Employer Self Service Frequently Asked Questions
Security and Information Access
Who assigns user names and security access levels for ESS?
A: MainePERS issues a user name and initial password to employer Security Administrators at each employer. In turn, each Security Administrator initiates the process to set up individual employer users which includes determining levels of access to the employer’s data. Specifics on how to add individual employer users are detailed in the ESS User Guide for Employers.
Who do I contact if I cannot connect to the ESS website?
A: Depending on the issue, your employer’s IT support person may be able to help you. Or, contact MainePERS for general assistance and system specification requirements. System specification requirements are on the ESS Guides page of the Employer Section of the MainePERS website.
Who do I contact if I lock myself out of the system or need different security?
A: If you are the Security Administrator, please call MainePERS Employer Services at 1-800-451-9800. If you are a general user for your employer, please contact your employer’s Security Administrator.
If I am responsible for more than one Employer Code (for example Teacher and PLD School Support) can I have access to both Employers under one user name?
A: No. Each different employer will require a separate user name. However, a user can access more than one location under the same employer.
I work at the school but submit data for the school support that is under the Town. How do I get access to both employers?
A: The Security Administrator for the school will issue you user access to the school employer location. The Security Administrator for the Town/City will need to provide you with a different user name to access the school support employer location.
Does an employer have the ability to limit their own users’ access to certain groups of employees within the same employer location?
A: No, a user has access, based upon the privileges granted, to all employees under that employer location.
Can ESS user privileges be removed from the system?
A: Yes. An employer’s Security Administrator has the necessary security access to ESS in order to add, delete or change privileges of a user. MainePERS will have the authority to add, delete or change privileges of a Security Administrator.
If I submit a form on-line through the ESS system, do I need to send MainePERS a paper copy?
Does MainePERS need the employee to sign a form like the Application for Membership?
A: MainePERS does not require an employee’s signature on any form submitted through ESS. The employer, however, may be responsible to obtain an employee’s authorization before submitting the form. You may wish to print a copy of the form and have the employee sign it for your internal records.
Member Beneficiary Forms are not listed in ESS?
A: Beneficiary forms are member forms, not employer forms. Members should submit paper beneficiary forms directly to MainePERS. If a claim is made, MainePERS will rely only on choices documented by forms we have on file.
If I submit an Application for Membership in ESS, does the member information update immediately so that I can report that member on payroll?
A: Yes, in most cases.
Do I need to submit an Application for Membership on an employee who is declining membership?
What should an employer do to change from manually entering payroll data in ESS to uploading a payroll file electronically?
A: Let your payroll vendor know that you want to change to the electronic payroll filing format (EPF). Then, contact MainePERS. We will work with you and/or your vendor.
What should I do if the system will not allow me to process my file because of “errors”?
A: The Validation Guides for EPF and Manual Payroll Filing will help you decide what data must be corrected. And, Employer Services Technicians can also assist you with interpreting error and exception messages.
Is it possible for my payroll vendor to upload payroll data on my behalf?
A: Yes. Your employer’s Security Administrator would be responsible for giving the vendor security access by establishing the vendor as a user. You should also consider who will make corrections, if needed, to the file during the validation process. That is up to you. Even if your vendor uploads your file and makes corrections as needed, it’s the responsibility of each employer to ensure the accuracy of data reported and ensure timely payments of contributions.
If one payroll person is responsible for submitting more than one payroll report, such as a Town/City and a School Support, can these reports be combined?
A: No. Each employer location must be reported separately.
If I discover that data on a previously submitted payroll was incorrect, how do I report this and who corrects the incorrect data?
A: You must submit a Payroll Adjustment Form through ESS. These forms can be found in the Forms area of ESS. Based on the information submitted on your Payroll Adjustment Form, MainePERS will adjust your employee’s record.
Am I required to submit payment by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)?
A: Electronic payments ( EFT) are requried beginning December 03, 2020. Until then, if you do pay by check, please mail payment (along with a copy of your Remittance Report) to P.O. Box 349, Augusta, ME 04332-0349.
Do I need to mail a copy of my Remittance Report with my check?
A: Yes, including your Remittance Report is helpful if you pay by check.
Does a payment identifier need to be included on a payment not related to payroll filing?
A: Yes, whether or not your payment is related to payroll, please do clearly identify on your check (or with your EFT payment) what your payment is for.
Will the Remittance Report show me a breakdown of the amount due for the payroll submitted?
User Security for School Employees who are submitting School Support information
I am a school employee but I also submit reports for our school support staff (actually employees of the town and members of participating local district). How do I get security access so I can report on the school support staff?
A: Contact the security administrator for your town or city to set you up with security for this PLD school support location. They’ll also give you a distinct user name and password.
Rate Schedule Numbers: EPF vs Membership Applications
In my electronic payroll report when I enter a rate schedule number per instructions in the EPF manual I use six digits. Example: 000001 for regular contributions. When I go to enter this number on a member application I get a message saying that the rate schedule number is invalid.
A: Omit the zeroes when entering the number on the membership application. Example: 1 for regular contributions.
Group Life Insurance
Who do I make my check out to when paying my GLI premiums?
A: Your check can be made payable to MainePERS and should include the identifier on your invoice. Electronic transfer of funds is also available.
How do I know how much the monthly premiums will be for my employees?
A: MainePERS provides a calculator on our website which can be used to calculate the monthly premiums for your employee.
If I am collecting more money in premiums from my employees than you are requesting can I send the extra money?
A: Generally this will be employees who work during the school year and do not get paid in the summer. You cannot send the extra to MainePERS when you collect it but will need to retain it to pay your invoice in the July and August.
How do I know what date to put on the Application for Coverage as the “Date Applicant First Eligible?”
A: This is generally the date the employee is hired, if the employee is hired directly into and eligible position. If the employee is going from an ineligible position to an eligible position then it would be the date the employee changed positions. The system is going to use this date to determine when the employee’s coverage is effective.
We would like to address any questions you may have about Employer Self Service (ESS). Contact MainePERS Employer Services Unit at (207) 512-3200, or by email [email protected].