Member Search/Edit

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Page last updated 7/20/20

The Member Search/Edit page provides the following functions. You may click one of the blue links to jump to the description of that procedure.

A way to search the entire TRS membership database to determine whether a new employee is already a Montana TRS member

A page on which to edit demographic information for your employees who are already TRS members

A way to ADD a new employee to TRS manually, if they are not already a TRS member. (Note: This usually is not required if you upload your monthly reports from your payroll system.)

A means to delete a TRS membership record that may have been created manually in error

 

arrow_green_16x16 TIP:  Do you have new hires? Use Member Search/Edit to easily confirm whether they are already TRS members. Follow the "Search by SSN" instructions below.

For a description of each status, jump to the Member Status section.

 


Member Search/Edit

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Search by SSN [RECOMMENDED] to determine whether a new employee is a TRS member

Type the employee's full SSN (you can use the format 123456789 or 123-45-6789), then click Find.

You may search by the last 4 digits of the SSN, but this is likely to return a list of several possible matches, as explained later in this section.

 

If no match is found, you will see the message "No record on file for SSN."  (Make sure you have typed the correct SSN!)

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In this case, you have two options for establishing a membership record with TRS:

oYou may manually create a membership record by clicking the web_plus_add_icon ("Add New Member to TRS") button on the right side. See the procedure, Add Member (Create New TRS Member Record).

oOr, you can simply upload your monthly Wage & Contribution report with your new employee's demographic and wage information. A membership record will be created automatically.

 

If an exact match is found, review the person's Member Status:

 

Member Status is displayed near the top of the Member Search/Edit page after you have found the person you searched for:

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What does the Member Status mean?

If Active, Terminated - Non-Vested, Terminated - Vested, or Dormant:

This is a TRS member who must be reported from the first day of employment.

o"Terminated" means no wages have been reported to TRS for at least six months, but the member still has contributions on account. (The "Dormant" status is seen very rarely.) When you submit your Wage & Contribution report, TRS staff will update the status to Active.

 

If Retired:

Limited information will be shown on the screen.

Warning-20 IMPORTANT! Before a retired member may provide service (including volunteer service) in a TRS-reportable position, several requirements must be met. See the TRS Fact Sheet Working After Retirement, and other Fact Sheets referenced within it. (All Fact Sheets are available on the TRS website: trs.mt.gov)

Warning-20 TRS Form 146 also must be completed by the employer and the working retiree each year.

 

If Terminated - Cashed Out:

This employee will be treated as a new member of TRS. ("Cashed out" means s/he was previously employed in a TRS-reportable position but withdrew membership and contributions.)

You must report wages from the first day of employment, unless s/he has been hired as a substitute teacher or part-time teacher's aide/paraprofessional and has elected on TRS Form 106 not to participate from the first day of employment.

 

If Member - Non-member:

This employee is/was a member of the Montana University System Retirement Plan. The University System provides basic information to TRS to prevent dual enrollment of these employees.

Warning-20 You must call TRS if your new employee has this "Non-member" status. Our staff must determine whether they now are eligible to participate in TRS. If eligible, TRS must update the member status; otherwise, you will get an error message on your Wage & Contribution report.

 

arrow_green_16x16 TIP: Call TRS with any questions. We're here to help!

 

If you searched for only the last 4 digits of the SSN:

The system may return a list of potential matches. In fact, it might return more than one result for the same individual! This is OK; usually it means the same person has worked for multiple TRS employers.

If your organization has reported wages for this person in the last 12 months, you will be able to see their full SSN. Otherwise, only the last 4 digits will be shown in the list of possible matches.

 

web_WC_Member_Search_results

arrow_green_16x16 TIP: Click the round button on the right side to view details for that person on the Member Search/Edit screen. (If the person has more than one record, it doesn't matter which of their records you select.)

 

If the SSN matches, but the name does not:

Follow instructions on the screen. This might require a name or SSN correction in your payroll system or in the TRS system.

 


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Member Lookup

Search by name to find an employee's TRS membership record

1.Click the Lookup button. The Member Lookup page displays.

 

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2.If you want to search all TRS members (not just those associated with your Employer ID), make sure there is nothing in the Employer field.

If your Employer ID is typed in that field, the Lookup function will not search the entire TRS database. It will search only within your wage and contribution records.

 

3.Enter at least one character in at least one of the Name fields. The more characters you enter, the more limited the search will be.

For more tips on using the Lookup page, see the topic, "Find" and "Lookup" functions.

 

4.Click the Search button. If the search criteria you entered matches any existing TRS member records, those potential matches are displayed.

The first 5 digits of the SSN are disguised (e.g., XXX-XX-6789) if the member is not tied to your Employer ID.

 

5.If you find the person you are looking for, select them by clicking either their name or the round button on the far right side.  

arrow_green_16x16 TIP: The list of results may include multiple rows for the same person. This is okay; selecting any of their records will show their current membership information on the Member Search/Edit page.

 

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TRS status is shown for the employer's reference

 

If this member has been reported to TRS by your employer ID in the last 12 months, an Edit button is available in the upper right corner of the page. The Edit button accesses the Edit Member page, described below.

Otherwise, if the member "belongs" to another employer or has not been reported by you recently, you will not be allowed to edit the record on this screen. (You may still report wages for them in your Wage & Contribution report.)

If retired, the member's retirement date is displayed:

Web_WC_Member_Search_Edit_RetireDate

 


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Edit Member

You may need to use this page if there is invalid or missing demographic information for an employee in your monthly report.

arrow_green_16x16 TIP: Employers may only access this page for employees they have recently reported to TRS.

Once you have selected the member record using Find or Lookup, as described above, click the Edit this Member Web_WC_edit_icon (pencil) icon in the upper right corner of the Member Search/Edit page to update information.

All fields except Date Hired may be updated.

Fields without an asterisk (*) can be left blank if appropriate.

 

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Field Names and Descriptions

 

*Last Name and *First Name: The employee's last and first name as currently appears in his or her TRS membership record. These fields are required.

Middle Name / Suffix: The TRS member's middle name or initial, and their suffix (e.g., Jr., Sr.), if any. This field is not required.

*Work Status: A drop-down list of possible status types, including Full Time, Part Time, Hourly, and Working Retiree.

*Birth Date: Drop-down lists for the month, day, and year of the member's birth.

*Gender: A drop-down list for gender.

*Date Hired: A non-editable field that displays the date of the employee's most recent hire date in a full-time, TRS-reportable position.

*Address: The current mailing address (street or PO Box) on file with TRS for this employee.

*City, State, Zip Code: The current city, state, and zip on file with TRS for this employee.

 

USPS Validation: Anytime you click Save on this screen, the system communicates with a USPS service that confirms whether the address exists. The process also applies USPS standard formatting and corrects the spelling of street names and other address elements. If the validation process has made corrections, you will not be able to undo them.

 

If the address is not valid, an error message displays. Please confirm the mailing address with your employee and make corrections as needed. It is important that TRS have a valid delivery address for every member.

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Warning-20 As a last resort: You may use the USPS Validation Override check box to save an invalid address. THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED for obvious reasons. However, we provide this ability for rare instances in which the error is caused by outdated information in the USPS database.

Web_WC_Add_Member_error-AddrValidation_Override-box

 

Home Phone, Cell Phone: Fields for recording the employee's home phone OR cell phone, or both.

Warning-20 Note: As of December 2018, at least one phone number (Home OR Cell) is required.

 

Alternate Phone: Optional fields for entering an alternate phone number.

Work Phone / Ext: Fields for entering the employee's work number and extension, if any. These fields are not required.

Email Address: The employee's email address. This field is not required.

Marital Status: A drop-down list for the employee's marital status. This field is not required.

Marital Status Date: Drop-down lists for the month, day, and year of the marital status noted above. This is not required.

 

Update your employee's TRS membership information

1.Update any or all of the above fields, making sure that all required fields are complete.

2.Click Save to store the updates. Or, if no changes are made, click the Up arrow Web_WC_up_icon in the upper right corner to return to the previous page without saving.

 


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Add Member to TRS (Create a new TRS member record)

There are two ways to add a new employee to the TRS member database:

 

Many employers upload a report produced from their payroll system. This typically creates a new membership record for new employees who are not already TRS members. If your report is missing any required demographic information for the employee, such as SSN, address, TRS work status, or birth date, error messages appear when you edit (i.e., validate) the report.

 

If you don't use the Upload Report function in the Wage & Contribution system to create reports (OR if you simply want to create a new employee's TRS membership record ahead of time), you may use the Add Member to TRS process described below. This helps to avoid errors due to missing demographic data in your upload report.

 

It is your responsibility to submit all necessary forms for new members and to ensure all requirements have been met. Please review the Employers section of the Forms page on the TRS website.

 

1.Click the Add Member to TRS web_plus_add_icon (plus sign) button on the Member Search/Edit page to access the Add Member to TRS page (1 of 2).

arrow_green_16x16 TIP: In September 2017 this function was enhanced. Now, when you enter an employee's SSN, name and birth date, the system not only checks for existing members (such as teachers) but also checks to see if the employee is listed in the TRS database with a non-member role (such as the beneficiary of another member). This change helps to avoid the creation of multiple records for the same individual. Follow the steps below carefully.

 

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2.Carefully type your new employee's SSN and press the Tab key.

 

If TRS has a member with the same SSN, an error message displays.

 

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Warning-20 Important: First, make sure you have correctly typed the employee's SSN. If the SSN is correct, this means TRS already has a membership record for that person. Exit this screen and add the employee to your Employer Report instead.

 

If no error displays, proceed to Step 3.

 

3.Enter the employee's Last Name, First Name, Gender, and Birth Date. You can also enter a middle name or suffix, if desired. Press Continue.

 

Now the system checks to see if this employee is already known to TRS as a non-member; for example, he or she could be the beneficiary of another member.

Warning-20 Possible error messages:

oIf the SSN matches a person in the TRS database but the birth date does not match, the system will not allow you to continue. Contact TRS to determine whose information is correct so that the data can be updated appropriately.

oIf the SSN and birth date match but the name does not match, the message on this screen will display the name on file with TRS. Please ask the employee to confirm that TRS has up-to-date information. If their first, middle, or last names differ from those on file with TRS, your report will not update the TRS database and the member will have to submit a Change of Name form to update it.

 

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Example of last name discrepancy. Confirm spelling with your employee before proceeding to New Member - Page 2 of 2.

 

4.On Page 2 of 2, complete all required fields marked with an asterisk, AND provide at least one phone number (Home or Cell).

 

arrow_green_16x16 TIPS:

oDate Hired means the month and year in which the employee began working in your TRS-reportable position. Call TRS if you need help determining the correct date of hire. This date is important for calculating the employee's TRS service credit.

oSee note about USPS address validation, below.

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USPS Validation: Anytime you click Save on this screen, the system communicates with a USPS service that confirms whether the address exists. The process also applies USPS standard formatting and corrects minor errors, such as a misspelled street name. If the validation process has made corrections, you will not be able to undo them.

 

If the address is not valid, an error message displays. Please confirm the mailing address with your employee, make corrections as needed, and click Save again. It is important that TRS have a valid delivery address for every member.

Click to view larger image. (Click again to close.)

 

Warning-20 As a last resort: You may use the USPS Validation Override check box to save the invalid address. THIS IS NOT RECOMMENDED for obvious reasons; however, we provide this ability for rare instances in which the error is caused by outdated information in the USPS database.

Web_WC_Add_Member_error-AddrValidation_Override-box

 

5.Click the Save button to validate the address and create the new member record.

 

If an address validation error is displayed, you will need to correct the address and click Save again.

No member record will be stored until you have clicked Save with no error messages.

 

arrow_green_16x16 TIP: If you create a new TRS member record in error, you can delete it as long as no wages have been reported for that SSN. See the procedure below, Delete a new TRS member record created in error.

 

 


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Delete a new TRS member record created in error

Use this procedure to delete a new employee who was added to TRS in error using the Add Member to TRS screen (above).

 

This may happen if, for example:

You added a new employee to TRS with the wrong SSN or Date Hired.

You added a new employee to TRS but they are not working in a TRS-reportable position.

 

Warning-20 Important!  If contributions have been reported to TRS under this member record, the system will not allow you to delete it.

 

If no contributions exist for the member:

 

1.Go to the Member Search/Edit page and use the Find or Lookup fields to locate the employee record that needs to be deleted.

A member must be associated with your Employer ID to be edited or deleted.

 

2.Click the Edit this Member Web_WC_edit_icon button. The Edit Member page displays.

 

3.Click the Delete button to delete the entire member record.

 

NOTE: If you are deleting the member due because you typed an incorrect SSN or Date Hired when adding the member, follow the Create new TRS member record procedure above to re-add them with the correct information.

 


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