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Payroll Personnel and Retirement Q & A Page 1
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Payroll Personnel Retirement Committee Q & A Page


Topic & Date

Self Funding Dental & Vision

March 2013

  We are looking at self-funding our dental and vision plans.  I was wondering if you could send out an email to the PPR Committee to find out if other school districts are self-funding their dental and vision.  I have these questions:

How long have you been self funding dental and vision?
Approximately how much money do you 'bank' at the end of the year for your employees?
What do you do with the reserves (offset future premiums? increase future benefits, etc.)?
How many employees do you have on dental and vision (approx)?
Any other information you can provide that would be beneficial would be appreciated!

Can you please have them email me directly at  I would like this information for a 1:00 p.m. meeting today.  Any info would help!
Diane Hodge
Assistant Business Manager
Pullman School District
    Responses here

Maternity Leave

December 2012

  I am curious how districts handle maternity leave.  I am wondering if an employee can spread their sick leave out, such as 1/2 day sick leave and 1/2 day unpaid leave, or if the sick leave has to be used up front, and then unpaid leave.  What other things do I need to know about maternity leave?
Thank you,
Susan Frank
Napavine School District
    Responses here

Retire Sick Leave

November 2012

  I have a question regarding sick leave by back upon retirement.   
I have a cert administrator who in June of 2003 retired and cashed out 105 days of her sick leave.  She then came back to work as a retire rehire, on July 1 2011 she  terminated her retirement benefits and established membership back into the TRS plan 1 system.
She is now going to retire again, does she get to cash out sick leave again, and would it only be the sick leave she has earned since reestablished since she rejoined the retirement system.

Thank you!
Kathy Thomas
Tahoma School District
    Responses here

Leave Transfer

October 2012

  Can someone point me to the WAC or RCW that references the ability to transfer sick leave etc from employment at a public univerisity to K-12.  For example, from WWU to SWSD?

Thank you
Colleen Higbee
South Whidbey School District
    Responses here


October 2012

  Do you allow employees to drop dependents from medical outside of open enrollment?  If so, do you require any documentation stating that they are not a qualified dependent?  The question has come up due to a spouse being dropped prior to finalization of dissolution.

Thanks very much
Colleen Higbee
South Whidbey School District
    Responses here

Domestic Partners

October 2012

  We have domestic partners this year and need to know how to handle them in the system for benefits.  Medical, dental and vision.  what portion is taxed and how is it figured?  What portion is section 125?
Thank You,

Deb McAllister
Asst Payroll Coordinator
Yelm Community Schools
    Responses here


September 2012

  Are PERS Plan 1 members eligible for the annual S/L cash out pursuant to RCW 28A.400.210?
Kind regards,
Melanie L. Piccin
Employer Support Services
Washington State Department of Retirement Systems
    Responses here


August 2012

  Do any districts have pooling spreadsheets set up that work with the minimum's we now need to collect from the employees towards their premiums?  I would appreciate hearing how other districts are going to handle pooling arrangements.

Gayle Peterson
Business Manager
Onalaska School District
    Responses here

Temp Overtime

August 2012

  If I have temporary employees who worked on 4th of July are they entitled to time and half?

Christine Poirier
Payroll Manager
    Responses here

Garnishment Fees

August 2012

  Our District has never charged our employees a fee for processing a garnishment.  However, due to the volume, we are contemplating beginning too.  I am curious….how many Districts do charge their employees for processing a garnishment?  And, If the employee has no payroll deduction because he/she made less than the minimum exemption, do you still charge the employee the processing fee?  Your responses are greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

Best Regards,
Wanda Liner
Payroll Specialist
Bremerton School District
    Responses here


August 2012

  Hello All
How are you implementing the QHDHP and who are you using to administer your HSA?  Are any districts using American Fidelity?

Thanks for your help
Colleen Higbee
South Whidbey School District
    Responses here


July 2012

  I have an employee whose last work day will be August 31, 2012, but ESD 123 is paying her a severance package which includes 2 months of pay and 6 months of benefits.  Is there an RCW or a WAC?  Has anyone had this issue before?  I am not sure if this person has to go on COBRA starting September or would it be after the 2 months of salary.  Is the 2 months of salary paid monthly or is it paid on her last check?  Any help would be appreciated.
Christine Poirier
Payroll Manager
    Responses here

HB594 - 15%

July 2012

  I am sure everyone has the same question on the HB5940 - how does this work?  Has anyone made a determination on how to administer the 15% that all employees are to pay?  Would employees only coverage have to pay 15% and receive no pooling dollars?  So they would not receive their full benefit amount...
How will this work with pooling and HSA's where they can put some of their allocation into their HSA account?
Thanks for your input!
Pam Strub
Eatonville School District
    Responses here

Sick Days

July 2012

  Is there a limit to how many sick days an employee can be allotted in a year?  If so, can anyone cite the RCW?
Our Superintendent's new contract states that unused personal days shall be converted to sick leave days at the end of the year (June 30). 
Has anyone else experienced this?

Colleen Higbee
South Whidbey SD
    Responses here

HB 1552

July 2012

  House Bill 1552, regarding garnishments, passed and went into effect on 06/07/2012.  I’ve received  answer forms showing that the minimum exempt amount that the defendant must be paid as being higher than 30 times the federal minimum wage.  Is there anything in this bill that would increase the minimum exempt amount?

Leanne Aumell
Assistant Payroll Manager
Bellevue School District
    Responses here

SB 5940

June 2012


Is your district implementing a minimum premium for all employees enrolled on medical in accordance with SB 5940. If so can you share your methodology?

    Responses here

Overpayment Recovery

June 2012


When you have a current employee who has been overpaid what is your district’s policy for recovery of the overpayment?  What back-up do you have to substantiate your process (i.e. union contract language, board policy, or a WAC)? 

When you discover that you have a termed employee who has been overpaid on their last paycheck what is your district’s policy for recovery of the overpayment?

Thank you,
Ashley Vereker
Kent School District

    Responses here

Unused vacation leave -earned compensation by law?

June 2012

  I have another question for you. Is unused vacation leave considered earned compensation by law?

EVSD 361
    Responses here

Leave Sharing Policy

June 2012

  We are working on updating our leave sharing policy and I have a question for the group.  When a WAC or RCW differ as to the calculation of time such as days verses hours, what are most districts using? 
As most school district employees do not work 8.0 hours per day, does it matter if you use the WAC or RCW rules/how do you determine which rule to follow?

An example:  Sick Leave Sharing cannot go below 176 hours (RCW) or 22 days (WAC)

Annual Leave (vacation leave) can be cashed out at retirement/separation of service up to 30 days (RCW) or 240 hours (WAC).

Thank you,
Elaine M. Bluhm
Fiscal Assistant, Business Office
Walla Walla Public Schools
    Responses here
    ...........More Q & A here


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