Retirement Contributions for Traditional Pay
The Wyoming Retirement System (WRS) has defined what constitutes pension eligible compensation. WRS will review contributions and employee compensation to ensure compliance with applicable law and regulation.
WRS cannot accept retirement contributions on nonrecurring payments to employees. Nonrecurring payments are considered equivalent to bonuses paid in addition to base salary and have the potential to "spike" retirement benefits without providing the consistent funding necessary to pay future benefits.
Below is a chart describing the most common pay type’s employer’s encounter and whether the pay is pension eligible?
|Pay Type||Description/Examples||Pension Eligible||Explanation|
|Bonuses||Financial compensation above and beyond the normal payment expectations of the recipient.||No|
|Cell Phone||Cell phone reimbursement stipends: a sum of money given to employees to purchase a cell phone or a cell phone plan.||No|
|Paid time off given to an employee instead of overtime pay in compensation for extra hours of work.||Yes||If used in the calendar year earned.|
|Disability insurance: replaces a certain percentage of an employee’s gross monthly income.||No|
|Early Retirement Incentive Pay (ERIP)||Pay intended as incentive for employees approaching or at retirement age to retire earlier than they might have otherwise.||No|
|Extra Duty Payments
||An allowance payable to employees who are given special assignments or perform additional duties.
Examples: coaching, summer school, activity bus driving, etc.
|Fringe Benefits||An extra benefit supplementing an employee's salary.
Examples: company car, subsidized meals, health insurance, etc.
||Reimbursement to an employee for basic living expenses.
|Medical Insurance (paid by the employer)
||Employer paid health insurance premiums.
|National Board Certification (NBC)
||NBC is a voluntary, advanced teaching credential that goes beyond state licensure.
||Yes||If paid in the calendar year earned.
|On-Call Pay||Pay issued to an employee while on-call.||Yes|
||Examples: court orders, arbitration awards, grievance settlements. Etc.||Yes|
|Service Rendered Pay
||Pay earned by an employee for service rendered.
||Lump sum payment to an employee upon dismissal or discharge from employment.
||Specific reimbursement for the cost of business transportation by car, plane, train, etc.
Examples: vehicle expenses, fuel, mileage, parking fees, lodging, meals or telephone charges.
||Lump sum payout of unused time.
Examples: lump sum payout at the end of employment for unused sick, annual, or admin leave.
||Pay for use of accrued paid time off.
Examples: administrative, sabbatical, annual, sick, vacation, or personal leave;
|Benefits to an employee who suffers a work-related injury or illness. Helps pay for medical care, wages from lost work, etc.
|Benefits to an employee who suffers a work-related injury or illness.||Yes||Up to six months per Wyo. Stat. 9-2-1022(g).|
Additional Payment Types Information
- Payments received by an employee in lieu of previously employer-provided fringe benefits under an agreement between the employee and participating employer entered into within sixty (60) months before retirement, or any other payment which may reasonably be construed to be a fringe benefit are not pension eligible.
- Any payment made during any three-year period of employment which is deemed to increase highest average salary for the primary purpose of increasing a retirement benefit is not pension eligible.
- Nonrecurring lump sum payments to employees who have reached the highest level of pay in their pay grade (i.e. “red lined”) are not pension eligible
COVID 19 Cares Act Payments
|Pay Type||Description/Examples||Pension Eligible||Eligibility Reason|
|Hazard Pay||Additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship (as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act – FSLA).||Yes||This pay is reoccurring in nature and is usually required to be included in the employee’s rate of pay.|
|Hazard Pay||Bonus compensation or reimbursement for hazard pay not used.||No||This pay is nonrecurring and is usually related to pandemic circumstances and not the job itself.|
|Families First Coronavirus Act - COVID 19 paid sick leave||Compensation at employee's rate of pay for time not worked pursuant to Federal Guidelines.||Yes||This pay type is consistent with employee earned sick leave.|
|Families First Coronavirus Act - COVID 19 paid expanded family and medical leave
||Payment not related to employee's rate of pay for reimbursement, severance pay, hazard or medical expenses, bonus, etc.||No||This type of pay is consistent with nonrecurring payments (fringe benefits and reimbursements) and is not eligible compensation.|