Employeers often come to us with questions regarding eligibility, payments, benefits and more.
Employer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Qualified retirement wages are generally salary or wages earned and paid for the performance of an employee’s duties, including regular longevity or incentive plans approved by the Retirement Board. These wages typically do not include overtime payments.
Each year, the actuarial firm hired by the State Retirement Board determines a percentage of payroll, or employer contribution rate, necessary to properly fund required benefits. A different employer contribution rate is determined for state employees, teachers, and each participating municipality (including police and fire plans). To learn about the current rates, follow the link below.
Under the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act of 2011 (RIRSA), most employers are also required to contribute to the Defined Contribution plan for their employees. Click here for employee and employer contribution rates for the Defined Contribution Plan.
Contributions and data must be sent to ERSRI within three business days of the date they are withheld from the employee’s compensation (i.e. the pay date). For example, if a payroll period ends on 1/01/2022 and is paid on 1/07/2022, contributions and data are due by 1/12/2022.
Consistent with Rhode Island General Law, the General Treasurer’s Office is authorized to withhold state aid to communities that do not make timely contribution payments.
To offer a COLA to employees, the employer’s overseeing legislative body (Town Council, Board of Governors, etc.) must adopt a resolution indicating the type of COLA it would like to offer. Once the resolution is adopted, ERSRI will provide the employer with the new employee and employer contribution rates, as well as the effective date for these rates.
Yes. “Ordinary” disability benefits are provided when the member’s disability is independent of his or her employment. “Accidental” disability is provided when an employee is physically or mentally incapacitated by a disability that is causally related to his or her employment.
An employee who is considering applying for a disability retirement must apply to ERSRI for the disability prior to terminating his or her employment (even if the employee is currently collecting workers’ compensation benefits). Once an employee has terminated employment, he or she cannot apply for a disability. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Yes, but post-retirement employment with the state of Rhode Island, Rhode Island public schools, or any Rhode Island municipality participating in MERS is subject to numerous restrictions in accordance with Rhode Island General Laws. Generally, employment may begin no earlier than 45 calendar days after an employee retirees, and a retiree cannot go back to work for the state of Rhode Island without suspension of his or her pension benefit.
No additional contributions will be taken and no additional service credits will be granted for post-retirement employment.
Employers are legally obligated to report post-retirement employment information to the retirement system and should do so through the employer portal. Before hiring a retired member, always confirm that the employee has contacted our office for approval.
No, Beneficiary Nomination forms must be submitted to ERSRI to be valid. An employer who receives a form should forward it to our office for review and processing.
Yes. In addition, employers should send us settlement agreements/arbitration awards for review by our office prior to final execution to ensure all retirement aspects of the agreement/award are properly considered.