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Employers

Employer Bulletin

All WRS Employers
Vol. 21, No. 13a
December 13, 2004

2004 WRS Annual Report Deadlines; WRS Annual Reconciliation Information

2004 WRS Annual Report Deadlines

The chart below contains the mandatory deadlines for filing your Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Annual Report (the year-end report containing your employees’ annual earnings and hours of service detail) and your December WRS Monthly Remittance Report. It is critical that you meet these deadlines so the Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) can complete the following tasks in a timely manner:

  • Reconcile all earnings and contributions reported for calendar year 2004
  • Prepare and distribute the January 1, 2005 WRS Statements of Benefits
  • Calculate 2006 WRS contribution rates
Report Name
Employer Groups
Due Date
WRS 2004 Annual Report (ET-2533) All Employers January 31, 2005
December 2004 WRS Monthly Retirement Remittance Report (ET-1515, Rev. 11/2003)

Local Employers

State Employers
(Teachers)

State Employers
(Non-Teachers)

January 31, 2005

January 31, 2005


January 20, 2005

Annual Reporting Options

Electronic Media:
Employers with 250 or more employees are required to report their employees’ annual detail earnings and hours of service in electronic format as provided in ETF 10.60 (2), Wis. Admin. Code. ETF encourages all employers to report electronically. Electronic reporting greatly increases processing efficiency, reduces the risk of number transposition errors by employers, and reduces data entry errors at ETF. Specific information on Electronic Media Reporting is covered in Chapter 12 of the WRS Administration Manual (ET-1127, REV 7/2004). Please contact Dale Ferron at (608) 266-0728 if you are interested in reporting via electronic media or have questions regarding this method of annual reporting.

File Transfer Protocol:
Employers may submit the WRS Annual Report electronically via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). FTP allows the transmission of confidential data through a secure Internet site and provides a more efficient method of submitting data to ETF. FTP saves time by eliminating the need to mail files back and forth between ETF and the employer when corrections are required. Other efficiencies include:

  • Error reduction: FTP transmissions are subject to fewer errors than paper reports that require manual data entry into ETF’s database.
  • Elimination of damaged or incomplete disks and related problems.
  • Same day correction capability.
  • Ease of transmission: Employers simply “highlight and send” the data file to ETF’s secure Internet site.

In order to utilize FTP, you must install the necessary software on your computer systems. ETF purchased the hardware and software required for the FTP method of transmission and provides the software and software license to employers free of charge.

If you are interested in using the FTP transmission method, discuss the system requirements with your Information Technology staff to ensure you have the capability to perform FTP transmissions. Please make sure you will be able to send data even if you have a firewall on your system. Then, send an e-mail message to requesting a password and the necessary software. Your e-mail message must include your Employer name, Employer Identification Number (XXXX-000), WRS contact person, and telephone number. ETF will provide you with a password, the necessary software, and instructions.

Reporting Annual Transactions On-line:
Authorized employers currently receiving a pre-printed Employee Transaction Report (ET-2533) from ETF will soon be able to transmit annual transactions via the Internet through the WRS Account Update Application. ETF will distribute a bulletin detailing the requirements and instructions for this new Internet application in late December.

WRS Annual Reconciliation Information

Specific Guidelines for Annual Reporting

Use the following specific criteria to report annual detail depending on your reporting method.

Electronic Reporters
Disk, File Transfer Protocol
Paper Reporters
Pre-printed Employee Transaction Report (ET-2533)
Paper Reporters
Employer Custom-Printed Annual Report

Follow the specifications defined in Chapter 12 of the WRS Administration Manual. Electronic Reporters must submit the Electronic Reporter Transmittal (ET-2536, REV 9/98) with the annual report disk or flies.

A copy of the transmittal form:

  • Is on the ETF internet site under Employer Forms and Brochures
  • May be ordered by calling ETF Supply and Mail Services at (608) 266-3302

The pre-list report is pre-printed with:

  • Report date
  • Employee name
  • Employee Social Security number
  • Action code
  • Action date

Terminated employees listed on your report who have not been reported to ETF must be reported on a separate Employee Transaction Report (ET-2533). Cross the name off the pre-list and immediately report the termination on a separate ET-2533 using a 2004 report date.

Note: If a WRS eligible employee does not appear on the pre-list, ETF has not received the required WRS Enrollment Form (ET-2316). You must complete and submit the enrollment form immediately and add the employee to the preprinted Annual Report.

Follow the instructions as noted in Chapter 9 of the WRS Administration Manual.

If you are using your own reporting format for the first time, you must have the format pre-approved by ETF prior to submitting your 2004 annual report.

The approval process is critical because ETF contracts with an outside vendor for data entry purposes.

For pre-approval, submit a sample copy of your reporting format to Dale Ferron, P.O. Box 7931, Madison, WI 53707-7931 before December 30, 2004.

Specific Guidelines for Annual Reporting

Use the following specific criteria to report annual detail depending on your reporting method.

Instructions for Reconciling Your WRS Earnings

Please refer to Chapter 9, WRS Administration Manual (ET-1127, REV 7/2004) for guidance in reconciling your 2004 WRS earnings. In addition to the information provided in the administration manual, ETF encloses the following three reports to assist you in the reconciliation process:

  • Employee Transaction Report (ET-9999)
    This form details 2004 Employee Transactions (including additional contributions) updated to ETF’s database through December 8, 2004. Earnings totals, by employment category, are displayed at the end of the report.
  • Employee Suspended Transaction Report (EE990)
    This form details 2004 suspended Employee Transactions received by ETF, but not yet posted to the employee accounts due to incomplete or inaccurate information on the submitted transaction report. ETF is reviewing and processing these transactions and may contact you for resolution.
  • Contributions Total Report (ET-9999)
    This form details total WRS earnings and additional contributions by employment category reported to ETF on the January through October 2004 WRS Monthly Retirement Remittance Reports (ET-1515, REV 11/2003). Note: November 2004 earnings are included for employers who filed the November 2004 report early.

The following chart illustrates how to use these reports in conjunction with the transactions and Monthly Retirement Remittance Reports not yet submitted to ETF:

Employee Transaction Reports
(A + B)
=
Monthly Retirement Remittance Reports
(C + D)

Includes Transactions:

  1. Reported to the WRS
    • Earnings (by employment category) on the Employee Transaction Reports. (See above description.)
    • Earnings (by employment category) on the Employee Suspended Transaction Report. (See above description.)

        +

  2. Not Yet Reported to the WRS
    • Earnings (by employment category on the Annual Transaction Report.
    • Earnings (by employment category) from any 2004 terminations not yet reported to WRS.
=

Includes Remittance Reports:

C. Reported to the WRS

    • Earnings (by employment category) on the Contributions Total Report. (See above description.)

+

D. Not Yet Reported to the WRS

    • Earnings (by employment category) on the WRS Monthly Retirement Remittance Reports for November and December 2004.

Reconciliation Tips:

  • Calculate the total of all employees' WRS earnings from your payroll records (by category). This total should equal the total of earnings reported to ETF throughout the year, including earnings from your annual report (A and B above).
  • Calculate the total of all WRS earnings (by employment category) on the 12 WRS Monthly Remittance Reports (C and D above).
  • Total WRS transaction report earnings (A plus B) must equal the total WRS earnings reported on the 12 monthly remittance reports (C plus D).

Annual Reporting Reminders

Fiscal Year Employees
The following reminders apply to all employers with fiscal year employees regardless of the reporting method used:

  • Fiscal year employees include teachers (employment categories 10 and 11), educational support personnel (employment category 12) and judges (employment categories 05, 07 and 08).
  • Transactions reported for fiscal year employees must include January through June fiscal year hours and earnings in addition to 2004 calendar year hours and earnings if the fiscal year employee was active during the January through June period.
  • January through June (fiscal year) hours and earnings must be less than or equal to the employee’s calendar year hours and earnings.

Employee Required Contributions and Benefit Adjustment Contributions
The columns labeled “Employee Required Contributions” and “Benefit Adjustment Contributions” are used only when you have actually deducted a contribution amount from your employee’s paycheck. These amounts cannot exceed the employee required and benefit adjustment contribution rates in effect for 2004. Do not use these columns to report total employee required and benefit adjustment contributions that you have paid on behalf of the employee.

Employee Name Change(s)
Employee name changes cannot be made on the annual report by crossing out the name printed on the report and writing the new name. An Employee Identification/ Correction Change (ET-2810) must be submitted to ETF to make this change. Refer to Chapter 5 of the WRS Administration Manual for instructions on changing an employee’s name. Employers reporting electronically can submit action code P031 transactions to change a participant name.

Leave of Absence
Refer to Chapter 9 of the WRS Administration Manual for the appropriate Action Code to use on the Annual Report for employees on leaves of absence as of December 31, 2004.

Reporting Employee Terminations
Do not report earnings and hours for terminated employees on the Annual Report if you have reported all of 2004’s hours and earnings for these employees at the time of final earnings payment.

Include only transactions that apply to the 2004 calendar year. For example, an employee terminating employment in December 2004, but who is not paid final earnings until January 2005, must be reported as an active employee on the 2004 Annual Report using the “00” Action Code. In January 2005, you will report the December 2004, termination date along with the earnings (and corresponding hours) paid in January 2005.

Contact ETF Staff For Questions Regarding WRS Annual Reporting

Contact the Employer Communication Center at (608) 264-7900 if you have questions about reporting employee hours and earnings.

For questions regarding WRS Annual Report format or FTP transmission, contact Dale Ferron at (608) 266-0728.

 

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