NHRS Provides Expanded Guidance to Employers

Interpretive memoranda deal with issues such as membership eligibility and payroll reporting

Sep 09, 2015
  • Employers

For Immediate Release: September 9, 2015
Contact: Mark F. Cavanaugh, Associate Counsel and Compliance Officer, [email protected]

CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) has developed a series of Interpretive Memoranda on a variety of subjects relating to the interpretation of its controlling statute, RSA 100-A.

The memoranda are intended to serve as a guide for participating employers in administering the enrollment of members, reporting Earnable Compensation, and remitting contributions to NHRS. In some cases, the memoranda address narrow questions and factual situations that have arisen out of employer audits or in response to specific inquiries from an employer. In other cases, the memoranda contain a broader discussion of more general areas of statutory interpretation, especially as it relates to the definition of Earnable Compensation.

The memoranda are available online at: www.nhrs.org/employers/statutory-interpretive-guidance

Over the past several years, there have been a number of changes to RSA 100-A that have been challenged in the courts. NHRS has been waiting for resolution of those cases before issuing additional guidance. In the past few months, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has issued opinions that have upheld many of those changes. Consequently, NHRS has determined that it is now appropriate to issue more detailed guidance in several areas. 

In general, with respect to the definition of Earnable Compensation, NHRS will be allowing participating employers more discretion in determining what constitutes Earnable Compensation. NHRS recognizes that, in some instances, this may result in definitions of Earnable Compensation that may differ from one employer to another, particularly as it relates to what constitutes Base Compensation.

In addition, this new guidance may mean that certain types of compensation that were excluded from Earnable Compensation under prior guidance may now be included, depending on how the employer designates the compensation. This guidance on Earnable Compensation is intended to have prospective application. An employer that determines certain types of compensation which were excluded under prior guidance or employer policy are now included may change its determination on a prospective basis. In these cases, NHRS will not require retroactive contribution adjustments. Similarly, if, as a result of a past audit, contribution adjustments had been made by NHRS, those adjustments will not be reversed solely because the type of compensation is now includable as Earnable Compensation under the new guidance.

The web page includes an Index of Interpretive Memoranda and a Glossary of Defined Terms. The defined terms are used in each of the memoranda and are designed to assure consistency and aid in readability.

NHRS welcomes feedback from participating employers. If you have any questions, editorial comments, or suggestions for additional topics, please contact Mark F. Cavanaugh, Associate Counsel and Compliance Officer, at [email protected].

#  #  #