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A Publication for VRS Employers
June 2018 | Archives

Your Turn to Ask Your Turn to Ask: I’m clicking through the new VRS website for employers. Is there a way I can quickly locate common resources like the Employer Manual or information related to administering the Hybrid Retirement Plan?

Reminder: Employer Contribution Rates Change July 1

The recently passed 2018 state budget includes appropriations for 100 percent of the actuarially determined contribution rates for state and teacher plans. Beginning July 1, employer contribution rates and other post-employment benefits contribution rates take effect.

You can view contribution rates online in the Financial Reporting section of the new VRS employer website. Rates will not be updated in myVRS Navigator until VRS has completed its fiscal year-end processing.

VRS Website for Employers

Update Your Bookmarks: New VRS Website Built With Employers’ Needs in Mind

Have you discovered the new website for VRS employers?

All content is tailored to your needs, with key administrative information quickly accessible from the home page. New features include the Employer Hub, Quick Topics and News and Insights, plus you’ll find familiar features, including forms, publications and VRS plans and benefits information.

Locate the site by clicking on the Employers tab on varetire.org, or link directly at www.employers.varetire.org. Be sure to bookmark the new URL in your browser for speedy access.

We’d appreciate hearing about your experience using the site. Are you finding the resources you need? Do you have a suggestion for an improvement? Please email us at proffice@varetire.org.

Fiscal Year-End Reminders

myVRS Navigator: Year-End Preparation

As the fiscal year draws to a close, employers have a number of important year-end tasks to perform and monitor. Here’s a refresher on key processes and deadlines. VRS appreciates your partnership in ensuring a smooth transition to the new fiscal year.

Confirm June Snapshot No Later Than Tuesday, July 10

Security Administrators or the Snapshot Processor 2 should confirm all snapshots through June 2018 in myVRS Navigator no later than 4 p.m., Tuesday, July 10. (Note: Employers will need to schedule payments at least three business days before the 10th of the month if submitting by ACH debit.)

Completing this task on time ensures that your employees’ information is correct as VRS prepares for fiscal year-end activities, such as adding interest to member accounts and creating the annual Member Benefit Profiles.

If possible, please confirm June snapshots and schedule payments before the end of June, as soon as all monthly activity is known. For further details, refer to the Contribution Confirmation and Payment Scheduling chapter in the VRS Employer Manual PDF Icon.

Look Ahead to July Snapshot

After confirming your June snapshot, you can submit enrollments and maintenance changes, upload files, process prior service, generate snapshots and complete all other routine processing for July. However, you cannot confirm the July snapshot until year-end processing is complete at VRS. You will receive an email and see a message on the myVRS Navigator dashboard alerting you when you may confirm your July snapshot. For reporting purposes in myVRS Navigator, July 2 is the first business day of the new fiscal year.

Check Out the Fiscal Year-End Reminders Webpage

The Fiscal Year-End Reminders webpage on the VRS employers’ website provides detailed information on fiscal year-end tasks that are performed in myVRS Navigator during the summer months. The page organizes the reminders based on the month in which employers must take certain actions.

Be sure to bookmark the page in your web browser and refer to it for information and resources that will assist with financial reporting related to VRS-administered benefit plans.

Arrows Encourage Voluntary Contributions

Encourage Hybrid Members to Save: Voluntary Contribution Quarterly Deadline Is June 15

Hybrid Retirement Plan members may voluntarily contribute up to 4 percent of their creditable compensation each month to the defined contribution component of their retirement plan. They may increase their voluntary contribution elections on a quarterly basis. The next quarterly deadline is June 15 at 4 p.m.

Please encourage employees to take advantage of this opportunity to maximize retirement savings. It’s quick and easy! They’ll just need to log in through Account Access, select Contributions for the Hybrid 457 Deferred Compensation Plan and click on Change My Contribution Amount. Or, they can call ICMA-RC Investor Services at 1-877-327-5261 (select option 1). The Hybrid Member Paycheck Calculator helps show the impact of voluntary contributions and other deductions on employees’ paychecks.

Looking for ideas to promote voluntary contributions? Download the voluntary contributions toolkit to engage, communicate with and educate your hybrid plan employees. The toolkit features flyers you can post or email to employees, and communications that clearly demonstrate the value of saving, including:

Take time to review your Snapshot: Accurate reporting of contributions to the defined contribution component of the hybrid plan is essential each pay period. As a best practice, take time to review your Snapshot each month to ensure you are withholding the correct amount from each employee’s paycheck.

The Creating EZLink Contribution Submissions Online webinar covers the full process, from creating an initial file through submission. If you need additional assistance, contact the ICMA-RC Defined Contribution Plans Employer Support Team at 1-877-327-5261 (select option 3).


Newly Hired Hybrid Members Can 'Preset' Voluntary Contributions

Newly hired Hybrid Retirement Plan members can now “preset” their preferred voluntary contribution amounts before they start work and are officially reported through myVRS Navigator.

Direct new hires to www.varetire.org/gohybrid to preset their voluntary contribution amounts for the defined contribution component of their plan. This is an especially helpful option for new teachers, who may attend summer orientation before reporting to work for the first time.

Once they’ve completed the online preset process, hybrid plan members’ voluntary contribution elections will become effective the first available pay period of the quarter following their VRS enrollment.

The new Preset My VC option allows members to make their desire to save known from day one.

RealizeRetirement Adventure Tour bus

RealizeRetirement Tour Offers Interactive Ways for Employees to Think About Their Future

ICMA-RC’s RealizeRetirement Adventure Tour (www.varetire.org/rrtour) roars into Richmond in mid-June, before making other stops throughout Virginia. This year’s adventure starts with a challenge—can you find the clues and the keys to your future? Themed with the popular escape-room experience, the tour truck offers a fun way for employees to envision the possibilities for life in retirement.

Check to see if your workplace is located near a tour stop. Encourage employees to turn out for the activities, which aim to inspire some forward-thinking about retirement and how to save for it now.

Help promote the tour:

myVRS Financial Wellness

myVRS Financial Wellness Offers New Retirement Planning Course

If your employees haven’t explored the topics, articles and tools available through the myVRS Financial Wellness program, then encourage them to log into their myVRS accounts today to boost their financial know-how.

VRS has added a Planning for Retirement course to the mix. This 35-minute, web-based course focuses on retirement readiness. Your employees will gain insights on long-term financial management, as well as an overview of the many retirement account options available from different sources. Finally, the course gets personal with a detailed financial assessment to help employees evaluate the actions they’ll need to take to meet specific goals and to ensure a comfortable retirement.

Included in the Planning for Retirement course:

  • Personalized course setup
  • 12 minutes of on-demand video
  • Interactive exercises
  • Quizzes with immediate feedback
  • Personalized course completion certificate
  • Learn at your pace on desktop, tablet, mobile

Take Note: ICMA-RC Has a New Bank Account Number

ICMA-RC is streamlining its banking services for VRS-participating employers.

Employers submitting payments via ACH credit or wire: ICMA-RC’s current bank account instructions will be valid until August 1. Please update the new banking account information to ensure payments are posted without any delays. For further details, download the DCP ACH credit and wire remittance instructions PDF Icon.

Employers submitting payments via ACH debit: Starting August 1, ICMA-RC will be using the new bank account to process ACH debit payments. You will need to contact your financial institution to provide the new ACH debit company ID for ICMA-RC to ensure your ACH debit payment requests are not rejected. Download the DCP ACH debit payment instructions PDF Icon.

If you have questions, call the ICMA-RC Employer Support Team at 1-877-327-5261 (select option 3) or email DefinedContributionsEmployerSupport@icmarc.org.


Announcements  Announcements

Hybrid Retirement Plan payroll guide updated: VRS has revised its Payroll Guide for Political Subdivisions, School Divisions and Decentralized State Employers PDF Icon. Directed to human resource and payroll staff, the guide takes you through the process of enrolling new hires in the hybrid plan, auto-escalation steps, and making salary adjustments and submitting contributions, among other topics.

Few impacts for VRS in 2018 General Assembly session: The 2018 General Assembly passed only a small number of bills affecting VRS, which are summarized in the 2018 Legislative Summary PDF Icon. The recently passed 2018 state budget includes appropriations for 100 percent of the actuarially determined contribution rates for state and teacher plans.

Chapter on hazardous duty benefits added to VRS Employer Manual: You will find a new chapter on Hazardous Duty Benefits PDF Icon in the VRS Employer Manual. It covers the Virginia Law Officers’ Retirement System (VaLORS), the State Police Officers’ Retirement System (SPORS), enhanced hazardous duty coverage for eligible political subdivision employees, the Hazardous Duty Alternate Option, purchasing prior service and hiring a former hazardous duty employee.

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.

New to administering VRS benefits? Regardless of your title, if you help administer any of the VRS benefits provided to employees and are new to your position, we want to hear from you. Take a few minutes to introduce yourself to VRS. Our team can give you the tools and expertise you need as you get up to speed on all things VRS.

Order VRS Publications.


 Employer Training & Events

All your training needs, covered in one place: In addition to instructor-led training, VRS offers a comprehensive educational program to help employers understand VRS benefits, perform necessary business responsibilities and counsel employees:

VRS has scheduled a number of webinars that explore a single topic in depth:

Title Description Date/Time
Hazardous Duty Benefits for VaLORS-covered Employees Learn more about the benefits provided to employees covered under the Virginia Law Officers’ Retirement System (VaLORS). June 27, 10-11 a.m.
Enhanced Hazardous Duty Benefits for Political Subdivisions Get tips for counseling employees eligible for hazardous duty benefits. June 27, 2-3 p.m.
Understanding Contributions Learn how member and employer contributions are calculated for Plan 1, Plan 2 and Hybrid Retirement Plan employees. July 18, 10 a.m.-noon
View All


Member Education  Member Education & Events

Classroom and webinar courses are posted on the VRS website as they are scheduled. Plan 1 and Plan 2 members may register from our Education and Counseling pages for new offerings.

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 are available in various regions across Virginia.


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 on the website.

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

I’m clicking through the new VRS website for employers. Is there a way I can quickly locate common resources like the Employer Manual or information related to administering the Hybrid Retirement Plan?

Absolutely. The new Employer Hub is your go-to source for easy access to resources such as the Employer Manual, Employer Update, publication orders, return-to-work guidelines and VRS’ hybrid and defined contribution administrative sites. Also, the Quick Topics selections near the top of the homepage (under the welcome message) contain links to some of the most helpful pages on the site, based on your feedback. 


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 © 2018 Virginia Retirement System

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