We have reviewed Oklahoma Modification No. 1140, which is an error Modification to
properly extend coverage to the employees of the Pittsburg Public Schools, District
I63, effective March 31, 1997, except as otherwise provided for under Section 218(n)
of the Social Security Act (the Act), to Health Insurance only coverage. The documents
you sent with the file for review reflect that the Pittsburg Public Schools, District
I63, filed wage reports and contributions under the Federal Insurance Contributions
Act beginning with the period ending March 31, 1997, with the belief that such action
would result in coverage of these employees under the Act.
The file also contains a certification of Referendum, which shows that wages were
reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for each succeeding period after the
period ending with March 31, 1997.
In accordance with section 218(e)(2) of the Act, March 31, 1997, the first day of
the first period for which the erroneous reports were made to the IRS, is the date
which controls retroactivity of coverage under the agreement.
The services covered by Oklahoma Modification No. 1140 include services performed
by individuals as employees of the Pittsburg Public Schools, District I63, as members
of a coverage group (as defined in Section 218(d)(4) of the Social Security Act) of
the Retirement System designated as the Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma (as
defined by section 218(d)(6)(C) of the Act).
As is required under Section 218(d)(7) of the Act, Governor Keating of the State of
Oklahoma certified to the Social Security Administration that the following conditions
have been met:
(a) A referendum by written ballot was held on February 16, 1999, for the Pittsburg
Public School, District I-63, on the question of whether positions under the Teachers'
Retirement System should be excluded from or included under an Agreement for Health
Insurance Only Coverage (HI) under Section 218 (n) of the Act;
(b) An opportunity to vote in such referendum was given and was limited to eligible
employees of the retirement system;
(c) Not less than ninety days notice of such referendum was given to all such employees;
(d) Such referendum was conducted under the supervision of the Department of Human
Services, duly designated by the Director, Department of Human Services, State of
Oklahoma, to conduct such referendum; and
(e) A majority of the eligible employees voted in favor of including service in positions
covered by the Teacher Retirement System of Oklahoma under the Agreement entered into
on December 14, 1950, by the State of Oklahoma and the Commissioner of Social Security
to provide Health Insurance Coverage only under Section 218(n) of the Act.
In accordance with Section 218(e)(2) of the Social Security Act, March 31, 1997, is
the date which controls who is covered for the retroactive period.
As provided by Section 218(a) of the Act, the Commissioner shall, upon request, extend
the insurance system to services performed by employees of any State or political
subdivision thereof. Section 218(b)(2) of the Act defines the term “political subdivision” to include, “[A]n instrumentality of (A) a State, (B) one or
more political subdivisions of a State, or (C) a State and one or more
of its political subdivisions.”
According to Oklahoma Statutes Annotated, Title 51 § 152(8)(b)(1999), a school district
is a political subdivision of the State. Also, we have previously stated that a public
school is a recognized political subdivision of the State under Oklahoma law and within
the meaning of §218(b)(2) of the Act. (Reference: Our memorandum regarding Oklahoma
Modification No. 1062, dated January 22, 1987).
Accordingly, we have no legal objection to either the substance or form of the Modification,
and in our opinion, it may be approved.