17) How is longevity/retiree/hazard duty month of service credited each month? Why do some employees have more that one?
Longevity Pay was implemented in 1982 by the State of Texas as an additional benefit to reward long-term employees for their service. Over the years the regulations governing the payment of this item have been changed and refined as experience and need has arisen.
The basic premise behind Longevity was that for each month of service (work) for the state, an employee would receive a month of service credit. Upon the completion of 5 years (initial program), the employee would be eligible for an additional $20 per month. Upon completion of each additional 5 year increment, an additional $20 per month was earned. Effective in September 2001, the basis for the program was changed from a five (5) year basis to a three (3) year basis. In September 2005, the program was changed again to a two (2) year basis.
The concept above sounded simple, but a basic sticky point has continued to be what constitutes a month of service. Initially, working any portion of a month was sufficient to earn credit for that month.
Effective in June 1987, the state modified the eligibility and payment calculations for longevity and hazard duty pay. Prior to this date, employees received either one or the other and months of state service were accumulated without regard as to the type of job an employee performed. Since that date, months of state service and hazard duty months are accumulated and maintained separately. Basically the same rules apply to the accumulation of both Longevity and Hazard Duty months of service. If an employee has a job eligible for hazard duty pay, then the months of state service are credited here and not credited toward longevity pay. The Hazard Duty status code controls where a month of state service is credited. If the code is 'Y', then the month is credited to Hazard Duty.
Effective in March 1995, the calculation of months service credit was modified to only accumulate a month of service if the employee's original employment start date occurred prior to or on the first day of the month being processed. Otherwise, the employee was not given credit until the next month for the service completed. The intent was to insure that the employee had completed a full month (defined as the same date from one month to the next) of service prior to being granted a month of service.
Effective in April 2003, the process of crediting months of service was further refined to look at the first working day of the month, as opposed to the actual first day of the month. If the employee was employed (started work) on the first day of the month or the first working day of the month, then a month of service credit is given for the entire month.
The state requires that state service be determined by counting actual days, months and years of employment with the state. In some cases, the A&M System awarded employees a full month of service credit for the month of hire, even if the employee did not work the entire month. In addition, for employees who had a break in service, the last partial month of employment may have been counted as a full month of service (instead of recording actual days paid).
Effective June 2005, a new field was established to maintain months of service awarded after an employee retirees. For employees who retired after this date, this service is used to calculate their annual leave accrual. They are no longer entitled to have their leave accrual based on their total state service. A Longevity Eligibility Status Code of ‘F’ or ‘R’ will cause the month of service to be credited in the Retirement (RET) months of service field. Otherwise, it will be added to the Longevity (LNG) months of service field.
Currently, an employee can receive both longevity and hazard duty if he is in a hazard duty position and has completed at least two years of state service in jobs outside of those eligible for hazard duty pay. However, the longevity months of service will not change until the employee terminates his job eligible for hazard duty pay. (Refer to #18, Example #2)
When an employee transfers to a non-hazard duty position, the hazard duty months of service should be zeroed out and the longevity months increased by the hazard duty months of service. Also, the hazard duty deduction code MUST be changed to N. Similarly, new employees eligible for hazard duty pay with previous state service eligible for this pay should have this service identified and entered separately into the B/P/P System.
When an employee starts to work in a position eligible for hazard duty pay, the Hazard Duty Pay Eligibility Flag should be changed to a Y, even though he will not receive hazard duty pay until he has completed twelve (12) months of service. This will allow for the proper accumulation of months of service.
To pay hazard duty to an employee, make the necessary entry on Screen 324. Additionally, the hazard duty deduction code and months of state service must be entered on Screen 101 of Personnel Maintenance.
This page was last updated on 05/09/2011