Performs the duties of a treasurer or business manager employed under R.C This includes fiscal agents for community schools.

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1 SCHOOL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF OHIO 300 EAST BROAD ST., SUITE 100 COLUMBUS, OHIO Toll-Free Covered Employees All non-teaching employees of Ohio s public, vocational, technical, and community schools, community colleges, and the University of Akron are required to contribute to SERS unless their position permits exemption from coverage, optional coverage, or exclusion from coverage. Once an employee is covered under SERS, the employee must continue to contribute to SERS for as long as the employee is employed in a SERS-covered position. Compulsory or Mandatory Coverage Compulsory coverage is required for any employee who: Is employed in a position where the individual is not required to have a certificate or license issued by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) under R.C to Performs the duties of a treasurer or business manager employed under R.C This includes fiscal agents for community schools. Performs a service common to the normal daily operation of the educational unit, including those who are employed and paid by a business that has contracted with the school to perform the service Service common to the normal daily operation means: Any service required to be provided by an educational unit or the provision of which is governed by law, statute, or rule Any service necessary on a regular, continuous basis to the efficient operation of an educational unit Any service that, through custom and usage, has become a service commonly provided or procured by an educational unit on a regular, continuous basis All employees as described above are covered by and must contribute to SERS unless they meet the requirement of exempt, optional, or excluded coverage. With few exceptions, employees in positions where Ohio law requires a certificate or license as described above for the position are covered by the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio (STRS). Compulsory coverage cannot be waived by an employee or the employer. [R.C (B), , , and Ohio Admin. Code ] 1

2 Exemption from Coverage The following employees may choose exemption from coverage by filing a written application within the first month of employment: A student who is not already a SERS member at the time of employment, and who is employed by the school, college, or university in which the student is enrolled and regularly attending classes An emergency employee serving on a temporary basis in the event of a flood, fire, snow removal, earthquake, or other similar emergency An individual employed in a program established under the federal Job Training Partnership Act A substitute employee is not classified as an emergency employee and cannot claim an exemption as such. A reemployed retiree cannot claim an exemption. In order to be exempt from coverage, an employee must complete an Exemption Form (5.016). [R.C ] Optional Coverage A school board member or a governing board member has the option of contributing to SERS. A school board member is an elected or appointed member of a city, local exempted village, or joint vocational school district board of education. A governing board member is an elected or appointed member of an educational service center governing board. Board members must choose SERS coverage by making a written election within thirty (30) days of taking office. [R.C ] Exclusion from Coverage The following individuals are excluded from SERS coverage: [R.C ] An individual employed in a position required to have a certificate or license issued by the ODE under R.C to An individual employed in an educational position, as determined by ODE, through programs under federal law and financed in whole or in part by federal funds, but for which no licensure requirements for the position can be made under the provisions of such federal law An individual who participates in an alternative retirement plan (ARP) established by a college or university University of Akron police officers who are covered by the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) 2

3 Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP) Election Newly hired full-time college and university employees have the option of contributing to SERS or an Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). The employer is responsible for notifying SERS of an employee who is eligible for an ARP within ten (10) days of the employee s first day of employment by submitting a Notice of Employment or Reclassification of Employee Eligible for Alternative Retirement Plan (5.171). An eligible employee has 120 days from the first day of employment to choose to enroll in the ARP. An employee who chooses the ARP must sign the election form Retirement Plan Election Form (20-487b ARP-3) and return it to the employer. [R.C , , ] Specific Situations The following covers some of the more common questions SERS receives concerning whether employees are subject to SERS coverage. Contractors Contractors can be contract employees who may be subject to SERS coverage, or independent contractors who are not subject to SERS coverage. Contract Employees Contract employees are individuals who perform a service common to the daily operation of an educational unit even though the individual is employed and paid by a company that has contracted with a board or educational unit to perform the service. The contracting board or educational unit is the employer for SERS purposes. Service common to the normal daily operation means: Any service required to be provided by an educational unit or the provision of which is governed by law, statute, or rule Any service necessary on a regular, continuous basis to the efficient operation of an educational unit Any service that, through custom and usage, has become a service commonly provided or procured by an educational unit on a regular, continuous basis In applying the above standard to various factual scenarios, SERS has determined that SERS coverage is required for individuals who perform: Food services, including the planning, supervision, direction, management of, assistance in, and/or responsibility for the regular food or cafeteria service of an educational unit Transportation services for the employer, including the planning, supervision, direction, management, performance of, and/or responsibility for the transportation services of an educational unit 3

4 Custodial or maintenance services, including the supervision, direction, management, performance of, assistance in and/or responsibility for the regular, continuous maintenance, repair, and/or upkeep of the facilities of an educational unit School security services on the property of an educational unit Health-related services including nurses or health aides and licensed practical nurses who are not required to have a certificate or license issues pursuant to Sections to of the Revised Code Services that are otherwise common to the normal daily operation of an educational unit, and are non-licensed substitutes SERS has determined that SERS coverage is not required for individuals who: Are employed and paid by vending companies to service vending machines Service equipment under an equipment warranty or purchase/lease service agreement Service and/or repair equipment and/or facilities of the employer on an emergency basis or who provide extraordinary services and/or services of a technical nature not commonly performed by individuals employed directly by the employer Provide for trash pick-up and disposal for the employer Transport students in vehicles that are not school buses as defined in R.C (F) or that are not marked as a school bus Bona fide consultants who advise and/or consult on a temporary basis [R.C (B), and Ohio Admin. Code ] Independent Contractors Hiring an individual through an independent contract does not necessarily relieve the obligation of contributing to SERS. An agreement to be an independent contractor is not the sole indicator of a valid independent contractor relationship. As the employer, consideration should be given to the level of control you have over the service being delivered, how the service is being delivered, and if the position is part of your core business. Actual independent contractors are not required to contribute to SERS; however, contract employees are required to contribute to SERS. It is important that the classification assigned to a relationship be an accurate reflection of the working relationship. Employers should consult their own legal counsel in creating these relationships. [R.C (B)] Multiple Ohio Systems Coverage An employee who has more than one job may contribute to more than one Ohio retirement system. For each covered job, the appropriate contributions should be sent to the proper retirement system. For example, a licensed or certificated teacher also drives a school bus. Contributions would be remitted to SERS for the school bus service, and contributions for the teaching service would be remitted to the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS). There is an exception with regard to coaches and student activity advisors. If the coach or advisor is also a licensed or certificated teacher, even if the individual teaches in another district, contributions for coaching or advising are remitted to STRS. If the coach or advisor is not licensed or certificated, contributions for coaching or advising are remitted to SERS. 4

5 Employment of Retirees and Disability Benefit Recipients of SERS and Other Ohio Systems A SERS disability benefit recipient cannot be employed by a SERS-covered employer. If the recipient is employed, the disability benefit ends. A disability benefit recipient of another Ohio retirement system should contact the other system to determine any restrictions on returning to other public employment. A retiree of SERS or other Ohio system may be employed by a school in a position in which SERS contributions are required without limitation on the number of days or earnings. All reemployed retirees are required to contribute to SERS if employed in an SERS-covered position. [R.C , , ] Determinations of Coverage Where any question exists as to whether an individual is subject to SERS coverage, the employer should request a determination from SERS. This request should include complete information about the employment relationship. SERS may request additional information to make a determination. Upon review of all the information provided and/or requested, the SERS staff will make an initial determination of coverage. If an employer, or the individual whose position is at issue, questions a staff determination, and the issue is not governed by statute, an appeal may be taken to the SERS Retirement Board. The Retirement Board is responsible for a final determination whether a person is an employee, as defined in R.C (B). Decisions of the Board are final. 5

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