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USERRA Payments (6/22/10)
 
Please review Employer Announcement #33: USERRA Reporting before reading these FAQs. 
 
Answers to these questions were drawn from:
 
Remember:  It is the employer’s responsibility to determine whether an employee’s period of service in the uniformed forces is USERRA-qualified.
 
 
Q1) If an OPSRP member, whose IAP contributions are Member Paid Pre-Tax (MPPT), chooses not to make those contributions for a USERRA-qualified period of military service, what is the deadline for the employer to begin submitting DTL2-11 records which will result in retirement credit and OPSRP Pension Program invoices?
 
A1) The employer must begin submitting those records no later than 90 days after the member’s reemployment date after completing a period of USERRA-qualifying service.
 
Q2) An OPSRP member whose IAP contributions are MPPT elects to make those contributions for a period of USERRA-qualified service, and the employer begins to submit DTL2-11 records to cover OPSRP Pension Program employer contributions for the same period. The member then stops making the IAP contributions. Must the employer continue to make OPSRP Pension Program employer contributions? Can the employer delay those contributions until the end of the member’s time frame for payment of the member’s IAP contributions?
 
A2) The employer is obligated to begin OPSRP Pension Program employer contributions for a USERRA-qualified period of service within 90 days of the member’s reemployment and must complete those employer contributions regardless of the member’s decision to make, continue, or terminate IAP contributions for the USERRA-qualified service period.
 
Q3) If an OPSRP or Tier One/Tier Two member is called to active service while working for one employer, but upon return from that service begins employment with a different PERS employer, is either employer responsible for USERRA contributions for the OPSRP Pension Program?
 
A3) No. The member must return to employment with the original pre-service employer as one of the conditions for the military service to be considered USERRA qualified (remember that state of Oregon agencies are considered a single employer).
 
Q4) If an OPSRP member returns to work following a USERRA-qualified period of military service and either resigns or is again recalled to active service, is the employer obligated to complete OPSRP Pension Program employer contributions for that USERRA-qualified period of service?
 
A4) Yes. If the OPSRP member was recalled to active service before the employer had completed OPSRP Pension Program employer contributions for the first period of service, the employer would continue to submit DTL2-11 records covering employer contributions for that first period. If the member again returns to employment and the employer determines the member’s second period of uniformed service to be USERRA qualifying, a new USERRA certificate and series of DTL2-11 records for the second period would be due. 
 
If the OPSRP member terminates employment with the pre-USERRA qualifying service employer, the member cannot make IAP contributions for the USERRA-qualified service period after the termination date but the employer is obligated to complete employer contributions for the USERRA-qualified service period.
 
Q5) A Tier One/Tier Two member whose IAP contributions are member-paid has elected to make contributions for a period of USERRA-qualified service. What happens if the member is recalled to active duty while making those contributions?
 
A5) A Tier One/Tier Two member who makes member-paid pre-tax or after-tax IAP contributions may, or may not, elect to make IAP contributions for any USERRA- qualified period of service. Those member contributions can be made by the member as an after-tax lump-sum payment or can be reported as pre-tax or after-tax contributions by the employer for each pay period in the USERRA-qualified period of service. Regardless of the payment method, contribution reporting must be completed within the permitted repayment period (generally three times the length the qualified service period, but less than or equal to five years).
 
If a Tier One/Tier Two member elects to make the contributions for a USERRA-qualified period of service, the employer is obligated to submit DTL2-11 records covering employer contributions for that same period of service. If the member is recalled to active service before completing contributions for a period of qualifying service, employer submission of DTL2-11 records for this period stops. Assuming the member returns to employment with the pre-military service employer after completing the second period of military service, if the repayment period for the initial USERRA-qualified period had not expired, the employee may resume IAP contributions for the first period, and employer submission of DTL2-11 records for the first period would also resume.
 
If the employer determined the second period of service to be USERRA-qualified, and the Tier One/Tier Two member elected to also make member-paid IAP contributions for the second qualified period, a second repayment period would begin in parallel with the remainder of the first payment period. In this scenario, the member and the employer would be making simultaneous contributions for two periods of service.
 
Q6) Can a Tier One/Tier Two or OPSRP member whose IAP contributions are member paid (MPPT or MPAT) make a lump-sum payment to cover IAP contributions due for a USERRA-qualified service period? Can that payment be either pre-tax (possibly, from tax-free military pay saved during the qualified service period) or after-tax?
 
A6) Yes to the first question, no to the second. Member-paid contributions can be made by the member as an after-tax lump-sum payment or can be reported as pre-tax or after-tax contributions by the employer for each pay period in the USERRA-qualified period of service. Regardless of the payment method, reporting of member IAP account contributions must be completed within the permitted repayment period (generally three times the length of the qualified service period, but less than or equal to five years). If the employer is reporting member IAP contributions and the member terminates employment before all IAP contributions are reported, the remaining balance may be paid by the member with a lump-sum after- tax payment before the termination date.
 
Q7) If  an OPSRP member who makes member-paid IAP contributions completes a period of military service, informs the employer he/she will be returning to work but is recalled for a second period of military service before actually resuming employment, does the employer have an obligation to begin submitting DTL2-11 records for employer contributions for the first period of service?
 
A7) Yes. One of the requirements for determining USERRA qualification for a period of military service is the member’s reemployment with the same employer with whom the member was employed when called to active service. Reemployment for USERRA purposes is actual return to employment or an application for reemployment. The application can be written or oral.
 
In this scenario, the individual expressed intent to return to employment, and thus is considered reemployed. The employer would determine if this first period of military service is USERRA-qualified.  If so, the employer must begin submitting DTL2-11 records for employer contributions within 90 days of the reemployment date stated by the member, written or oral.  
 
If the individual returns to employment after the second period of active service, the employer would determine if the second period of military service was USERRA- qualified. If so, the employer would then begin submission of DTL2-11 records covering employer contributions for the second period of military service
 
If the member IAP contribution payment time period (generally three times the period of service but less than or equal to five years) for the first USERRA-qualified service period had not expired when the member returned from the second period of service, the member could elect to make contributions for the first USERRA-qualified service period during the remainder of the repayment period. The member could also elect to make IAP contributions for the second USERRA-qualified period. In this case, the member would be making simultaneous contributions for both USERRA-qualified service periods.
 
Please contact your Employer Service Center (ESC) account representative if you have further questions on this subject.