Vacation Cap of 275 Hours Use them or lose them. Be sure to get your vacation balance below the cap of 275 once during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011 or you will lose the vacation hours above that amount. In some instances the employer has agreed to allow the employee additional time to get the balance below the cap. Such an agreement must be agreed to by the Agency, MMB and MGEC so start those conversations before June.
Preparing For Shutdown With no end in sight to the opposing views on how to resolve the State Budget Deficit, it looks like there is a good chance of a partial government shutdown on July 1, 2011. If that happens, some employee’s positions will be determined to be “essential” and they will be required to work. Other positions will be determined to be “non-essential” and not allowed to work. The terms “essential” and “non-essential” are commonly used with regard to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as it addresses hours of work and overtime. A word of caution, those same terms may be used in the case of a partial government shutdown but they mean something else. An “essential employee” for purposes of the FLSA may not be essential for a shutdown. So each employee will have to be individually notified if they are to work or not in the event of a shutdown. You might begin to ask your supervisor or manager if you will be expected to work during a shutdown.
Are you ready for a shut down? You may be laid off. Unlike the shutdown of 2005, you may not be able to use vacation or compensatory time to fill in your time sheet and avoid an interruption or reduction in pay. It’s likely that your health and dental insurance will remain in effect. Beyond that, it would be wise to do any of the following:
· Set aside money now to get through a time when you are not paid.
· Plan for any changes you want to make for child/dependent care
· Consider any dental or health appointments that can be taken care of before June 30
· Consider the effects of a shutdown on your work projects and deadlines if you continue working but many of your co-workers are absent
· Contact your legislators with your expectations with regard to the State Budget Deficit. Put the pressure on for them to get their job done.
Awards & Scholarships At the MGEC Annual Meeting to be scheduled early in June winners of the MGEC Awards and Scholarships will be announced. Please take a few minutes today to recognize yourself or a co-worker for his or her accomplishments. Go to the Awards/Scholarships Tab (upper left of the MGEC Home page). The deadline for entry is 4:30 p.m. May 9, 2011.
Retirement Plan Design Study – Draft Now Available for Comment
The executive directors of the three statewide retirement systems, including Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS), Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA), and Teachers Retirement Association (TRA), are completing a study of various retirement plan alternatives for public employees in the state of Minnesota. A legislative directive calling for the study was part of the 2010 omnibus pension legislation. The final report will be delivered to the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement (LCPR) by June 1, 2011.
The study reviews defined benefit plans (the current structure of the statewide plans), as well as alternate plans such as defined contribution plans and hybrid plans. It includes an analysis of the feasibility, sustainability, financial impacts and other design considerations of these retirement plans, describing proponent and opponent viewpoints.
The study is now available in preliminary draft form for review in advance of the June 1, 2011 due date in order to gather feedback and comments before it is finalized. Please email your comments to MSRS at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consider sharing your comments with us at email@example.com.