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A Publication for VRS Employers
January 2019 | Archives

Your Turn to Ask Your Turn to Ask: Where can I find a record of my past contribution rates?

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Don’t Miss a Message: Update Your Employer Contacts in myVRS Navigator

VRS encourages Security Administrators for myVRS Navigator to routinely review your organization’s designated contacts. This helps to ensure designated contacts:

  • Have appropriate access to myVRS Navigator as employees join or leave your organization.
  • Will continue to receive important secure messages and benefit communications.
  • Are not sharing access credentials.
  • Can obtain VRS information based on their defined business role, including payroll processing, enrolling and maintaining new employees, and accessing information.

Your ongoing partnership with VRS to manage myVRS Navigator contacts helps safeguard employee privacy and protect the security of information.

Also, it’s essential that you identify a financial officer communications contact. VRS often sends important communications regarding compliance with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) statements.

Should you have questions regarding changes to your contact designations, contact Employer Support.

 

Informational Actuarial Valuations Available This Month

Although the June 30, 2018 actuarial valuation is not being used to set contribution rates for VRS, the plan actuary presented an informational valuation to the VRS Board of Trustees in the fall. The valuations provide key information regarding political subdivisions’ pension and other post-employment benefit (OPEB) plans, their funded status and emerging trends in contribution rates.

VRS will mail informational actuarial valuation reports for pensions and the health insurance credit to participating political subdivisions later this month. All other reports (for state, teachers, SPORS, VaLORS and JRS) will be posted to the employer website as they become available.

The valuation reports provide:

  • Employers with updated demographic information about plan participants.
  • Locality-specific information about the contribution rates and plan operations, featuring a breakdown of the components that make up the employer cost. This includes information on the employer’s normal cost rate, administrative expense, as well as the adjustment amount for amortizing the employer’s Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability.
  • Other supporting information regarding the plan’s operation, including the current benefit structure and the actuarial assumptions used in the rate calculation.

Bookmark this: Refer to the Financial Reporting page for resources and links that will assist with financial reporting related to VRS-administered benefit plans. The page includes current contribution rates for state employees and teachers as well as OPEB contribution rates.

 
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Online Now: 2018 Comprehensive and Popular Annual Financial Reports

VRS’ 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) PDF Icon is now available for download. (Excerpted sections of the report, including financial and investment highlights, also are available for download in the annual reports section of VRS' Publications webpage.)

Read the summary version: The Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) PDF Icon presents an easy-to-read summary and overview of key VRS financial, investment and statistical highlights, all of which are reported in more detail in the CAFR for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

 

In Session: General Assembly Convenes January 9

The 2019 Virginia General Assembly session begins Wednesday, January 9. You can track all VRS-related House and Senate bills by visiting our updates on legislation webpage later this month.

 
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Retirees to Receive Form 1099-R by the End of January

VRS will mail Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1099-R to retirees by the end of January for filing with their 2018 federal and state tax returns. Retirees who have imputed income from group life insurance coverage in excess of $50,000 will receive a Form W-2 from VRS. The Form W-2 shows the amount of imputed income and FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare) withheld.

Work-related disability retirees do not receive a Form 1099-R. These retirees will receive an annual income verification letter by the end of January for filing purposes.

For more information, see IRS Form 1099-R.

 

Important Reminder: Political Subdivisions and Schools Should Report VLDP and Local Program Disability Claims or Status Changes

Whether you provide the Virginia Local Disability Program (VLDP) or a comparable disability plan to your Hybrid Retirement Plan members, it’s essential to notify VRS when an employee has a long-term disability claim or change in disability status. Your notification ensures other VRS benefits continue.

For example, members on long-term disability continue to accrue VRS service credit and remain eligible for group life insurance and the health insurance credit, if the employer participates in these programs.

If you offer the Virginia Local Disability Program: The program’s third-party administrator will submit information to VRS when an employee has a long-term disability claim or change in disability status.

If you provide a comparable disability program: You are responsible for notifying VRS about new long-term disability claims or changes to a member’s disability status. Refer to the Reporting Employees on Long-Term Disability With a Comparable Plan job aid PDF Icon for the steps you need to take in myVRS Navigator when reporting employees on long-term disability.

Your Employment Processor will need to take the following steps in myVRS Navigator:

  1. If the member is on a less-than-12-month contract, change the contract to 12 months. The start date of the contract should be the same as the long-term disability start date.
  2. Change the status in the Employment Status field from Active to Leave Without Pay (LWOP).
  3. Once the long-term disability claim ends, change the Employment Status to Active or Separated.
 

Announcements  Announcements

Consult new guide on hiring and reporting school resource officers and school security officers: If you’ve recently hired or plan to hire a school resource officer or school security officer, take time to review VRS’ new Hiring and Reporting School Resource Officers or School Security Officers guide PDF Icon to ensure you are reporting the employee correctly and following return-to-work rules if you hire a retiree. The guide describes the differences between the two positions and key considerations for hiring and reporting.

Political subdivisions should contact VRS if looking to offer hazardous duty coverage: If you are considering adding enhanced hazardous duty benefits for your employees beginning July 1, contact VRS now to begin the process. Because this benefit requires an actuarial study, it takes approximately four to six months to complete the process before the coverage can become effective. For more information, contact ZaeAnne Allen, employer coverage coordinator, at zallen@varetire.org or 804-775-3514.

Sign up to participate in America Saves Week: Motivate employees to save by participating in America Saves Week, February 25 to March 2. When you sign up, you receive:

  • The America Saves Week participation badge to share on your website and in materials.
  • Recognition as a listed participant organization on americasavesweek.org.
  • Helpful emails and toolkits from America Saves Week staff to help you plan successful activities.

Order VRS Publications.

Keep your EZ Link account up to date: To ensure you get important communications from ICMA-RC, keep your EZLink account information up to date, especially email addresses. Be sure to log in periodically. Your account will be deactivated after 12 months of inactivity.

Are you new to administering VRS benefits? Let us know you're new so our employer representative team can introduce themselves to you and assist you with locating resources, manuals and training opportunities.

 

 Employer Training & Events

From A to Z: VRS offers a comprehensive educational program to help employers understand VRS benefits, perform necessary business responsibilities and counsel employees. Training is available via e-learning courses, webinars, process guides and instructor-led sessions.

Additional Training

The following webinars provide in-depth coverage of specific benefits administration topics:

Title Description Date/Time
Life Insurance This webinar will help employers explain the basic and optional components of the group life insurance program and answer questions about eligibility, beneficiaries and benefits. January 31, 10-11 a.m.
Understanding Contributions Learn more about how member and employer contributions are calculated for Plan 1, Plan 2 and Hybrid Retirement Plan employees. February 27, 2-3 p.m.
Retirement Payout Options Focuses on key points human resource staff should discuss with employees as they decide which payout option to choose. March 27, 10-11 a.m.

Calendar icon-View the full schedule online

 

Member Education  Member Education & Events

For Plan 1 and Plan 2 members: Classroom and webinar courses are posted on the VRS website as they are scheduled. Plan 1 and Plan 2 members may register through our Education and Counseling pages for new offerings. VRS now offers one-on-one member counseling appointments at regional locations. Regional appointments are posted to the right side of the Plan 1 and Plan 2 member education and counseling page. Members can book appointments online (space is limited; first come, first served).

For Hybrid Retirement Plan members: Several hybrid plan educational resources are available. Hybrid plan members can register for a group seminar or a one-on-one consultation to learn more about the hybrid plan defined benefit and defined contribution components as well as other VRS benefits. Hybrid plan seminars and individual appointments are available. Also, VRS now offers one-on-one member counseling appointments at regional locations. Regional appointments are posted to the right side of the hybrid education and counseling page. Hybrid plan members can book appointments online (space is limited; first come, first served).

 

Form Updates  Form Updates

Are you using the right form? Before you complete and send a form to VRS, take a quick moment to look at the revision date in the lower left-hand corner. If you downloaded the form some time ago and photocopy it when you need it, chances are the form is not current. VRS frequently updates its forms. To ensure faster processing of retirement and other forms, be sure to use the latest fillable VRS forms.
 
VRS accepts faxes of all forms: Fax them to 804-786-9718. If you are on a deadline when faxing a document, please call or email to alert VRS of its pending arrival. Also, it’s helpful to use a cover sheet, particularly if you are sending the fax to a specific VRS staff member.

 

Financial ReportingFinancial Reporting

Be sure to bookmark the employers’ Financial Reporting section, where you can find resources and links to assist with financial reporting related to VRS-administered benefit plans.

 

Your Turn to Ask Your Turn to Ask

Where can I find a record of my past contribution rates?

You can find your past contribution rates in myVRS Navigator. Once you log in:

  1. Click on Organization at the top-left of your screen. From the drop-down menu, select Organization.
  2. Scroll down to Organization Plan Summary.
  3. You will see links for Plan 1, Plan 2 and the Hybrid Retirement Plan. Select the plan for the contributions you want to view.
  4. On the next screen, you will see tabs for Plan Rate, Benefits and Plan Status History.
  5. Make sure the Plan Rate tab is selected. From there, you can view your current and previous contribution rates for the plan you have selected.

If you cannot access this information, contact your Security Administrator about your myVRS Navigator role access.

 

Have a question?

Contact the Employer Support Team or your Employer Representative.

Important Email Notice: Do not send personal or confidential information, such as a Social Security number, by email. VRS will send only non-confidential replies.

Copyright © 2019 Virginia Retirement System
 

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