Tier 2 Questions And Answers

Q: Does an employee have to be vested in Tier 1 to remain in Tier 1?
A: No. If an employee has any service credit in Tier 1, he or she is always in Tier 1.
Q: How do Utah’s Tier 2 retirement plan options compare to other state retirement plans?
A: That can be measured in many ways. The years required for retirement is higher, the multiplier is similar or lower, the cost to the member is lower, the cost to the employer is similar or lower.
Q: Can the employer elect to pay more than the required amount into an employee’s 401(k)?
A: Yes.
Q: Can an employer send additional 401(k) to another provider after meeting URS’ requirements?
A: Yes.
Q: Should I go back and paper certify ALL ineligible employees I haven’t previously certified?
A: Only those currently employed by you, then all going forward.
Q: Will ALL the employee’s 401(k) contributions, including those required by law, show on their quarterly statements prior to being vested?
A: Yes.
Q: How will the employer know what to report on the employee’s W2?
A: Check with your tax expert. Whether DB Hybrid or DC only, the “Retirement Plan” box should be checked.
Q: Is it the employer’s or URS’ responsibility to educate employees on their choices?
A: All educational material for URS retirement plans should come from URS.
Q: Will the Retirement Office educate retiring members on their re-employment limitations?
A: It is the responsibility of the retiree to keep current with all laws relating to their retirement benefits. URS will provide educational materials to educate all members.
Q: Will employers be permitted to hire retired members and have them waive benefits in order to be hired?
A: Yes – however, such waivers must be well documented and can in no way allow for a delayed receipt of benefits.
Q: If a retired/rehired employee, hired before July 1, 2010, separates from employment and goes to work for another URS covered employer, does he/she maintain the normal cost status?
A: No.
Q: If a retired/rehired employee separates from one employment and begins working for another URS covered employer, does this employment change restart the $16,014.76 or 50% FAS cap?
A: No.
Q: If a retired member is re-employed 60 days after retiring from URS, and remains part-time, making less than $16,014.76 or 50% FAS, does this employment time count towards the one-year separation from employment required by post-retirement legislation for full-time employment?
A: No.
Q: What happens to a retired/rehired employee who exceeds the $16,014.76 or 50% FAS cap?
A: The retirement benefit will be canceled until the month following termination of employment or until the end of the calendar year when the cap is reset.
Q: Are employers covered by State and school retirement systems required to pay the 1.5% employer 401(k) in addition to new Tier 2 requirements?
A: No.
Q: Why are employers now required to contribute a percentage to an employer-paid 401(k)?
A: That was made part of the Tier 2 plan design by the legislature.
Q: Are employers with firefighter coverage now required to report new hires (Tier 2) with employer 401(k) rather than 457?
A: Yes.
Q: If an employee resigns before the 4-year vesting requirement, what happens to the contributions and 401(k) reported for him/her?
A: All non-vested funds remain with URS. 401(k) funds are forfeited if not re-employed in the system within 10 years.
Q: Will employees still receive a welcome packet and will any of the Tier 1/Tier 2 information be included in that packet?
A: All new hires will continue to receive a welcome packet from URS, applicable to their retirement coverage.
Q: Will employers have any direct responsibilities to URS or employees when employees do not respond to the myURS announcements, welcome packet inserts or 10-month letters?
A: No.
Q: If an employee was hired ineligible before July 1, 2011, and then accepted an eligible position after July 1, 2011, what Tier would he/she be certified in?
A: Tier 2.
Q: Would I certify this status change online, even though the employee is still working for the same participating employer?
A: Yes -- any change in status should be re-certified online.
Q: Would I need to online certify an employee who is currently in the public employees system when that person moves to either a firefighter or public safety position?
A: Yes.
Q: If the contribution rate ever goes above the 10% (12% for firefighters and public safety), can the employer pick up the employee portion of the excess?
A: No.
Q: Does Tier 2 status affect Medicare supplements?
A: No.
Q: Will the myURS employee Tier 2 notifications be available in Spanish?
A: No.
Q: Does URS have any information on upcoming windows for employers to move from contributory to noncontributory retirement plans?
A: No.
Q: Why should I report retirement contributions at the same frequency I generate payroll?
A: 1. If you pay bi-weekly, but report monthly, you end up adding an extra pay period every six months that shows as a possible problem on our system.

2. If you withhold deferrals for any savings plans and have an unreasonable delay in your submission, you may be in violation of federal standards.
Q: If an employee chooses the DC only plan for Tier 2, do I check the retirement box on their W2?
A: Yes.
Q: What restrictions apply for a part-time elected position when it is filled by a retired member?
A: None
Q: Do the current exemption earnings requirements still apply to full-time elected officials?
A: Only those that would be Tier 1.

Find Your Advisor

Use this map to find the Retirement Planning Advisor assigned to you.

Get the Inside Story

Check out the latest URS employer newsletter. See Employer Publications