Glossary of Terms
A member who is actively working and contributing to the retirement system.
The number of units the employee worked (used with Base Units to create a fraction of time worked to calculate service). For Municipal/Non-Certified only. See also Service Credit.
The state employee’s appropriation account number. For State only.
The average of an employee’s salary earned during the three or five consecutive years where the member earned the highest wages.
The number of units the employee is allowed to work (used with Actual Units to create a fraction of time worked to calculate service. For Municipal/Non-Certified only. See also Service Credit.
A person designated by a member to receive a cash payment of a deceased member’s account or monthly benefit payments from ERSRI.
COBRA is a federal law that allows employees who are losing their medical coverage to purchase from their employer, at full cost and for up to 18 months, the same benefits that they received as an active employee.
A contingent beneficiary is identified by a member and receives the member’s benefits upon the death of the member and all primary beneficiaries.
The amount of service earned by a member while worked for a member agency that counts towards the calculation of the member’s benefit amount upon retirement. Service credit purchases are not considered contributing service.
Money withheld from a member’s paycheck to contribute towards the member’s retirement. The amount that is contributed is based upon a percentage of the member’s salary, excluding overtime.
A cost of living increase of up to 3% may be granted to retired members. The administrators of the plan to which the member belongs make the determination on when this increase is to be given.
For ERSRI or MERS members, the benefit is $800 per year of service, up to a maximum $16,000. This amount is reduced 25% every year after retirement, but not below the minimum benefit of $4,000.
Even if you’ve chosen an option where your pension ends when you die, your beneficiary is still entitled to a standard death benefit.
This is the person named as a beneficiary for the standard death benefit of an active or retired member.
If you have left your contributions within the system, you may begin collecting a retirement benefit at age 60 if you are a state employee or a public school teacher, or at age 58 if you are a municipal employee.
The wages earned by the member while working for a member agency that are used to calculate the member’s contributions.
The contributions that are withheld from an employee’s paycheck.
The contributions that are paid by employers on behalf of the employee
The portion of an employee’s wages that are paid by the employer.
The contributions that are paid by the federal government. For Teachers/Certified only.
The portion of an employee’s wages that are federally Funded. For Teachers/Certified only.
The average of the three or five highest years of earnings, regardless of when they occur.
Health care coverage is offered to retired state workers and public school teachers by the State of Rhode Island. To learn more about this topic, visit the Office of Employee Benefits website.
A member who is no longer employed in a public position (by a member agency) but has not taken a refund of contributions. If the member is vested, he or she is eligible for deferred retirement benefits at a certain age, even though they are not ‛active’ members.
A person who is or has been employed at any time by an ERSRI member agency.
An account with ERSRI that keeps track of the contributions for a member.
This is an indication of your membership status with ERSRI. An account Status may be “Active”, “Inactive”, “Refunded”, “Service retired” or “Disability retired”.
A public agency (such as a city, township or school) which has joined the retirement system by a resolution of the city council and/or a legally binding agreement with The State of Rhode Island.
The employee’s status as of the record’s begin and end dates.
This is the purchased service credit. Purchased service does not contribute towards a member’s vesting.
The number of days an employee was paid during the period. For Teachers/Certified only.
If you have over ten years of service and have completed an Optional Annuity Protection form, your beneficiary will have the option of receiving either a return of contributions or a monthly annuity in addition to the death benefit. Spouses will automatically get this option provided the member had over ten years of service and the spouse was the sole beneficiary. Public safety member should only fill out an Optional Annuity Protection form if their beneficiary is not the spouse as the OAP form will negate whatever benefits are available under the police and fire statutes.
Service credit that a member can purchase.
The assigned four-digit system code.
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The code used by ERSRI for an employee’s current position.
A primary beneficiary is identified by a member and receives the member’s benefits upon his/her death.
An employee of a member agency.
Service credit purchased to increase retirement income or allow earlier retirement.
A QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) is a divorce order that provides instructions to ERSRI as to how to pay benefits awarded by the court to an ex-spouse.
An ERSRI member, the survivor of a member, or a person on disability retirement who is receiving monthly benefits from ERSRI. Also called benefit recipient.
The beginning date of the payroll period being reported or corrected.
The ending date of the payroll period being reported or corrected.
The transaction code for the employee record.
- 01 - Regular Wages.The employee has received regular wages.
- 04 - Retroactive Pay.The employee has received a retroactive payment.
- 05 - Positive Adjustment.The employee has received a positive adjustment to a previously reported pay period.
- 06 - Negative Adjustment.The employee has received a negative adjustment to a previously reported pay period.
- 07 - Wages but No Contributions.The employee is a re-employed retiree, the employee is on leave, the employee is a Municipal employee who does not need to contribute, or the employee is receiving workers compensation.
- 08 - Contributions/No Service.The employee has longevity, or the employee is a teacher who is working during the summer months and isn’t earning additional service.
- 09 - Non-Contribution/Overtime.The employee is in State Police or Judges and has earned wages as overtime or has received wages as a clothing allowance.
One who has retired from active working life and is collecting retirement benefits.
The number of years earned through contributing service or purchased under the provisions of the plan. Service Credit is a factor in determining the monthly retirement benefit.
The date the employee’s status became effective.
This is applicable only to teachers who contribute to survivor benefits. The cost of the benefits provided is two percent (2%) of the member’s annual salary up to but not exceeding an annual total contribution of one hundred and ninety two dollars ($192); one-half ( 1/2) of the cost shall be contributed by the member by deductions from his or her salary, and the other half ( 1/2) shall be contributed and paid by the respective city, town, or school district by which the member is employed. These contributions shall be in addition to other contributions and is paid into the teachers’ survivors benefit in the same manner as other contributions are made.
The statutory definition of teacher, found in R.I.G.L. 16-16.1, allows the following permissible titles: teacher, supervisor, principal, assistant principal, superintendent or assistant superintendent, director, assistant director, coordinator, consultant, dean, assistant educational administrator, nurse teacher, and attendance officer, or any person working within the educational system certified by the Board of Regents; or occupational or physical therapists licensed by the department of health and employed by a school committee.
The contributions that are paid by employees who have chosen the Teachers’ Survivor Benefits in lieu of contributions to Social Security. For Teachers/Certified only.
“Vested” means that you are able collect a retirement benefit when you meet your minimum retirement eligibility criteria. Active contributing members as of July 1, 2012 are vested in the ERSRI pension plan when they have five years of contributing service.
The manner in which employee information is reported to ERSRI. A Wage & Contribution Report includes wages earned, time worked and employee position information.
This is an indication of the status of a Wage and Contribution report.
- Added: Your W&C report has been added to the system
- Suspended: We have validated the file and found errors in one or more member records
- Posted: Your W&C report has successfully posted
- Rejected: Your W&C report has been rejected.
A state government system designed to address work-related injuries.
See Service Credit.