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CAR Newsletter - September 2022

Volume 33 | Number 3 | Fiscal Year 2023 | Sept. 15, 2022

In This Issue ...

PAYROLL

SoonerSave Contributions to Employee Accounts

Employee deferrals and employer contributions must be remitted to Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System 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 in the plan and IRS rules. On many occasions, contributions are posted to employee accounts on or before the actual pay date. Occasionally, and 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 in 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. 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 may 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.

Employee Overpayments and OMES Form 94P Submission

State agencies are encouraged to review and handle employee overpayments as soon as possible so the adjustment can be recorded in the quarter in which the overpayment occurred. Overpayments not reported to the retirement systems in a timely manner may result in less than a full recovery of funds for the agency and may cause employee retirement calculations to be incorrect. Overpayments may be due to incorrect hours paid, wage amounts or benefit allowance payments.

When submitting the Form 94P, please do not provide copies of personal checks. The form allows the agency to enter the amount recovered. Additional backup data is not required. Please submit the form using the employee ID; do not use the employee's SSN.

If an agency has questions, needs assistance or would like the form reviewed prior to requesting the overpayment from the employee, please email payrollreporting@omes.ok.gov. The final form is to be submitted to us only after the agency has recovered the overpaid amount.

Employee Overpayments Collected After Year End

Employee overpayments collected in the next calendar year are to be repaid at the gross overpayment amount in accordance with IRS regulations. If an employee owes the agency, notify the employee that if the amount is not paid in full by Dec. 31, 2022, the amount due will increase to the gross amount.

In accordance with 74 O.S. § 840-2.19, the agency must send a notice to the employee within 10 days of identifying an overpayment. The employee then has 30 days to respond to this notification. Employees have several options for repaying overpaid payroll amounts:

  • Reduction of annual leave (for the gross overpaid).
  • Reduction of current gross salary (for the gross overpaid) in a lump sum or installments over a term not to exceed the term in which the overpayment(s) occurred.
  • Lump-sum cash repayment.
  • Miscellaneous payroll deduction (for the net overpaid) in a lump sum or installments over a term not to exceed the term in which the overpayment(s) occurred.
  • Any combination of the above options.

With the calendar year end nearing, the collection of any outstanding overpayment is especially important and must be conveyed to employees who owe any monies back to the agency. When an overpayment is reimbursed in a subsequent year, IRS rules state the employee must reimburse at the gross amount because the funds were available for use in the prior year and, as such, they are taxable to that year. Additionally, federal and state wages and taxes cannot be reduced for prior years when repayments are made after the end of that calendar year.

For example, John Doe was overpaid in August by $1,000 regular wages. This was discovered in September, and the agency calculated what the correct payroll should have been. The net check difference is $743.50, the amount the employee owes the agency if making the reimbursement by personal check or miscellaneous deduction in the current year. If the employee does not reimburse the net amount by Dec. 31, 2022, the employee owes the agency the full $1,000 gross overpayment.

If the employee reimburses the entire gross amount after year end, the applicable W-2, corrected W-2, or W-2C will only reflect a change in the Social Security and Medicare wages and taxes. Since the employee received and had use of the funds during the year of overpayment, the amount is still taxable for federal and state purposes. The W-2 form will not correct federal or state taxable wages or income taxes. The employee may be entitled to either a deduction or credit on their current year Form 1040 and should be advised to speak to their tax accountant.

Reduction of Annual Leave Hours for Overpayments

When an employee chooses to reimburse an overpayment using annual leave, the amount of annual leave reduced should equal the gross amount of the overpayment.

If an employee reimburses an overpayment using terminal leave, an OMES Form 94P must be submitted to correct the retirement amounts reported on the check that included the overpayment. Terminal leave is not included in retirement wage calculations; therefore, a payroll earnings adjustment is required.

Outstanding Wages Beneficiary Designation Option

Statute 40 O.S. § 165.3a allows employers to provide employees the option of designating a beneficiary for wages and benefits payable upon an employee’s death. There is no requirement for an employer to allow employees to select beneficiaries, but agencies may want to consider adopting such a policy. Providing the option to employees relieves stress and anxiety on family members after the death of the employee. It also provides clear guidance on who is to receive final wage payments.

This statute does not include any longevity payment that may be due as of the date of death of an employee. Statute 74 O.S. § 840-2.18, subsection H.2 authorizes any longevity payment to be paid to the decedent’s surviving spouse, or to the decedent’s estate if there is no surviving spouse.

For more information or sample forms and instructions, email payrollreporting@omes.ok.gov.

Adjustments to Oklahoma Child Support Payments

Agencies must notify OMES CAR by 5 p.m. Friday of any items that will affect the Oklahoma centralized child support payment to be made the following Monday. 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 DHS 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, OMES CAR runs the OMES HCM process to report and make payment to the Oklahoma Child Support Services/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 8/27/2022 and 9/03/2022 were processed to pay the child support withholdings on 9/06/2022. 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.

For questions, please contact Alicia Reel at 405-522-1099 or alicia.reel@omes.ok.gov or Jean Hayes at 405-522-6300 or jean.hayes@omes.ok.gov.

ACCOUNTING

GSA Federal Per Diem Rate Changes – Effective Oct. 1, 2022

The Government Services Administration (GSA) has posted revisions to its schedule, which we use for travel, effective Oct. 1, 2022 (federal fiscal year of October-September). The federal Standard CONUS Per Diem Rate for lodging increased and the meals/incidentals rate (our per diem) did not change. Some of the Non-Standard Areas with higher rates may have changed from covered to non-covered and vice versa. Furthermore, the Oklahoma City/Oklahoma County lodging and meals/incidentals rates did not change.

The rate change is effective for travel occurring Oct. 1, 2022, and after, which is the start of the 2023 federal fiscal year. These new rates can be viewed or downloaded at the GSA website.

New Method of Calculating Per Diem – Effective Nov. 1, 2022

During the 2022 legislative session, 74 O.S. § 500.8 and 74 O.S. § 500.9 were revised to change the way in which per diem is calculated and reimbursed. The state will be moving to the federal (GSA) method of calculating per diem beginning Nov. 1, 2022. The main differences between the state’s current per diem calculation method and the new method are highlighted below:

  • The 24-hour rule will no longer apply to the start or end of travel status. Instead, travel status may not begin more than one calendar day before the start of the event and shall not continue more than one day after the event.
  • The 48-hour rule will no longer apply to the start or end of travel status for international travel. Instead, travel status may not begin more than two calendar days before the start of the event and shall not continue more than two days after the event.
  • Per diem reimbursement will no longer be based on quarters per day. Moving forward, the first and last day of travel will be reimbursed at ¾ the daily per diem rate, and each day between the first and last day of travel will be reimbursed at the full daily per diem rate.
  • Meals will no longer be deducted from the per diem total at ¼ the daily rate per meal. Meals will be deducted based on the amounts listed on the GSA website.
  • Continental breakfasts are now required to be deducted if they are included in the cost of registration. Complimentary breakfasts, such as those provided by hotels free of charge, are not deducted from per diem.

OMES recommends agencies use a per diem calculation tool, such as this Federal GSA Per Diem Calculator, to calculate per diem for travel reimbursement.

OST Hard Cancel and OMES Form MWC

The OST Hard Cancel Request form is used to cancel warrants issued directly from OST. The account number associated with these types of warrants will begin with a two or a nine.

The OMES Form MWC is used to cancel any warrant that was issued from a voucher in PeopleSoft Financials. The account number associated with these warrants will start with a seven.

Agencies should review their processes and ensure the correct form is being used to cancel a warrant. Use of the incorrect form will delay the cancellation of the warrant, and agencies run the risk of having the warrant cancel by statute due to the delay.

Booking Enterprise Rental Cars in Concur

Concur allows travel arrangers to make Enterprise rental car reservations for travelers; however, the rental car cannot be paid for using the P-card. Enterprise only accepts a direct billing account number as payment for the reservation.

Agencies should verify that they have a direct billing account number established before booking a rental car. Failure to have an established direct billing account number will result in the traveler being required to pay out-of-pocket for the rental car at pick up.

Agencies that do not currently have a direct billing account number but would like to establish one, please reach out to OMESTPTravel@omes.ok.gov for additional information.

Agencies that already have an established direct billing account number, OMES recommends adding this number to the traveler’s profile for ease of billing. To have the number added to the traveler profile, the agency will need to submit a Traveler Information form and list the direct billing account number in the notes section.

TRAINING

Statewide Financial Policy Training

Due to Workday@OK training and impending eSupplier implementations, OMES is rescheduling the Statewide Financial Policy Training to be Nov. 17, 2022. 

  • If you have already registered, you will NOT need to register again, as your spot is already reserved.
  • If you are unable to attend on Nov. 17, 2022, there is no need to cancel, as the training is online. 
  • If you haven't already registered, please register here for the Statewide Financial Policy Training.

The training provides a broad overview of the state’s accounting, budgeting and procurement policies and is recommended for everyone in a management position within an agency as well as for all financial and budget staff whether they are new or a veteran state employee. This is exactly the same course that has been held for the past four years and is highly recommended for those who have not yet attended the course.

The class provides six hours of continuing professional education credits for CPAs, CPOs or CGFM.

Statewide Financial Policy Training
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022
via TEAMS

Payroll Law

Live Online Seminars Presented by Fred Pryor Seminars For more information, please visit the Fred Pryor website.

Last Modified on Sep 21, 2022
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