COVID-19: Information for DRS Employers

This page provides updates for DRS employers related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note that any official guidance on retirement reporting or other requirements will be posted as a Notice to Employers. Also, information for DRS customers is posted in DRS’ response to COVID-19

Update July 1, 2020 – Employer Notice

The following Employer Notice has been posted:

Update April 1, 2020 – Employer Notices

The following Employer Notices have been posted:

DRS has received several retirement reporting questions from employers related to COVID-19, including questions about whether DRS will allow an extension of reporting deadlines if an employer’s operations are closed as a response to the outbreak.

We appreciate your questions and concerns, and we are committed to doing all we reasonably can to lessen the impact of retirement-related requirements during these difficult times.

While DRS can waive interest and late reporting penalties in certain cases, the law relating to contributions is not something DRS has the administrative authority to change.

DRS will follow up with an Employer Notice once we have more information on how to handle these matters. In the meantime, if you know you will be closed or will be unable to report/pay contributions for a particular payroll, please contact the DRS Employer Support Services team.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through the best way to support our members and employers during this extraordinary event.

Update March 18, 2020 – Questions regarding furloughs/layoffs/return to work

These are extenuating times, where our state’s emergency planning response to the COVID-19 outbreak is changing by the day. DRS has received several retirement reporting questions from employers about how furlough/layoffs may impact pension benefits and 2008 ERF return to work restrictions.  We are working with the state Office of Financial Management on what next steps would be best to alleviate negative impact to pension benefits and retiree working restrictions.  Thank you for your continued patience.  We will follow up with an Employer Notice once we have more information on how to handle these.

Update March 17, 2020 – DRS closed to in-person services

To safeguard our customers and team members, the Department of Retirement Systems is now closed to in-person visits and onsite services at the agency’s building in Tumwater. Online services and phone/email contacts are still available, and we continue to process retirement applications and benefit payments as normal.

Details are available on the DRS website. We ask that you share this information with your employees.

Thank you for your assistance. It is greatly appreciated.

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