Payroll dates due in ERM by the end of the year
One of your most important tasks at the end of this year is to ensure your payroll dates are correct in ERM. You must have correct payroll dates in ERM for you to transact with INPRS in 2020. Please make the time to accomplish this task before the end of 2019. If you need help updating your payroll dates, please contact EPPA.
Open enrollment – think about INPRS, too
It’s open enrollment season, and while you and your staff are thinking about healthcare choices, take a moment to think about INPRS and your other retirement accounts. Here are some things to consider:
- Review the performance of your INPRS defined contribution account. Is your average return in alignment with your goals?
- Review your beneficiaries on your INPRS account. You can have multiple primary and contingent beneficiaries.
- Have retirement accounts in addition to INPRS? Take a look at investment performance and beneficiary data here, too.
- Calculate your pre-tax savings and consider if you can increase your contributions.
- Review your Social Security statement, available at www.ssa.gov.
Shopping online securely
The holiday season is nearing for many of us, and soon millions of people around the world will be looking to buy the perfect gifts. Many of us will choose to shop online in search of great deals and to avoid long lines and impatient crowds. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year many cyber criminals create fake shopping websites to scam and steal from others. Below, we explain the risks of shopping online and how to get that amazing deal safely.
Fake Online Stores
While many online stores are legitimate, there are some fake websites set up by cyber criminals. Criminals create these fake websites by replicating the look of real sites or using the names of well-known stores or brands. They then use these fraudulent websites to prey on people who are looking for the best deal possible. When you search online for the absolute lowest prices, you may find yourself directed to one of these fake websites. When selecting a website to make a purchase, be wary of websites advertising prices dramatically cheaper than anywhere else or offering products that are sold out nationwide. The reason their products are so cheap or available is because what you will receive is not legitimate, may be counterfeit or stolen, or may never even be delivered. Protect yourself by doing the following:
- When possible, purchase from websites that you already know, trust, and have done business with previously.
- Verify the website has a legitimate mailing address and a phone number for sales or support-related questions. If the site looks suspicious, call and speak to a human. If you can’t get a hold of someone to talk to, that is the first big sign you are dealing with a fake website.
- Look for obvious warning signs, like deals that are obviously too good to be true or poor grammar and spelling.
- Be very suspicious if a website appears to be an exact replica of a well-known website you have used in the past, but its domain name or the name of the store is slightly different. For example, you may be used to shopping online at Amazon, whose website is https://www.amazon.com. But be very suspicious if you find yourself at websites pretending to be Amazon, such as http://store-amazoncom.com.
- Type the store’s name or URL into a search engine and see what other people have said about the website in the past. Look for terms like “fraud,” “scam,” “never again,” or “fake.” A lack of reviews can also be a sign indicating that the website is very new and might not be trustworthy.
- Before purchasing any items, make sure your connection to the website is encrypted. Most browsers show a connection is encrypted by having a lock and/or the letters HTTPS in green right before the website’s name.
Remember, just because the site looks professional does not mean it’s legitimate. If you aren’t comfortable with the website, don’t use it. Instead, find a well-known website you can trust or have safely used in the past. You may not find that absolutely amazing deal, but you are much more likely to end up with a legitimate product and avoid having your personal and financial data stolen.
Your Computer/Mobile Device
In addition to shopping at legitimate websites, you want to ensure your computer or mobile device is secure. Cyber criminals will try to infect your devices so they can harvest your bank accounts, credit card information, and passwords. Take the following steps to keep your devices secured:
- If you have children in your house, consider having two devices, one for your kids and one for the adults. Kids are curious and interactive with technology; as a result, they are more likely to infect their own device. By using a separate computer or tablet just for online transactions, such as online banking and shopping, you reduce the chance of becoming infected.
- Always install the latest updates and run up-to-date anti-virus software. This makes it much harder for a cyber criminal to infect your device.
Your Credit Card
Regularly review your credit card statements to identify suspicious charges, especially after you used your cards to make many online purchases or used a new site. Some credit card providers give you the option of notifying you by email or text messages every time a charge is made to your card or when charges exceed a set amount. Another option is to have one credit card just for online purchases. That way, if it is compromised, you can easily change the card without impacting any of your other payment activities. If you believe fraud has been committed, call your credit card company right away. This is also why you want to use credit cards for all online purchases and avoid using debit cards whenever possible. Debit cards take money directly from your bank account, so if fraud has been committed, it can be far more difficult to get your money back. Finally, consider using credit cards that generate a unique card number for every online purchase, gift cards, or well-known payment services, such as PayPal, which do not require you to disclose your credit card number to the vendor.
Article provided by SANS Security Awareness and is published with permission. For more information, visit www.sans.org/security-awareness.
WARNING: ERM access will be stopped
The Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) has been reaching out to employers with missing members on their rosters for several months to eliminate the missing member backlog.
Today, this backlog is a business problem for INPRS and has the potential to negatively impact the members whose information is incomplete in our system when they decide to retire.
Soon, this backlog will cause a business problem for employers with missing members. In early 2020, INPRS will enforce ERM limitations on all employers with missing members. These limitations will eliminate your ability to report wages and contributions for all of your employees.
Without the ability to report wages and contributions for all of your employees, you can expect to accumulate a large backlog, which will quickly become challenging to manage.
If you’d like to avoid this major business interruption, here’s what you can do:
- Assemble your ERM reporting team to discuss your missing member backlog. If you’re a team of one, let your boss know this is a priority for you and discuss how you can block time on your calendar to work on this project.
- With the team, create a plan to bring all missing members current.
- Divide and conquer- consider workloads and priorities for your team and allocate the backlog to staff members based on what’s realistic.
- Check-in weekly. Stay on top of progress and adjust the schedule as needed
- Celebrate your wins. Keep the team motivated while they complete this time-sensitive project.
- Complete this work by Feb. 10, 2020. Our limitations will go live in early 2020.
Set the expectation to have missing members no more than 14 days old. Efficiently close out former employees’ wages and contributions as a normal business practice.
INPRS understands members currently reflected in ERM on any form of Leave of Absence will remain on the Missing Member Report until a Return from Leave Life Event is entered into ERM. Millie Morgan Retirees, who elected not to continue contributing to their defined contribution account (DC account) will also remain on the Missing Member Report until their Termination Life Event is entered. Phase 2 of ERM updates, happening early 2020, will eliminate these members from populating on the Missing Member Report when activity coded in ERM on a Leave of Absence or Mille Morgan Retiree not contributing to their DC account.
Complete your Hero’s Honor Enrollment by Nov. 30
The Hero’s Honor Special Death Benefit covers a line-of-duty death in the amount of the $150,000 for eligible emergency medical service providers. Purchase coverage now for just $100 per year per employee.
Open enrollment is going on now through Nov. 30. Check out our video for an overview of how the benefit works.
You can download the Special Death Benefit Enrollment form from our website here. To submit your forms, you can either mail your documentation to our office at One North Capitol or email Employer Pension Plan Administration (EPPA) at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, if you have questions, please call our friendly EPPA team at (888) 876-2707 or email them at email@example.com.
The 2020 Census is coming!
Heading out on your Thanksgiving vacation soon? Before you go, be sure to submit your payroll to INPRS. Staying on schedule will reduce your pre-vacation stress and eliminates a to-do item for your first day back in the office.
It’s very important to keep us up-to-date whenever an employee leaves their position. You can easily report any separations from employment by updating the employee’s last day in pay and last check date in ERM.
Do you have former colleagues still listed as “Active” in ERM? Because we want to make sure the right people hear from us, make sure to remove old contacts from ERM. Need help? Contact us!
Every attempt has been made to verify that the information in this publication is correct and up-to-date. Published content does not constitute legal advice. If a conflict arises between information contained in this publication and the law, the applicable law shall apply.