Q: What is ERM?
A: ERM stands for Employer Reporting and Maintenance. In the past, employers paid and reported wages and contributions on a quarterly basis. Since the ERM application launched in 2012, employers submit wages and contributions electronically and submit online payment, via ACH – all of this is done on a payroll basis. Additionally, employers manage their member enrollments and status changes online.
Q: Will contributions get to employees’ accounts faster?
A: Yes. Because contributions will be received on a pay period basis rather than a quarterly basis, contributions will reach members’ Annuity Savings Accounts (ASAs) much more frequently, giving members the opportunity to earn more money.
Q: What is a Submission Unit and Submission Unit ID number?
A: A Submission Unit is a participating unit associated with an employer. The Submission Unit Number is what is currently referred to as the Employer Number. This is strictly a change in terminology. The Submission Unit Number is a 7-digit number (includes leading zeroes). Each Submission Unit is a specific employer division participating in a single fund (PERF, TRF, 1977, JU, CE, PA).
Q: How will ERM affect employers who participate in multiple funds?
A: If an employer participates in multiple funds, multiple Submission Units will be associated with the same employer. In terms of payment, each fund’s report will have its own total. Employers can then choose to pay each fund’s total from the same bank account or from multiple bank accounts.
Q: Will state agencies whose current reporting is taken care of by the Auditor of State (AOS) and the State Personnel Department (SPD) be required to report with ERM?
A: No. State agencies not currently reporting will not need to report with ERM; this will be done by the AOS and/or SPD. However, they will be responsible for resolving any wage and contribution errors that are generated in ERM. The will work closely with AOS to resolve these issues.
Q: Do both PERF and TRF members have Pension IDs? Where can employers get a list of members’ Pension IDs?
A: Yes. All members have a Pension ID (PID). However, to access PIDs, employers must look up individual member records in ERM. There is not one list available showing all member PIDs at once.
Q: Are ACH payments required? What information will be needed from employers? Who will initiate these payments?
A: Yes, ERM will require payments via ACH. employers are required to enter banking information into the ERM application; INPRS will then coordinate to ensure ACH payments can occur. Employers will initiate the payments once they have submitted wages and contributions and choose to process for payment.
Q: How do I set up/confirm my ACH bank account?
A: Employers (the Authorized Agent or Authorized Designee, if one is elected) will access the ERM application, and can set up bank accounts (as many as desired) for ACH processing. Within 10 days of the bank account set up in ERM, INPRS will verify that bank information is acceptable for use in ERM. INPRS will only contact you if the bank account information entered is not acceptable in ERM.
Q: What if I have questions regarding ERM?
A: Employers can send us questions related to ERM by contacting EPPA at (888) 876-2707 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Will we receive more information from INPRS about other changes related to ERM?
A: Yes. We want employers to receive all up-to-date information concerning ERM. Our main method of communicating with employers is through Employer Update, our targeted email-based newsletter. Everyone impacted by ERM should receive this newsletter. If you, or someone involved with pension plan administration, are not currently receiving Employer Update, sign up here for this free e-newsletter. Please ensure our e-mail address is not sent to your spam folder.
Q: I still don’t understand how ERM will work or what I need to do. Will help be available?
A: Yes. EPPA is here to assist employers with any issues pertaining to ERM and can be contacted at (888) 876-2707 or at email@example.com.
Q: Where can I find training resources for ERM?
A: Visit the ERM page and look for the options under Training Materials. There, you will find a variety of training materials – from handbooks, to quick reference guides, to computer-based training.
Q: When will I receive my temporary password for ERM?
A: You will receive your temporary password when the security administrator adds you as a user to the ERM system.
Q: What is the Web address for the ERM login page?
A: ERM can be accessed at https://inprs.in.gov/erm/faces/login.jspx.
Q: How do I register for Employer Update, the e-newsletter from INPRS?
A: Go here to join the mailing list. You can also view past newsletters at the same location, below the newsletter sign-up area. Please add the e-mail addresses firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to your safe sender list.
Q: Are employers required to develop files for Member Enrollment, Member Maintenance, and Wage and Contribution reporting?
A: No. Employers have the option of entering member enrollment, member maintenance, and wage and contribution information directly into the ERM application; this method is most likely ideal for smaller employers. For employers with a large number of employees, bulk upload may be the most efficient option; this will require employers to develop a file. The data required for entry is the same, regardless of whether it is submitted directly online or via file upload.
Employers may choose to only develop a bulk upload file for reporting wages and contributions, and enter member enrollment and member maintenance information directly into ERM, or employers may choose to develop all three bulk upload files. Files must meet the specifications dictated by INPRS which can be found on the er.inprs.in.gov website in the File Templates section.
Q: What if I have an external payroll vendor?
A: Provide the new file layout specifications, found here, to your external payroll vendor. They should be able to develop a file based on the required layout.
Q: What if we process payroll internally?
A: If you process payroll internally, we are happy to work with you to ensure your file meets the requirements.
Q: If I am a 1977 Fund employer and want to use the file feature, can I do so?
A: Yes, 1977 Fund employers also have the option of uploading bulk files. The file must meet the required layout format in order to be submitted. Details on the file layout are available here.
Q: Do I have to enter this information every time I do a payroll report?
A: No! If you enter your W&C information directly into ERM rather than using a file upload, once you have submitted a report, ERM will allow you to use that report as a template for a new report. Because a previous report is being used, employees’ personal information such as Social Security number, Pension ID, name, etc. will pre-populate. You may remove or add new members to the report as necessary; however, you must enter wage and contribution information for each submission.
Q: Will employers that report employees to multiple funds, i.e. PERF and TRF, or PERF and ’77 Fund, need to create two separate Wage and Contribution files or can all members be reported on one file?
A: Employers reporting employees to multiple funds will have the option of combining members in one file or submitting two separate files. If employees from multiple Funds are being paid on the same payroll date they may be submitted on one file. However, if they are being paid on different payroll dates then they must be submitted on two separate files.
Q: How will employers who have employees on different payroll cycles report in ERM?
A: Employers will need to have separate files for each payroll cycle. However, if the paydate for the two cycles happens to occasionally fall on the same day they may be submitted on one file.
Q: Will employers be able to submit adjustments at any time, or must they be included with a regular wage and contribution report?
A: Employers may enter adjustments directly into the ERM application at any time; however, if an employer is using the bulk upload feature to submit adjustments, they must accompany a regular wage and contribution report and must be paid on the same payroll date the regular wage and contribution report is being submitted.
Q: If an employer’s current report is generated from multiple sources, can multiple reports be submitted or must they be combined?
A: If the multiple reports cover employees from the same Submission Unit, the reports must be combined. If the multiple reports are for members of differing Submission Units, a report should be submitted for each Submission Unit.
Q. Will employers have a grace period before interest starts to accrue?
A. Reports and payments should be submitted the date the employer pays its employees. There will be a seven-day grace period from the payroll date before interest starts to accrue. Interest will be charged on both the member’s contributions as well as the employer’s contributions for late payments. A $100 per day penalty could be applied after an additional 30 days on top of the interest.
Q. When will the interest and penalty on late reporting become effective?
A. Penalties for late reporting went into effect January 1, 2014. Employers will be notified prior to the initiation of interest.
Q. What happens if an employer incurs a non-sufficient funds (NSF) transaction?
A. INPRS will be notified by an employer’s bank within 24-48 hours after a NSF transaction. The employer could be responsible for paying the NSF fee, which will be based on INPRS’ bank policy. In addition to the NSF fee, interest on the contributions will accumulate until payment is received if the payment is not received within seven days from the payroll date.
Q. As an employer, our bank has a debit blocker on our account. What do we need to do to allow INPRS to access our account?
A. If your bank has a debit blocker on your account, you will need to contact your bank to request an exception to the debit blocker, then contact INPRS to obtain what your bank requires to authorize your account with an ACH debit.
Q. Will there be a delay in processing payments if an employer changes banks?
A. Yes, there may be a delay in processing payments if an employer changes banks. Banking information is maintained by an employer’s staff. An employer will not be able to use an account until it has been made active, which is 10 days after it has been entered in the ERM system.
Q. What is required of employers who have an adjustment for a previous pay period?
A. If you are paying for that adjustment on your current payroll, you will use the current payroll date. If you paid a member in a prior payroll and did not submit the contributions at that time, you could be required to pay interest to the member and the fund in addition to the member and employer contributions that you did not submit.
Q. Can settlement adjustments be reported in ERM?
A. Yes, settlement adjustments may be reported in ERM. There will be an extra step in processing payment for settlement adjustments because the adjustment will need to be reviewed and approved by INPRS staff prior to being paid. Settlement adjustments must be in a separate file and not reported with regular wage and contributions or normal adjustments.