Happy 2021 retirees and we hope that this year is off to a great start! You may have noticed a difference in your January, 2021, benefit. There are several factors that have attributed to the change which include a cost of living adjustment (COLA) increase, changes in federal tax tables which generally causes a smaller tax deduction, and some are receiving reduced health insurance premium amounts. Please direct any questions about tax tables, deductions, and liabilities to a tax professional and questions about your health insurance premiums to the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).
Census data powers much of what we do. Government, business, and many social activities and programs are affected by Census data. TRS is encouraging our members and retirees to respond to the 2020 Census!
Click here to go to the Census 2020 site to complete your Census Questionaire!
Current economic conditions and reduced revenue collections due to the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in employers planning for reducing budgets in FY 2021 by several methods such as furloughs, salary reductions and reductions of contracted work days, which will have an impact on the amount of earnable compensation to be reported to TRS. “Earnable compensation” means the full rate of regular compensation payable to a member for his full normal working time [O.C.G.A. § 47-3- 1(11)]. In accordance with Georgia law and advice from the Attorney General’s office, reporting of employer and employee contributions will be as follows:
- Furloughs are considered a temporary downward adjustment in an employee’s salary, not a permanent salary reduction. Since Georgia law states contributions are remitted based on the member’s full rate of regular compensation for his full normal working time, contributions will continue to be reported based on the member’s full regular salary prior to the implementation of the furlough.
- Salary reductions and reductions in contracted days are permanent in nature and become the employee’s full rate of regular compensation for their full normal working time. Therefore, employee and employer contributions should be remitted based on the employee’s adjusted regular salary.
Reporting employers should report all employee salaries equally and not differentiate between newer employees and those employees who are nearing retirement. Should discrepancies occur, your TRS representative will contact you for clarification. For employees who are close to retirement, please remember that the retirement calculation is based, in part, on the member’s two highest consecutive years of salary, which may not necessarily be their final two years of salary.
Should you have additional questions, please contact our office.
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