Finance & Payroll
The Finance Department oversees district budgets, payroll, and reimbursements, such as mileage and travel. We also provide resources for fundraising. Lastly, Paper Tiger is our in-district print shop which falls under the finance umbrella.
- In-District Travel Reimbursement
- Out-of-District Statement of Travel Expenditures
- Pension Plans
- Option 403(b) / 457
Staff members traveling inside the Rochester School District must complete an In-District Travel Reimbursement form.
How to submit an In-District Travel Reimbursement Form:
- Download the Reimbursement Form for July 2020-June 2021
- Fill out name, assignment, school, and home address at the top of the sheet.
- Fill out the date that travel occurred for each trip; if you are traveling to multiple sites per day, fill out a line for each trip.
- Select the sites by double clicking the cell to first selecting the site you left from and then where you went to. If the site you went to is not on the list, please select other; if other is selected (for either site) you will have to manually fill in the amount of miles in the "Other Site Miles" column.
- Select whether it is a round trip or not by double-clicking that cell and selecting yes or no.
- Add notes to justify what the trip was for; notes are required when other site is selected.
- Excel will fill out the other columns as necessary.
- Enter the account code at the bottom of the form sheet that you should be paid from. You can enter this code while in Excel, or write it after printing if you prefer. If you do not know the code, your supervisor should be able to fill it out when approving.
- Once all trips are filled out and the form is complete, print the form. If additional pages were needed, select those as well by holding control and clicking on each sheet that was used.
- After the form is printed, Sign and date at the bottom of page 1 and turn all pages into your supervisor for their signature.
- Once the form is completed by your supervisor, it will be sent to Edison for reimbursement.
Staff members traveling outside of the Rochester School District must complete a Skyward time-off request (including travel on non-duty days).The request must be approved prior to travel by the employee's department head. Reimbursement will necessarily cover all of the staff member's expenses. Reimbursement for costs incurred will be made after travel is completed.
How to submit Out-of-District Travel Expenditures:
- Collect all receipts from travel
- Download the Expenditure Form for October 2020-June 2021
- Complete the form and attach the original receipts for documentation
- Turn in your form and attached receipts to your supervisor for approval
Under any mode of travel it is expected that the reimbursement allowance will be for no more than the actual cost. Airline travel (see below), in most cases, is booked through the District Accounting Office. Airfare will be limited to tourist or coach fare unless these rates are not available. Automobile travel will be reimbursed at the current IRS mileage rate, up to the cost of airfare for out-of-state travel.
Airline Travel Process:
- Airfare must be authorized by the Administrator responsible for funding and a RPS cabinet member:
- Traveler should email Administrator with trip information, then Administrator will forward onto cabinet member.
Once both approvals are gathered ticket can be purchased in two ways:
- District Travel Agency:
- Email Nancy Mielke (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain an authorization number by providing the trip information (dates, destination, people), account code, and authorization (who approved it).
- Nancy will email back an authorization number.
- Staff member can then call Corporate Travel (282-9121) to make travel arrangements. No ticket will be issued without authorization number.
- Online Airfare:
- Staff member makes arrangements and pays for airfare tickets online.
- Airline payment is reimbursed using the Statement of Travel Expenditures Form and proof of payment which must be attached to this form.
- All airline tickets must be at Economy Rate - any upgrades would be at staff member's expense.
- Extra days to receive lower airfare and/or cost savings are at the expense of the staff member, without prior approval.
The cost of taxi or limousine service from the airport or station to the principal point of destination (e.g. the headquarters hotel, the school administration building, etc.), and the return trip from the principal point of destination to the airport or station, and appropriate School District travel expenses at the destination may be reimbursed with a receipt.
The meal reimbursement allowance will be for actual expenditures up to a maximum based on the city of travel. Per Diem maximum rates are based on the MN Commissioner's Plan for Federal programs ($9/breakfast, $11/lunch, and $16/dinner in Minnesota and most other locations; $11/breakfast, $13/lunch, and $20/dinner in specified metro areas) and US General Services Administration for non federal programs. Incidental expenses are included in the Commissioner's Plan and US General Services Administration Plan. Rates including tips/gratuities for out-of-District travel. Itemized receipts are required. All expenses should be itemized daily as to number and total amount. Cost of alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed.
Lodging will be reimbursed based on documented expenses incurred for room, parking and required taxes only. Internet access fees and telephone calls are not reimbursable lodging expenses. Employees are encouraged to share accommodations whenever possible. The employee must provide a copy of the bills marked "PAID". No allowances can be paid for other than motels and hotels. When an employee and non-employee, spouse or other family member occupy a double room, the reimbursement is for the rate of single occupancy in a standard room. Additional costs for upgraded accommodations will be at employee expense.
- Complete the fundraising approval form.
- Submit the form to your school administrator.
- The administration will maintain accurate records of all fundraising activities. This information will be collected annually by the Business Services Office to be included in an annual report to the School Board.
EXAMPLES OF FUNDRAISING
- Go Fund Me
- Donors Choose
- Adopt A Classroom
- Give MN. ORG
- Amazon Wishlist
Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA) is available only to contracted employees. New employees may enroll immediately, within 90 days of hire.
PERA offers voluntary life insurance for PERA members. Open enrollment is October 1st - November 30th.
You are able to participate in a tax-sheltered investment program through the payroll deduction method as authorized under Section 403(b) and Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code.
You can contribute your own dollars. For information regarding matching funds, please see individual employment agreements and collective bargaining agreements.
Employees who are enrolled as students and regularly attending classes offered by the Rochester Public Schools.
How to Enroll:
- Chose a company from the vendor list
- Complete the Salary Reduction Agreement Form
To Change Your Account:
- Fill out the 403(b) Exchanges, Transfers, and Rollovers
- Have form signed by our Third Party Administrator
403(b) Vendors with Advisors
- Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
- Aspire Financial Services
- EFS Advisors
- FTJ Fund Choice
- Horace Mann
- Thrivent Financial
- Waddell & Reed
403(b) Vendors without Advisors
- Aspire Financial Services
- Minnesota State Retirement System
- How much may I contribute to my Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan?
- When can I make changes to my Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan?
- Is there a deadline to turn in my Salary Reduction Agreement Form?
- Does my agent have to sign the Salary Reduction Agreement Form?
- How do I stop my Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan deduction?
- What is considered the Plan Year?
- Will my contribution amount be on my W-2 form?
- How do I sign up for Fidelity?
- How do I sign up for Vanguard?
You must contribute at least $25 per month. If you qualify for a matching contribution through your Union Contract, and you sign up for the match, you must contribute at least the amount the District is matching per month.
Current IRS Contribution Limits: 2021 = $19,500.00
If you are 50 years old or older you may participate in the Age 50 catch-up plan as per Internal Revenue Service regulations. The maximum for 2021 is $6,500.00
If you have worked for the District for 15 years, you may also qualify for the 15-year catch-up provision if you have contributed on average less than $5,000 per year during your time with the District. The maximum for 2021 is $3,000.
If you qualify for both the age 50 catch-up and the 15-year catch-up provisions, the 2021 maximum is a total of $29,000.
Staff members must sign up with Fidelity directly. There is no agent; the School District only authorizes Vanguard as a vendor.
Staff members must start by creating an account and have an Fidelity account number before turning in your Salary Reduction Agreement Form to Payroll.
How to sign up:
- Set up account by: calling 1-800-343-0860 or go online to: https://nbacctopen.fidelity.com
- Use our plan number 66834 on your application
- Mail your paper application to Fidelity
- Once account is set up through the mail, we ask that you print off a confirmation form from Fidelity to verify this has been set up
- To setup a username and password after your account has been opened through the mail, go to this page: https://login.fidelity.com/ftgw/Fas/Fidelity/NBPart/IdentifyUser/Init
Staff members must sign up with Vanguard directly. There is no agent; the School District only authorizes Vanguard as a vendor.
Staff members must start by creating an account and have an Vanguard account number before turning in your Salary Reduction Agreement Form to Payroll.
How to sign up:
- Setup an account by going online: https://investor.vanguard.com/403b-plans/participant
- Click on Fill out an application about halfway down the page.
- Click on Fill out my 403(b) plan application.
- From the list, Please select your employer - Be sure to choose: VG01140 – Rochester ISD #535. Please be careful not to choose “Rochester School District” which is a different public school system.
- Click Enter Your Personal Information.
- Fill in your personal information.
- Click Review Your Information.
- Click Sign Your Agreement.
- Click Here to Sign.
- The application will be reviewed by Vanguard. They will notify you with next steps to complete your online enrollment.