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

MEMORANDUM NO. 2010-08

March 17, 2010

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

I. AUTHORITY
This memo replaces Memoranda 2007-35, 2007-31, and 2007-25. 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, 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, or federal action or state action authorized by the Governor or the President of the United States that entails service or military action as part of Operation Jump Start at the border of the United States and Mexico, for the duration of such call-up to active service (CGS 5-259d). Covered State employees of the Executive, Legislative or Judicial Department 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 in support of a qualifying operation as stated above in Section I.

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.

4. Vacation, Equivalent Leave and Sick Accruals - State employees who have been activated in the military will continue to accrue all vacation time, equivalent leave time and sick time to which the employee would be entitled if he or she had continued working in his or her state position during the time of such active service and will be credited with the accrued vacation time, equivalent leave time or sick time. If these accruals of leave time cause the employee to exceed any limit on leave time pursuant to the General Statutes, regulations of Connecticut State agencies or a collective bargaining agreement, then the accrual limits will be temporarily waived to allow the employee to use the excess leave time before the later of the following:

(A) from the date of the state employee's discharge from active service until that state employee returns to state employment,

(B) not later than one hundred twenty calendar days after the state employee returns to employment,

(C) not later than one hundred twenty calendar days after the employee is credited with such excess leave time or

(D) for state employees in teaching or professional positions in Unified School District #1 established pursuant to section 18-99a within the Department of Correction who were credited with equivalent leave time pursuant to this section, not later than one year after the employee is credited with such excess leave time.

See the Core-CT Job Aid, Military Leave Procedures for Equivalent Leave and Maximum Leave Waiver.

5. Additional Criteria - The state employee is not required to exhaust accrued vacation time, equivalent leave time or sick time to be eligible for the paid leave of absence and part pay. Equivalent leave time means leave time classified as other than vacation time or sick time and includes, but is not limited to, leave time classified as recess rather than vacation time. Personal Leave Time, Compensation Time or Holiday Compensation Time is not included.

No state employee shall be deemed ineligible for any benefit under this section or under any other provision of this chapter solely because such employee's leave time is classified as recess or other equivalent leave time rather than vacation time pursuant to the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement, including a collective bargaining agreement covering a state employee in a teaching, instructional or professional position in the Unified School District 1, 2 or 3 (CGS 5-259d).

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 State employee must be on active duty in the armed forces of any state or of any reserve component of the United States for a qualifying operation as stated in Section I.

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. Activated Employees' Documents to be sent the Office of the State Comptroller

  1. Notification of Employee Activation
    For the employee who is to be activated, the first line of contact should be their agency Personnel/Payroll Officer. It is necessary that the Personnel/Payroll Officer collect the following information and forward it to the Office of the State Comptroller, Fiscal Policy Division:

When this information is received, the Office of the State Comptroller will initiate the part pay certification.

  1. Agency Retention of Records for Activated Employees
    Agencies should also collect and keep the following information for all employees who are called to active duty in the military:

It is imperative that after the part pay is initiated, if the activated employee receives an increase in his/her military pay, they should notify their payroll officer by sending the latest Leave Earnings Statement. The agency payroll officer should notify the Fiscal Policy Division with a copy of the latest Leave Earnings Statement so a revised part pay letter can be issued to the agency. Failure to comply with this process may result in an underpayment/overpayment to the employee.

C. 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 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.

III. PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS

A. MANDATORY DEDUCTIONS
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. Retiree Health Coverage - New employees hired after July 1, 2009 and existing employees with fewer than five years of service as of July 1, 2010 are required to contribute 3% of compensation to Retiree Health Fund.

6. 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 employing agency will manually enroll the employee in benefits billing in Core-CT, and a monthly bill for the coverage will be generated and sent to the employee.

B. Voluntary Deductions
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 a qualifying operation as stated in Section I, 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
NP-8 Correctional Supervisors
P-2 AFSCME, 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, Fiscal Policy Division, at the telephone number listed in Section VIII of this memorandum to determine if dues or fees should be withheld from the employee's "part pay".

IV. RETROACTIVE PAYMENTS
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 for the duration of the call up covered by CGS-259d.

2. "Full Pay" - Permanent and 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 any retroactive amounts due (employer and employee shares) and send override amounts to the Office of the State Comptroller Healthcare Policy and Benefit Services Division for review.

V. PROCEDURES FOR EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

A. Health Benefits
Unless the employee waives coverage on the CORE-CT Enrollment Statement, the employee will remain active in medical and dental coverage. The employee will continue to pay the employee share through payroll deductions if the earnings are adequate to cover the deduction amounts. If the employee does not have enough earnings in their payroll check to take the deductions, the agency will manually enroll the employee in Benefits Billing in Core-CT, and the employee will be billed monthly for the employee share. The employee or another person acting on their behalf must send payment to the employing agency that will enter the payment in Core-CT. (Refer to Comptroller's Memo 2007-08 for further information regarding health insurance premium payments including the process for terminating coverage for non-payment.)

An employee can elect to voluntarily waive their health coverage on their military leave event. Since this is considered a voluntary termination of coverage, a COBRA notice would not be issued. The employee will be eligible to re-enroll in coverage when they return from leave.

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. 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 Core-CT 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:

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. The agency must contact the Employee Benefits Unit for reinstatement approval upon the employee's return from the leave.

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 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 Defined Contribution Plan (403(b) Plan, Roth 403(b) Plan and Deferred Compensation (457) Plan)

In 2010, the maximum annual contribution limit for the State of Connecticut Defined Contribution Plan (403(b) Plan, Roth 403(b) Plan and Deferred Compensation (457) Plan) remains the same at the lesser of $16,500 or 100% of gross salary. Refer to Comptroller's Memorandum 2008-37 for further information concerning contribution limits. 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) Plan, Roth 403(b) Plan 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 could have elected during that period as if their employment with the State of Connecticut had continued at the same rate without the interruption, minus any deferrals made during the period of the interruption. Employees should contact the Plans' Third Party Administrator, ING, at 1-800-584-6001 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 the time used. The amount of repayment would be calculated by deducting out the "part pay" entitlement.

VI. STATE EMPLOYEES RETURNING FROM ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE

A. Required Form
When the employee returns from active duty, agencies must complete the Request for Information Employees Returning to State Service from Active Military Service form and forward it to the Office of the State Comptroller. This form can be accessed on the State of Connecticut Comptroller's Forms website at http://www.osc.ct.gov/agencies/forms/index.html.

B. Reconciliation
It will be necessary to reconcile the part pay upon the employee's return to State service. Copies of all Leave 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:

1. Obtain all 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 and special pay which includes enlistment and re-enlistment bonuses. Other items not included in gross military compensation are (BAH) housing, (BAS) subsistence, (OHA) overseas housing allowance and travel allowances.

Please Note: Combat Zone Exclusions: Enlistment and re-enlistment bonus payments and imminent danger/hostile fire pay that occurs at the time when service is in a combat zone are excluded from gross military compensation.

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 overpaid. 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.

VII. PAYROLL PROCEDURES
Entering the "Part Pay", Retroactive "Part Pay" Amounts and Retroactive 30-Day Military Leave Entitlements for Permanent or Non-permanent Employees on the Bi-Weekly Payroll

Full Pay and any Retroactive Payments:
Time Sheet Page: Hours; Time Reporting Code LMILA
On the Additional Pay Page: Hours or Amount; Earnings Code PDL

Part Pay and any Retroactive Payments:
Time Sheet Page: Amount; Time Reporting Code XMCUA or
Hours; Time Reporting Code XMCUH
On the Additional Pay Page: Hours or Amount; Earnings Code MCU

VIII. QUESTIONS
Questions may be directed to the State Comptroller's Office as follows:

Payroll Procedures:
Payroll Services Division, (860) 702-3447

Memorandum Interpretation and Dues & Fees Waiver:
Fiscal Policy Division, (860) 702-3440

Health Insurance:
Healthcare Policy and Benefit Services Division, Health Care Analysis Unit, (860) 702-3535

Group Life Insurance:
Healthcare Policy and Benefit Services Division, Group Life Insurance Unit, (860) 702-3537

403(b) and 457 Plans:
Healthcare Policy and Benefit Services Division, Employee Benefits Unit, (860) 702-3543

Retirement Issues:
Retirement Services Division, Retirement Credit Purchases Unit, (860) 702-3511

Contractual Issues:
Agency Personnel Officer


NANCY WYMAN
STATE COMPTROLLER

NW:ED

Return to Index of 2010 Comptroller's Memoranda
Return to Index of Comptroller's Memoranda
Return to Comptroller's Home Page