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A Publication for VRS Employers
August 2017 | Archives
Your Turn to Ask: Can I name more than one Security Administrator in myVRS Navigator?

MBPs Available Soon in myVRS

The 2017 Member Benefit Profiles (MBPs) for Plan 1 and Plan 2 members will be available in their myVRS accounts in September.

The MBP is the VRS member’s annual benefit statement based on information employers reported to VRS as of June 30. It provides account balance information, retirement eligibility and eligibility for other benefits, such as group life insurance and the health insurance credit. If you have employees who do not have access to a computer, you can look up their MBPs in myVRS Navigator. You can find the annual MBP detail report in the Reports repository and print it.

You will receive a notification when your employees’ MBPs are ready. VRS also will provide promotional material you can use to encourage your employees to view their MBPs online and use this information for their retirement planning.
 
For Hybrid Retirement Plan employees: MBPs are currently not available for Hybrid Retirement Plan employees. However, the enhanced myVRS now offers additional services for hybrid members. In addition to viewing their defined benefit and defined contribution account balances from the myVRS homepage, hybrid members now have access to the new goal-based Retirement Planner and the Benefit Estimator, which allows members to enter different retirement date scenarios and see estimates of their defined benefit and defined contribution accounts.
 

What Resources Are Available to Help Orient New Employees?

Late summer and early fall are busy hiring periods for VRS employers. As you welcome new employees, we’ve prepared a reference list to help you inform them about VRS benefits.

Here are some counseling tips for you to use with your new employees:

VRS Defined Contribution Plans Rebranded as DCP

VRS Defined Contribution PlansThe VRS Defined Contribution Plans (record kept by ICMA-RC) have a revamped logo and branding to help you easily identify defined contribution plan resources. You’ll spot the new DCP-Virginia Retirement System logo on our deferred compensation websites and other materials.
 

New Higher Education Faculty Members Have 60 Days to Select Their Retirement Plan

New faculty members eligible to elect coverage under the Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (ORPHE) must choose their retirement plan within 60 days of their hire date by submitting to employers an Election of Retirement Plan: Optional Retirement Plan for Higher Education (VRS-65) form PDF Icon. Your employees will receive a letter and election form once you enter them in myVRS Navigator. The retirement plan choice is irrevocable.
 
Employees Can Compare Options in myVRS
Employees may now compare their retirement plan options in myVRS. Once logged in, they will see a choice of plans based on their start date.
 
Membership Date Plan Choices
On or after January 1, 2014 Hybrid Retirement Plan ORPHE Plan 2
Between July 1, 2010,
and December 31, 2013
VRS Plan 2 ORPHE Plan 2
Before July 1, 2010 VRS Plan 1* ORPHE Plan 1

* Participants electing VRS with fewer than five years of combined VRS and ORP service on or before January 1, 2013, are in VRS Plan 2. 
 
On the Compare Plans screen in myVRS, employees can evaluate features of VRS and ORPHE plans based on answers to key questions, including:
  • What are the options if you leave employment but do not retire?
  • How much control will you have over your plan?
  • What’s your comfort level with investment risk?
Employees can use the plan comparison calculator in myVRS to view their projected retirement income under VRS and ORPHE plans. They can adjust certain assumptions, such as salary or rate of return, to see how their projected income might change.
 
If electing an ORPHE plan, employees have a choice of three investment providers:
  • Defined Contribution Plans (DCP), VRS-managed investments record kept by ICMA-RC
  • Fidelity Investments
  • TIAA
Encourage ORPHE participants to compare provider options before making their choice.
 
Once a Plan Election Is Made
Once employees select either ORPHE or the applicable VRS plan, you will need to certify the form and submit it to VRS. (Note: Employees who do not submit a form to you within 60 days of employment will be defaulted into VRS Plan 1, Plan 2 or the Hybrid Retirement Plan, as applicable.) Faculty members who select VRS Plan 1, Plan 2 or the Hybrid Retirement Plan may choose between the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) and a disability program you may offer. If the faculty member chooses VSDP, no further action is required. However, if the faculty member chooses an employer-sponsored disability program, he or she must submit to an employer the College and University Faculty Opt-Out (VSDP-2 PDF Icon).

If a faculty member in a teaching, administrative or research position with a Virginia public college or university transfers to a faculty position with another Virginia public college or university with no bona fide break in service, he or she will continue to be covered under the originally selected retirement plan. If the faculty member has a bona fide break in service of at least one full calendar month between positions during a period he or she normally would work, the faculty member will be eligible to elect the ORPHE or the applicable VRS defined benefit plan.

Confirm Plan Eligibility
Remember to ask employees if they have any previous creditable service in a defined benefit plan administered by VRS or the VRS Hybrid Retirement Plan, or an account balance in a VRS Optional Retirement Plan and documentation of the account balance, to help you determine eligibility in the appropriate plan. You can use the Plan Determination Tool in myVRS Navigator to verify a new employee’s previous VRS service credit.

Encourage employees who want to select the Hybrid Retirement Plan to submit their form as soon as possible so they can take advantage of the opportunity to invest additional voluntary funds into the defined contribution component of the plan. The next deadline for voluntary contribution changes is 4 p.m., September 15. Participants can change voluntary contributions quarterly.
  

Need a Refresher on VRS Benefits Administration?

VRS offers two-day instructor-led benefits training sessions for new and experienced benefit administrators and payroll officers at locations throughout the state. Each session covers four topics, with each topic taking half the day:
 
Day 1 Day 2
  • Membership (includes contributions and refunds)
  • Purchase of prior service
  • Service retirement
  • Death benefits

Sessions are scheduled for the following locations, with more to come:
  • Abingdon (August 16-17)
  • Weyers Cave (August 29-30)
  • Hampton (September 12-13)
  • Daleville (September 19-20)
  • Danville (October 4-5)
  • Winchester (October 11-12)
  • Midlothian (November 7-8) 

myVRS Navigator: Update Contribution Amounts for Hybrid Members

As you update your employees’ salary amounts in myVRS Navigator, ensure that the amounts withheld from payroll and the amounts reported to ICMA-RC for the defined contribution component of the Hybrid Retirement Plan also reflect these changes. If you don’t ensure that all contributions are reported correctly, this could result in reconciliation issues for you.
 
Contributions for the defined contribution component are remitted to ICMA-RC through EZLink, based on your payroll schedule. If you need assistance with EZLink or have questions regarding the payroll file interface, please contact the ICMA-RC Defined Contribution Employer Support Team at 1-877-327-5261 (option 3), or via email at DefinedContributionsEmployerSupport@icmarc.org.
 
For additional details, refer to the Fiscal Year-End Reminders page on VRS’ online Financial Reporting Center.   

 

Learn More About Changes to the Line of Duty Act

The Virginia Line of Duty Act (LODA) provides death and health benefits to eligible employees and their eligible family members. As of July 1, VRS makes all eligibility determinations for LODA benefits and also issues benefit payments on behalf of LODA Fund participating employers. The Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) now administers the LODA Health Benefits Plans.

Resource Spotlight: LODA Training
Employers are required by law to train LODA-eligible employees and volunteers. The first training must happen within 30 days of being hired and then every two years thereafter.
 
The LODA Overview for Participants (an online course available on the LODA website) satisfies this training requirement. The presentation covers all aspects of the Line of Duty Act, including eligibility, benefits, filing a claim and other resources available to LODA-eligible employees. You can direct individual employees to the website to watch the recorded presentation, or you can present it in a central location for a group of employees.
 
Implementation Fees Cover Transition Costs
The legislation that changed administration of the LODA Fund included a funding mechanism to enable the transition. The law requires each LODA Fund participating and non-participating employer to pay its pro rata share of estimated implementation costs incurred by VRS and DHRM. The implementation effort has included, among other activities:
  • Establishing and administering the LODA Health Benefits Plans.
  • Establishing the claims process and disbursement of benefits.
  • Developing new resources for employers and LODA-eligible employees and volunteers.
  • Establishing and maintaining a dedicated website.
  • Developing a participant guide and training materials. 
LODA Fund participating employers will not receive an invoice. Instead, VRS will bill the fund for each participating employer’s implementation fee.
 
Employers that do not participate in the LODA Fund will receive an invoice based on the headcount of LODA-eligible employees and volunteers that VRS has on file. You should expect to receive an invoice in early fall.
 
Administrative Fee for New Claim Submissions
VRS will assess an administrative fee to review LODA claims (§ 9.1-403 Code of Virginia).
 
Amount Covers
$3,750 per claim
  • VRS case review (includes preliminary review of claims and detailed review of claim documentation)
  • VRS Medical Board review
  • IME (independent medical examination)
  • Independent factfinder
 
Note: If a claim is denied during the preliminary review period, the fee is $250. If the claim proceeds through the full review process, the cost is $3,750.
 
For LODA Fund participating employers, administrative fees are paid from your annual contributions to the fund. Employers not participating in the LODA Fund will receive an invoice for administrative fees incurred during the processing and review of claims.
 
For more information or additional resources, visit www.valoda.org.
 

Save the Date! National Retirement Security Week Set for October 15-21

Make plans to engage with employees during National Retirement Security Week (NRSW), October 15-21. Saving for retirement is important at every age. This week provides an opportunity for employees to revisit their personal retirement goals and determine if they are on track in establishing a secure future for themselves.
 
Here are some resources to help ensure your support of NSRW is a success:
  • Visit www.nagdca.org/nrsw for materials to help customize your own campaign.
  • Refer to VRS’ Education and Counseling webpage for a complete schedule of live and recorded presentations on retirement planning and VRS benefits.
  • Contact VRS Member Education and Outreach to discuss scheduling a benefit presentation for your employees.
  • To help you counsel employees, VRS, working with ICMA-RC, will provide an employer toolkit in September.
  • The September Employer Update will feature more resources to help you support NSRW. 
 

GASB Data Available on VRS Website

Information is available to assist VRS-participating employers that prepare annual financial statements in complying with Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards. The GASB Statement No. 68 Report 2016 for Virginia Retirement System PDF Icon, which includes detailed information on all the local plans, is now available in the Financial Reporting section of the VRS website. Look for the audit reports, sample journal entries, sample note disclosures and the analysis of net pension liability online soon. Individual reports were mailed to Primary Administrative Authorities in each locality in early August.

Take time now to review the report and extract the employer-specific information you need to complete your financial statements for fiscal year 2017.

Per GASB 68, employers that prepare annual financial statements must begin reporting net pension liability and their proportionate share of a pension expense as participants in VRS. The pension liabilities and expenses must appear as line items in employers’ fiscal year 2017 financial statements.

 

  Announcements

Optional Life Insurance Premium Rates Decrease September 1: The VRS Board of Trustees approved a reduction in the optional group life premium rates for three age brackets.
  • Ages 40-44: Reduced from $0.09 to $0.08 per month per $1,000 of coverage
  • Ages 60-64: Reduced from $0.65 to $0.59 per month per $1,000 of coverage
  • Ages 65-69: Reduced from $1.15 to $1.06 per month per $1,000 of coverage
Overall, premium rates will decrease by 4 percent for employee and spouse insurance. No age group will experience a rate increase. Refer to the July Employer Update for additional details.

ICMA-RC Relocates Virginia Service Center PDF Icon: Last month, ICMA-RC moved its central Virginia office to Riverfront Plaza, 951 E. Byrd Street, Suite 350, Richmond, VA 23219. Walk-ins and scheduled appointments with a defined contributions plans retirement specialist are available between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Phone: 1-877-327-5261 (select option 2). 


New Paycheck Calculator Helps Hybrid Members Plan: A new tool helps Hybrid Retirement Plan members see the impact of voluntary contributions and other deductions on their paycheck. The visually interactive calculator allows members to experiment with various percentages of voluntary contributions and choose a percentage that works for them. The next quarterly deadline for changing voluntary contribution elections is 4 p.m., September 15.
 
Are you new to administering VRS benefits? Let us know so our employer representative team can introduce themselves to you and assist you with locating resources, manuals and training opportunities.
 
Order VRS Publications.
 

  Employer Training & Events

Classroom and webinar courses are posted on the VRS website as they are scheduled. Other e-learning modules are available through VRS University in the Virginia Learning Center.

Current Training


  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. Other e-learning modules are available through VRS University in the Commonwealth of Virginia Learning Center.

Several educational resources are available to Hybrid Retirement Plan members. They 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. Several seminar sessions are available in various regions across Virginia.

For members who have recently retired or those close to retirement, VRS offers its Living in Retirement workshops at various locations throughout the state.

  

  Form Updates

To ensure faster processing of retirement and other forms — and to ensure you are using the most up-to-date versions of VRS forms — use the latest fillable VRS forms on the website.

VRS now also accepts copies and faxes of all forms. All forms may be faxed 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 is good practice to use a cover sheet, particularly if you are sending the fax to a specific VRS staff member.

Important note: VRS does not accept forms via email, which is not considered a secure form of communication.

 

Financial 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. In addition, you will now find a new section with fiscal year-end reporting reminders.  

  Your Turn to Ask

Q: Can I name more than one Security Administrator in myVRS Navigator?

Yes. More than one Security Administrator may be named in myVRS Navigator; however, one person must be identified as the Primary Security Administrator.
 
The Security Administrator is the administrative contact who adds other user contacts and manages access to myVRS Navigator by assigning the appropriate security roles to those contacts. This contact will automatically have all employer roles in myVRS Navigator, which allows full access to the system and its processes.

To assign a Security Administrator, submit a new Authorization of Administrative Contacts (VRS-67A) PDF Icon identifying the employee. You must complete the form in its entirety, even for contacts that have not changed, as it will replace any previous ones on file at VRS.
 
For more information on myVRS Navigator roles, see the Employer Roles and myVRS Navigator Security Access Job Aid in the Managing Contacts myVRS Navigator training course located in the VRS University in the Commonwealth of Virginia Learning Center.

 

Have a question?

Email the Employer Support Team or contact 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 © 2017 Virginia Retirement System

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