Employer Digest

Fall 2022

EMPLOYERS SURVEYED ON UPCOMING NEW SYSTEM

OP&F is in the process of replacing the current pension administration system with updates and enhancements for both members and employers. The new pension administration system is on track to go live in 2024. OP&F is working with LifeWorks on the new system, a recognized leader in designing and implementing employee benefit programs, including pension administration. LifeWorks serves over 24,000 organizations nationally and internationally.

A survey was emailed to employers this past summer asking for feedback on what they hope for and expect in the new system. The survey also provided employers the chance to voice challenges they may have with OP&F’s current system for submitting contributions.

The survey was emailed to all OP&F employers and 39 percent participated. Of those responding, 76 percent of respondents didn’t express a concern about the project, while those who did hoped it would be easy to use, will have training available, and there will not be any disruptions to reporting.

Employers suggested the following features they would like to see added to the new system (with percent of respondents).

  • An employer web portal for self-service 75%
  • Improved payment tools, including a new electronic file submission process 67%
  • Enhanced reporting capabilities 54%
  • Electronic signature for documents 36%
  • Electronic notary for documents 18%

THE IMPORTANCE OF ELECTRONIC REPORTING

In advance of the new system implementation, OP&F reminds employers of the importance to report member payroll data electronically, either through the employer self-serve import method or the employer self-serve manual entry method. By using one of our electronic reporting methods, payroll data can be processed more rapidly because the need to input information manually by OP&F staff is eliminated. Online reporting eliminates the possibility of a report being delayed or lost in the mail, which could result in statutory penalties. When the new system is implemented, paper reporting will likely no longer be accepted.

Each month, OP&F receives more than 900 reports of retirement deductions from employers. These reports contain vital information related to member wages, pension deductions, and hours scheduled and worked. Once these reports are processed, each member’s ledger is updated and service credit is applied. Retirement and disability payments cannot be processed until all payroll information is received and any issues are resolved. Therefore, when a member files for retirement or disability, if OP&F already has this correct information on record benefits will be calculated quickly and efficiently.

If an employer is interested in switching from paper to electronic payroll reporting or would like a demonstration, please contact Employer Education at 1-614-628-8311.

MEMBER HANDBOOK USEFUL TOOL FOR NEW OP&F MEMBERS AND EMPLOYERS

The OP&F Member Handbook is a great source of information for those beginning their careers in an OP&F covered position. The answers to many questions new members may have, and topics such as membership benefits and OP&F facts can be found in the handbook. Some aspects of the handbook may even help employers understand more about OP&F contributions for members and employers, pensionable salary and types of service credit.

Download a PDF of the Member Handbook, found here on the OP&F website and please encourage members to do so as well.

GASB UPDATES NOW AVAILABLE

The newest GASB 68 data through Dec. 31, 2021, is now available on the OP&F website by clicking here. In June of 2012, the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued Statement 68 which required governments that provide defined benefit pension plans, to recognize their long-term liability for retirement benefits, as a liability on their financial statements. It is important for employers to keep in mind that this GASB reporting obligation creates an accounting liability, not a legal liability. The legal liability for OP&F employers is that they report and pay the statutory member and employer contributions each month in accordance with Chapter 742 of the Ohio Revised Code.

From the GASB perspective, pensions are seen as part of a total compensation package and employment relationship between employer and employee. To the degree a pension system is not 100% funded, GASB believes that employers have a liability on paper for the unfunded portion of the pension system that is in proportion to their share of the total liability. Each year, OP&F discloses on their website the information employers will need to complete their financial statements in accordance with the GASB 68 requirements. This information includes the total employer contributions for the given calendar year, and the employer allocation as a percentage of this total. The disclosure information is broken down by the five-character division code for each employer.

GASB 75 information is also available on the OP&F website. GASB 75 replaces GASB 45 and accounts for Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB). This is primarily liability received by OP&F retirees. Since GASB 68 covers only pension plans, OPEB must be reported separately on an employer’s financial statements.

HOLIDAYS OBSERVED BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM

On holidays observed by the Federal Reserve System, banks are not open for business which could impact payroll reporting. For holidays falling on Saturday, Federal Reserve Banks and Branches will be open the preceding Friday; however, the Board of Governors will be closed. For holidays falling on Sunday, all Federal Reserve offices will be closed the following Monday. The 2022 – 2026 Holidays observed chart is available by clicking here.

EMPLOYER SERVICES GROUP UPDATE

The OP&F Employer Services Group ensures the accuracy and completeness of employer payroll reports, often working one-on-one with an employer's payroll clerk. Please feel free to contact the employer’s designated payroll representative for any questions or assistance in completing and submitting a payroll report. The Employer Services Group chart can also be found on the OP&F website by clicking here and is updated whenever there is a change.

IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES

Important dates and deadlines are also posted on OP&F’s website under the Employers menu in the Calendar of Billing Deadlines and Events section.

NOVEMBER

30 Payroll deductions, member and employer contributions and payroll reports for October 2022

DECEMBER

31 Payroll deductions, member and employer contributions and payroll reports for November 2022

JANUARY

31 Payroll deductions, member and employer contributions and payroll reports for December 2022

OP&F provides the Employer Digest as a general reference material in order to assist employers in properly reporting required contributions to OP&F, as well as submitting the required forms and materials that are necessary to provide benefits for our members. As a general reference material, the Employer Digest may not sufficiently represent all of the details applicable to the subjects discussed. Nothing contained in this newsletter is meant to interpret, extend or change, in any way, OP&F’s governing statutes, administrative rules or policies. If you have any questions or need information on any subjects referenced in the Employer Digest, please contact OP&F.

COPYRIGHT © 2022 by Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, All Rights Reserved.

Posted 11/22/2022