CAR Newsletter - April 2021
Volume 31, Number 10
Fiscal Year 2021
April 8, 2021
Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan Payroll Contributions - Reminder
The plan administrator has continued the extension for the State to process employee payroll withholding 529 plan contributions by paper check instead of electronic funds transfer. In doing so, they have re-emphasized the need to include the deduction register with the check. Each employee’s account number must be included on the register. To do this, agencies must manually add each employee’s account number to the Deduction Register 529 Plan page prior to sending it with the warrant.
The 529 plan has been receiving warrants without the deduction details and they attempt to reach out by phone to agencies before rejecting checks, but this is a time intensive process for them. Agency Payroll and Finance personnel should be communicating and providing these so that when the warrant is received, it can be sent with the required documentation. Failure to do so may cause warrants to be rejected and returned to agencies, which will result in employee contributions not posting to their accounts.
Pathfinder Retirement Plan Coverage Begin Date
New or rehired employees eligible for the Pathfinder retirement plan should have a coverage begin date starting the first day of the month following the month of employment. For example, the coverage begin date should be May 1 for an employee that was hired/rehired in April. For additional information, please refer to the Oklahoma Administrative Code.
SoonerSave Contributions to Employee Accounts
Employee deferrals and employer contributions must be remitted to OPERS in a timely manner to ensure participant amounts are posted and transferred to the selected investment options within 10 business days of payday, end of payroll period or process date, whichever is later.
OMES processes payments for SoonerSave amounts on confirmed payrolls on a weekly basis. This payment schedule far exceeds the requirements set forth in the plan and IRS rules. On many occasions, contributions are posted to employee accounts on or before the actual pay date.
Occasionally, due to the payroll processing schedule of agencies, payments may post after the actual pay date.
Please remind employees that payments not showing on a quarterly statement may be due to the later processing of payroll and will show on the next quarterly statement. Employees are also encouraged to use the SoonerSave website to review and receive up-to-date information on their account.
SoonerSave Contributions and Eligible Compensation
As a reminder to agencies, certain types of earnings are eligible for deferral to SoonerSave while others are not considered eligible compensation.
Annual leave payout is generally eligible for SoonerSave deferral on termination of employment. However, payments on severance from employment do not qualify as compensation for SoonerSave deferrals. Therefore, payments under voluntary buyouts and reductions in force would be excluded from deferral consideration.
Only compensation from an agency that is attributable to services performed for the agency may be considered as earnings from which SoonerSave deferrals can be taken. This would include regular pay, overtime, shift differential and other similar payments based on employment. If an amount would have been paid had the employment continued, such as annual leave, then deferrals can be taken.
Please advise employees that changes in deferral amounts must be submitted to the SoonerSave administrator and approved before processing through payroll. For additional information, agency personnel should contact their SoonerSave coordinator or the SoonerSave administrative office at 800-733-9008 or 405-858-6781.
Adjustments to Oklahoma Child Support Payments
Agencies must notify OMES CAR of any items that will affect the Oklahoma centralized child support payment. Items that could affect the amount to be paid include refunds to employees for amounts withheld in error and reversals of payroll warrants. If OMES is not notified and the centralized child support payment is processed, the agency will be responsible for contacting the Department of Human Services Child Support Services to attempt to get a refund. If the funds have already been disbursed to the recipient, the money might not be refunded back to the agency. Timely communication from agencies is critical in these situations.
Each Monday, CAR runs the HCM process to report and make payment to the OCSS/Oklahoma Centralized Support Registry, PS Vendor ID 0000190715. The process is run for payments with dates from the second previous Saturday through the previous Friday. For example: Paychecks with an issue date between March 29, 2021, and April 2, 2021, were processed to pay the child support withholdings on April 5, 2021. All payments going to the OCSS must be set up to use Vendor ID 0000190715. Payments to Vendor ID 0000000830 or Vendor ID 0000197419 for the OCSS are no longer allowed and will not be processed for centralized payment if used in error.
In PeopleSoft Financials, a journal entry is created to remove the funds from the agency’s 994 fund. The agency will see a debit to the 633190 account and a credit to 101000. When balancing the 994 fund, we recommend running the Summary of Receipts and Disbursements report, the Tuesday after the week that included the pay date. This will allow time for our processing and removal of the amount from the agency’s 994 fund to aid in the reconciliation process.
For questions, please email Payroll Reporting and a team member will assist you.
Submission of OMES Form 94P
When an employee reimburses a payroll overpayment, please complete and submit the OMES Form 94P as soon possible after the reimbursement is made. Timely submission helps ensure corrections are reflected in the quarter in which they occurred for proper reporting and helps in the full recovery of OPERS retirement amounts.
If the retirement system is not aware of an overpayment and the pending overpayment refund request, payouts to former employees may be incorrect, resulting in a loss to the agency. In addition, retirement calculations may be incorrect if the overpayment is not reported timely.
Please do not provide copies of personal checks. The form allows the agency to enter the amount reimbursed. Additional backup data is not required.
The form requires the state employee ID (EmplID) be entered. This is for the privacy and security of the employee; please do not submit with the Social Security Number or any other number.
HCM System Calculated Taxes
The HCM system correctly calculates taxes based on the current tax rates and an employee’s withholding certificates. Agencies should not override the taxes calculated. If the taxes appear to be incorrect the employee's paycheck should be reviewed before continuing the payroll process.
If the taxes prevent after-tax deductions from being withheld, the employee should be notified. Payment of items not withheld through payroll due to lack of net pay must be settled between the employee and the vendor.
As a reminder to state agencies, the out-of-state travel moratorium issued in Executive Order 2020-20 was lifted on Nov. 16, 2020. All state agencies may resume essential out-of-state travel in compliance with Executive Order 2019-13, 2nd Amended.
Electronic Payment Requirement
62 O.S. § 34.64 requires that funds disbursed from the State Treasury must be sent electronically. State agencies are able to request an exemption from this requirement with cause. All exemptions granted by the Office of the State Treasurer (OST) for FY2021 will expire June 30, 2021.
State agencies can obtain the FY2022 Request for Exemption beginning Monday, April 5, 2021. State agencies must complete and submit the FY 2022 request electronically via email to OST.
Only requests submitted using this document and to the email address noted above will be considered. Agencies should submit their request(s) by May 14, 2021, to ensure the exemption(s) can be processed before July 1. If you have questions about how your agency can send electronic payments, please email Deidra Salim, banking and treasury services director.
American Payroll Association Monthly Lunch & Learn – OKC Chapter Meeting
Topic: Unlocking Innovative Critical Thinking
Date: Friday, April 16, 2021
Time: Noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom
For more information please visit the APA website.
Live Online Seminars
Presented by Fred Pryor Seminars