For the past four years the Department of Retirement Systems has required employers to verify the salary and hours of employees that were impacted by furloughs and/or temporary salary reductions put in place by employers to help reduce expenditures during times of financial hardship. The legislature passed bills (SB 6157, SB 6503 and HB 2070) which provided protections so that these reductions would not negatively impact an affected member’s pension.
First, thank you for cooperating with us in this effort. It has been our policy to only ask for this information at the time of retirement so that all final salary information could be included in the pension benefit calculation. Since existing furlough legislation expires June 30, 2013, and it appears no new furlough legislation is forthcoming; we will begin to request this information as soon as an employee contacts our office inquiring about retirement. This means that initially over the next few months you will receive an influx of these requests from our office; but after that the number of requests will be reduced.
You can also fill out the “ Verification of Expenditure Reduction Effort” form proactively if you believe an employee will retire within the next few years and send it to us. In addition, if none of your employees were impacted by these reductions please let us know and we will add you to a master list so that we will not contact you about it again in the future.
We realize these requests have been time consuming for you and once again we thank you for your cooperation in providing this information to help our retirees. Feedback you provided indicated a desire for a centralized location for sending and receiving these requests. Accordingly, we have created a single email address (PersSersMrvVoe@drs.wa.gov) for this purpose. If you want to send in these completed forms proactively, please send them to that address. We have attached a copy of the form to this email for your convenience.
Thank you again for all your help in this matter.
Should you have questions, please reply to this notice or call Employer Support Services at 360-664-7200, option 2, or 800-547-6657, option 6, option 2.