COMPTROLLER'S SEAL STATE OF CONNECTICUT

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

NANCY WYMAN
COMPTROLLER
OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775
MARK OJAKIAN
DEPUTY COMPTROLLER

INTERDEPARTMENTAL MEMORANDUM

May 19, 2003

To: All Affected Agencies
Attention: Chief Administrative and Fiscal Officers, Business Managers, and Payroll and Personnel Officers
Subject: Public Act 03-3 Concerning Military Leave - Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Liberty Shield

I. AUTHORITY

Effective immediately, the recently passed subject State legislation provides for additional benefits and compensation for certain full-time State employees of the executive, legislative and judicial branches who are called to active military service in the armed forces of any state or the United States armed forces for Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Liberty Shield, a related emergency operation, or a military operation whose mission was substantially changed as a result of the attacks of September 11, 2001, or federal action authorized by the Governor in support of the federal Department of Homeland Security's Operation Liberty Shield, military operations that are authorized by the President of the United States that entail military action against Iraq, or federal action or state action authorized by the Governor to combat terrorism within the United States for the period of eligible call-up. Covered State employees are as follows:

  1. elected officials
  2. officers
  3. full-time employees (non-permanent and permanent)

The following additional benefits and compensation are to be provided to employees (as defined above), who are supporting subject conflict.

  1. Health Insurance Benefits - For the duration of the time the State employee is on said military leave, they and their dependents may continue their existent State group health insurance including medical and/or dental coverage by continuing to pay the employee share of the premium due.
  2. Full Pay - Leave of absence with pay for thirty calendar days beginning the date full-time employees are called to active service. Paid leave applies to a calendar year. If the call-up continues into the next calendar year the employee is eligible for another thirty calendar days of paid military leave starting January 1.
  3. Part Pay - After the expiration of the thirty calendar day full pay (as provided above, by bargaining contract or pursuant to Section 27-33 of the Connecticut General Statutes) pay the difference between the employee's base rate of pay plus longevity, and the total compensation the employee receives for such active military service. The employee would be entitled to "part pay" for his/her primary State position only. Eligibility for "part pay" is contingent on the fact that the employee receives no other full pay from the State.

II. PART PAY CONDITIONS

A. Eligibility

The following conditions must be met for an employee to qualify for part pay:

  1. The employee, as defined in Section I, must be full-time. The employee may have permanent or non-permanent status provided he/she is full-time.
  2. The employee must be on active duty in the armed forces of any state or the United States for Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle, a related emergency operation or a military operation whose mission was substantially changed as a result of the attacks of September 11, 2001, or federal action or state action authorized by the Governor in support of the federal Department of Homeland Security's Operation Liberty Shield, military operations that are authorized by the President of the United States that entail military action against Iraq, or federal action or state action authorized by the Governor to combat terrorism within the United States, for the duration of such call-up. Notification of this date will be made by a Comptroller's statewide memorandum when known. In order to qualify, an employee must have been called to active duty for participation in a qualifying operation. Employees taking military leave for training or other military activations not related to the subject conflict would not qualify for the additional benefits and compensation.

B. Certification

The Office of the Comptroller will certify to each employing agency the total military compensation to be used to calculate the difference between total military compensation and the employee's base pay in his/her primary State position. This

amount will represent the equivalent bi-weekly military compensation and will be sent to the payroll unit by the Comptroller's Policy Services Division.

State agencies are directed to use only those amounts certified by the Comptroller to calculate part pay.

If any agency receives copies of military compensation data, Leave and Earnings Statements or certification of pay by the employee or their designated representative, please forward to:

Office of the State Comptroller
Policy Services Division
55 Elm Street Room 219
Hartford, Connecticut 06106

C. Reconciliation

When the employee returns from military leave, a reconciliation must be made between the amount of "part pay" paid to the employee and the amount due.

Take the following steps to perform this reconciliation:

  1. Obtain copies of the employees' Leave and Earnings Statements covering the period that they were in active military duty status.
  2. Calculate total gross military compensation. Gross military compensation would include, (but is not limited to) base military pay, special pay which includes hazardous duty pay, enlistment and re-enlistment bonuses. Some items not included on gross military compensation are housing, subsistence and travel allowances.
  3. Determine the gross military compensation paid for the first thirty calendar days of each year of active military duty. Subtract this amount from the gross military compensation.
  4. Subtract compensation received as a reimbursement of expenses. The remainder will be considered the adjusted gross military compensation.
  5. Calculate the total amount of "part pay" paid to the employee. 

    This can be arrived at by determining the number of pay periods in which the part pay was paid and multiplying that number times the amount of part pay.
  6. Determine the amount of what the State pay would have been for the same period, less the compensation received for the first thirty calendar days of each year of active military duty.
  7. Add the amounts of step 4 and step 5, subtract the amount from step 6.
  8. If the amount calculated in step 7 is less than the adjusted gross military compensation (step 4), the employee has been underpaid. The difference is to be paid to the employee as a lump sum payment.
  9. If the amount calculated in step 7 is greater than the adjusted gross military compensation (step 4), the employee has been over paid. The difference is to be repaid by the employee. Take the necessary steps, as outlined in the employee's collective bargaining contract or as prescribed by State policy, to obtain repayment from the employee.

III. PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS

A. The following mandatory deductions must be made from the employee's "part pay":

  1. Federal withholding tax, social security, and state withholding tax as applicable.
  2. Retirement Contributions - Retirement contributions on any "part pay" should be deducted as required by the employee's Tier and Plan membership.
  3. Garnishments - The amount to be deducted should be taken at a reduced rate based on the calculation formula stated on the execution notice.
  4. Health Insurance - The employee's share of the premium payment for coverage elected.*
  5. Life Insurance - If elected, to be deducted at the same rate as being paid at the time the employee left State Service.*
* If an employee's "part pay" is insufficient to pay the full amount of these deductions, the Health and Life Insurance premiums must be paid directly to the employing agency's payroll office. Failure to make such premium payment will result in discontinuation of benefits. The same procedures used for employees on an approved leave of absence should be used to pay the employer's premium.

B. All other voluntary deductions may be taken from an employee's "part pay" if sufficient monies remain to pay these deductions.

C. Dues and Fees

The following employee bargaining units have employees who are on military leave for Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Liberty Shield, a related emergency operation, or a military operation whose mission was substantially changed as a result of the attacks of September 11, 2001, or federal action or state action authorized by the Governor in support of the federal Department of Homeland Security's Operation Liberty Shield, military operations that are authorized by the President of the United States that entail military action against Iraq, or federal action or state action authorized by the Governor to combat terrorism within the United States, and have waived the deduction of dues and fees from the "part pay".

NP-1 State Police
NP-2 CEUI
NP-3 AFSCME, Council 4, Locals 196, 318, 355, 478, 538, 562, 610 & 704
NP-4 AFSCME, Council 4, Locals 387, 391 & 1565
NP-5 Protective Services
NP-6/P-1 Health Care Professionals
P-2 AFSMCE, Council 4, Locals 269, 714, & 2663
P-3A CSEA
P-3B CSEA
P-4 CSEA

Criminal Justice Inspectors
Vo-Tech Faculty

If you have employees eligible for "part pay" in bargaining units not listed, please contact the Comptroller's Office, Policy Services Division, at the telephone number listed in Section VII of this memorandum to determine if dues or fees should be withheld from the employee's "part pay".

IV. RETROACTIVE PAYMENTS AND DEDUCTIONS

The following lump sum payments are subject to mandatory deductions only; i.e., withholding tax, social security tax, retirement contributions, and garnishments.

  1. "Part Pay" - Paid after expiration of the thirty-day paid military leave or after September 11, 2001, which ever is later, for the duration of the call up covered by Public Act 03-3.
  2. "Full Pay" - Non-permanent employees are eligible under subject act for thirty (30) days "full pay" for military leave. 

In addition, retroactive deductions for health and life insurance must be made. The agency payroll staff must calculate the retroactive amounts due (employer and employee shares) and override the Payroll System table amounts for these deductions with the retroactive amount.

V. PROCEDURES FOR EMPLOYEE BENEFITS 

A. Health Insurance Including Medical and Dental Coverage 

Comptroller's Memorandum No. 2001-65 advises agencies with active military personnel to contact the Comptroller's Office. Upon receipt of such notification, the Comptroller's Office will mail a letter to affected employees and/or their families regarding Public Act 03-3. This letter advises that the employees personnel or payroll office should be contacted to arrange continued health and life insurance coverage and if the employee wishes deductions to continue for supplemental benefits. This letter also advises that the employee may be entitled to reimbursement of any COBRA premium they may have paid for continuation of health insurance  benefits. 

NOTE: If an employee does not arrange to continue health insurance coverage, such coverage must be terminated in accordance with standard procedures. A COBRA notice must be issued to the employee and to any covered dependents whose coverage is terminated. These procedures must be followed even if the health insurance programs available through the military cover the employee and/or their dependents.

The following actions should be taken to continue or to reinstate health insurance benefits: 

  1. The State share of the health insurance premium will continue to be paid through the MSA payroll system. All health insurance D/OE's should remain active. Any health insurance class changes should be processed in accordance with standard payroll procedures. 
  2. No payroll changes are necessary to process health insurance if the employee will be on partial pay after any paid military leave and if the partial pay amount is adequate to cover the employee's share of the premium. 
  3. If the employee will not be in partial pay status at the time regular payroll health insurance deductions end, the agency should bill the employee in writing for the employee's share of the premium. The employee or family member must send payment, made payable to the carrier, to the agency office that is responsible for health insurance coverage. The agency will forward the payment to the carrier using the standard procedures. At such time as the employee is on partial pay, the standard health insurance deductions should be reinstated and manual billing ended. 
  4. If the employee and/or their dependents continued health insurance through COBRA prior to the implementation of these procedures, their coverage should be reinstated retroactively to the date of termination from the group coverage, using standard payroll procedures. After the first retroactive deduction is processed, the Agency should send a letter to the Anthem COBRA Unit stating that coverage has been reinstated retroactively, and to what date, and that the carrier should process a refund directly to the participant. A copy of the letter should be provided to the employee. (For CIGNA Dental COBRA enrollees the letter should be sent to the Office of the State Comptroller, Retirement and Benefit Services Division).

B. Group Life Insurance

In accordance with the provisions of the State of Connecticut Group Life Insurance Policy, employees on military leave without pay are granted the opportunity to maintain coverage for a period of one year, provided they continue to remit premiums during the leave. Premiums must be made two months in advance and submitted by the fifteenth (15th) of the month preceding the two month period to their Agency Payroll/Personnel Officer.

If the military leave lasts less than one year and all required premium payments are made during such leave, an employee must resume payroll deductions immediately upon return to work in order to maintain continuity of coverage. Failure to do so will require evidence of insurability approved by the contracted insurance company if the employee wishes to rejoin at a later date.

If the military leave continues beyond one year, coverage will be terminated on the first anniversary of the date that the leave began. Coverage may be reinstated without evidence of insurability upon the employee's return to work, to the extent that:

  1. All required premium payments were made during the military leave; and
  2. They meet all eligibility requirements of a new employee prior to the reinstatement of coverage. Use the date the employee returns to work as the hire date.

For additional information, refer to the Group Life Insurance Summary Plan Description under the heading "Leave of Absence".

The State of Connecticut Group Life Insurance Policy does not contain an exclusion for death due to acts of war.

C. Retirement 

Documentation related to "part pay" episodes must be provided to the Retirement & Benefit Services Division to ensure that such information is retained on the impacted employee's retirement record. This includes any calculation worksheets utilized to determine the "part pay" due such employee or any retroactive payments linked to this circumstance. 

Any appropriate contributions for the member's specific system and plan membership should be deducted from the member's part pay. Then, if eligible, the employee may apply, upon return from military leave, to purchase full retirement credit for his/her qualifying military service provided he/she returns within ninety (90) days of honorable discharge. The cost will be based on the individual employee's plan requirements. 

D. State of Connecticut 403(b) Program and Deferred Compensation (457)

In 2003, the maximum annual contribution limit for the State of Connecticut 403(b) Program and Deferred Compensation (457) Plan is the lesser of $12,000 or 100% of gross salary. Refer to Comptroller's Memoranda 2002-08 and 2002-08a for further information concerning contribution limits.

Additional contributions to the 403(b) and 457 plans may be allowed under catch-up rules.

In either case, gross salary should be calculated using the "part pay" amount only. The amount of military pay the employee is receiving may not be included.

The provisions of the 403(b) Program and Deferred Compensation (457) Plan provide that employees that return to work subsequent to service in the uniformed services of the United States may make up contribution amounts they otherwise would have made had they remained continuously employed by the State of Connecticut.

Employees should contact their financial service organization for further information.

E. Earned Time Accrual

The employee may choose to exhaust his/her earned time (exclusive of accrued sick leave) prior to going on leave without pay status. However, the employee is not eligible to be paid for earned time and the "part pay" for the same period.

Upon return to State service, the employee may have his/her vacation time restored by repaying the Salaries and Wages paid for earned time used. The amount of repayment would be calculated by deducting out the "part pay" entitlement.

VI. PAYROLL PROCEDURES

Entering the "Part Pay", Retroactive "Part Pay" Amounts and Retroactive 30-Day Military Leave Entitlements for Non-permanent Employees on the Bi-Weekly Payroll:

1. On-Line: Screen 047 or 190; R1; amount; D/OE 1C.

2. Remote Job Entry: ZT Transaction; Same as above.

VII. QUESTIONS

Please address your questions concerning this memorandum as follows:

Payroll Procedures: Office of the State Comptroller;

On-Line: Payroll Services Division, (860) 702-3463
Remote Job Entry: Payroll Services Division, (860) 702-3458 

Memorandum Interpretation and Dues & Fees Waiver:

Office of the State Comptroller; Policy Services Division, (860) 702-3440

Employee Benefits:

Office of the State Comptroller; Retirement and Benefits Services Division, Employee Benefits Unit, (860) 702-3543

Retirement Issues: 

Office of the State Comptroller; Retirement and Benefits Services Division, Retirement Credit Purchases Unit, (860) 702-3511

Contractual Issues: Agency Personnel Officer

Agencies are directed to distribute this memorandum to all of the affected satellite payroll personnel units.

NANCY WYMAN
STATE COMPTROLLER

NW:CG

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