EIC98-2 Volume 14 Issue 2
Permissive Election of STRS Membership Defined Benefit Plan

Information Circular

The purpose of this circular is to inform employers of the amendment of the Permissive Election of STRS Membership Defined Benefit Plan Form (EO 350), and to notify employers of the revision of the EO 350 form to include the employer’s certification, “Notification of Right to Elect STRS Membership” pursuant to Education Code section 22455.5. The revised form will be identified as the “Permissive Election and Acknowled-ment of Receipt of STRS Defined Benefit Plan Membership Information (MR 350)”.

Education Code section 22515 permits an employee who performs creditable service (as defined in Section 22119.5), and who is excluded from mandatory membership pursuant to Section 22601.5, 22602 or 22604, to elect membership in the State Teachers’ Retirement System Defined Benefit Plan at any time while employed to perform creditable service. The election must be in writing and filed at STRS prior to submission of contributions to the plan. The employee’s membership date can be no earlier than the first day of the pay period -iuring which the election form is signed.

This election into membership in the STRS Defined Benefit Plan is irrevocable for all future employment to perform creditable service. This election may be canceled only by terminating all creditable service and receiving a refund of accumulated retirement contributions.

Employment in a position that is not sufficient to qualify for mandatory membership in the STRS Defined Benefit Plan may be subject to coverage by Social Security or an alternate plan provided by the employer, such as the STRS Cash Balance Plan. Consult the employer reporting procedures for the Cash Balance Plan.

A copy of the Permissive Election and Acknowledgment of Receipt of STRS Defined Benefit Plan Membership Information (MR 350) is attached for your convenience. You may reproduce the attached form or order a new supply of the revised form from the STRS Business Services Office.

Also attached is a JOB AID to assist employers in the submission of the Permissive Election and Acknowledgment of Receipt of STRS Defined Benefit Plan Membership Information form. Please note that in the event an employee elects STRS membership and “creditable service” is not performed until sometime later, the employer is required to submit the MR 350 form and employee statistical information (MR 87) to STRS at the time of election. The employer should not hold the election form until creditable service is performed. Once “creditable service” is performed and reported to STRS, the STRS technician will update the membership date to the employee’s account.

Permissive Election of STRS Membership

Defined Benefit Plan

Job Aid

Education Code Section 22515 permits an employee who performs creditable service (as defined in Section 22119.5), and who is excluded from mandatory membership pursuant to Section 22601.5, 22602, or 22604, to elect membership in the State Teachers’ Retirement System Defined Benefit Plan at any time while employed to perform creditable service.

Part-Time, Substitute, or Percentage Contract Employment less than minimum required for mandatory STRS membership

  1. Within 30 days of the date of hire, notify the employee of his/her right to elect into STRS membership pursuant to Education Code Section 22455.5.
  2. If the employee elects STRS membership, submit the MR 350 form to STRS with the MR87 diskette with a transaction code 81.
  3. The employee’s membership effective date can be no earlier than the first day of the pay period during which the creditable service is performed. *
  4. Report all creditable service to STRS with a Member Code 1 and applicable assignment code.
  5. If the employee does not make an election report non-qualifying creditable service to STRS with a Member Code 2 and applicable Assignment Code and file the MR 350 in the employee’s personnel file.
  6. Monitor creditable service to determine if and when the employee qualifies for STRS mandatory membership unless the employee is participating in the STRS CB Plan.

NOTE: This election into membership in the STRS Defined Benefit Plan is irrevocable for all future employment to perform creditable service. This election may be canceled only by terminating all creditable service and receiving a refund of accumulated retirement contributions.

Employment in a position that is not sufficient to qualify for mandatory membership in the STRS Defined Benefit Plan may be subject to coverage by Social Security or an alternate plan provided by the employer, such as the STRS Cash Balance Plan.

*Submit the MR 350 form and employee statistical information (MR 87) to STRS at the time of election. STRS technician will update the membership date once creditable service is performed.

Employer Information Circulars [EIC] are sent to school district and community college employers as informal guidance that provides immediate information on a single topic.

For an accessible version of this circular, contact ADACoordinator@CalSTRS.com.