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Employers

Employer Bulletin

All WRS Employers
Vol. 21, No. 3
February 10, 2004

Bulletin contains WRS Monthly Retirement Remittance Reports (ET-1515) for 2004; Announces Availability of Contribution Remittance Application and Redesign of DETF Internet site


WRS Monthly Retirement Remittance Reports

Enclosed is your 12-month supply of Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Monthly Retirement Remittance Reports (ET-1515) for 2004. Use these forms each month to report earnings paid in 2004 and the corresponding WRS contributions remitted for calendar year 2004. Do not mail these forms if you report using the DETF’s Employer Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System or the on-line WRS Contribution Remittance Application available on DETF’s Extranet. For more information on using the Employer IVR System or the WRS Contribution Remittance Application, please refer to the sections dedicated to these options later in this bulletin.

Helpful Hints For Completing WRS Remittance Reports

Submit each month’s remittance report with your payment to DETF by the due date printed on each report. You must submit a report each month of the calendar year, even if there are no earnings to report. Remember to mail your reports and payments as early as possible to ensure they are received by DETF’s bank on or before the due date. Wisconsin Administrative Code § ETF 10.64 requires DETF to assess an interest charge on all late reports based on received date, not the date mailed.

Timeliness - Time considerations by payment type:

  • By Check: Date received at DRAWER 901, Milwaukee WI 53293-0001 (USBank Milwaukee, N.A.) determines timeliness, not the postmark date.
  • By WiSMART (State agencies): Evidence of payment (list of payment vouchers) and the report must be in the DETF mail room, 801 W. Badger Rd., by 4:30 p.m. on the report due date. Department of Administration approval of the payment vouchers must also occur on or before the report due date.
  • By IVR (Local employers): Complete the transaction at least four business days before the report due date. You can key the report up to 30 days in advance of the due date for payment on the due date.
  • By DETF’s Contribution Remittance Application: Complete the transaction at least four business days before the report due date.

Keep the following points in mind when processing the WRS Monthly Retirement Remittance Report (ET--1515):

  • Original Copy - Send the original (first) copy of the remittance report to DETF. Keep the second copy for your records. IVR reporters and those using the WRS Contribution Remittance Application - keep both copies and do not send a copy to DETF. During your IVR entry, request a fax copy of the report for your records.
  • Reporting Month - Be sure that the information on the report corresponds with the preprinted Reporting Month.
  • Earnings - Verify that the earnings amounts entered are correct and are posted to the proper employment category. DETF’s processing system verifies the contribution amount based on the employment category’s contribution rate.
  • Total Earnings - Add the earnings for all employment categories listed on your report and enter the total in the “Total Earnings” block. Please enter a total earnings amount even if reporting earnings in only one category. Insert zero (0) in the “Total Earnings” block If reporting “No Earnings”.
  • Over or Underpayment and/or Interest Due for Late Reporting - Use this box only if you received a notice from DETF instructing you to do so. Some employers are incorrectly using this box to force the contribution report total to equal the payment amount. It is not necessary to do this. For example, if WRS contributions are calculated for each employee and the contributions are totaled for a given category, then the total usually varies a few cents from the answer derived by multiplying the total employee earnings in a given category by the contribution rate. It is acceptable to use the total of the actual contributions. DETF’s processing system was designed to allow for these small variances.
  • Invoiced Items - The complete invoice number - all seven digits (for example, 0001234) - must be written on the ET-1515 in the “Invoice Detail” block. The amount of all invoiced items must equal the amount entered on Line 3 of the WRS Monthly Retirement Remittance Report.

Please make sure to use a minus sign (-) if the invoice is a credit.

Detailed instructions on completing the WRS Monthly Retirement Remittance Report are contained in Chapter 7 of the WRS Administration Manual (ET-1127, REV 05/99).

Prompt Payment of Over/Under Balances or Interest Due Notices

DETF will contact employers having outstanding WRS over/under balances. Upon receipt of an Over/Underpayment and/or Interest Due Notice (ET-1517), please follow the instructions on the second page of the notice. Payment should be made promptly on your next remittance report if you have underpaid. If you have overpaid, the notice will explain how to take a credit on your next remittance payment. Please call the DETF contact person listed at the end of this Bulletin if you have questions regarding DETF underpayments or overpayments notice.

Employer IVR System Reporting

Local government employers participating in the WRS may use the IVR System to submit WRS contributions. This system is used to report earnings and pay contributions, over/under payments, and invoices to the WRS. The Employer IVR System serves as an alternative to the process of completing and mailing Monthly Retirement Remittance Reports and mailing payments to the State Bank. You must have an established IVR account to use the IVR system. Employers wishing to use the IVR system will need an Employer Identification Number, Employer PIN Number, and Employer Bank Routing Number. Contact Steve Berg at DETF (608) 264-6637 or steve.berg@etf.state.wi.us to set up your account.

DETF Contact Person For WRS Remittance Processing

For questions related to WRS Remittance Reports, or Over/Underpayment and/or Late Interest Due Notices, please contact Jim Krawczyk at (608) 266-3309; FAX (608) 266-5801 or TTY (608) 267-0676. You can also e-mail Jim at jim.krawczyk@etf.state.wi.us. Please include your employer number (EIN 69-036-XXXX-XXX) and your phone number on all correspondence.

WRS Contribution Remittance Application Now Available

Note: This application is NOT available to State agencies that make payments via WiSMART.

Employers who have previously submitted their application for access to the WRS Contribution Remittance Application will be receiving user instructions. You will receive instructions with your welcome letter if you are newly applying for access to this application.

The Department of Employee Trust Funds is pleased to announce the on-line WRS Contribuion Remittance Application is now available for employer use. DETF implemented the Employer Extranet site in 2000, allowing employers to view certain Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) participant data on-line using the WRS Previous Service and Benefit Inquiry application. This application eliminated the need for employers to telephone or fax requests to DETF to obtain essential information for determining an employee’s eligibility date for DETF administered insurance programs.

This application will allow employers to securely transmit information directly to DETF via the Internet. Employers interested in obtaining access to this new on-line application must complete an Employer Extranet Application Security Agreement, ET-8928, (REV 11/2003), prior to receiving authorization.

The WRS Contribution Remittance application will give employers the ability to securely transmit WRS Monthly Retirement Remittance Reports, ET-1515, to DETF via the Internet. In addition, this application will allow employers to:

  • Select a payment date or default to the statutory due date.
  • Make the contribution payment to DETF via an Automated Clearing House (ACH) Direct Withdrawal.
  • Print confirmation reports of the on-line Monthly Remittance Report.
  • Reduce or eliminate reporting and/or calculation errors.
  • Increase efficiency through more accurate data transmission and faster processing time.
  • Eliminate late payment charges due to mailing delays.

DETF strongly encourages all employers, including employers currently using the telephone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System, to migrate to the new on-line WRS Contribution Remittance application. Employers using the telephone IVR system to file their WRS Monthly Retirement Remittance Reports will discover that the new on-line application works in much the same way. However, the on-line application is faster and easier to use.

Employers must submit an Automated Clearing House Direct Withdrawal Authorization (ACH), ET-1734, with the Employer Extranet Application Security Agreement to use the WRS Contribution Remittance application. The ACH form can be downloaded from the Employer Section of DETF’s web site at http://etf.wi.gov. Please attach your ACH authorization directly to the Security Agreement when submitting to DETF for authorization.

Note: If you are a current user of the telephone IVR system, DETF already has an ACH authorization on file. You do not need to submit a new ACH form. Send only the Employer Extranet Application Security Agreement.

System Requirements

To ensure proper security for all on-line applications, you must have a browser that supports the capabilities of Netscape Navigator, version 7.1 or higher or Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.x or higher.

Requesting Access Authority

As provided in State law, WRS participant account data is confidential and can be released only for WRS program administration purposes. In addition, creation of an individual WRS account must be undertaken only for an employee meeting WRS eligibility criteria as set forth in Wisconsin Statute § 40.22.

Employer personnel requesting access to DETF’s Employer Extranet site can be authorized for any or all of the Extranet site applications. The person requesting access must complete the attached Employer Extranet Application Security Agreement, ET-8928, (REV 11/2003). Please note that staff authorized for the WRS Account Update application will automatically be authorized for each additional update function implemented in the future; additional Security Agreements will not be required as these future functions are made available to employers.

Additional copies of the Extranet Application Security Agreement, ET-8928, can be printed from the Employer Forms section of DETF’s Internet site at http://etf.wi.gov. All fields on the Security Agreement must be completed. Incomplete applications will be returned to the employer. The employer’s designated WRS Agent must approve all requests for authorization by signing the Security Agreements. In doing so, the WRS agent is certifying the requester’s administrative need for access to the DETF application(s) requested.

Upon receipt DETF will forward the Security Agreement to the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s (DOA) Security Officer. Once the request for authorization has been approved, the DOA security officer will mail the Logon identification numbers, passwords, and identifier codes to the authorized employee’s home address. DETF will send the employer’s designated WRS Agent a copy of the WRS Extranet Applications User Manual, ET-1733 (REV 12/2003), following approval of the Security Agreement. The process takes two to three weeks to complete.

Questions

For more information about the Employer Extranet site, or if you have questions regarding the instructions for obtaining access to the site, please contact the Employer Communication Center at (608) 264-7900.

For questions specific to the WRS Contribution Remittance Application and/or the ACH form, you may contact either Steve Berg at (608) 264-6637 or Dale Ferron at (608) 266-0728.

Department Redesigns Internet Site for Improved Service

DETF has redesigned its Internet site to better serve WRS employers and participants. In addition to the more user friendly pages and menus, the most significant improvement is the site’s construction – it was built using newer technologies that, among other things, allow visitors to bookmark any page on the site (rather than just the homepage), making it possible to paste specific page links into electronic communications.

The site redesign allows for easier, more logical navigation and features updated graphics, pictures, and colors. The “What’s New” section of the homepage features current items of interest to participants such as health insurance or interest crediting news. Other sections accessible from the homepage include publications, news, calculators for estimating retirement benefits and service purchases, DETF governing boards, employment opportunities, and a site map. WRS employers can still easily access the on-line order form feature as well as review employer manuals, bulletins, information on unfunded liabilities, eligibility criteria, and more.

You can view the new site at http://etf.wi.gov.

 

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