Policy and procedure
The health care provider will invoice the extension county council for the cost of health benefits for covered employees. Invoices indicate covered individuals and the types of coverage. Verify that coverage is correct.
County councils should pay the health care provider invoices/remittances upon receipt. Employee contributions may need to be withheld from paychecks in the month prior to coverage to provide funds timely. Employee deductions must be made from net income after taxes. If a council wishes to pay the employee's share, it will not be considered a taxable benefit and thus will not be included in employee gross pay.
Each council is responsible for notifying the health care provider and the MU Extension plan administrator with any changes, terminations or employment of new secretaries to stop or change coverage.
No bills or invoices are created by the MU Extension plan administrator for the retirement plan. Each county is responsible for remitting funds each month along with the retirement remittance (XLSX) form indicating the breakdown of contributions.
Funds are due by the 20th of each month in order to be deposited with National Retirement Solutions in the same month. Additionally, secretary contributions of $25 or more must be received by the 20th of each month to receive the additional 2 percent extension contribution (no retro-active adjustments will be made). Funds received after the 20th will be deposited in the next contribution cycle. Depending on payroll schedules, it may be necessary to withhold an employee's contributions in the month prior.
All funds must be remitted to:
County Secretary Benefits — Plan Administrator
209 Whitten Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Each county extension council that deducts medical, dental or vision insurance premiums from a county secretary's pay check should have a cafeteria plan on file in the county office. MU Extension has a boilerplate cafeteria plan document (DOC) that may used. If a county extension council currently has a cafeteria plan and is satisfied with the current plan, then there is no need to complete the MU Extension cafeteria plan document. We also recommend an Enrollment Opt-In or Opt-Out form (DOC) be completed and retained in the county office files.
Notify the MU Extension plan administrator in the event of the following:
- A new secretary is hired.
- A secretary leaves employment.
- A secretary's hours increase to more than 30 hours per week, (.75 FTE) or decrease to less than 30 hours per week, thus changing their eligibility for MU Extension-sponsored benefits.
- A secretary goes on a leave of absence without pay.
Courtesy appointments are required for individuals associated with, but not employed by, University of Missouri Extension and who need access to Outlook, share drives, business portal and Web applications. County office support staff (i.e., secretaries, bookkeepers, etc.), some volunteers, VISTA members, etc. are part of this group. The Courtesy Appointment Portal (CARREQ) was created to obtain the information needed to process these appointments.
Only individuals with a university pawprint and password may access the Courtesy Appointment Portal. The new individual's supervisor (or designee) should enter the required information.
Because of the time involved in establishing a Courtesy Appointment (including obtaining the requested computer access), we strongly recommend the supervisors enter the data as soon as possible. If possible, the information should be entered prior to the individual’s actual start date.
Supervisors will access the CARREQ portal at https://extweb.missouri.edu/CARREQ/ and select Request CAR to begin the process for new associates. When the connect screen appears, type the domain name (um-users) with your pawprint, then your password. For instance, Bert Jones might enter:
User name: um-users\jonesb
Courtesy Appointment Portal (CARREQ) Instructions (DOC) — guidelines to request new CAR for new courtesy appointments
Edit Your CAR Guideline (DOCX) — review and amend existing appointments
Sample Edit Your CAR (DOCX) screen
Sample Information Update Form for County Secretary (DOCX)
Notify the MU Extension plan administrator as soon as possible of a leave without pay situation.
The health care program requires that the employee continue to pay the premium even if on an unpaid leave of absence (LOA) to keep health care coverage in force. As long as the secretary/county pays the employee/county costs, MU Extension will pay the subsidy. If the county secretary and/or county do not continue to pay their portion of the health premium, the MU Extension subsidy will start again when the secretary is working at least .75 FTE, or a minimum of 30 hours per week.
Example: Jillian, a county secretary, goes on leave without pay on June 15. Extension pays the health care subsidy for June. If Jillian does not return to work until Aug.15, extension will not pay the subsidy for July, but will pay the subsidy for August.
Extension will temporarily discontinue paying the monthly contribution into the 401(a) plan while the employee is on a leave without pay. The county secretary's supervisor should notify the plan administrator when the county secretary begins and ends an unpaid leave so that contributions end and begin in accordance with the unpaid leave.
Contact the MU Extension plan administrator whenever an enrollment occurs and the effective date of the enrollment.
County extension councils who participate in the plan are responsible for contacting and enrolling eligible secretaries.
County extension councils may contract with non-MCHCP health care providers for employer-sponsored health insurance and receive the MU Extension subsidy.
MU Extension plan administrator must be notified of the effective date of enrollment in an employer-sponsored health plan before the subsidy can be provided.
An enrollment must be completed before any secretary, county or extension contribution may be made.
A secretary may enroll in the plan prior to meeting the MU Extension one year vesting requirement. To enroll, go to the NRS website and select "Enroll." Secretaries may enroll online or elect to complete a paper form (select appropriate link on the website). Employer ID is 0038730. If enrolling online, notify the MU Extension Benefits Office that an online enrollment has been completed. If completing a paper enrollment, send a copy of the completed enrollment document to the MU Extension plan administrator.
Each spring MU Extension updates county secretary salary figures used to estimate extension contributions to the 401(a) retirement plan. To access the verification form, secretaries must access https://extweb.missouri.edu/CARREQ/ Courtesy appointment request (CAR) and select "Update Your CAR." Secretary verification forms are due March 15. If verifications are not received by March 15, the previous year's rate will continue to be used until the information is received and processed. Late verifications take effect the month following receipt. Changes in salary occurring at other times of the year take effect at the next verification period following the change. There is only one opportunity per year to verify salary figures.