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Service Purchase Program Roles: An Explanation

In August the ASRS released new online functionality for the service purchase program.  While the service purchase program is primarily member-driven, there are some aspects of the program that involve employers, such as member Payroll Deduction Authorization (PDA), Contributions Not Withheld (CNW), Military Call Up, and Leave of Absence Service Purchase.  Each of these programs requires an action from the member’s employer, which is why there are three new employer application roles.  The ASRS requires every employer to assign these new roles to at least one employer user.  If your employer does not have at least one employer user with the new roles, an Employer Administrator must assign these roles as soon as possible. Below are the roles and the purpose for each role.

PDA and Term Pay Specialist:  One of the payment methods members can use to purchase service credit is an irrevocable Payroll Deduction Authorization, or PDA agreement.  When an ASRS member elects to use a PDA agreement for purchase of service credit, the ASRS sends a copy of the PDA agreement to the member’s employer in a Secure Message.  Employers are responsible for implementing PDA agreements.  You must have the PDA and Term Pay Specialist role assigned to you in order to receive these messages.  All employer users of employers with Contribution Reporting applications were automatically assigned the PDA and Term Pay Specialist role when it was released.  Employer Administrators can remove this role from a user if necessary, but must assign the role to a new employer user who should receive new PDA agreements.

CNW and Military Callup Specialist:  CNW is the process used to correct an error in which less than the correct amount of contributions was paid. The ASRS no longer uses a paper Verification of CNW form, so employer users need this role to manage CNW requests, submit the details required for calculation, and receive employer CNW invoices through the secure employer account.  

Members who are called to active military service may receive service credit for that time period.  By law, the cost of the member and employer contributions for Military Call Up is paid by the ASRS employer.  An employer must have the CNW and Military Call Up Specialist role to initiate and manage Military Call Up requests, and receive invoices through the secure employer account.

Leave Of Absence Specialist:  Members who have an unpaid leave of absence may be eligible to purchase service credit for some or all of the unpaid leave. If a member applies to purchase this service credit, the employer must provide verification of the leave of absence.  An employer user must have the Leave of Absence Specialist role to process these verifications.

Please see your Employer Administrator to have a role assigned to you. If you have any questions, please contact your Employer Liaison.

by Marina Keith, Employer Liaison

This article appeared in "Employer Relations News" (Q4-2018), a digital publication of the ASRS

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