The Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) recently released an update on the Employer Incentive Fund (EIF) matching funds. The first 90-day period for matching funds is more than halfway complete.
As a reminder, the EIF provides a 25 percent match on qualifying employer lump-sum payments made after June 2, 2018. This is a key opportunity for PERS-participating employers to proactively manage their employer rates over time and increase their actuarial assets.
What does this mean for you?
If you are an employer with a UAL that exceeds 200 percent of your payroll:
- You still have time to apply for funds before the Employer Incentive Fund is open to all employers.
- Remember, just because you apply today does not mean you have to make your lump-sum payment today; you can align your payment to your budget schedule. You will have until August 2020 to make your lump sum payment in order to receive a match. If no payment is made, the match will be provided to the next jurisdiction on the waiting list that is able to provide the lump sum payment.
If you are an employer with a UAL that is less than 200 percent of your payroll:
- If you plan to make a payment by the end of this calendar year and you want a rate offset date of December 1, 2019, you need to request an actuarial calculation before the end of October 2019. Contact Actuarial.Services@pers.state.or.us for next steps. Note that this timing applies whether you are above or below 200 percent, but those below 200 percent will not yet have gone through the match application process.
- Please note, since you would be establishing your side account prior to the EIF application window opening on December 2, if you are approved, the additional EIF match will be deposited as a separate, additional payment. Those matching funds will not provide additional rate relief until July 1, 2021. However, if you’re ok with a rate offset date of February 1, 2020 or thereafter, you can wait until after the December 2 window opening to request your analysis and make your payment such that any match could be made at the same time, and still have the requisite 45 day notice to the actuary.
- If you plan to make a payment by the end of this calendar year without requesting an actuarial calculation, you can simply apply on or after December 2 and make your payment. Both your side account and the matching funds will provide rate relief beginning July 1, 2021. If you prefer to make your payment in 2020 without requesting an actuarial analysis, the rate relief would begin July 1, 2022.
- Employer lump-sum deposits, and associated matching fund payments, made before December 31, 2019, will have the greatest impact on the annual actuarial system valuation used to set 2021-2023 employer contribution rates. Another way of saying this: the only way of having an impact in July 2021 is to make your lump sum payment by December 31. Any later payment will affect rates after that.
- Did you establish or make an additional payment into a side account in 2018 or 2019? If it was established with funds that were not borrowed, these payments are eligible for EIF matching funds through the application process.
- Do you have a transition liability? Transition liabilities must be paid before a side account can be established. Check your December 31, 2017 valuation for details.
- Review the application questions to gather what you will need before applying.
- Read an FAQ with further information about the EIF.
- Apply for the EIF through this SurveyMonkey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PERS_EIF_2019
(Note that this application link will temporarily close after Wednesday, November 27, during Thanksgiving weekend, before reopening at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Monday, December 2, for the full application period.)
Contributed by: Oregon Public Employee Retirement System