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  1. How do I know if a member is Tier 1 or Tier 2?
    Tier status is determined by TRS. When hiring new members, employers will be able to look up the tier of the new employee via the TRS website as they can now. If an employer reports an employee’s tier incorrectly, we will notify them, so they can make the correction.
     
  2. What will happen if a member’s name on record with the district is different from what TRS has on file?
    If the member is not retired, TRS will update its data to match the information submitted by the employer on the payroll file. You will receive an informational error that should be reviewed for accuracy.
     
  3. Are special characters in names allowed?
    Yes. The following characters are allowed: space, dash, hyphen and apostrophe.
     
  4. If an employee transitions from full-time to part-time mid-year/pay period how will this be reported?
    If a member works under more than one Employment Type in the same period, you should report the “highest” Employment Type according to the following hierarchy: Full-time, Part-time contractual, Substitute/Part-time noncontractual, Extra duty. If a change in Job Category occurs during the pay period, report the “highest” Job Category according to the following hierarchy: Administrator, Teacher, Counseling. If the transition occurs with a new pay period, begin reporting the correct Employment Type, Contract Days, and/or Job Category with the new pay period.

    Examples:
    Teacher A has been working at the district as a substitute teacher. In November, Teacher A accepts a full-time position. Her base annual salary is $60,000. There are 122 days remaining in the year and the district prorates her base salary for the remainder of the year as follows: $60,000 / 180 x 122 = 40,666.67 / 20 remaining pay periods = $2,033.33. During the first pay period in November, she works two days as a substitute teacher and earns $100 and four days as a full-time teacher and is paid $2,033.33.

    Report her as follows on the November 1 through November 15 pay period report:

    Job Category:  Teacher
    Contract Days: 180
    Employment Type:  F (Full Time)
    FTE Percentage: 100
    Full Annual Rate: $60,000.00
    Payment Reason:  BS (Base Salary)
    Earnings: $2,133.33
    Days Paid: 6

    Teacher B is a part-time contractual teacher working three days per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. She occasionally substitute teaches on Tuesday and Thursdays.

    During the November 1 through 15 pay period she works six days as a part-time contractual teacher and is paid $1,250 ($30,000 / 24). She also substitute teaches for three days and is paid $300.

    Report her as follows on the November 1 through November 15 pay period report:

    Job Category:   Teacher
    Contract Days: 180
    Employment Type:  P (Part-time contractual)
    FTE Percentage:   60
    Full Annual Rate: $30,000.00
    Payment Reason: BS (Base Salary)
    Earnings: $1,250
    Days Paid:   6
    Job Category:  Teacher
    Contract Days:   180
    Employment Type: P (Part-time contractual)
    FTE Percentage: 60
    Full Annual Rate:  $30,000.00
    Payment Reason: LE (Licensed Extra Duty Outside Contract Calendar)
    Earnings: $300
    Days Paid:    3

    Teacher C becomes a principal during the first pay period of February after working 111 days. The district determines that she earned $37,000 as a teacher ($60,000 / 180 x 111) of which she had been paid $25,000 ($60,000 / 24 x 10 pay periods). She will earn $29,423.08 ($75,000 / 260 x 102) as an administrator. There are 10 remaining pay periods in the year and the Teacher C will be paid $4,142.41 [($12,000 remainder of teacher salary + $29,423.08 prorated administrator salary) / 10] per pay for the remainder of the year.

    Report her as follows on the February 1 through February 15 pay period report:
    Job Category:  Administrator  
    Contract Days:   260
    Employment Type:  F (Full time)
    FTE Percentage:   100
    Full Annual Rate: $75,000
    Payment Reason: BS (Base Salary)
    Earnings:  $4,142.41  
    Days Paid:    10

     
  5. What Job Category is a substitute teacher?
    For a substitute teacher report the Job Category as Teacher.
     
  6. What FTE (full-time equivalency) is reported for substitute teachers?
    FTE is only required for full-time and part-time contractual members.
     

  7. Will I need to report the Days Paid for Substitutes and Hourly members every reporting period?
    TRS will expect actual days paid for both substitutes and part-time noncontractual or hourly employees. Keep in mind that any portion of a day counts as one day for service credit reporting purposes. You should not combine partial days and should not count the same day twice.
     

  8. How do I report those who have exceeded IRS or Tier 2 salary limits?
    When a Tier 1 member has exceeded IRS 401(a)(17) limits or a Tier 2 member has exceeded Tier 2 salary limits, for the remainder of that fiscal year, that member’s earnings should be reported in the Earnings that Exceed Salary Limits field.
     
  9. Is the Employment Begin Date required for everyone or only new hires and rehires?
    The Employment Begin Date is required for everyone. It is the first day the member physically worked in a TRS-covered position. It is not their hire date or the first date of the current school year. If the exact date is a hardship to produce, then we will accept 7/1/xxxx of the first year the member worked in the district. For new hires and re-hires after a break in service, report the first day worked upon hire or rehire.
     
  10. What do I do if a member is in more than one Employment Type in the same pay period?
    If a member works under more than one Employment Type in the same pay period, you should report the “highest” Employment Type according to the following hierarchy: Full-time, Part-time contractual, Part-time noncontractual or Hourly, Substitute, and Extra-Duty.
     
  11. What should be included in Full Annual Rate?
    This field should only be reported for members who are full-time or part-time contractual. For full-time members, include the member’s full year salary rate including employer-paid member retirement contributions. Exclude creditable earnings paid for extra duties, flexible benefit plans or severance/lump-sum payments since they are reported separately. For part-time contractual members, the full annual rate should reflect what the member would earn performing their part-time duties for a full year, not what they would earn if they are working full-time.
     
  12. Am I supposed to include board paid TRS in the earnings that I am reporting?
    Yes. You should always include any employer-paid member retirement contributions in the earnings you report on the file. Do not include employer contributions (0.58%) or employer-paid THIS Fund contributions.
     
  13. If a district spreads out Extra Duty (ED) pay over 24 pay periods, should the ED also be reported as Deferred (D) for July and August?
    Yes, the Deferred field should be flagged “yes” while keeping the payment reason field as Extra Duty (ED).
     
  14. What do I report as Days Paid for Extra-Duty (ED) earnings?
    For Payment Reason ED (extra-duty) you report 0 Days Paid. 

    Non-licensed Extra-Duty

    If the extra duties do not require licensure (coaching, sponsorships, etc.), they are reportable as payment reason of ED with 0 days paid.

    Licensed Extra-Duty

    If the extra-duty requires licensure (internal substitution, homebound teaching, behind the wheel driver’s education, etc.) and the duties are performed on the same day that a teacher is working, report the earnings as payment reason ED (extra-duty) with 0 days paid.

    If the extra-duty requires licensure and the work is performed on a day (Monday through Friday) the teacher is not already working, report as Payment Reason of LE (Licensed Extra-Duty Outside Contract Calendar) with days paid equal to the number of days worked.

    Examples:
    • A full-time teacher teaches behind the wheel in December during winter break and in June after the end of the school term.  Report the behind the wheel earnings as Payment Reason of LE with days paid equal to the number of days the member performed these duties. 
    • A part-time contractual teacher works on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On occasion, the teacher substitute teaches or performs homebound teaching on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Report the substitute teaching and/or homebound teaching as Payment Reason of LE with days paid equal to the number of days the teacher sub taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
    • If the teacher teaches summer school report as Payment Reason of SS (Summer School earnings) with days paid equal to the number of days working summer school. 
       
  15. How do I report longevity bonuses that are paid once per school year each November?
    The bonus would be reportable as a Payment Reason of Lump Sum Payments (LS).
     
  16. How will districts report salaries paid from federal funds?
    Salaries paid from federal funds will no longer be reported per an amount earned by an employee. Employers will tell us the total amount of federal funds paid on each report. The federal funds will be broken down by grant type (Title I, Title II, etc.).
     
  17. What do I report for Days Paid? Since I pay teachers over 12 months, the amount they work each pay period does not tie to the amount they are being paid.
    For each pay period, report the number of days the member worked and/or used accumulated leave time (vacation, sick, personal). Days Paid should always be a whole number and partial days must never be combined to make whole days. Any portion of a day worked counts as one paid day. The days paid will not tie to the earnings that are being paid each pay period.
     
  18. How will earnings be reported in the file layout?
    For each pay period, you will breakdown the amounts paid by payment reason and will report the actual amount paid.

    Example: a teacher has an annual salary rate of $50,000 and is paid $2,083.33 each pay period for 24 pays. In addition, the teacher is a coach and the coaching stipend is also paid over 24 pays ($104.17 per pay) and occasionally does timesheet extra duties such as internal substitution and chaperoning. For each pay period, you will report a payment reason of BS (base salary) of $2,083.33 and ED (extra duty) $104.17 plus any timesheet extra duties paid. In June/early July, you will report the amounts the teachers will be paid in July and August for their base earnings and any contractual extra duties that are spread out over 24 pays and you will check the deferred flag.
     
  19. Can I report regular pay and deferred pay in the same pay period?
    Yes. For example, in the final pay period in June, a teacher works five days of summer school and attends a workshop. In this pay period, the teacher’s base salary is reported as deferred earnings, the summer school is reported as Payment Reason of SS – Summer School earnings with five days paid and the workshop will be reported as ED – Extra Duty/Stipends.
     
  20. How do I report summer school that overlaps fiscal years?
    Earnings are reportable on an accrual basis. The earnings are reportable in the year the work was performed which may not coincide with when the earnings are paid.

    If the earnings for summer school that is worked in June is paid in June, the service and earnings will be reported on the final report that is due on July 10th. The earnings will be reported as Payment Reason SS – Summer School earnings and the days worked in June reported as Days Paid.

    If the payment for summer school worked in June is paid in July, the service and earnings will be reported on the July report(s) that is due August 10. The earnings will be reported as an adjustment by reporting the beginning and ending dates in June when the work was performed (ex. 06012021 and 06302021 or 06152021 and 06302021). The Payment Reason will be SS – Summer School earnings and the days worked in June reported as Days Paid.
     

  21.  Why does TRS want non-contributory earnings reported? Does this mean I have to report all my non-TRS covered employees to TRS?
    TRS wants noncontributory earnings reported for members who are also working in a TRS-covered position, so we have a record we can go back to if concerns of unreported service are brought up by the member. TRS is only requesting that employers include noncontributory earnings for any members who also have contributory earnings to report in the same reporting period. Employees working in an IMRF position who did not also work in a TRS-covered position in the same period should not be reported to TRS.
  22. How will summer checks be handled? Teachers receive them throughout the summer but we run everything prior to the fiscal year end.
    When a teacher works nine months, but his/her salary is paid over 12 months, the earnings paid after the school year is over are marked deferred. The payroll report that is submitted at the end of June/beginning of July will include the salaries due to the teacher that will be paid in July and August. These pays will have the deferred flag checked.

  23. We pay our extra-duty pays at different times depending on the season, but they are added to our normal pay dates. How will that be handled?
    You will report the extra-duty earnings in the pay period that the earnings were paid. If the extra duty is being paid on a pay date that there has been base salary paid, you will report the pay period begin date, pay period end date for the base salary, and report the extra duty as payment reason of ED.

  24. How do we report staff who work an extended school year?
    For a contractual teacher who is also teaching summer school, the summer school would be reported as a Payment Reason of SS = Summer School earnings. Days Paid would be equal to the number of days the member taught summer school.

    For a teacher who is only teaching summer school, he/she would be reported as an Employment Type of H = Part-time Noncontractual with a Payment Reason of SS. Days Paid would be equal to the number of days the member taught summer school.

    A teacher who only performs homebound teaching would be reported as Employment Type of H and Payment Reason of BS = Base Salary.

    Please remember when reporting summer school and summer extra duty wages that earnings are reported on an accrual basis in the year earned which may not coincide with the year paid.

  25. What would the payment reason be for a full-time teacher who picks up an additional class?
    Under Gemini, teaching an overload would be reported as payment reason of ED – Extra Duty.

  26. What Employment Begin Date and Employment End Date do we use for substitute, part-time noncontractual and extra duty only teachers?
    If a substitute, part-time noncontractual or extra duty only teacher has gone a full school year without working for your employer you should report a new Employment Begin Date (report the first date they work for you again in a TRS position).

    For long term/permanent substitute teachers, report the last day they worked in the long-term assignment as their employment end date. For on-call substitute teachers, you do not need to report an end date unless the substitute teacher is retiring, died or is no longer on your substitute call list.

  27. What if only some of the file is for deferred payments (10-month employees) vs. 12-month employees who have days to report?
    The deferred flag is reported on a individual member/person basis; it is not indicated for a report as a whole.

  28. How do we handle sick days?
    The reported sick leave days are a running total of the number of sick leave days the members have available to them. If someone uses sick leave between the date that you process payroll and the date that you submit your report, include the correct number of sick leave days in the following report. An adjustment to sick leave is not required.