STATE EMPLOYEES
RETIREMENT COMMISSION

MEDICAL EXAMINING BOARD
For DISABILITY RETIREMENT
COMPTROLLER'S SEAL STATE OF CONNECTICUT 55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT
06106-1775
Telephone (860) 702-3480
Facsimile (860) 702-3489
STATE OF CONNECTICUT
RETIREMENT SERVICES DIVISION
OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER

RETIREMENT SERVICES DIVISION MEMORANDUM 2012-01

January 3, 2012

TO THE HEADS OF ALL STATE AGENCIES

ATTENTION: All Human Resources and Payroll Officers
SUBJECT: SEBAC 2011

I. INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this memorandum is to notify agencies that new State Employees Retirement System (SERS) summary plan descriptions and retirement plan enrollment forms are now available online and to provide direction for the appropriate enrollment of employees hired from July 1, 2011 through the present pursuant to the 2011 agreement between the State and the State Employees Bargaining Agency Coalition (SEBAC).

This memorandum provides general information for all state agencies and specialized information for higher education agencies.

II. GENERAL INFORMATION

As you were advised in Retirement Services Division Memorandum 2011-06, the 2011 SEBAC agreement provided for the implementation of two new SERS retirement plans for employees first hired on or after July 1, 2011, SERS Tier III, and, as an additional option for such employees hired in a position statutorily defined as a state teacher or a professional staff member in higher education only, the SERS Hybrid Plan.

a) Summary Plan Descriptions

An online summary plan description (SPD) for each of the new plans is now available on the Office of the State Comptroller website and can be accessed by clicking on Employee Resources then the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Information link. The website will also provide a printable version for agencies or employees who wish to have a hard copy of the SPD.

b) Plan Enrollment Forms (Form CO-931)

The Form CO-931, "Designation of Retirement System-Tier-Plan-Beneficiary" has been redesigned and two new CO-931 forms have been created, Form CO-931h and Form CO-931j.

The original CO-931 form has been redesigned for completion by employees in State agencies other than institutions of higher education and the board of higher education central office except for those employees of the Judicial Branch who are covered by or are eligible to elect membership in the Judges, Family Support Magistrates and Compensation Commissioners Retirement System, the Public Defenders Retirement System or the States' Attorneys Retirement System.

Form CO-931h has been designed for completion by all employees of institutions of higher education and the board of higher education central office. Information on the options available to teachers and professional staff members as well as directions for accessing detailed information on these options is included in this form. Agencies should encourage employees to fully explore their options before making a final irrevocable retirement plan election.

Form CO-931j is for completion by those employees of the Judicial Branch who are required to participate in or are eligible to elect membership in the Judges, Family Support Magistrates and Compensation Commissioners Retirement System, the Public Defenders Retirement System or the States' Attorneys Retirement System.

General instructions for completion are on each form. Any questions concerning completing the CO-931 and the CO-931h including employee's appropriate retirement plan membership may be directed to the Retirement Services Division's Data Base Unit by email at osc.databaseunit@po.state.ct.us or by telephone at 860-702-3515; questions concerning the CO-931j should be directed to the Miscellaneous Retirement Systems Unit at 860-702-3508. Agencies must initiate the completion of the appropriate CO-931 form for all employees hired since July 1, 2011.

Special Note: New purchase requests forms for Tier III and Hybrid Plan members have not yet been completed. The purchase options for Tier III and Hybrid Plan members are the same as those for Tier IIA members. Therefore, until new purchase forms are available, employees may complete a CO-1088 form however the employee should be clearly identified as a Tier III or Hybrid Plan member on the form. Employees who complete a CO-1088 form will not be required to complete a new form when such form is available.

c) Core-CT HMRS Payroll Retirement Coding

New SERS Tier III and Hybrid Plan Core-CT HRMS retirement deduction codes have been created as follows:

RSER3 SERS Tier III 2% Employee Contributions
RS3HZ SERS Tier III Hazardous Duty 5% Employee Contributions
RSHY3 SERS Hybrid Plan 3%
RSHY5 SERS Hybrid Plan 5%

Retirement Services Division Memorandum 2011-06 advised agencies to place new employees hired between July 1, 2011 and the time updated enrollment forms and Core-CT payroll codes became available in the Tier IIA retirement plan except for those individuals employed in a higher education institution or the board of higher education central office in a position statutorily defined as a state teacher or a professional staff member in higher education who are eligible to choose between a number of retirement plan options.

Agencies must identify all new employees hired on or after July 1, 2011 who have been added to Core-CT with Tier IIA payroll retirement coding and change such employees' coding to SERS Tier III. As the amount of employee contributions required for Tier III membership is the same as that required for Tier IIA membership, no retroactive retirement plan contribution adjustment will be required for such employees.

III. SPECIFIC INFORMATION FOR HIGHER EDUCATION AGENCIES

State employees first hired on or after July 1, 2011 with institutions of higher education or the board of higher education central office become members of the new SERS Tier III retirement plan unless they are employed in a position statutorily defined as a state teacher or a professional staff member in higher education and choose membership in another state retirement plan.

In Retirement Services Division Memorandum 2011-06, agencies were advised that employees hired in a position statutorily defined as a state teacher or a professional staff member in higher education from July 1, 2011 through the date with which updated enrollment forms and Core-CT payroll codes were provided could elect to choose undecided until such time as these forms as well as the information necessary to enable them to compare and choose between the retirement plans was available.

Updated Mandatory Retirement Plan Options for State Teachers and Professional Staff Members in Higher Education is now available on the Office of the State Comptroller website and can be accessed by clicking on Employee Resources then on the Connecticut State Employees Retirement Information link. An agency version of the Mandatory Retirement Plan Options for State Teachers and Professional Staff Members in Higher Education is also available on the website by clicking on Agency Resources then on the Retirement Services Division link.

Effective July 1, 2011, individuals first employed in a position statutorily defined as a state teacher or a professional staff member in higher education are eligible to choose membership in the SERS Tier III retirement plan, the Alternate Retirement Program, the SERS Hybrid retirement plan or, if eligible, the Teachers Retirement System within 60 days of their employment. In recognition of the delay in implementation of the 2011 SEBAC agreement, such employees hired between July 1, 2011 and December 30, 2011 have until February 28, 2012 to make their one-time irrevocable retirement plan election. Agencies must identify all such employees and advise them of this important deadline. The Retirement Services Division will arrange for collection of mandatory retirement plan contributions retroactive to the employee's hire date.

Agencies should document their notification process and employees who do not respond should be defaulted into SERS Tier III using the following procedures:

  1. Your agency payroll staff must begin SERS Tier III retirement plan contributions on the first payroll period following expiration of the 60 day period.
  2. Your agency must notify the Retirement Services Division's Data Base Unit via written memorandum or email to osc.databaseunit@po.state.ct.us of the affected employee's name, social security number, employee number, employment date and home address.
  3. Your agency is responsible for informing the employee that mandatory retirement contribution deductions will commence.
  4. The Retirement Services Division will notify affected employees of their mandatory SERS Tier
    III membership, request that they contact their human resources office to complete a Form CO-
    931h and arrange for collection of any mandatory contributions due.

Special Note for the University of Connecticut: Adjunct faculty members at the University of Connecticut who do not make an election within the required 60 day period will be defaulted to membership in ARP. The University of Connecticut should follow the same procedure noted above to default such individuals to ARP. The Retirement Services Division will notify the employee and request that they contact the human resources office to complete the Form CO-931h and the appropriate ING forms.

Information concerning the one-time, irrevocable opportunity for ARP members to elect to transfer their membership to the new SERS Hybrid Plan and purchase, at the full actuarial cost, their prior ARP service in this plan is forthcoming.

IV. CONCLUSION

We encourage agencies to review the new summary plan descriptions, CO-931 enrollment forms and other retirement information now available on the Office of the State Comptroller's website and welcome any suggestions; questions or suggestions may be sent to the Retirement Services Division by email to osc.rsd@po.state.ct.us.

It is the responsibility of each state agency to advise employees of this information and to provide them with a printed copy of the summary plan descriptions and a copy of their signed CO-931 enrollment form.

Very truly yours,

STATE EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT COMMISSION
KEVIN LEMBO, SECRETARY EX OFFICIO

BY:

Brenda K. Halpin, Director
Retirement Services Division

BKH/JAK

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