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Employers

More than 1,000 public schools within the state’s cities, villages, and counties, as well as local school districts, vocational and technical schools, community schools, community colleges, and the University of Akron, employ SERS’ active members. Employers are responsible for creating member enrollments for all SERS members, reporting contribution detail for each member, submitting employee contributions, and processing all contributions that are allocated to the Employer Trust Fund.

These functions are done using SERS' secure Electronic reporting system (eSERS) website. Just click on the Employer Account Login button to get started.

Looking for information on the eSERS upgrade? You can access the eSERS page from the tab on the side navigation menu or click here.

Need help applying credit memos? Click here for an eSERS How-To for credit memos

Due to the launch of the new eSERS system last winter, reporting and payment penalties were temporarily suspended.

Now that employers are acclimated to using eSERS, penalties will resume again the fourth quarter of FY2018, which is April, May, and June.

Don't worry, Employer Services will give employers plenty of advance notice before applying any penalties. Once penalties are applied, they will not be retroactive. 

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As a Refresher:

It is important that school districts remit accurate and timely payroll reporting and payment. This information is needed for the calculation and payment of benefits to members or their beneficiaries.

Employers are given five business days from the Reporting Date/Pay Date to remit payroll reporting and payment.

Click here for more details on penalties.

According to Ohio law, SERS will impose reporting and payment penalties for lateness. There will be no allowance for one-time forgiveness or other exceptions. SERS will remove or reduce a penalty if SERS caused the delay, and SERS may extend a due date for "good cause" if the request is received before the original due date.

Remember, penalties are not being applied currently.

We will give you plenty of notice before penalties will begin to be applied again to employer accounts.

 

Helpful Tip:

To help prevent payment penalties, sign up for ACH Debit to have the funds electronically withdrawn from the account of your choosing. Signing up for ACH Debit is quick and easy. Once you are signed up, you will be able to submit your Payment Remittance AND Payment in the same step. 

For further instructions on how to activate your accounts for ACH Debit, please refer to the Bank Account Maintenance section of the eSERS Guide.

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Employer Outreach has received a lot of feedback from our employers regarding the possibility of offering hands-on training sessions for eSERS. As a result, we are offering our very first eSERS Hands-On Training, created and designed just for you. 

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Training Sessions:

  • Half-day training will be held in a computer lab at the SERS building, located in downtown Columbus
  • The first sessions will begin in March 
  • Several sessions will be held each month until demand subsides, then they will be held once a month
  • Registration opens on February 15.
  • New materials, including scenarios, will be provided on the day of training
  • It's going to be a lot of fun. 

Who Will Benefit from Attending?

This training is good for anyone who would like a hands-on refresher to eSERS. It is also good for new employees who aren't familiar with eSERS and all that can be accomplished with the system.

The training room will only fit 12 individuals, and session dates will fill up fast, so don't forget to register.

eSERS Training Schedule

Tuesday, March 13, 2018          Register

Thursday, March 15, 2018         Register

Wednesday, March 21, 2018     Register

Wednesday, April 18, 2018        Register

Tuesday, April 24, 2018             Register

Thursday, April 26, 2018            Register

Tuesday, May 8, 2018                Register

Thursday, May 10, 2018             Register

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Employer Services is aware that many employers use the old SERS Membership Record to gather the needed enrollment information from their employees. If you are one of those employers, you can continue to use the form for your records if this process works best for you; however, SERS asks that you don’t mail or fax the form to us. Instead, once you have entered the enrollment information into eSERS, please keep the form for your records or shred it.
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Employer Services reminds you to make sure that all of our contact information for your staff is accurate and up to date.

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Your Employer Web Administrator can review and make changes to the listed "Users" by logging into eSERS and opening the "Contacts/Web User Maintenance" application.

If you need further assistance, please call Employer Services at 877-213-0861.

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While contractors may report information to SERS directly, it is up to the district to make sure that all information is reported to SERS. This information includes any and all payment information, all contribution detail reporting, and member enrollment.

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Please remember that unreported information could lead to the accrual of penalties. Under the law, the school district is the employer of record. When questions arise regarding missing or incorrect information from the contractor, we contact the district directly.

If you have any questions, please call Employer Services at 877-213-0861.

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If you contract directly with a person to provide services, and the nature of the person's relationship to you is that of an employee - not independent contractor - that person must contribute to SERS. Simply including language in the agreement stating the relationship is that of an independent contractor does not determine the classification.

If you contract with an entity to provide workers for a service "common to the normal daily operation" of a school, those workers should contribute to SERS.

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According to the Ohio Revised Code, SERS membership is required for "Any person who performs a service common to the normal daily operation of an educational unit even though the person is employed and paid by one who has contracted with an employer to perform the service, and the contracting board or educational unit shall be the employer for the purposes of administering the provisions of this chapter."


"Service common to the normal daily operation of an educational unit" is more than just transportation, food service, and custodial functions. It is defined as any service:

Required to be provided by an educational unit or the provision of which is governed by law, statute, or rule, or

Necessary on a regular continuous basis to the efficient operation of an educational unit, or

Through custom and usage, has become a service commonly provided or used by an educational unit on a regular or continuous basis


Contract Employees who provide services that help in the planning, supervision, direction, management of, assistance in, and/or responsibility of their service in the educational unit are subject to membership in SERS.

When you have a question whether an employee should report to SERS, you should always request a membership determination. SERS always requires a copy of the job description and/or the contract. Depending on the type of membership determination, we may request that you fill out the new Membership Determination Form (75.768). You can find the form here.

The law places the risk of an incorrect membership determination on the employer. This means if a membership question arises, and SERS determines the person is an employee and should be contributing to SERS, you are responsible for the employer and employee contributions, plus interest.

If you have any questions about membership, contact Employer Services at employerservices@ohsers.org.

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The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has the authority to establish standards of accounting and reporting for state and local governmental entities. GASB 68, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, addresses the accounting and financial reporting requirements for pension expense and unfunded pensions liabilities.

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The information employers need to implement GASB 68 is available now on SERS’ website at www.ohsers.org/GASB-68. If you have any questions, please call 614-340-1823 or email SERSGASBreports@ohsers.org.

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Join the thousands of other SERS members, retirees, and employers who are already getting the monthly Board Meeting Highlights.

If you care about your SERS health care news, fund status, and financial updates, just subscribe to our email list. 

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Employer Outreach: Offers Training Visits

Employer Services is always looking for better ways to serve our Employers. If your district is interested in having Employer Outreach deliver a presentation on topics of your choice or to have a one-on-one training session covering eSERS and/or employer related duties, we will come to you. Please contact the SERS Employer Outreach team, Katie Talbert, Marilyn Logsdon, or Carlisa Holman by calling toll-free at 877-213-0861 or by emailing employerservices@ohsers.org.