Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do the indicators for special pays mean?
  2. What is imputed life?
  3. When would I use a plus or minus adjustment?
  4. What is Merit Pay and how is it processed?
  5. How should I pay and record payment of earned benefit time?
  6. What is the special payment number?
  7. Where can I find the Payroll and Personnel Processing Calendars?
  8. Where can I find a list of the Agency Payroll Contacts?
  9. What is the State of Maine Employer Identification Number?
  10. How would I find out if an employee's sick time was applied toward their service credit when they retired?
  11. When would an employee's GLI record change?
  12. When processing adjustment forms for the annual GLI recalculation in April, what pay components should be deducted from the total salary?
  13. I made an error on an Application for Membership that I submitted to MePERS, what do I do now?
  14. Please explain how refunds are processed for incorrect retirement contributions. How long do they take to be issued?
  15. I need to view the leave balance screens for a terminated employee in MS-TAMS, but I am getting a message that says I do not have permission to access the records. How do I access those?
  16. If I submit a transfer request today, when would I be able to access the record in the new processing company?
  17. How is Comp Time paid? Is it taxed at a higher rate?
  18. Will transfers from one processing company to another processing company require a new membership application?
  19. We have highway crew employees who hold two seasonal positions that basically make them a full time employee. Will MePERS require a new membership application when they switch between seasonal jobs?
  20. Where do agencies go to find contact information, such as persons and phone numbers at MePERS, who can assist them with their questions?
  21. MePERS is sending notificatino to agencies on group life insurance to cancel when an employee is out on leave, but then calls and says to wait until the employee is back from leave. Can MePERS send notification when the cancellation is effective and not before?
  22. Does the employee communicate directly with MePERS regarding Beneficiary and Evidence of Insurability?

1. What do the indicators for special pays mean?

TAX:

0 or 5 only.

There are two options for taxing of special pays. The most common is a “5”. The five indicator means that the pay will be taxed like regular pay.

The other tax indicator is “0”. The zero indicator will tax the payment at the higher supplemental rate that has been established at the company level.

CHK:

1, 2, or 3 only.

The “1” check indicator means that the payment will be taxed separately, but included in the employee's regular pay check, so there will only be one check cut or deposit made.

The “2” check indicator is used when an employee has no regular pay in addition to the special pay. Only one “2” indicator is used no matter how many special pay transactions are entered. Multiple “2” indicators will cause all but one transaction to error off in the system. Also, if an employee has a regular pay transaction, the “2” check indicator will remove their regular pay as this indicator tells the system “No Regular Check”.

The “3” indicator tells the system to pay the special pay in a separate check or deposit, in addition to regular pay. This means if the employee has five special pay transactions and regular pay, all with “3” check indicators, they will receive 6 checks or deposits (1 regular pay and 5 special pay).

DED:

0, 7, 8, or 9.

The “0” deduction indicator is rarely used. This tells the system to take deductions from the special pay the same as and in addition to regular pay. This means that all deductions will be taken out a second time for the employee. The two most common times a “0” is used is for Workers’ Comp Pay and Vacation Advance payments.

The “7” indicator is used for all special pay transactions where retirement is to be taken.

The “8” or “9” is used when the transaction is not subject to retiremen. The difference between the two is that a “9” is used for direct deposit, where an “8” will be always be a live check.

2. What is imputed life?

"Group Term Life Insurance (Imputed Income)"
The State of Maine provides Group Term Life Insurance with a value of $50,000 or less. It is a tax-free benefit to the employee, if it is provided in a non-discriminatory fashion. The value of the cost of the coverage in excess of $50,000 is a non-cash benefit and must be reported on the employee’s W-2.

3. When would I use a plus or minus adjustment?

The only time you would use a plus adjustment is when an employee has been paid an incorrect rate in the prior pay period. For example, if an employee was paid straight overtime when it should have been premium overtime, the difference could be paid as a plus adjustment.

Minus adjustments can be used to recover overpayments, usually small amounts, over one or more pay periods. When a large overpayment has been made, most often the full check is reversed and reissued in the correct amount.

4. What is Merit Pay and how is it processed?

MERITPAY is used to pay retroactive merit, special merit, and salary adjustment payments to employees up to $999.00 only. All other retroactive payments must still be processed through the Controller’s Office as normal.

5. How should I pay and record payment of earned benefit time?

VACATION TIME:

Vacation Time should be paid, up to the maximum for employees, based on the applicable bargaining unit contract and indicated in TAMS that is has been paid. Time over the maximum will lapse and is permanently lost. A comment in MS-TAMS (TAMS) should be made indicating the date the time was paid and the balance should be ZERO.

PERSONAL TIME:

All Personal Time should be paid for employees, and indicated in TAMS that is has been paid. A comment in TAMS should be made indicating the date the time was paid and the balance should be ZERO. Personal time is coded as Vacation Pay 024.

COMPENSATING TIME:

Compensating Time should be paid, up to the maximum for employees, and indicated in TAMS that is has been paid. A comment in TAMS should be made indicating the date the time was paid and the balance should be ZERO.

SICK TIME:

For bargaining units where sick time is paid:

Sick Time for non-retiring employees should be paid, up to the maximum, and indicated in TAMS that it has been paid. Any remaining leave over the maximum should remain on TAMS, in the event the employee returns to State Government they may be credited the time upon their reemployment.?

In the event the employee RETIREES, up to 720 hours UNPAID Sick Time is applied toward service credit with MePERS and should be deducted from TAMS. Since the maximum amount of paid sick time (337.50) plus the maximum amount of unpaid time for service credit (720) is more than the allowable accrual (960 hrs), these employees should always have a balance of ZERO. The amount of time paid should be deducted on one line, followed by the deduction of the amount applied toward retirement service credit in TAMS.

For bargaining units where sick time is not paid:

Sick Time for non-retiring employees should be left in the system, as they are eligible to recover the time if they reemploy with State Government within 4 years of separation.

For RETIREES, up to 720 hours of unpaid sick leave is applied toward service credit with MePERS. This should be indicated with a comment in TAMS and deducted from their balance. If the employee has more than 720 hours, the remainder of their balance, up to 240 hours (960 hour maximum less 720 hours credited for service time), should remain on the system in the event they are reemployed.

6. What is the special pay number for ____?

Pay No

Short Name

Long Name

Earnable Compensation

001

 MED PREM

 MEDICATION PREMIUM

Yes

002

 STANDBY

 STANDBY

Yes

003

 AVAILPAY

 AVAILABILITY

Yes

004

 SPEC DET

 SPECIAL DETAIL

Yes

005

 MISC

 MISCELLANEOUS

Yes

006

 SAL ADJ

 SALARY ADJUSTMENT

Yes

007

 COMP U/P (Earnable Comp)

 COMP TIME

Yes

008

 HLDAYPAY

 HOLIDAY

Yes

009

 COURTIME

 COURTIME

Yes

010

 TEMP OFF

 FURLOUGH

NO

011

 CALL OUT

 CALL OUT

Yes

012

 DIV/TACT

 DIVER'S/TACTICAL PAY

Yes

013

 DBLSHIFT

 DOUBLE SHIFT

Yes

014

 SPLTSHFT

 SPLIT SHIFT

Yes

015

 WRKSDOFF

 WRK SCH DAY OFF

Yes

016

 DIFFRNTL

 DIFFERENTIAL

Yes

017

 RETROPAY

 RETRO

Yes

018

 TEMPCOMP

 TEMPORARY COMP

Yes

019

 T LAYOFF

 TEMP LAYOFF

NO

020

 NON STD

 NON STANDARD

Yes

021

 LONGEVTY

 LONGEVITY

Yes

022

 IMP LIFE

 IMPUTED LIFE INS

NO

024

 VACATION

 VACATION

Yes

025

 SICK

 SICK TIME PAID

Yes

026

 DIR CARE

 DIRECT CARE

Yes

027

 AWOLLWOP

 LEAVE W/O PAY

NO

028

 OTHLEAVE

 REPAYMENT 1991 SD

Yes

029

 SCHED OT

 SCHEDULED OT

Yes

030

 5%RETIRE

 5% IN LIEU RETIRE

Yes

031

 WRK COMP

 WORK COMP

Yes

032

 ST VHCLE

 USE OF STATE VEHICLE

NO

033

 UNIFORM

 UNIFORM ALLOWANCE

NO

034

 PHONE

 PHONE ALLOWANCE

NO

035

 CHLDCARE

 CHILDCARE ALLOWANCE

NO

036

 VHCLEMNT

 VEHICLE MAINTENANCE

NO

037

 OTHALLOW

 OTHER ALLOWANCE

NO

039

 INTEREST

 INTEREST

NO

042

 REDUCEWK

 REDUCEWK

NO

043

 FAMMEDLV

 FAMILY MED LEAVE

NO

044

 VOLUN LV

 SPORADIC VOL LEAVE

NO

046

 RET INCT

 RETIREMENT INCENTIVE

NO

047

 LUMP SUM

 CONTRACT LUMP SUM

NO

049

 TRAINING

 TRAINING/CERT.

NO

053

 TRAINRET

 TRAINING SUBJ TO RET

Yes

054

 SALNORET

 MISC SALARY NO RET

NO

055

 DOM PART

 DOMESTIC PARTNER BEN

NO

056

 CONFLONG

 CONFID LONGEVITY

Yes

057

 ENVIRON

 ENVIRONMENTAL

Yes

058

 CLIMB

 CLIMBING STIPEND

Yes

059

 INST

 INSTITUTIONAL

Yes

061

 MERITRET

 MERIT RETRO PAY

Yes

062

 STLREIMB

 STUDENT LOAN REIMB

Yes

064

 VACNORET

 VACATION NO RETIREMENT

NO

067

 COMPNORET

 COMPTIME NO RETIREMENT

NO

087

 GYM MEMBERSHIP

 GYM MEMBERSHIP

NO

 

7. Where can I find the payroll and personnel Processing Calendars?

Processing Calendars can be found on our website:

Processing Calendars

8. Where can I find a list of the Agency Payroll Contacts?

The updated Agency Contact list can be requested from OSC by email:

Lisa.Fields@maine.gov

9. What is the State of Maine Employer Identification Number?

The EIN is 01-6000001.

10. How would I find out if an employee’s Sick Time was applied toward their service credit when they retired?

You would need to contact MePERS at 207-512-3100 and they can assist you.

11. When would an employee’s GLI record change?

OSC processes GLI updates annually in the month of April; these updates are based on the prior year W-2 wage information.

12. When processing adjustment forms for the annual GLI recalculation in April, what pay components should be deducted from the total salary?

Retro payments earned in prior calendar years.

13. I made an error on an Application for Membership that I submitted to MePERS. What do I do now?

Please complete a new Application for Membership and contact Employer Services at MePERS, so they can void the incorrect application.

14. Please explain how refunds are processed for incorrect retirement contributions. How long do they take to be issued?

Refunds for the current calendar year are processed by OSC and refunded in the employee's check. Once the agency submits the calculation spreadsheet to OSC, the refund is usually processed within two pay periods.

Refunds for prior years are issued by MePERS and usually take one to two months, after you submit your calculation spreadsheet to OSC.

15. I need to view the leave balance screens for a terminated employee in MS-TAMS, but I am getting a message that says I do not have permission to access the records. How do I access those?

Leave balance screens are electronically archived for terminated employees. Please send an email requesting access to the employee record to OSC, and we will coordinate the loading of the records with OIT. We will notify you when they are ready. This may take one to two business days.

16. If I submit a transfer request today, when would I be able to access the record in the new processing company?

External transfer of employee records is an overnight process. They would be available to the receiving department the next business day after the request.

Please note that employee records are not transferred from Companies 01100, 01210, 01810, 01820, or 04001. In this case, the record would be processed as a new hire with the new processing company using a “10” or “20” suffix.

17. How is Comp Time paid? Is it taxed at a higher rate?

Comp Time that is not used, but paid off at the time of transfer, termination or by authorized request, is paid as pay number "67" and not earnable compensation for retirement purposes. Comp Time is taxed at the regular rate based on an employee’s status and withholdings.

18. Will transfers from one processing company to another processing company require a new membership application?

A new membership application is not required unless the employee's plan or rate changes at the time of transfer.

19. We have highway crew employees who hold two seasonal positions that basically make them a full time employee. Will MePERS require a new membership applications when they switch between seasonal jobs?

The process for seasonal positions doesn't change. As each seasonal position ends, your employees are reported as being on leave of absence by an HRP (those companies not using HRPs should be submitting Personnel Status Change forms with us). When each season begins, thei leave is reported as ending, again by an HRP (or a Personnel Status Change form). As long as the leaves of absence continue to begin and end for the "off" seasons, Membership Applications aren't needed to switch between the two seasonal positions.

20. Where do agencies go to find contact information, such as persons and phone numbers at MePERS, who can assist them with their questions?

Agencies can continue to rely on their usual contacts and can find information for Employer Services, Survivor Services and Retirement Services on the website: http://www.mainepers.org/Contact%20MainePERS/Contact_Us.htm

21. MePERS is sending notificatino to agencies on group life insurance to cancel when an employee is out on leave, but then calls and says to wait until the employee is back from leave. Can MePERS send notification when the cancellation is effective and not before?

MePERS strives to send notifications when the cancellation is effective. Please email with examples of this issue as it occurs in the future.

22. Does the employee communicate directly with MePERS regarding Beneficiary and Evidence of Insurability?

The employee may go through their employer or contact MePERS directly. Many employees go through their employer's human resources or payroll representative to request these forms. Employers will then forward the forms to MePERS on the behalf of their employee. Some employees elect to complete the beneficiary forms on their own, and send them to MePERS or call directly with a request for additional insurance through Evidence of Insurability.

 

For futher questions regarding payroll, please contact us.