan 3 and DCP only)

  • Record Type Identifier (Key)
  • Social Security Number
  • System Code
  • Defined Contributions/Deferrals
  • Tax Status
  • Investment Program
  • Rate Option

Note: Use the Defined Contribution Record only if a rate has been selected by the member or by default for Plan 3 or to report deferrals for a DCP participant. Employers should set up a DCP deferral/payroll deduction only after receiving authorization from DRS. For additional information on reporting Plan 3, see Special Reporting for Plan 3.

Name and Address Changes

Active members' names and addresses can only be updated through the transmittal report. Employers should remind their employees to notify them of changes.

Reporting Using SFT
Name Information

When members or participants notify you of a name change, you should report the new information on the Member Profile Record of the transmittal report. Remember to report a "Y" for the Member/Participant Name Update Flag.

Address Information

When members or participants notify you of address changes, you should report the new address on the Member Profile Record of the transmittal report. Remember to report a "Y" for the Member/Participant Address Update flag.

Reporting Using Web Based Employer Transmittal

If you report using WBET, go to the Earning Detail screen. Click on the Update Member Info button associated with the member’s name. This will take you to the Update Member Information screen where you can report name and address changes. For additional information, view the procedures in Using the DRS Web Based Services.

Retirees with Address Changes

Retirees must complete the Name/Address Change form to make changes. If the member is a retiree or has applied for retirement, the Member Profile Record will reject if an employer transmits it to DRS. The employer will also not be able to access the Update Member Information screen on WBET.

PERS JBM Reporting

Justices or Judges with Prior PERS Membership

Justices or judges with prior PERS membership will continue in their prior PERS plan and have prior plan rights.

Membership in PERS for elected justices or judges is voluntary. Don't report elected justices or judges until the individual receives written acceptance from DRS to participate in PERS.

If the judge is appointed to a non-elected position and the position meets PERS eligibility requirements, the person is mandated into PERS JBM. Refer to PERS JBM Plan Rules for who qualifies for membership. Report on the transmittal using the following reporting requirements:

If the prior PERS service is Plan 2:

  • Report a PERS Plan 2 begin date with the appropriate PERS JBM type code.
  • Plan 2 members don't complete a Member Information Form when hired. Refer to Forms to Provide JBM.
  • Don't transmit a Plan Choice record unless the member qualifies for and chooses to transfer to Plan 3 in January.
  • If the employee is currently employed with you, report an end date for the PERS type code (one day before the PERS JBM begin date) and a begin date for the PERS JBM type code.

If the prior PERS service is Plan 3:

  • Report a PERS Plan 3 begin date with the appropriate PERS JBM type code.
  • Provide a Member Information Form. Refer to Forms to Provide JBM for additional forms needed
  • Member contribution rate must be at least 7.5%. If the member's current contribution rate is 7.5% or higher, there is no change in their contribution rate option.
  • If the member contribution rate is less than 7.5%, you must report a higher rate; however,
  • Plan 3 members can't choose the following rate options:
    • At all ages, 'A' or 'D'
    • If less than 35, 'C'
    • If less than 45, 'B'
    • Changing Employment Status from PERS to PERS JBM for the same employer has no 90-day window to select a new rate option. Refer to the contribution rate information above.
    • Report an end date for PERS type code (one day before the PERS JBM begin date), and a begin date for the PERS JBM type code

Justices or Judges with No Prior PERS Membership

Membership in PERS for elected justices or judges is voluntary. Don't report elected justices or judges until the individual receives written acceptance from DRS to participate in PERS.

If the judge is appointed to a non-elected position and the position meets the PERS eligibility requirements, the person is mandated into PERS JBM. Refer to PERS JBM Plan Rules for who qualifies for membership. Report on the transmittal using the following reporting requirements:

JBM new PERS Members are mandated into PERS JBM Plan 2, with no Plan 2 or Plan 3 choice rights.

  • Report these members with a PERS Plan 2 begin date with the appropriate PERS JBM type code.
  • Plan 2 members don't complete a Member Information Form when hired. Refer to Forms to Provide JBM.
  • Don't transmit a Plan Choice or Choice/Transfer Date.

Note: Judges appointed to non-elective positions are mandated into PERS and the JBM program if the position is defined as an eligible position.

Plan Choice Reporting (Plan 2 and 3)

Summary

This section applies to the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), the School Employees' Retirement System (SERS) and the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS). Plan choice reporting falls into three groups:

  • new members and potential members (substitutes)
  • Plan 2 members with a January Transfer Option
  • members who chose Plan 2 or Plan 3 or defaulted to Plan 3

Due to the nature of how investment returns affect the size of Plan 3 members’ defined contribution accounts, employers have increased responsibility for reporting Plan 3 member contributions accurately and in a timely manner. Refer to WAC 415-111-110 for employer responsibilities and to review potential employer liability for lost earnings due to employer error.

Plan 3 has a dual benefit structure

Plan 3 is a defined benefit plan like Plan 1 and Plan 2. However, there are two distinct components to Plan 3 – the defined benefit and the defined contribution. Member contributions finance a defined contribution component, and employer contributions finance the defined benefit.

  • The defined benefit is employer financed. Once a member meets the service requirements, this component provides for a lifetime monthly benefit for a member who retires. The amount of the benefit is based on the member's total service credit and their Average Final Compensation (AFC).
  • The defined contribution component is member financed and provides a tax-deferred investment program. The amount of retirement income generated by the defined contribution component depends on how much the member contributes, how promptly the contributions are invested and the rate of return on each investment.

Review Employer Responsibilities for additional information.

Plan Choice Reporting – Plan 3 Contribution Rate Options

PERS, SERS and TRS Plan 3 members with a rate option choice can select from six rate options:

A 5% of pay at all ages
B 5% of pay until age 35
6% of pay age 35 - 44
7.5% age 45 and above
C 6% of pay until age 35
7.5% of pay age 35 - 44
8.5% age 45 and above
D 7% of pay at all ages
E 10% of pay at all ages
F 15% of pay at all ages

Reporting Rate Options

  • New Plan Choice members electing membership in Plan 3 must choose a contribution rate and investment program. They have up to 90 calendar days to make their elections or the employer defaults them to rate option A (5%). Report member and employer contributions in Plan 2 until a Member Information Form (MIF) is received or you default the member after 90-calendar days.
  • Existing Plan 3 members changing employers have up to 90 calendar days to select a contribution rate option or they default to rate option A (5%). Member contributions aren't reported until the MIF is received or you default the member after 90-calendar days. Report employer contributions in Plan 3 from the first day of work.
  • If the member has selected option B or C, employers begin using the new rate effective the first day of the month following the member's birthday.
  • Members working for more than one employer in eligible positions may select a different rate option for each employer.
  • Plan 3 members can’t change their rate option unless they change employers.
  • A Plan 3 member, who separates from employment and returns to work for the same employer, may select a new rate option only if the member worked for a different employer during their separation period. If the member is rehired in a short enough time frame to cause the employer to question whether they have worked for a different employer, the employer should ask the member, “Did you work for another employer between your termination and new hire dates?” Review a rehire's job application for interim employment. Use this information to determine if the employee has the option to choose a new contribution rate.

PERS JBM Contribution Rate Options

Plan 3 members who participate in the Judicial Benefit Multiplier program, and their employers, pay an additional contribution rate above the regular PERS rate. The additional amount is set in statute [RCW 41.40.124, RCW 41.40.127].

View all Plan 3 rates by system and plan in the Contribution Rate Tables Index.

Employer Responsibilities

As the employer, you have responsibilities for accurate and timely reporting of Plan Choice retirement data.

  • Provide members with an orientation informing them of their Plan Choice options.
  • Provide the Plan Choice Booklet with the Member Information Form (MIF) to new Plan Choice members immediately upon hire, and the MIF to newly hired existing Plan 3 members eligible to elect a new contribution rate.
  • Distribute all necessary forms and publications to employees. Refer to the New Hire Pyramid for resources available and ordering information.
  • If the member makes an irrevocable plan choice, be sure to verify that the member signs and dates all required sections of the MIF. Submit the signed form to DRS .
  • Keep member addresses current.
  • Verify the correct plan and choice options for new employees using Member Reporting Verification. Contact Employer Support Services for access to eServices or if you need assistance.
  • Report an employee's plan decision, and for Plan 3 their contribution rate option and their investment program on the first available regular transmittal following the receipt of the MIF.
  • For applicable employees, monitor the 90 calendar day choice period and default the member if they do not make an election.
  • Deduct and report Plan 3 member contributions correctly based on a member's chosen rate option. DRS doesn't edit Plan 3 member contributions based on the compensation reported and accepts whatever the employer reports for member contributions.
  • Report Plan 3 member contributions as paid; employer contributions continue to be reported as earned.
  • If the Plan 3 rate changes following a member's birthday, employers must begin using the new rate effective the first day of the following month. (Rate options B and C.)
  • Submit a transmittal correction as soon as possible for rejected data. Rejected Plan 3 member contributions create the potential for lost earnings on investments.
  • Deduct and report Plan 3 member contributions for new or existing Plan 3 members prospectively, starting with the first available pay period after receipt of the signed MIF with required selections or if the member defaults. Don't deduct contributions at the Plan 3 rate retroactively back to the date of hire.
Note: Until you receive the MIF or the member defaults:
  • Report Plan 2 member and employer contributions from the first day of work for new members
  • Report only employer contributions for newly hired existing Plan 3 members
  • Provide a Plan 3 member with the option to make up member contributions only if the employer errs in reporting a Plan 3 choice.
  • Monitor Plan 3 deferral limits to ensure that a member's contributions do not exceed Internal Revenue Code limits [WAC 415-111-111].
  • Employers who have Plan 3 members are encouraged to submit the member data for each pay period. The sooner DRS receives Plan 3 member contributions and the transmittal report, the sooner member contributions are invested.
  • The employer may be liable for lost earnings if a member suffers a loss of investment due to an employer error. [WAC 415-111-110 (4)]

Existing Plan 3 Member Changing Employers

Each time a Plan 3 member changes employers the member has up to 90 calendar days to select a new contribution rate option. Plan 3 members may change their investment program at any time.

Employers should not deduct member contributions until they receive the Member Information Form (MIF) but must report employer contributions from the first day of work. Employers should notify new employees that they will need to complete the MIF to continue their Plan 3 deductions and provide them with a copy of the form.

Employers cannot make up Plan 3 member contributions for periods missed while the member was selecting a contribution rate option (such as, during the 90 calendar days allowed for choosing a contribution rate option and investment program).

Reporting an Existing Plan 3 Member

Do not report member contributions, contribution rate options or investment programs until you receive the MIF or you default the member to rate option A and the Self-Directed Investment Program.To report a new hire who previously established membership in Plan 3, employers must report the following to DRS:

  • The compensation, employer contributions, hours, begin date and other information typically sent on the first transmittal report.
  • Member contributions, contribution rate option and the investment program upon receipt of the MIF. If you do not receive the MIF within 90 calendar days of the member's first day of work, you default the member to contribution rate option A and the Self-Directed Investment Program.

In all cases, upon receiving the MIF, the employer includes the information listed above on the next transmittal report based on the employer's payroll cutoff schedule. Forward the original MIF to DRS only if Section 2 is completed.

A Plan 3 Member Returning to Work for the Same Employer

A Plan 3 member, who separates from employment and returns to work for the same employer, may select a new rate option only if the member worked for a different employer during their separation period. If the member is rehired in a short enough time frame to cause the employer to question whether they have worked for a different employer long enough, the employer should ask the member, “Did you work for another employer between your termination and new hire dates?” Review the rehire's job application for interim employment. Use this information to determine if the employee has the option to choose a new contribution rate.

A Plan 3 Member Working for More than One Employer

A Plan 3 member working for more than one employer in eligible positions may establish a different rate option and investment program with each employer.

Initial Transfer Periods from Plan 2 to Plan 3

An employee working in an eligible position before or during the initial transfer period and has never made a choice, has the option to transfer to Plan 3 each January. The initial transfer periods for each system:

TRS

July 1, 1996 through Dec. 31, 1997

SERS

Sept. 1, 2000 through Feb. 28, 2001

PERS

  • State agency and higher education employers: March 1, 2002 through Aug. 31, 2002
  • Local government employers: Sept. 1, 2002 through May 31, 2003

Note: A member's entry date into Plan 2 determines if they have the right to transfer from Plan 2 to Plan 3 each January. Use Member Reporting Verification (MRV) to determine if the member has a transfer option.

January Transfer Option

A Plan 2 member may have the option to transfer to Plan 3 during the open enrollment period each January. Members who entered eligible employment in PERS, SERS or TRS before creation of Plan 3 (and after Plan 1 was closed to new PERS and TRS members) were automatically enrolled in Plan 2. These members received an initial transfer window when Plan 3 was created. Those who did not exercise this option continue to receive the option during the month of January each year.

The employer must verify that the member has a January Transfer Option using Member Reporting Verification (MRV). MRV will display a red message indicating whether the member is eligible for the January Transfer Option.

MRV example of a member with a January Transfer Option.

   In this MRV example, the member has prior PERS Plan 2 membership and has a January Transfer Option, if hired into an eligible PERS position. If hired into another retirement system, refer to Reporting an Employee in the New Hire Pyramid for how to report the member.

MRV example of a member who has made an irrevocable plan choice.

Members who entered eligible employment in one of the retirement systems after creation of Plan 3 and during a valid plan choice period had 90 days to choose between membership in Plan 2 or Plan 3 or be enrolled in Plan 3 by default. If the member made a choice or defaulted, MRV will note this in a red message.     This member has already chosen PERS Plan 2, and therefore has no PERS January transfer option.



Complete the Plan Choice Record

To transfer plans, a member must complete the Member Transfer Form and submit it to the employer during the month of January.

Plan transfer records should be transmitted to DRS on the January or February transmittal report. To report the transfer date, complete the following information on the Plan Choice Record:

  • The Choice Date – date the member signs the Member Transfer Form
  • Plan Choice field – Report "3X"

It is the employer's transmittal that records the member's plan choice and moves the member's data to Plan 3 if applicable; however, when a plan choice is transmitted, the employer must mail the original Member Transfer Form to DRS. DRS will image the form to document the member's permanent plan transfer decision.

Employers should report a plan transfer as soon as possible after receipt of the Member Transfer Form; however, it is possible to report a transfer at any time during the year as long as the transfer date entered is a January date.

Methods of Reporting Plan 3

DRS makes the following recommendations for information reported by employers, the method of reporting and the timing of when reports are sent to DRS:

  • Employers who have bi-weekly and/or semi-monthly payroll cycles should send reports each pay day rather than monthly
  • Employers should use the Multiple Record Layout (MRL) for every system they report such as, PERS, LEOFF, etc.

DRS advises employers to follow these recommendations to facilitate Plan 3 reporting and improve consistency of reporting.

New Member Plan Choice

New members of PERS, SERS or TRS have an option to choose Plan 2 or Plan 3 if they established membership on or after:

  • TRS — July 1, 2007
  • SERS with no prior PERS plan 2 membership — July 1, 2007 through July 31, 2009
  • All new SERS members – Aug. 1, 2009
  • PERS
    • March 1, 2002: State agency and higher education employers
    • Sept. 1, 2002: Local government employers

Note: Potential members, such as substitutes, should be treated like new members; they have a plan choice if hired into an eligible position.

For SERS, new members hired before Aug. 1, 2009 who had prior PERS Plan 2 service are eligible for a January Transfer Option.

Use MRV to Determine if the Member Has a Plan Choice

Use Member Reporting Verification (MRV) to determine if the employee has ever been a member, if the employee is a potential member, and if they have a plan choice. New members with no prior membership and potential members hired into eligible positions must choose Plan 2 or Plan 3 within the first 90 days of their eligible employment, or the employer defaults them to Plan 3.

MRV example of a member with no prior membership.

Above is an example of a new member plan choice MRV screen.     MRV displays in red text that there is "No retirement membership history found for this social security number." In this instance, the member has a plan choice in PERS, SERS or TRS.





MRV example of a member with prior membership.

On this MRV screen, a member has prior retirement membership in     PERS Plan 2.     MRV displays in red text that the member has a January transfer option so therefore, no plan choice upon hire into a PERS position. If hired into another retirement system, refer to the Reporting an Employee in the New Hire Pyramid.

Until a Plan Choice is Made

Report new employees in Plan 2 until you receive a completed Member Information Form (MIF) with their plan choice, and if applicable, contribution rate option and investment program; or you default them after 90 calendar days. Member and employer contributions are deducted at the Plan 2 rate until a plan choice is made or you default the member into Plan 3.

Complete the Plan Choice Record

To report the member's plan choice or default, complete the Plan Choice Record as follows with the information taken from the signed Member Information Form (MIF), or when you default the member:

  • Plan Choice Field: Report "2C," "3C" or "3D"
  • Plan Choice Date: Report the date the member signed the MIF, or report the default date (90th day). This date can be the same as the begin date but can't be before the begin date.

If the member defaults, the Plan Choice Date is the 90th day from the first day of work. For example, if an employee begins work on Oct. 1, then Dec. 30 is the 90th day.

The employer's transmittal records the member's plan choice/default and assigns them permanently to Plan 2 or moves the member's data to Plan 3 if applicable. Whenever a plan choice is transmitted, the employer must also mail the original signature copy of the MIF to DRS. DRS images the form to document the member's irrevocable plan choice decision.

Refer to the Plan Choice Record for other options for completing this record based on the employee's retirement system history.

Plan Defaults

If members do not provide their plan choice within the 90 calendar day period, the employer defaults the member to:

  • Plan 3
  • Rate Option A
  • Self-Directed Investment Program (SELF)

Plan Choice Record

There are three different Plan Choice Record options based on the employee's retirement system history. Use Member Reporting Verification (MRV) before determining how to complete the Plan Choice Record.

1. New members

Intially, report all new members in Plan 2 but don't report a Plan Choice record unless you receive a signed Member Information Form (MIF) from an employee choosing Plan 3 before your first payroll cutoff. If reporting for the first time, be sure to include the Begin Date, even if it's the same as the Plan Choice date.

To report a new member who chooses Plan 2, employers must report the following to DRS after receiving the MIF:

  • Plan Choice date
  • Plan Choice code "2c"

To report a new member who chooses or defaults into Plan 3, employers must report the following to DRS after receiving the MIF:

  • new Plan number (Plan 3)
  • Plan Choice date
  • Plan Choice code "3c" or "3d"
  • member contribution rate and investment program selections

2. January Transfer Option Members

To report a member transferring to Plan 3 via the January Transfer Option, employers must report the following to DRS after receiving the signed MIF:

  • new Plan number (Plan 3)
  • Plan Transfer date (must be a January date)
  • Plan Choice code "3x"
  • member contribution rate and investment program selections

3. Existing Plan 3 Members

Do not report member contributions, contribution rate options or investment programs until you receive the signed MIF or the member defaults to rate option A. To report a newly hired employee who previously established membership in Plan 3, employers must report the following to DRS:

  • the compensation, employer contributions, hours, begin date and other information typically sent on the first transmittal report,
  • Member contributions, contribution rate option and the investment program upon receipt of the signed MIF. If you don't receive this form within 90 calendar days of the member's date of hire, you must report Contribution Rate Option A and the Self-Directed Investment Program

Plan Choice Record Includes:

1. Plan Choice Date

The Plan Choice Date records the date a new member signed the MIF choosing Plan 2 or Plan 3, or if the member defaults to Plan 3, the Plan Choice Date is the 90th day from the date of hire.

The Transfer Date records the date an existing Plan 2 member signed the MIF transferring to Plan 3 during the January transfer window.

2. Plan Choice

You must report one of the following codes:

  • 2C-New Plan 2 member chooses Plan 2
  • 3C-New Plan 2 member chooses Plan 3
  • 3D-New Plan 2 member is defaulted into Plan 3
  • 3X-Plan 2 member transfers to Plan 3

If you are setting up a Plan Choice Record for your payroll system for the first time, refer to Transmittal Report Technical Requirements – MRL Plan Choice Record.

Your Transmittal and the Timing of Your Data

The Plan Choice Record needs to be submitted only one time per member. The plan choice and the associated date are required to be transmitted on the transmittal to DRS to record a member's choice.

  • When reporting a Plan 2 member who is choosing Plan 2, all information must be reported in Plan 2 with the report that includes the Plan Choice Record.
  • When reporting a Plan 2 member who is choosing or being defaulted into Plan 3, all information must be reported in Plan 3 with the report that includes the Plan Choice Record.

Refer to the section for Plan 3 Reporting – January Transfer Option for reporting current Plan 2 members who want to transfer to Plan 3.

Valid Earn Periods for Plans 2 and 3

A member's entry date into PERS, SERS or TRS Plan 2 determines if the member has the option to choose Plan 2 or Plan 3. Use Member Reporting Verification (MRV) to determine if the member has past service in a DRS retirement plan and their entry date into the plan. The following summarizes the valid earn periods for reporting PERS, SERS and TRS plans:

PERS Plans
  • Valid earning periods for PERS Plan 2 are from October 1977 forward. This is true for any PERS Plan 2 member who transfers to Plan 3
  • Valid earning periods for PERS Plan 3 are from March 2002 forward for members employed by state agencies or higher education institutions
  • Valid earning periods for PERS Plan 3 are from September 2002 forward for members employed by local government employers
SERS Plans
  • Valid earn periods for SERS Plan 2 are from October 1977 forward. This is true of a SERS Plan 2 current member who transfers to Plan 3.
  • Valid earn periods for SERS Plan 3 are from Sept. 1, 2000 forward.

Note: SERS didn't exist before Sept. 1, 2000. Classified employees working for school districts and educational service districts held PERS Plan 2 membership.

TRS Plans
  • Valid earn periods for TRS Plan 2 are from Oct. 1, 1977 forward. This includes a TRS Plan 2 member who transfers to Plan 3.
  • Valid earn periods for TRS Plan 3 are from July 1, 1996 forward.

Reporting Charts

DRS provides reporting charts to help employers determine the correct plan. Refer to Reporting an Employee.

Stop Reporting an Employee

Separating Retirement Members
SFT

Use the Employment Information Record to submit the member's eligibility end date if you are reporting via SFT.

WBET

If you report via Web Based Employer Transmittal (WBET), separation dates can be transmitted using a regular or a correction report. On the Earning Detail screen, select the Update Member Info button associated with the member’s name. This will take you to the Update Member Information screen where you can enter the Eligibility End Date. For additional information, view the procedures in Using the DRS Web Based Services.

Terminating DCP Participation
SFT

Use the Employment Information Record if you report via SFT to submit the participant's termination date (the employee's employment termination date).

WBET

If you are using WBET, terminating the member in the retirement transmittal report will not terminate the member from DCP. You will need to terminate DCP membership in the DCP transmittal report. Select the Update Participant Info button associated with the member’s name on the Deferral Detail screen. Enter the Employment Termination Date on this screen. For additional information, view the procedures in Using the DRS Web Based Services.

Note: When a participant changes their deferral to zero, stop reporting the participant to DRS. (Do not report any type of date.) Upon termination, add the participant back on to the transmittal report to send the termination date.

What to Include in Your Regular Transmittal

When submitting your regular transmittal report include the following:

See the Reporting Process Summary for an overview of the reporting process, the Transmittal Field Descriptions for information about each field in the transmittal report, and Making Corrections on the Regular Transmittal Report for how to do a correction on a regular transmittal report.

The Chapter 8 Index provides access to other details of the reporting process. Employer Frequently Asked Questions provide answers to the most common reporting problems.

Making Corrections to the Transmittal Report

Making Corrections on the Regular Transmittal Report

Retirement Systems

Make corrections using WBET to submit changes at any time during the month. Automated corrections can be submitted using any of the automated methods available.

Two Methods for Making Corrections

Two methods may be used to make corrections via the transmittal report. They are the "reverse and reenter" method and the "adding/subtracting" method.

The preferred method is the reverse and reenter method. Using this method creates a record of your correction, an audit trail, which makes it easier for others to identify when and how a correction was made.

The adding/subtracting method allows you to use a single line to make a correction. This method can be used to correct errors in reported compensation, contributions or service.

Note: To correct member contributions in Plan 3, use the current salary and rate to determine the current deduction. Then add to or subtract from this amount to determine the appropriate amount to deduct/report to DRS.

As of March 1, 2002, DRS can process negative defined contributions up to 80% of reported contributions, via the transmittal report. If you need to back out more than 80%, the amount is greater than $1,500.00, contact ESS.

Reverse and Reenter Method for Manual Reporting Example:
  • On one blank line of the report, enter information for the employee exactly as you had reported it originally. Use brackets "[ ]" or a negative sign "-" to indicate negative amounts.

Note: If you are correcting information for a nontaxed period, the information may have been changed by DRS when your regular transmittal report was processed. Be sure to back out the information the same as it was changed by DRS. If you are correcting a taxed period, back out the information exactly as it was reported originally.

  • On a second blank line, reenter the correct information for the employee.
  • Make any adjustments necessary to the page, plan and
    system totals.
Reverse and Reenter for Automated Reporting Example:

First, enter a reversing transaction:

  • Enter the month, year, status code and type code of the earning period you want to correct.
  • Enter negative amount in the COMPENSATION, MEMBER CONTRIBUTIONS, EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS and HOURS/DAYS fields to back out the incorrect reporting.

Note: If you are correcting information for a nontaxed period, the information you reported may have been changed by DRS when your transmittal was processed. Be sure to back out the information the same as it was changed by DRS. If you are correcting reporting for a taxed period, back out the information as it was reported originally.

Second, enter the correcting transactions:

  • Enter the month, year, status code and type code of the earning period you want to correct.
  • Enter the correct, positive amounts in the COMPENSATION, MEMBER CONTRIBUTIONS, EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS and HOURS/DAYS fields.
  • Adjust the summary record (or summary page) totals as necessary.
Adding/Subtracting Method for Manual Reporting Example:
  • On a blank line of the form, enter member information in the SSN, NAME and TYPE fields.
  • In the EARNING PERIOD field, enter the applicable month and year for the earning period being corrected.
  • In the STATUS field, enter the applicable status code for the earning period being corrected.
  • In the COMPENSATION, MEMBER CONTRIBUTIONS, EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS and HOURS/DAYS fields, add to or subtract from the previously reported amounts to adjust the reported total.

Note: If an employee earned $220.00 more than was reported and worked an additional eight hours, the compensation, contributions, and service would need to be adjusted upward.

  • At the bottom of the report, enter the page, plan and system totals. Complete the necessary employer profile information in the header.
Adding/Subtracting for Automated Reporting Example:
  • Enter the month and year of the earning period you want to correct.
  • Add to or subtract from the previously reported hours/days of service to correctly adjust the total.

Note: If hours of service were reported as 132.0 and should have been reported as 140.0, report positive hours of 8.0.

  • Adjust the summary record (or summary page) totals as necessary.
WBET Users Making Corrections

If you use WBET for your regular report and need to back out data using negative numbers for 20 or more employees, it is recommended that you use the WBET Correction Report. Reversing data for multiple transactions on your regular report may cause your WBET Internet connection to "time out".

Making Corrections on the Correction Transmittal Report

Use WBET to make corrections to your transmittal reporting (excluding DCP reporting). Because a TC can be sent to DRS at any time during the month, it is usually the quickest method to use to make corrections to your transmittal report. The same two methods for making the corrections to your transmittal report are used for the TC. The methods are "reverse and reenter" and "adding/subtracting."

Reverse and Reenter Method for TC Example:
  • Complete the necessary employer profile information in the header.
  • On one blank line, enter information for the employee exactly as you had reported it originally. Use brackets "[ ]" or a negative sign "-" to indicate negative amounts.

Note: If you are correcting reporting for a nontaxed period, the information you reported may have been changed by DRS when your regular transmittal report was processed. Be sure to back out the information the same as it was changed by DRS. If you are correcting a taxed period, back out the information exactly as it was reported originally.

On a second blank line, reenter the correct information for the employee.

  • At the end of the TC report, enter page, plan and system totals.
Adding/Subtracting Method for TC Example:

Complete the necessary employer profile information in the header.

  • On a blank line of the form, enter member information in the SSN, NAME and TYPE fields.
  • In the EARNING PERIOD field, enter the applicable month and year for the earning period being corrected.
  • In the STATUS field, enter the applicable status code for the earning period being corrected.
  • In the COMPENSATION, MEMBER CONTRIBUTIONS, EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS and HOURS/DAYS fields, add to or subtract from the previously reported amounts to adjust the reported total.

Note: If an employee earned $220.00 more than was reported and worked an additional eight hours, the compensation, contributions and service would need to be adjusted upward.

  • At the end of the report, enter the page, plan and system totals. Complete the necessary employer profile information in the header.
WBET Users Making Corrections

If you use WBET for your regular report and need to back out data using negative numbers for 20 or more employees, it is recommended that you use the WBET Correction Report. Reversing data for multiple transactions on your regular report may cause your WBET Internet connection to "time out".

Transmittal Report Technical Requirements

Summary

This section provides employers with information about how to report retirement members and deferred compensation participants to DRS using an electronic format. DRS can accept several reporting media options. The information in this section will help employers decide the best way for them to report retirement information and DCP deferral information to DRS.

This section describes:

  • the multiple record layout
  • the automated reporting media DRS accepts and the file format options associated with this media;
  • specific step by step information employers must follow to start using one of the automated reporting media accepted by DRS (See WBET or SFT sign-up instructions); and
  • each field described/identified by record type for MRL.

If you change your reporting method, please contact ESS to arrange for a test of the new method before submitting a regular transmittal report via the new method.

If you have questions about the information, please contact ESS. This information can also be accessed on our DRS website.

File Format Options

DRS will accept three different formats from automated systems. The chart below describes the typical system requirements used to produce transmittal reports in each format.

File formats.
Creating an ASCII Format Transmittal Report Using a Spreadsheet

Employers can use spreadsheet software and a personal computer to create a file containing their detailed transmittal report transactions, and summary record. The file must be saved as ASCII text, in tab delimited format. This type of file can be submitted via Secure File Transfer (SFT).

The samples in Figures 8-21 and 8-22 reflect how a regular transmittal report created with a spreadsheet may appear.

Points for Creating a Spreadsheet
  • By using the record type identifier "L," you can create headings to help you use your spreadsheet. The DRS system will not process information in any row with an L in the Record Type Indicator field. (See the description of the Record Type Identifier field.)
  • Many spreadsheets will delete leading zeroes from numbers you enter. (For instance, the zero will be removed from 07.) As long as you are reporting in ASCII text, tab delimited format, DRS can read these fields, even if the leading zeroes do not appear. You may encounter this with fields such as Report Version Number, Expected Monthly Reports, Social Security Number or Type Code, among others.
  • If you would like to have leading zeroes show on your spreadsheet, review the features of your spreadsheet application to determine how to reformat the way numbers are displayed in the cells.
  • Because there are more fields in the detailed records than in the summary record, the columns do not need to line up. (See Figures 8-21 and 8-22.)
  • When the monthly transmittal report is complete, save your file as ASCII text, with tab delimiters. Follow the instructions provided with your software to save the file in this format.

Note: Refer to the Transmittal Field Descriptions for complete field names. Field headings in Figures 8-21 and 8-22 are abbreviated.

 

MRL ASCII TAB DELIMITED FORMAT - USING A SPREADSHEET - PERS REPORT
Figure 8-21

MRL ASCII TAB DELIMITED FORMAT-USING A SPREADSHEET - DCP REPORT
Figure 8-22

Note: There should be no transactions in the Defined Benefit Record or the Transfer Record if reporting deferrals for participants of the Deferred Compensation Program. These records should not be included in the file.

Reporting Media Options

Employers have several methods for transmitting retirement data to the Department of Retirement Systems:

  • Web Based Employer Transmittal (WBET)

    Recommended for employers with 85 or less employees for regular transmittal reporting, and for all employers for correction transmittal reporting. View WBET procedures in Using the DRS Web Based Services.

  • Secure File Transfer (SFT)

    The SFT method allows employers to send their transmittal report over the Internet using FTP SFT software. Many payroll systems can be programmed to download the payroll data directly into this file. See Reporting by Secure File Transfer and Creating an ASCII Format Transmittal Report sections.

Multiple Record Layout (MRL)

Summary

What Is MRL?

MRL is the term DRS uses to describe the record structure our system uses to process your reported information. Regardless of which transmittal reporting system you use, the information that you send us must be in MRL format.

  • All retirement data you report to DRS in a transmittal is divided into six MRL record types.
  • For each member you report, you can submit as few or as many of the six MRL records as needed.
  • One of the records, the Summary Record, must be included with every transmittal report.
  • Within each MRL record are fields. Fields are where you enter your data.
The Six Record Types Contained in MRL

Select from the following to view the record layout, including the field formats, field names, and field length for each record type.

  1. Summary Record
  2. Member Profile Record
  3. Employment Information Record
  4. Defined Benefit Record (not used for DCP)
  5. Defined Contribution Record (use only for Plan 3 members and DCP participants)
  6. Plan Choice Record (use only for Plan 3 members)

The Member Profile Record, the Employment Information Record and the Plan Choice Record are used infrequently and only to report certain occurrences. Select the record above to learn more.


What Does MRL Look Like?

View a graphic example of the MRL and how to complete some of the common fields for:

Record Structure of the Multiple Record Layout

Listed below are some basic field requirements that you need to know when transmitting data:

  • The four fields in each record which follow the record type identifier are common (key) fields and are part of each record type
  • Field start and end information is given for employers who will be reporting with fixed length records
  • The maximum field length is shown in the "field length" column for tab-delimited records
  • Only tab-delimited records or fixed length records are accepted
  • Report signed negative and positive numbers
  • Alpha fields must be left justified
  • Alpha fields should be blank when not being used
  • Department number fields – left justified
  • Numeric fields must be right justified
  • Numeric fields should be zero filled when not being used
  • Zoned decimals are not accepted.

For additional information on when to use the fields and what is acceptable data for each field, refer to Transmittal Field Descriptions and the List of Edit Fields.

Summary Record

Summary Record Use

Record type ID: S

Summary Record Layout.

The summary record as shown below must be part of every transmittal report to DRS, but do not include Summary Record in the Total Records Reported field. You can send one file with multiple transmittal reports but each transmittal report must have a summary record. The reporting group number is the data element within the summary record that distinguishes one transmittal report from another. Some employers have more than one reporting group number; i.e., a city has a reporting group number for the Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), a reporting group number for the Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' Retirement System (LEOFF) and a reporting group number for the Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS). If you have employees who participate in the DCP, you will have a fourth reporting group number.








Member Profile Record

Record type ID: M

Member Profile Record Layout.

This record is required the first time you report an employee, but not a retiree. This record is also used to report a change to a member's or participant's name, address, birth date or gender code. See below for details.

MRL - Employment Information Record

Record type ID: E

Employer Information Record Layout.

This record is required the first time you report an employee, and the last time you plan to report an employee. It is also used to update a member's type code, the control number, or organization display information. The leave/disability start and end date fields are used to record disability leave periods for LEOFF members.

This record is not needed or expected on every report. Layout details are shown in below.

Defined Benefit Record Use (Not Applicable for DCP)

Record type ID: B

Defined Benefit Record Layout.

This record should be on every report for each member who has been reported with a retirement eligibility start date by your organization. At least one defined benefit record per member must be reported for each earning period being reported. This should continue until a retirement eligibility end date is reported. Layout details are shown below.


MRL - Defined Contribution Record

Record type ID: C

Sample Defined Contribution Record.

This record should be on each report for every Plan 3 member's retirement contribution or DCP participants' deferral information the first time you report the member or participant. The Defined Contribution Record, the Member Profile Record and the Plan 3 Choice Record must be reported the first time you report a member transferring to Plan 3. See layout details below.

Plan Choice Record

Record type ID: T

The Plan Choice Record applies only to PERS, SERS and TRS members.

This record needs to be submitted only one time per member. Employers must submit this record on the transmittal report for every new plan choice member who has chosen to remain in Plan 2, and/or for any Plan 2 member who has selected (choice/transfer) Plan 3, or is defaulted into Plan 3 and is being reported in Plan 3 for the first time.

Without the Plan Choice date and/or the Transfer date, DRS will not move a Plan 2 member into Plan 3, and all of the reported information on the transmittal report will be rejected. The Plan Choice information is required when the choice/transfer date is reported for new members only. Refer to the codes below:

  • 2C = New Plan 2 member chooses Plan 2
  • 3C = New Plan 2 member chooses Plan 3
  • 3D = New Plan 2 member is defaulted into Plan 3
  • 3X = Plan 2 member of PERS, SERS, or TRS transfers to Plan 3 per the January Transfer Option

Note:

  • Beginning July 1, 2007, TRS potential members (substitutes) who have not purchased their substitute time have a plan choice if hired into an eligible position.
  • Beginning July 1, 2007, SERS potential members (substitutes) who have not purchased their substitute time have a plan choice if hired into an eligible position provided the employee has no prior PERS Plan 2 service. If there is prior PERS Plan 2 service, report in SERS Plan 2; the employee has no plan choice, but is eligible for a January Transfer Option.
  • Beginning Augu. 1, 2009, all SERS potential members (substitutes) who have not purchased their substitute time have a plan choice if hired into an eligible position.
  • PERS JBM new members with no prior PERS membership are mandated into PERS JBM Plan 2 with no plan choice rights.

The Employment Information Record (when applicable) and the Defined Benefit Record (DBR) should contain the appropriate Plan number in the plan code field and be included with the Member Profile Record on the transmittal report for each member being reported with this record. Layout details are shown below.

Plan Choice Record Layout
Plan Choice Record Layout.

Reporting by Secure File Transfer (SFT)

How to Report via SFT

To submit a transmittal report via SFT, create a single electronic file containing both the detailed transmittal report transactions and the summary record information. See Creating an ASCII Format Transmittal Report. Save the file and transmit to DRS by the due date.

What You Will Need to Submit a Report
  • computer hardware and software that can prepare an electronic file in the required data format
  • an Internet connection to SFT
  • a DRS User ID
Getting Started with SFT Reporting

Step 1-Establish a DRS user ID

SFT transmittal reporting requires employers to establish a user ID with DRS and to provide an Internet e-mail address. Call ESS at (360) 664-7200 or 1-800-547-6657 to begin the process of establishing a user ID.

Step 2-Prepare Your Transmittal Information

The preliminary step of preparing your transmittal reporting information is the same for SFT reporting as for any other method. You will use your payroll information to determine the detailed transmittal reporting transactions you need to submit to DRS.

Step 3-Create a Summary Record

Each transmittal report to DRS includes two parts:

  • The detailed transmittal reporting transactions for each member; and
  • the summary record totals (such as compensation and contributions) that equal the sum of the detailed transactions.

After you have determined the detailed transactions you need to transmit to DRS, create a summary record to include with your detailed transactions.

Step 4-Create an Electronic File of Your Transmittal Report

Save both the detailed transactions and the summary record in a single electronic file. You may place the summary record at either the beginning or the end of the file.

Note: File Format Options describes the data format options that DRS will accept. The formats standardize the order of the data in your report so that DRS can read your electronic file and process the transactions. Your choice will be based on the type of hardware and software you have available.

Step 5-Name Your SFT File

See Figure 8-23 below for an example of naming your electronic files using the following convention:

  • The first four characters indicate the organization identification number assigned by DRS. If you do not know your organization ID, contact ESS
  • the next four characters should reflect the month and version number and/or DCP1 or DCP2 if you are submitting a DCP report
  • the three-character extension indicates format of the data
    • TAB for ASCII tab delimited format
    • FIX for ASCII fixed length format

How to name your file.



Step 6-Submit a Test SFT file to DRS

If you are changing to SFT reporting from another method, contact ESS so they can work with you to send a test file. ESS will pre-edit the test file to ensure the file can be read and the data is in the correct format. You should continue to submit the transmittal report using your current method until you are notified by ESS of a successful test. Test file names should include the word test after your organization id: 2438TEST.TAB or 2438TEST.FIX.

Step 7-Begin Reporting Via SFT

Once a test is successful, you will be notified that you can begin using SFT to send transmittal reports. DRS will process the file the evening of the day you transmit the file. To confirm receipt of the file, SFT generates an "Upload Successful" message. Contact ESS if you do not get this message.

If you discover the file you sent has an error, contact ESS and request that the file be deleted. (Processing begins at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.) DCP reports must be received by 9 a.m. Pacific Standard Time or they will be processed the following day.

Note: If you are reporting Deferred Compensation deferral dollars or Plan 3 member contributions, both the transmittal and the payment must be received before DRS can invest the member's money.

Transmittal Field Descriptions

Transmittals are based on the Multiple Record Layout (MRL). MRL has six types of records, and within these records are fields. Below are the descriptions of the fields listed in alphabetical order. The fields that are contained in more than one record type are identified with ** signs.

A | B | C | D | E | G | H | I | M | O | P | R | S | T | Z

Address Change Flag

Use "Y" to update a member's or participant's mailing address or report "N" if you have included address information, but do not want to update the DRS member database.

Address Lines

Three fields are provided for mailing address information.

Begin Date

Use this field to report the date a member begins employment that is eligible for retirement system coverage. The begin date should only be submitted on the first transmittal report. (See the note for LEOFF employers below.) To avoid reported data being rejected, the first time you report an employee who is eligible for retirement system membership, ensure a valid begin date, gender code and birth date are on the transmittal report.

Note: For LEOFF employers-This field is also used to indicate the date a LEOFF Plan 1 member begins an authorized disability leave of more than three days. It is also used to indicate the date a LEOFF Plan 1 or Plan 2 member begins leave without pay of more than three days. Status code E for Plan 1 and status code B for Plan 2 must be reported with the begin date (SRL only).

Birth Date

Use this field to provide the member's or participant's birth date.

City

Use this field to report the name of the city within the mailing address for the member or participant.

Compensation

In general, the salaries or wages earned by a member for personal services during a calendar month, payroll period, or fiscal year are reported as compensation. Each retirement system and plan has different requirements for reporting compensation.

Control Number

Data is no longer required in this field. Formerly used to indicate how an employer wanted DRS to sequence members' annual statements. The statements used to be mailed to employers for distribution to members (now, members access their statements online).

Days
For TRS Plan 1 members, service is reported in days. Use this field to report the days the TRS Plan 1 member worked during the earning period being reported. Days must be reported to the nearest tenth.

Defined Benefit Member Contributions

Member contributions for members of all systems and plans other than PERS, SERS and TRS Plan 3 must be reported in this field. (Plan 3 member contributions are reported on the defined contribution record.)

Contributions must be the product of the following calculation:
contributions = (compensation) x (member contribution rate), calculated to four decimal points (200.0159) and rounded to two decimal points (200.02).

Refer to Chapter 6 for rate tables showing which rates apply to each earning period.

Defined Contributions/Deferrals

Use this field to report member contributions for Plan 3 members and deferrals for DCP participants. Once a member chooses Plan 3 all member contributions should be reported in Plan 3--including any contributions on previously unreported earnings as a Plan 2 member.

Contributions should be the product of the following calculation:
contributions = (compensation) x (member contribution rate), calculated to four decimal points (200.0159) and rounded to two decimal points (200.02).
Note: DRS does not edit Plan 3 member contributions or deferrals according to this formula.

All defined contributions for members in Plan 3 must be calculated on the rate in effect at the time the compensation is paid. If you need to adjust contributions previously paid, base your corrections on the contribution rate in effect when the original compensation was paid.

Refer to Chapter 6, for contribution rates from which Plan 3 members may choose. Review Chapter 8, Plan Choice Reporting - Contribution Rate Options for contribution rate option reporting rules.

Refer to Chapter 8, Reporting a New Member Plan Choice and Existing Plan 3 Member Changing Employers for when to begin reporting defined contributions.

Refer to Chapter 11, Employee Enrollment for when to begin reporting Deferred Compensation deferrals.

Disability/Leave End Date

Use this field to report the disability/leave end date. Disability leave and other types of leave for LEOFF members must be reported if the period of leave exceeds three days.

Disability/Leave/Start Date

Use this field to report the disability/leave start date. Disability leave and other types leave for LEOFF members must be reported if the period of leave exceeds three days.

Earning Period

The earning period is the year and month in which the compensation was earned. Only one earning period can be reported per transaction. Create transactions for each earning period that needs to be reported.

Eligibility End/Termination Date
Retirement Systems

Use this field to report the date a retiree ends employment or changes his or her position status. Use this field to report the date a member ends employment that is eligible for retirement system coverage. This date may be equal to the employment termination date or an earlier date if the employee is originally hired into an eligible position and later moves into an ineligible position. This date should be on the last transmittal report you expect to use for a member.

Deferred Compensation Program

Use this field to report the date a participant terminates employment. This includes participants who have previously suspended their deferrals. This date should be on the last transmittal report you expect to use for a participant.

Eligibility Start Date
Retirement Systems

Use this field to report the date a retiree begins employment or changes his or position status. Use this field to report the date a member begins employment that is eligible for retirement system coverage. This date may be equal to the employment start date, or a later date if the employee is originally hired into an ineligible position and later is hired into an eligible position. This date must be on the transmittal report for each retiree and member you are reporting for the first time. If you report a retiree and member without an eligibility start date, all of the information on the transmittal report will be rejected.

Employer Contributions

Employer contributions are due on all compensation reported for each earning period.

Contributions must be the product of the following calculation:

contributions = (compensation) x (employer contribution rate), computed to four decimal points (200.0159) and rounded to two decimal points (200.02)

Refer to Chapter 6 for rate tables showing which rates apply to each earning period.

End Date

Use this field to report the date a member ends employment that is eligible for retirement system coverage. The end date should only be submitted on the last transmittal report. (See the note for LEOFF members below.)

When separating a member from the transmittal report, report the end date. The year and month of the earning period on the report transaction must match the year and month of the end date.

Note: For LEOFF employers-This field is also used to indicate the end date of an authorized disability leave of more than three days for LEOFF Plan 1 members. It is used to indicate the end date for leave without pay of more than three days for LEOFF Plan 1 or Plan 2 members. Status code E for Plan 1 and status code B for Plan 2 must be reported with the end date.

Expected Monthly Reports

Employers who are not using the multiple reporting option should always enter 01 in the Expected Monthly Reports field.

Employers using the multiple reporting option must use the Report Version Number and Expected Monthly Reports fields to identify which report this is in the month's sequence of reports.

Example:

01 of 02 (first report of two expected reports for the month). Refer to report version number definition. Employers submitting a correction report should always enter 01 in the Expected Monthly Reports field.

Note: Employers who participate in DCP and have more than one pay date in a month must submit a DCP report for each payday. (DRS does not want employers who have a bi-weekly payroll system to send more than two reports in a month.)

Gender Code

Use this field to provide the member's gender. Valid values: F or M

Hours

For all retirement systems and plans except TRS Plan 1, service is reported in hours. Use this field to report the hours the member worked during the earning period being reported. Hours must be reported to the nearest tenth.

Hours or Days

Report the number of hours or days for which a member receives compensation. Hours or days must be reported to the nearest tenth.

Note: All systems except TRS Plan 1 report hours. Days should be reported for TRS Plan 1 members.

Investment Program

For Plan 3, fill this field with

  • "WSIB" to direct member contributions to the Washington State Investment Board
  • "SELF" to direct member contributions to the Self-Directed Investment Program

Note: If a non-transferring Plan 3 member fails to select an investment program within 90 days of eligibility, your system must report "WSIB."

Member Contributions

Member contributions are due on all compensation reported for each earning period.

Contributions must be the product of the following calculation:

contributions = (compensation) x (member contribution rate), calculated to four decimal points (200.0159) and rounded to two decimal points (200.02).

Note: DRS does not edit Plan 3 member contributions or deferrals according to this formula.

Refer to Chapter 6 for rate tables showing which rates apply to each earning period.

Member/Participant Name Change Flag

Use "Y" to update the member's or participant's name or report "N" if you have included name information, but do not want to update the DRS member database.

Member/Participant Name Extension

Use this field to provide the legal extension of the member's or participant's name, such as III, SR or JR. Use capital letters, but no punctuation.

Member/Participant Name-Last/First/Middle

The name identifies the employee being reported. Three fields (Last Name, First Name, Middle Name) can be used to report the name. The middle name is not required.

Member/Participant Name Suffix

Use this field to report abbreviations indicating degrees earned through the educational process, such as PHD. Use capital letters, but no punctuation.

Member/Participant Name Title

This field accepts only two titles: DR or REV.
Entries such as Mr, Mrs, Miss, or Ms will be ignored and default to a blank field.

Organization Display
Data is no longer required in this field. Formerly used in conjunction with the Control Number field for purposes of managing the distribution of annual statements by employers. Annual statements are no longer mailed to employers for distribution to members.

Plan Choice

Fill this field with the 2-character code that describes the member's choice.

PERS, SERS with no prior PERS Plan 2 service, and TRS members only:

  • 2C—New Plan 2 member chooses Plan 2
  • 3C—New Plan 2 member chooses Plan 3
  • 3D—New Plan 2 member is defaulted into Plan 3

Plan 2 Members of PERS, SERS or TRS transferring to Plan 3 per the January Transfer Option:

  • 3X—Plan 2 member transfers into Plan 3 Plan

Note:

  • Potential members such as substitutes should be treated like new members; they have a plan choice if hired into an eligible position. For SERS potential members, however, this is true only if they have no prior PERS Plan 2 service. If they have prior PERS Plan 2 service, report in SERS Plan 2; the employee has no plan choice, but is eligible for a January Transfer Option.
  • New PERS JBM members with no prior PERS membership are mandated into PERS Plan 2 with no plan choice rights.
Plan Choice/Transfer Date

Using the information taken from Section 2 of the Member Information Form (MIF), fill this field with the date

  • a new PERS, SERS with no prior PERS Plan 2 service, or TRS member chooses, either Plan 2 or Plan 3, or after 90 calendar days from the date of hire when the employer reports the default of the member into Plan 3 or
  • a Plan 2 member of PERS, SERS, or TRS chooses Plan 3 per the January Transfer Option.
  • PERS JBM:
    • New PERS JBM members with no prior PERS membership do not have Plan Choice rights and are mandated into PERS Plan 2. These members are reported from the first day of hire in PERS Plan 2 with the appropriate JBM type code.
    • Prior PERS members who had the right to transfer from PERS Plan 2 to PERS Plan 3 before becoming a JBM member will continue to have Plan 2 to Plan 3 transfer rights.
Plan Code**

Use this field to identify the retirement plan being reported. Valid values: 0, 1, 2, or 3.

  • Plan 0 - Retirees, and school district and educational service district substitutes
  • Plan 1 - Valid for systems D, J, L, P, S and T
  • Plan 2 - Valid for systems E, L, N, P, S, and T
  • Plan 3 - Valid for systems E, P, and T
Rate Option

There are currently six rate options: A, B, C, D, E or F. Fill this field with the applicable value, to indicate the rate option the Plan 3 member has selected.

Note: If a non-transferring member fails to select a rate option within 90 days of eligibility, your system must report A.

Option B and C-coordinating rate changes with birth dates.

For members choosing options B and C, rates must increase following the 35th and 45th birthdays. If a rate change is necessary following a member birthday, you will begin using the new rate on the first of the following month.

Example:

if a member who has chosen option B turns 35 on Jan. 15, you will deduct 6% contributions for all reportable compensation beginning on February 1.

Record Sequence Number

The record sequence number identifies the order of transaction entries on the transmittal report. Sequence numbers must be listed in ascending order. Sequence numbers within one retirement plan cannot be duplicated.

Record Type Identifier

Each record has a unique record type identifier. If you are using a spreadsheet to create the transmittal report or the file contains rows that are not filled with transmittal report data (such as column headings), mark them with "L" so the DRS system will not read them as data.

See figures 8-21 and 8 -22.
  • B - to identify the Defined Benefit Record.
  • C - to identify the Defined Contribution Record.
  • E - to identify the Employment Information Record.
  • L - to identify rows with column headings or rows you do not want DRS to process.
  • M - to identify the Member Profile Record.
  • S - to identify the Summary Record.
  • T - to identify the Plan 3 Choice Record.
Report Type**

This field is used to indicate whether the report is a regular transmittal report or a correction report. Valid values: R, C.

  • R-Regular transmittal report
  • C-Correction report (Does not apply to DCP.)

You may always include correcting transactions within your regular transmittal reports. In addition, DRS will accept separate correction reports. This allows you to submit correcting transactions any time during a month. Depending on your method of reporting, you may need to flag Use the Report Type field as "R" to identify a regular transmittal report, or "C" to identify a correction transmittal report to identify the type of report you are submitting.

Report Version Number**

DRS can arrange for employers who report electronically to submit multiple regular transmittal reports for each calendar month. The Report Version Number and Expected Monthly Reports fields identify the expected number of regular transmittal reports for a specific month.

Note: To use the multiple reporting option you must make prior arrangement with DRS. For additional information, contact ESS.

Employers who are not using the multiple reporting option should always enter 01 in the Report Version Number field

Employers using the multiple reporting option must use the Report Version Number to identify which transmittal report this is in the month's sequence of reports.

Example:

01 of 02 (first report of two expected reports for the month). Refer to Expected Monthly Reports definition.

Employers submitting a correction report should always enter 01 in the Report Version Number field. (Correction reports are given version numbers by the DRS system.)

Note: Employers who participate in DCP and have more than one pay date in a month must submit a DCP report for each payday. (DRS does not want employers who have a bi-weekly payroll system to send more than two reports in a month.)

Reporting Group Number**

This is a DRS - assigned number and is system specific. An employer who participates in multiple systems has a specific department number for each system.

Fixed length ASCII format - The field length must be 6 characters. If the reporting group number is less than 6 characters long, add blank spaces at the end. Example: 9076bb.

Reporting Period**

The reporting period identifies the year and month of the transmittal report. The same reporting period should be used for all entries within the report.

Social Security Number (SSN) **

The member's Social Security number must be 9 digits in length. The Social Security number entered on the transmittal report must match the number on the employee's Social Security card.

State

Use this field to report the state abbreviation within the mailing address.

Status Code

Status codes identify the status of the compensation, contributions, and hours or days being reported for a member. Only one status code can be reported per transaction. If more than one status code needs to be reported for a member, use additional transactions for each status code.

System Code**

The system code identifies the system being reported. Valid codes are: D, E, J, L, N, P, R, S, and T.

  • D - Deferred Compensation Program (DCP)
  • E - School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS)
  • J - Judicial Retirement System (JRS)
  • L - Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' (LEOFF)
  • N - Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS)
  • P - Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS)
  • R - Judicial Retirement Account (JRA)
  • S - Washington State Patrol Retirement System (WSPRS)
  • T - Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS)
  • U - Judges Retirement Fund (JRF)
Taxed/Non-taxed Status

Fill this field with a "T" to indicate that member contributions are taxed. Leave the field blank if the member contributions are deferred from federal income tax.

Total Compensation

Enter the grand total (sum of the transactions within either the benefit record or defined benefit record) of member compensation for all plans reported on the transmittal report.

Total Days

Enter the grand total of days for TRS Plan 1 members reported within the Defined Benefit Record. Total days must be reported to the nearest tenth.

Total Employer Contributions

Enter the grand total (sum of the transactions within either the benefit record and/or the defined benefit record) of employer contributions for all plans reported on the transmittal report.

Total Hours

Enter the grand total of hours for all plans (except TRS Plan 1) reported within the Defined Benefit Record. Total hours must be reported to the nearest tenth.

Total Hours/Days

Enter the grand total of hours/days for all plans within the Benefit Record. Total Hours/Days must be reported to the nearest tenth. For TRS employers, Plan 1 members are reported with days, Plan 2 and Plan 3 members are reported with hours. If both plans are included on a transmittal report:

  1. Total the days for the Plan 1 members and separately total the hours for Plan 2 and Plan 3 members.
  2. Take the Plan 1 days total, and add that figure to the Plan 2 and Plan 3 hours total. Do not convert days to hours or hours to days.

Note: This total is used in a balancing process to verify data transmitted in the reporting process; this total does not affect service posted to members' accounts.

Total Member Contributions/Deferrals

Enter the grand total of member contributions for all plans included in the detailed transactions on the transmittal report. Include member contributions from both the Defined Benefit Record and the Defined Contribution Record if you use the MRL. The sum of all DCP participant deferrals should be entered in this field. If you are using the SRL, the sum of all detailed transactions in the Benefit Record should be reflected in this field.

Total Records Reported

Enter the total number of detailed transactions on the transmittal report. Do not include the Summary Record in this count.

Transfer Date

Using the information taken from Section 2 of the Member Information Form, fill this field with the date a Plan 2 member of PERS, SERS or TRS chooses Plan 3 per the January Transfer Option.

Type Code**

The Type Code identifies the type of employer, and in some cases, the type of work performed by the member.

Zip Code

Use this field to report the zip code within the mailing address for the member or participant.

Zip Extension

Use this field to report the zip code extension within the mailing address for the member or participant.

Edit Specifications by Field

Summary

Transmittals are based on the Multiple Record Layout (MRL). MRL has six types of records, and within these records are fields. When submitting transmittals to the Department of Retirement Systems, your data fields must meet the specifications listed in the List of Edit Fields. Refer to the Transmittal Field Descriptions for when to use the fields.

Edit Specifications by Field

List of Edit Fields

Information is organized by field names on the transmittal report. When submitting transmittals to DRS, your data fields must meet these specifications. If a field does not meet specifications, you will receive an Edit Message. For example, if your edit message says, "Invalid type code," refer to the Type Code field below to determine what data is accepted for this field.

A | B | C | D | E | G | H | I | M | O | P | R | S | T | Z

Address Change Flag

Valid values : Y or N

Address Lines

The first line must contain information

The second and third lines are optional

Birth Date

BIRTH DATE must appear on the first transmittal report you submit for an employee.

Valid values for day: 01-31, 01-30, 01-29, or 01-28 (depending on the month and year)

Note: If the BIRTH DATE indicates the member is younger than 16 or older than 100 years, DRS accepts the data but issues a warning message asking if the date is correct.

City

This field must contain a valid city whenever the member profile record is submitted.

Compensation (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

If COMPENSATION is reported, CONTRIBUTIONS must also be reported, with the following exceptions:

  • Status code L must be reported with zero contributions. Valid only for earning periods from January 1987 through August 1991.
  • For PERS Plan 2 or 3 elected officials with type codes 10-16, 24-25, and 27-28; or SERS Plans 2 and 3 elected officials with Type Code 31; status code A may be reported with zero contributions if no service credit was earned that month.
  • Member Contributions are not reportable for Plan 3 members unless the member has chosen a rate option (MRL only).

Note: DRS checks its member account records to ensure the COMPENSATION reported for a member on any transmittal report will not result in a net negative balance on the member account for that particular earning period. Transactions creating a new negative balance are rejected if the earning period is three months before the current earning period.

If COMPENSATION is over $10,000.00, DRS accepts the data and issues a warning message asking if the amount is correct.

Control Number (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Accepts six characters or less.

Days (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

DAYS are reported to the nearest tenth (24.0) for TRS Plan 1 only.

If DAYS are greater than 24.0 (or less than -24.0), DRS accepts the data and issues a warning message asking if the amount is correct.

Note: DRS checks its member account records to ensure the DAYS reported for a member on any transmittal report will not result in a net negative balance on the member account for that particular earning period. Transactions creating a net negative balance are rejected.

Defined Benefit Member Contribution (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Member contributions for non-Plan 3 members only.

Contributions must be the product of the following calculation:

Contributions = (compensation) x (member contribution rate), calculated to four decimal points (200.0159) and rounded to two decimal points (200.02).

Refer to Chapter 6 for rate tables showing which rates apply to each earning period. If no contributions are to be reported, enter zeroes in this field.

Defined Contributions/Deferrals

Plan 3 member contributions or DCP participant deferrals only.

Must be numeric.

Disability/Leave End Date (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Valid for system code L only.

Valid values for year: 00-99

Valid values for month: 01-12

Valid values for day: 01-31, 01-30, 01-29, or 01-28 (depending on the month and year)

Disability/Leave Start Date (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Valid for system code L only.

Valid values for year: 00-99

Valid values for month: 01-12

Valid values for day: 01-31, 01-30, 01-29, or 01-28 (depending on the month and year)

Earning Period (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

A valid earning period must be present for the transaction * to be processed.

Valid values for year: 00-99

Valid values for month: 01-12

Earning period year must not be greater than current reporting period year (or current reporting period year +1 if the reporting month is 12).

For system code E,

  • Plan 2, the earning period must be greater than September 1977 (> 197709);
  • Plan 3, the earning period must be greater than August 2000 (> 200008) unless the Plan 3 member has prior PERS Plan 2 service;

For system code L,

  • Plan 1, the earning period must be greater than February 1970 (> 197002);
  • Plan 2, the earning period must be greater than September 1977 (> 197709);

For system code J,

  • the earning period must be greater than July 1971(> 197107).

For system code N,

  • Plan 2, the earning period must be greater than June 2006 (> 200606);

For system code P,

  • Plan 1, the earning period must be greater than September 1947 (> 194709);
  • Plan 2, the earning period must be greater than September 1977 (> 197709);
  • Plan 3, the earning period must be greater than February 2002 (>200202), (Phase 1 employer);
  • For August 2002 (>200208), (Phase 2 employer) unless the Plan 3 member transferred from PERS Plan 2.

For system code S,

  • the earning period must be greater than July 1947(> 194707).

For system code T,

  • Plan 1, the earning period must be greater than June 1947 (> 194706);
  • Plan 2, the earning period must be greater than September 1977 (>197709);
  • Plan 3, the earning period must be greater than June 1996 (> 199606), unless the Plan 3 member transferred from TRS Plan 2.

Note: Corrections will be accepted from October 1977 forward for PERS, TRS and SERS Plan 2 members who transferred to Plan 3.

The earning period must be equal to or greater than the begin date for this Social Security number.

The earning period must not be greater than the end date for this Social Security number (unless a new period of employment is beginning and a new begin date is reported).

Note: Some STATUS CODES are valid only for a certain range of EARNING PERIODS.

DRS checks to see that the EARNING PERIOD is greater than or equal to the member's entry year and month into the system as recorded on the DRS member database.

Eligibility End Date

Valid values for year: 00-99

Valid values for month: 01-12

Valid values for day: 01-31, 01-30, 01-29, or 01-28 (depending on the month and year)

The ELIGIBILITY END DATE must be greater than or equal to the ELIGIBILITY BEGIN DATE for this employee with this employer.

Eligibility Start Date

Valid values for year: 00-99

Valid values for month: 01-12

Valid values for day: 01-31, 01-30, 01-29, or 01-28 (depending on the month and year)

Data must appear in this field the first time a SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER is reported.

Employer Contributions (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Employer contributions must be the product of this calculation:

contributions = (compensation) x (employer contribution rate), computed to four decimal points (200.0159) and rounded to two decimal points (200.02).

Note: The contribution rate must be correct for the SYSTEM, PLAN, and EARNING PERIOD.

Expected Monthly Reports

Employers using the multiple reporting option must use the Report Version Number and Expected Monthly Reports fields to identify this regular transmittal report in the month's sequence of reports. (DRS does not want employers who have a bi-weekly payroll system to send more than two reports in a month.)

Employers who are not using the multiple reporting option should always enter 01 in the Expected Monthly Reports field.

Employers submitting a correction report should always enter 01 in the Expected Monthly Reports field.

Gender Code

Valid values: F, M

F-Female

M-Male

GENDER CODE must be reported the first time you report an employee.

Hours (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Hours are reported for all systems except TRS Plan 1. Hours must be reported to the nearest tenth.

If hours are greater than 300.0 (or less than -300.0), DRS accepts the data and issues a warning message asking if the amount is correct.

Note: DRS checks its member account records to ensure the HOURS reported for a member on any transmittal report will not result in a net negative balance on the member account for that particular earning period. Transactions creating a net negative balance are rejected.

Hours or Days (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

HOURS or DAYS must be reported to the nearest tenth of an hour or day (for example, 133.3 hours, 160.0 hours or 20.5 days). If you do not keep track of service to the nearest tenth, include a decimal point and zero following the whole number when you report.

If HOURS are greater than 300.0 (or less than -300.0), or if DAYS are greater than 24.0 (or less than -24.0), DRS accepts the data and issues a warning message asking if the amount is correct.

Note: DRS checks its member account records to ensure the HOURS or DAYS reported for a member on any transmittal report will not result in a net negative balance on the member account for that particular earning period. Transactions creating a net negative balance are rejected.

Investment Program (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Valid values: WSIB or SELF

Member Contributions (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

MEMBER CONTRIBUTIONS must be the product of the following calculation:

contributions = (compensation) x (member contribution rate), calculated to four decimal points (200.0159) and rounded to two decimal points (200.02).

Note: The contribution rate must be correct for the SYSTEM, PLAN, and EARNING PERIOD. (Does not apply to Plan 3. The member rate in Plan 3 is not connected to a specific earning period.)

Member/Participant Name Change Flag

Valid values: Y or N

Member/Participant Name Extension

Accepts three characters or less for legal name extensions, such as III, SR or JR. Use capital letters; no punctuation

Member/Participant Name-Last, First, Middle

A valid NAME must be present for the transaction to be processed.

Reported data must not be all numbers

Middle name is optional

Note: DRS checks that the EMPLOYEE NAME matches the DRS member database for the reported SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.

Member/Participant Name Suffix

Accepts five characters or less for abbreviations for educational degrees, such as PHD. Use capital letters; no punctuation

Member/Participant Name Title

Valid Values: Accepts only DR or REV
Invalid Values: Mr, Mrs, Miss, or Ms will be ignored and default to a blank field

Organization Display (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Accepts six characters or less

Plan Choice

Valid values: 2C, 3C, 3D or 3X

PERS, SERS and TRS members only:

  • 2C—New Plan 2 member chooses Plan 2
  • 3C—New Plan 2 member chooses Plan 3
  • 3D—New Plan 2 member is defaulted into Plan 3

Plan 2 Members of PERS, SERS or TRS transferring to Plan 3 per the January Transfer Option:

  • 3X—Plan 2 member transfers into Plan 3 Plan

Note: Potential members such as substitutes should be treated like new members; they have a plan choice if hired into an eligible position.

For SERS, this is true only if they have no prior PERS Plan 2 service. If they have prior PERS Plan 2 service, report in SERS Plan 2; the employee has no plan choice, but is eligible for a January Transfer Option.


Choice/Transfer Date

Valid values for year: 00-99

Valid values for month: 01-12

Valid values for day: 01-31

Data must appear in this field the first time a Plan 2 member of PERS, SERS or TRS is reported in Plan 3; or when a PERS, SERS with no prior PERS Plan 2 service, or TRS member has chosen Plan 2.

Transfer Dates:

  • Phase 1 PERS employers – March 1, 2002-Aug. 31, 2002, and Jan. 1-31 of every year beyond 2002.
  • Phase 2 PERS employers – Sept. 1, 2002-May 31, 2003, and Jan. 1-31 of every year beyond 2003.
  • For SERS: Sept. 1, 2000 – Feb. 28, 2001, and Jan. 1-31 of every year beyond 2001.
  • For TRS: July 1, 1996 – Dec. 1997, and Jan. 1-31 of every year beyond 1997.

Plan Choice Date:

  • Must be within 90 days of a member's eligibility start date. (PERS, SERS, or TRS)

Notes:
–SERS new members with prior PERS Plan 2 service are reported in SERS Plan 2 with no plan choice, but are eligible for a January Transfer Option.
–PERS JBM members with no prior PERS membership are mandated into PERS Plan 2 with no plan choice rights. No Plan Choice Record should be transmitted for new PERS JBM Plan 2 members.


Plan Code

A valid plan code must be present for the transaction to be processed.

Valid values: 0, 1, 2 or 3

  • 0-Retirees
  • 1-Plan 1
  • 2-Plan 2
  • 3-Plan 3

PLAN 3 is valid only for SYSTEM codes E, P, and T.

PLAN 2 is valid only for SYSTEM codes E, L, N, P, S, and T.

PLAN 1 is valid for all SYSTEM codes except E and N.

Note: DRS checks the PLAN code against the plan shown for the employee's Social Security number on the DRS member database.


Rate Option (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Valid values: A, B, C, D, E and F

PERS JBM members in Plan 3 can't choose the following rates options:

  • At all ages, 'A' or 'D'
  • If less than 35 years of age, 'C'
  • If less that 45 years of age, 'B'
Record Sequence Number (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

A valid RECORD SEQUENCE NUMBER must be present for the transaction to be processed.

Records must be listed in ascending RECORD SEQUENCE NUMBER order.

For any monthly transmittal report, there must be a unique RECORD SEQUENCE NUMBER for each transaction within a PLAN.

Record Type Identifier

Valid values: B, C, E, M ,S, T and L

Report Type

Valid values: R or C

Report Version Number

Valid values: 01-03 (03 is not valid for DCP reporting).

Employers using the multiple reporting option must use the Report Version Number to identify this report in the month's sequence of reports.

Employers who are not using the multiple reporting option should always enter 01 in the REPORT VERSION NUMBER field.

Employers submitting a correction report should always enter 01 in the REPORT VERSION NUMBER field. (Correction reports are given version numbers by the DRS system.)

Reporting Group Number

A valid REPORTING GROUP NUMBER must be present for the transaction to be processed.

The REPORTING GROUP must be valid for the SYSTEM reported for this transaction.

The following ranges of numbers are valid for each system:

  • JRS [0001-0003]
  • LEOFF [A001-H999]
  • PERS [0101-9999]
  • PSERS [N0101-N9999]
  • SERS [90011-99991]
  • TRS [000001-999999]
  • WSPRS [S056-S057]

Note: DRS validates the REPORTING GROUP NUMBER against the DRS database of valid reporting group numbers. DCP/JRA numbers are not reflected within consistent ranges.

Reporting Period

Valid values for year: 00-99

Valid values for month: 01-12

A valid REPORTING PERIOD must be present for the transaction to be processed.

REPORTING PERIOD YEAR must not be greater than current year.

REPORTING PERIOD MONTH must not be greater than current month.

REPORTING PERIOD must be one month greater than the last reported REPORTING PERIOD for this REPORTING GROUP.

All transactions on a particular transmittal report must have the same REPORTING PERIOD regardless of EARNING PERIOD(S) reported.

Social Security Number

A valid Social Security number must be present for the transaction to be processed.

If a Social Security number has not appeared on the transmittal report before, the transaction must have a begin date/eligibility start date.

A Social Security number should not appear for any earning period before the reported begin date/eligibility start date.

Once a Social Security number has been reported, that same Social Security number must be reported each earning period until an eligibility end or employment termination date is reported.

A Social Security number should not appear for any earning period after the reported end date, unless you report a new begin date.

Note: DRS verifies the SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER matches the name, birth date, address, and gender code, and that the SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER is in the DRS member database.

State

Valid values are each state's letter abbreviations used for mailing.

Status Code

A valid status code must be present for the transaction to be processed.

The following status codes are valid for any earning period:

  • A, B, E, F, G, M, N, P, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y.

The following STATUS codes are valid only for restricted EARNING PERIODS:

  • C code is valid only for EARNING PERIODS from Sept. 1983-Aug. 1990 (198309-199008).
  • D code is valid only for EARNING PERIODS before Sept. 1989 (<198909).
  • H code is valid only for EARNING PERIODS before Sept. 1990 (< 199009).
  • L code is valid only for EARNING PERIODS from Jan. 1987-Aug. 1991 (198701-199108).
  • Q code is valid only for EARNING PERIODS before Jan. 1993 (<199301).

The STATUS code must be valid for the SYSTEM, PLAN, and TYPE codes reported.

A - For Status code A is valid for any SYSTEM, PLAN, EARNING PERIOD, or TYPE code.

B - For status code B the following edits apply:

  • If status is B, compensation, employee contributions, and hours/days must be zero.

C - For status code C the following edits apply:

  • C code is valid only for school district employees (DRS verifies against REPORTING GROUP).
  • C code is valid only for SYSTEM P or E.
  • C code is valid only for EARNING PERIODS from September 1983 through August 1990 (198309-199008).
  • C code is valid only for TYPE codes 18 and 21.

D - For status code D the following edits apply:

  • D code is valid only for higher education employees (DRS verifies against REPORTING GROUP).
  • D code is valid only for SYSTEM P.
  • D code is valid only for EARNING PERIODS prior to September 1989 (<198909).
  • D code is valid only for TYPE codes 19 and 20.
  • If STATUS is D, COMPENSATION, EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS, and HOURS/DAYS must be zero.

E - For status code E the following edits apply:

  • E code is valid only if SYSTEM is L, and the PLAN is 1.
  • If STATUS is E, COMPENSATION, EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS and HOURS/DAYS must be zero.

F - For status code F the following edits apply:

  • F code is valid only if SYSTEM is T.

G - For status code G the following edits apply:

  • G code is valid only if SYSTEM is T and PLAN is 1.

H - For status code H the following edits apply:

  • H code is valid only if SYSTEM is T.
  • H code is valid only for EARNING PERIODS before Sept. 1990 (< 199009).

L - For status code L the following edits apply:

  • L code is valid only if SYSTEM is L and PLAN is 2, or SYSTEM is E, P or T.
  • If STATUS is L, EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS must be zero.
  • L code is valid only for EARNING PERIODS from Jan. 1987-Aug. 1991 (198701-199108).

M - For status code M the following edits apply:

  • M code is valid only if SYSTEM is E, L, N, P, S or T.
  • If STATUS is M, HOURS/DAYS must be zero.

N- For status code N the following edits apply:

  • N code is valid only if SYSTEM is P and PLAN is 1, or SYSTEM is T and PLAN is 1, or SYSTEM is S and PLAN is 1.
  • N code is valid only for TYPE codes 01-29, 51, 59, 70-75, 78, 80 and 97-99.

P - For status code P the following edits apply:

  • P code is valid only if SYSTEM is P and PLAN is 1.
  • P code is valid only for TYPE codes 02-08, 10-16. 27-28 and 98-99.

Q - For status code Q the following edits apply:

  • Q code is valid only if SYSTEM is P, PLAN is 2 or 3 and TYPE is 10-16.
  • Q code is valid only for EARNING PERIODS before Jan. 1993 (<199301).
  • If STATUS is Q, COMPENSATION may be reported without CONTRIBUTIONS.

R - For status code R the following edits apply:

  • R code is valid only if SYSTEM is P and PLAN is 1, or SYSTEM is T and PLAN is 1.
  • R code is valid only for TYPE codes 01-29, 59, 70-78, 80 and 97-99.

S - Status code S is no longer used.

T - For status code T the following edits apply:

  • T code is valid only if SYSTEM is P and PLAN is 1, or SYSTEM is T and PLAN is 1,or SYSTEM is S and PLAN is 1.
  • T code is valid only for TYPE codes 01-29, 51, 59, 70-75 and 78.

U - For status code U the following edits apply:

  • U code is valid only if SYSTEM is P and PLAN is 1, or SYSTEM is T and PLAN is 1, or SYSTEM is S and PLAN is 1.
  • U code is valid only for TYPE codes 01-29, 51, 59, 70-75 and 78.

V - For status code V the following edits apply:

  • V code is valid only if SYSTEM is P and PLAN is 1, or SYSTEM is T and PLAN is 1.
  • V code is valid only for TYPE codes 01-29, 59, 70-75 and 78.

W - For status code W the following edits apply:

  • W code is valid only if SYSTEM is P and PLAN is 1.
  • W code is valid only for TYPE codes 02-08, 10-16 and 27-28.

X - For status code X the following edits apply:

  • X code is valid only if SYSTEM is P and PLAN is 1.
  • X code is valid only for TYPE codes 02-08, 10-16 and 27-28.

Y - For status code Y the following edits apply:

  • Y code is valid only if SYSTEM is P and PLAN is 1, or SYSTEM is T and PLAN is 1.
  • Y code is valid only for TYPE codes 01-29, 59, 70-75 and 78.
System Code

A valid system code must be present for the transaction to be processed.

Valid Values: D, E, J, L, N, P, R, S, T

  • D-Deferred Compensation Program (DCP)
  • E-School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS)
  • J-Judicial Retirement System (JRS)
  • L-Law Enforcement Officers' and Fire Fighters' (LEOFF)
  • N-Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS)
  • P-Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS)
  • R-Judicial Retirement Account (JRA)
  • S-Washington State Patrol Retirement System (WSPRS)
  • T-Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS)
  • U-Judges Retirement Fund (JRF)

Note: DRS checks that the SYSTEM code matches our record of the system for the REPORTING GROUP.

Tax/Non-tax (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Valid values: T or blank

Total Compensation (does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Should equal the sum of all transactions for which compensation is reported

Total Days (does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Should equal the sum of all days for which compensation is reported. Total days must be reported to the nearest tenth.

Total Employer Contributions (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Should equal the sum of all employer contributions for which compensation is reported

Total Hours (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Should equal the sum of all hours for which compensation is reported. Total hours must be reported to the nearest tenth.

Total Hours/Days (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

Should equal the sum of all hours/days for which compensation is reported. Total hours/days must be reported to the nearest tenth.

Total Member Contributions/Deferrals

Should equal the sum of all member contributions for which compensation is reported or the sum of all participant deferrals

Total Records Reported

Should equal the sum of all records reported, except the Summary Record

Type Code (Does not apply to DCP Reporting)

A valid TYPE CODE must be present for the applicable transaction to be processed.

The TYPE CODE must be valid for the SYSTEM and for the employee type.

TYPE CODES valid for each SYSTEM:

  • D (DCP): none are required
  • E (SERS): valid codes are 30-34. 39, 97-99
  • J (Judicial): valid code is 52
  • L (LEOFF): valid codes are 40-49, 55
  • N (PSERS): valid codes are 60 - 65, 98
  • P (PERS): valid codes are 01-29, 59, 97-99
  • R (JRA): none are required
  • S (WSPRS): valid code is 51
  • T (TRS): valid codes are 70-80, 97-99

Note: DRS validates the TYPE CODE against the reported SYSTEM and the system's record of the Employer Type.

Zip Code

Must be numeric

Zip Extension

Must be numeric

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