County Employers

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This information applies to County IPERS-covered employers. 

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Occupation Class Codes Description
01 Regular Employees
03 Sheriffs/Deputy Sheriffs
13 Firefighters (in cities excluded from Chapter 410 or 411)
17 Elected Officials
18 County Conservation Peace Officers
19 Licensed Health Care Professionals
20 Emergency Medical Service Providers
21 County Jailers and Detention Officers Working as Jailers
22 County Attorney Investigators
29 Full-time Elected Official


Reporting Official Training Video


Common Questions and Issues for County Employers

Township Officials

Not all township trustees and clerks in Iowa are elected to their offices. For example, it is possible under Iowa Code 39.22 that the county board of supervisors may fill these positions by appointment if a resolution by the county board approving that the process is submitted to the registered voters of the township during a general election. For IPERS purposes, township trustees and clerks appointed in this manner are treated as part-time elected officials. The following information addresses the most often asked questions on this issue:

  • Township trustees are board members, and coverage is determined by applying the IPERS coverage rules for board members. Regardless of whether the trustee is elected or appointed, if board members are paid per diem, they are exempt from IPERS coverage. If board members are paid a salary (e.g. hourly, monthly, annual, etc.), they have optional IPERS coverage, and wages must be covered unless they file, within 60 days of taking office, a one-time irrevocable election to opt out of IPERS coverage. Re-election does not offer another opportunity to elect out of IPERS coverage.
  • Part-time township clerks also have optional IPERS coverage. Their wages must be covered unless they file a one-time only irrevocable election to opt out of coverage within 60 days of taking office.
  • Occasionally, a township official is appointed by the township trustees or county board of supervisors to fill a vacancy on the township board or township clerk’s office. These appointees are considered part-time elected officers, even though they are appointed to office. As described above, IPERS coverage is determined by whether the official is a trustee (board member) or a clerk.
  • If the wages of a township trustee or township clerk would be subject to Social Security (FICA) contributions, the election of IPERS coverage will bar further Social Security coverage.

If you are not administering coverage of township officials according to our guidelines, please begin so immediately.

Elected Officials and Payroll Taxes

Full-time and part-time elected officials do not qualify as an independent contractor. Elected officials are subject to a degree of control making them employees under common law and subject to payroll taxes. For tax reporting purposes, elected officials are employees because they receive wages, not fees. This does not change based on Social Security or Medicare determinations. No matter how much an elected official receives, employers should:

  • Pay both federal and state income taxes.
  • Pay Social Security and Medicare taxes (see note.)
  • Issue a W-2.

For more information, consult the IRS’s website:

NOTE: In Iowa, if a part-time elected official has opted to contribute to IPERS, Social Security should not be withheld. Medicare is mandatory for officials elected after April 1, 1986. If you are not withholding these required payroll taxes, please do so immediately.

Temporary/Permanent Employees

Your organization should decide which positions are classified as "permanent" and which are classified as “temporary” employment. Employees working in comparable positions should be consistently designated as permanent or temporary employees – two employees doing similar jobs should not be treated differently. Consistency is key.  

  • Volunteer Firefighters - The Iowa Administrative Code mandates that volunteer firefighters, special police officers (not including reserve officers), and volunteer emergency personnel always have to qualify for coverage under IPERS’ rules for temporary employees.
  • Dual Employment and Coverage - Employment with each employer is considered for coverage separately. As an employer, you may not be aware of the employee’s other jobs or coverage status. Unless the position is one recognized by law as having optional coverage, coverage is determined by law and is not the employee’s choice.
  • Pool Employees/High School Students

You should deduct IPERS contributions until employees terminate employment or go four consecutive quarters with no wages. When either of these events occurs, employees must requalify for IPERS coverage when they return to work. When the employment of many seasonal employees ends at the end of each season, IPERS recommends that you provide a written termination notice at the end of each season and then go through your normal hiring practices that following season. Holding or reserving a position for a worker from year to year would make this arrangement permanent and IPERS should be deducted upon their original hire date.