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Retirement System Coverage Groups

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

1006. Retirement System Coverage Groups

1006.1 Can employees covered by a State or local retirement system also be covered for Social Security under a Section 218 agreement?

Yes. Employees covered by a State or local retirement system can be covered for Social Security under a Section 218 agreement (see §1000.2) after a referendum is held.The referendum is held under the State's authorization. (See §1018).

1006.2 What employees are eligible to vote in a referendum?

To be eligible to vote in a referendum, you must be:

  1. A member of the retirement system at the time the referendum is held; and

  2. In a position under the retirement system when:

    1. The notice of referendum is given; and

    2. The referendum is held.

1006.3 What does a retirement system coverage group consist of?

The state has the option to include any of the following in a retirement system coverage group:

  1. All employees in positions under the retirement system;

  2. Only employees of the State in positions under the system;

  3. Employees of one or more political subdivisions in positions under the system;

  4. Any combination of the groups referred to in (B) and (C);

  5. Employees of a hospital that is an integral part of a political subdivision;

  6. Employees of two or more hospitals. Each hospital must be an integral part of the same political subdivision; or

  7. Employees in each institution of "higher learning," (e.g., colleges, junior colleges, and teacher's colleges).

Generally, a retirement system coverage group includes: (1) all current members of the retirement system; (2) employees who are ineligible for membership; and (3) employees who can choose to become members of the retirement system.

Some States may divide a retirement system and cover only members who want coverage and new members as in §1008.

Last Revised: Jan. 25, 2007

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