The MERS Defined Benefit reporting portal was designed with you in mind. Based on employer feedback and focus groups, MERS continuously enhances the features available in the portal. Here are updates we have made recently:
New Benefit Provisions Page
Each division has unique provisions chosen by the employer. These provisions determine things like how an employee earns service credit and which wages are includible for employee benefit calculation.
You are now able to view your municipality’s provisions on the new Benefit Provisions page in the portal. After logging into the Employer Portal and selecting Defined Benefit, simply click “Benefit Provisions” on the left navigation.
New Beneficiary Report
Employees may designate a Monthly Pension Beneficiary along with Primary and Contingent Refund Beneficiaries. You may run a report to see which beneficiaries your employees have on file. For any beneficiaries your employees do NOT have on file, you will see the word “None” listed.
To run this report, log into the Employer Portal and select Defined Benefit. Then, click “Reporting History” (a subset of the “Reporting” tab) on the left navigation. After that, select the excel icon to run the report.
New File Upload Feature
You may now upload employee and/or employer forms, certificates, and files regarding your defined benefit plan through the new secure file upload feature. Any documents you may have emailed, faxed, or mailed to MERS may be uploaded online. For instructions on how to upload documents and files, see our Reporting Guide (pdf).
New Payroll Report Template
If you upload wages, contributions and service credit for your monthly report, please use the new payroll report template (csv).
When preparing your report to upload, you no longer need to remove the header row. The header row with the exact field names in the table below (minus the asterisks) is required to upload your payroll report.
The seven fields of the upload file are:
(See a larger view of this sample)
Options to Pay Your Monthly DB Invoices
In order to meet the unique needs of each municipality, and based on feedback we’ve received from customers, MERS now offers the option to pay monthly invoices for the defined benefit plan using either a percentage of payroll method or a flat billing method.
Percentage of payroll is the default payment method for open divisions and allows a municipality to allocate plan costs by employee. As employees enter and exit the plan, monthly contributions are adjusted to accommodate the new participant counts. This is the best option for municipalities that prefer to pay the actual cost of the plan on a monthly basis.
The flat billing payment method is the default payment method for closed divisions and provides employers with one flat rate that they will pay on a monthly basis, regardless of plan participation. Each year the annual actuarial valuation uses the actual plan experience to calculate the next year’s cost. This is the best option for municipalities that prefer to budget an exact amount each month to pay.
In the Executive Summary of your annual actuarial valuation, the Required Employer Contributions table shows what your monthly plan costs will be for both options. Payment methods may be switched at any time throughout the year by contacting MERS.
Voluntary Contributions Reports
Voluntary contributions can now be submitted at the division level, ensuring that contributions are correctly applied to the division you intended. Additionally, reporting voluntary contributions can be done outside of your regular reporting cycle and can be canceled prior to submission. For more details on voluntary contributions, see our Reporting Guide (pdf).