SSDA Today - Fall/Winter 2016 - 16

FEATURE Is your compensation "creditable" towards retirement? New CalSTRS regulations seek to further clarify the answer BY DERICK LENNOX, CAPITOL ADVISORS GROUP I n 2015, the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) approved regulations to clarify the meaning of "creditable compensation" for CalSTRS members who were enrolled in the system before January 1, 2013. These regulations arose from the implementation of California's most recent pension reform effort, which split CalSTRS members into two groups: pre-reform members ("2 percent at 60") and postreform members ("2 percent at 62"). The creditable compensation regulations affect only the former employees. The implications are significant. Compensation is creditable only if it is considered "salary" or qualifies as "remuneration in addition to salary" under the 2015 regulations, which get fairly specific. But fringe benefits-like health insurance costs and car allowances-and reimbursed business expenses are not noncreditable. Over the past year, school employers and CalSTRS staff have had an opportunity 16 SSDA TODAY | FALL/WINTER 2016 to reflect on whether the regulations offer sufficient clarity. The Teachers' Retirement Board now seeks to conduct another round of regulations to integrate feedback and new changes in state law. CalSTRS is currently soliciting comments on its draft regulations. This is a unique opportunity for SSDA members to offer advice-or ask questions-on a critical issue for both employers and teachers. Learn here how to provide your input. USING AN LCAP TO ESTABLISH A "CLASS OF EMPLOYEES" Under the Teachers' Retirement Law, compensation must be paid the same throughout a "class of employees." A class is comprised of one or more employees who perform similar duties, are employed in the same type or program, or share other similarities in the work they perform. The current regulations provide that employment in a program established pursuant to state and federal law is a valid basis to establish a class of employees. Local programs established under Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP), however, have largely displaced state categorical programs, and they are not specifically addressed in the regulations. The proposed regulations allow school

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SSDA Today - Fall/Winter 2016

Executive Director's Column
New Federal Guidance on Transgender Bathroom Access
List of Initiatives Headed to November Ballot Long and Diverse
Ballot Measure Wild Card: Gov. Jerry Brown
What Every Leader Needs to Know about Technology: Education Innovation Alliance
Is Your Compensation “Creditable” Towards Retirement? New CalSTRS Regulations Seek to Further Clarify the Answer
Super Strong: The Extraordinary Nature of Leadership Resilience
News and Notes
Advertiser's Index

SSDA Today - Fall/Winter 2016