For Immediate Release: January 23, 2019
Contact: Gerard Murphy, Director of Finance, (603) 410-3656; [email protected]
Heather Fritzky, Assistant Director of Finance and Controller, (603) 410-3540; [email protected]
CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Retirement System (NHRS, the retirement system) has extended the monthly deadline for submission of employer contribution payments. Beginning in January, contribution payments will be due to NHRS by the 25th of the month. Submission of employer data reports will remain due by the 15th of the month.
This change was made to give employers more time to submit accurate payment once their data reporting file has been accepted and any reporting errors have been addressed.
Employer reporting deadlines are governed by NH Administrative Rule Ret 303.01. The extension of the payment deadline was finalized at the January 8, 2019 Board of Trustees meeting and took immediate effect. Beginning this month, employers will receive a penalty assessment notice for contribution payments that are not received by NHRS, free of error, by the 25th of each month. Note: NHRS accepts payments by ACH and encourages all employers to make their contribution payments using this method, which is the most secure and timely payment option available. See below for more information on the advantages of ACH.
The extension of the payment deadline does not change the data reporting deadline, which remains the 15th of each month. Employers will continue to receive a penalty assessment notice for reporting files that are not posted, free of exceptions, by the 15th of the month.
Frequently asked questions
The administrative rule says reporting and payments are due by the 15th and 25th of each month, respectively. How is the due date impacted if the 15th or 25th falls on a weekend or holiday?
If either deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the file must be posted, or payment received, no later than the first business day following the weekend or holiday. Please note: the 15th is the due date to submit files to NHRS, however, employers may submit their file any time after the last pay date in the previous month up until the due date. If using ACH, contribution payments can be scheduled in advance to post on the 25th.
Can employers appeal penalty assessments?
Yes. RSA 100-A:16. V states that, “For reasonable cause, the board may abate all or any part of the interest.” The administrative rule further clarifies that a penalty cannot be abated without “showing that the employer had not willfully, intentionally, through gross negligence or through a pattern of negligence failed to timely remit contributions.” Note that while one-time instances of oversight related to items such as staffing issues or data-entry mistakes may be abated, repeated requests for a waiver based on the same circumstances would constitute “a pattern of negligence.”
What is ACH and how can it benefit me as an employer?
Automated Clearing House (ACH) is an electronic network for financial transactions. ACH credit transfers include direct deposit, payroll and vendor payments. ACH is the quickest, safest, and most cost-effective way to send payments to NHRS. Benefits to the employer include:
- Cost savings by not printing and mailing checks (saving on check stock, MICR toner, postage and labor)
- Better cash management – a pre-established effective date determines when the payment leaves your bank and that the funds are remitted to NHRS the same day
- ACH payments are more secure than checks, eliminate potential mail delivery issues and can be tracked more efficiently
- ACH payments do not require humans to read digits and/or OCR software to electronically read handwriting, which results in a lower error rates
- There is less opportunity for fraud with an ACH payment because bank account and ABA number are entered into a secure system and encrypted
Please contact Kelly McGarr at (603) 410-3652 if you would like ACH setup instructions.
RSA 100-A:16, V:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law any member contributions deducted by an employer, or any employer assessments or contributions not remitted or that cannot be processed at the times designated by the board of trustees due to data reporting errors, shall be subject to interest on the amount due at the rate of one percent for each month or fraction thereof that they remain unpaid. For reasonable cause, the board may abate all or any part of the interest.
NH Administrative Rule Ret 303.01:
(a) All member/employer contributions shall be remitted to the New Hampshire retirement system monthly in accordance with Ret 307.06. Remittance reports shall be due in the NHRS by the 15th of the month for the previous month’s contributions. Payments shall be due in the NHRS by the 25th of the month for the previous month’s contributions. Any member/employer payments not timely or accurately remitted shall be assessed interest as provided in (b), below.
(b) An interest penalty of one percent for each month or fraction thereof that contributions are not timely or accurately remitted shall be assessed against the delinquent employer. In computing interest under this paragraph and under RSA 100-A:16, V, a fraction of a month shall be computed as a full month.
NHRS provides retirement, disability, and death benefits to its eligible members and their beneficiaries. The State of New Hampshire and nearly 470 local government employers participate in NHRS for their employees, teachers, firefighters, and police officers. NHRS has approximately 48,000 active members and 35,000 pension recipients. NHRS administers a defined benefit plan qualified as a tax-exempt entity under sections 401(a) and 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
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