We are pleased to inform you that it is no longer necessary for most state agencies to verify DRS calculations related to employee salaries impacted by furloughs or Temporary Salary Reductions. There are some exceptions, which are discussed in this notice.
Under a state law approved in 2009, DRS is required to calculate what a state employee’s salary would have been if not for a reduction that results from being furloughed or taking a TSR. The law (SB 6157) is intended to ensure the retirement benefits of state employees are not impacted by these reductions. The protections remain in place even though the TSR and furlough period has ended.
To date, DRS has required state agencies to verify its salary calculations for each state employee affected by furloughs or a TSR. Working with DES and OFM, the Department has now developed a way to extract the information it needs from the state payroll system. This means DRS can now perform its own calculations for most state employees regarding what an employee’s unreduced salary would have been and will no longer send these for verification.
DRS will continue to request verification in instances where TSR salary calculations involve unusual wage types. While these wage types are uncommon in most state agencies, there are some (the Washington State Patrol and Washington State Ferries, for example) that may still have to perform these calculations for nearly all their employees.As we work on these verifications, our overall goal is reduce your workload as much as possible.
DRS would especially like to thank Mike Murray, Roseanna Ranger and Nicole Dobson at DES for their help in identifying wage types and making this data available.
Should you have questions, please reply to this message or call Employer Support Services at 360-664-7200, option 2, or 800-547-6657, option 6, option 2.