School District Employers

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The information below applies to IPERS-covered employers for school districts. 

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Occupation Class Codes Description
11 Education-related
26 Regents Police Officers
28 Licensed Teachers


Reporting Official Training Video

Common Questions and Issues for School District Employers

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.  

Citizen Coaches
A citizen coach is a coach who performs no other work for the employing school. Sports team coaches and drama coaches are positions often filled by citizen coaches. Citizen coaches are a unique group of employees due to the fact that they may only be paid a minimum of one to three times a year. Normally, citizen coaches fall into one of the two following scenarios. IPERS does not mandate one way or the other, we just want the district to be consistent no matter which scenario is followed. 

  • A district employee has first priority when filling a coaching position currently filled by a citizen coach. Because the district employee has a higher priority, the citizen coaches would not have established an on-going relationship unless they met the normal temporary rule of receiving $1,000.00 in each of two consecutive quarters. 
  • The district gives priority to the citizen coach; meaning that a new district employee would not unseat a citizen coach from their current position. If this is the case, then the district and that citizen coach have established a relationship, and IPERS coverage should begin once that citizen coach returns to coach their second season

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 contributions should be deducted upon their original hire date.

Bona Fide Retirement

School Cancelations May Affect First Month of Eligibility for IPERS Benefits

School cancelations due to inclement weather may push the last day of school to June instead of May. Remember that this delay affects the first month of retirement eligibility for new retirees of a school district. If school cancelations moved the end of the school year from one month to another, the first month of retirement eligibility should be delayed for one month, as well.

If school districts adjust a retiree’s contract so their employment is formally terminated by the end of May (instead of June), the retiree would be eligible to receive retirement benefits beginning in June (instead of July). However, whether you provide this option to a retiree is something each school district must decide.

Note that retirees who terminate early and do not complete the number of days required in their original contract must demonstrate a loss in salary and/or benefits equivalent to the days not worked during the contract period. The employee may not be paid for vacation, personal or sick leave for the days not worked in June because such compensation would constitute employment in June. According to an opinion from the Iowa Attorney General’s office, employees may not “volunteer” their services in June. 

In addition, retirees should consider whether terminating their employment early would affect any other benefits offered by their employer, such as insurance coverage or retirement incentives. Again, IPERS does control or regulate additional employee benefits. 

As reporting officials, you must verify each retiree’s final date of employment by completing the “Employer’s Verification of Termination” page in each retiree’s Application for IPERS Retirement Benefits. If circumstances change after reporting officials complete this verification page, please contact IPERS to update the retiree’s application. Failure to notify IPERS of the changes could result in a retiree repaying retirement benefits.

FAQ Accordion Title
COVID-19 Related Employer FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Members do not receive a service credit if they are in layoff or furloughed status and the employer does not submit wages for the entire calendar quarter. Quarterly service credit is granted when wages are submitted during any month of the calendar quarter. Under FMLA rules, members on Family Medical Leave will be granted one free service credit; additional quarters due to FMLA must be purchased. Missing service credits do negatively impact members’ benefits at retirement.

Members cannot make up the missing wages and contributions for the time period that they are unemployed or furloughed. Members may buy additional service at the time of retirement to make up for any lost service time. Specific legislation authorized make up of missing wages and contributions for furloughs that occurred in 2009 and 2010 and was limited to only that time frame.

Employers must report the date the employee and employer relationship ends. This is the date all employee rights cease.

Yes, the compensation for the 80 hours are IPERS-covered.

No, this type of payment would be considered a bonus and is not IPERS-covered.

For the duration of Governor Reynold’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, the standard bona fide retirement period is waived for qualified members in one of the above classifications. IPERS will not require these employees to leave employment immediately after the declared emergency is over.

The reemployment earnings limit is also waived during the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency.