STATE OF CONNECTICUT
THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775
MEMORANDUM NO. 2005-32
October 4, 2005
TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES
|Attention:||Chief Administrative and Fiscal Officers, Business Managers, and Payroll and Personnel Officers|
|Subject:||Military Leave - Benefits and Compensation|
State legislation provides for additional benefits and compensation for State employees called to active military service 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 for 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. Covered State employees are as follows:
The following additional benefits and compensation are to be provided to employees (as defined above), who are in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Liberty Shield.
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 State employee must be on active duty in the armed forces of any state or of any reserve component of 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.
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.
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 rate of pay, plus longevity, in the employee's 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 Fiscal Policy 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
Fiscal Policy Division
55 Elm Street Room 219
Hartford, Connecticut 06106
Attn: Christine Grodzki
Fax Number - (860) 702-3441
For the employee who is to be activated, the first line of contact should be their agency Personnel/Payroll Officer. The officer should refer the employee to Memorandum No. 2005-30 which provides the information requested by the Office of the State Comptroller. When this information is received, the Office of the State Comptroller will initiate the part pay certification.
It is imperative that after the part pay is initiated and if the activated employee receives an increase in his/her military pay, they should notify their payroll officer by sending the latest military earnings statement. The agency payroll officer should notify the Fiscal Policy Division with a copy of the latest military earnings statement and a revised part pay letter will be issued to the agency. Failure to comply with this process, may result in an overpayment to the employee.
It will be necessary to reconcile the part pay upon the employee's return to State service. Copies of all Leave and Earnings Statement must be maintained and submitted to the employing agency upon the employee's return to State service in order to reconcile the amount of part pay with the amount due the employee.
Take the following steps to perform this reconciliation:
III. PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS
A. The following mandatory deductions must be made from the employee's "part pay":
* 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-3||AFSCME, Council 4, Locals 196, 318, 355, 478, 538, 562, 610 & 704|
|NP-4||AFSCME, Council 4, Locals 387, 391 & 1565|
|NP-6/P-1||Health Care Professionals|
|P-2||AFSMCE,Council 4, Locals 269, 714, & 2663|
|Criminal Justice Inspectors|
If you have employees eligible for "part pay" in bargaining units not listed, please contact the Comptroller's Office, Fiscal Policy 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.
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 send override amounts to Central Benefits for review. See Comptroller's Memorandum 2004-10 for further information regarding retroactive benefit procedures.
V. PROCEDURES FOR EMPLOYEE BENEFITSA. Health Insurance Including Medical and Dental Coverage
Comptroller's Memorandum 2005-30 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 using the CoreCT benefits administration system. 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:
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. Premium payments must be made and processed in accordance with the procedures in Comptroller's Memorandum 2004-03A.
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 must be terminated in the CoreCT system by the employing agency by processing a TEL (Terminate due to Extended LOA) event in Benefits Administration effective 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:
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.
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 2005, the maximum annual contribution limit for the State of Connecticut 403(b) Program and Deferred Compensation (§457) Plan is the lesser of $14,000 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 the Plans' Third Party Administrator, ING, at 800-584-6001 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 Permanent Non-permanent Employees on the Bi-Weekly Payroll:
Full Pay and any Retroactive Payments:
On the Weekly Elapsed Time Page: Hours; Time Reporting Code LMILA
On the Additional Pay Page: Hours or Amount; Earnings Code PDL
Part Pay and any Retroactive Payments:
On the Weekly Elapsed Time Page: Amount; Time Reporting Code XMCUA OR
Hours; Time Reporting Code XMCUH
On the Additional Pay Page: Hours or Amount; Earnings Code MCU
On the Additional Pay Page: Hours or Amount; Earnings Code MCU
Questions may be directed to the State Comptroller's Office as follows:
Group Life Insurance, 403(b) and 457 Plans:
Contractual Issues: Agency Personnel Officer
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