State Social Security Administrator

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Visit the State Social Security Administrator's About Us Page to learn more about the SSSA!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What does the SSSA do?

The State Social Security Administrator (SSSA)
  • assists local governments in securing Section 218 coverage for their employees,
  • assists in ensuring local governments are properly withholding and reporting Social Security and Medicare,
  • acts as a liaison with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to address coverage related issues and questions, and
  • performs education and outreach to State and political subdivision employers and employees.

What is a Section 218 Agreement?

When the Social Security Act (the Act) was enacted in 1935, Social Security coverage was limited to private sector employees. States, their political subdivisions, and interstate instrumentalities, were not originally included in this legislation. However, with the Social Security Amendments of 1950, Congress created Section 218 of the Act. Effective January 1, 1951, Social Security coverage became available to State and local government employees through a unique Federal-State agreement authorized by Section 218.

These agreements, referred to as Section 218 Agreements, are written voluntary agreement between a State and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide Social Security and Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) or Medicare coverage only for employees of State and local governments. This agreement is authorized under Section 218 of the Social Security Act. Employees covered under a Section 218 Agreement have the same coverage and benefit rights as employees in the private sector. All States have a Section 218 Agreement, but the extent of coverage varies.

When should a local government entity contact the SSSA?

Reasons to contact the SSSA include:

  • When an entity's name changes;
  • When (or prior to) a new entity is created;
  • When an entity is merging with, or separating from another: Annexation, Consolidation, and/or Dissolution;
  • When an entity is non-operational for 3 or more years;
  • When the IRS audits and requests to see an entity's Section 218 Agreement - the SSSA maintains record of all existing Montana agreements;
  • When organizing a joint educational outreach session - the SSSA assists in coordinating with the SSA and IRS;
  • To receive assistance in determining if an entity is a political subdivision;
  • To receive assistance in determining whether Mandatory Social Security and Medicare coverage is necessary or if a Section 218 Agreement is needed;
  • To receive assistance in determining what "coverage groups" (by retirement) are covered by a Section 218 Agreement - some entities may have more than one retirement system (example: most counties have some employees under PERS and some employees under SRS);
  • To receive assistance in obtaining Section 218 coverage - when an entity (or board of an entity) wishes to start paying Social Security for their employees.

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Notice of Election Worker Threshold

The election worker threshold was raised to $1700 for the 2016 calendar year. Earnings below the threshold are not taxable under Social Security, nor do such earnings count towards future benefits.

Please see: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/COLA/CovThresh.html

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   CONTACT THE SSSA

Meghann Butler Spring
MButler@mt.gov 
Phone (406) 444-2596
Fax (406) 444-9144

State Social Security Administrator
125 N. Roberts St.
Rm. 270 Mitchell Bldg.
P.O. Box 200102
Helena, MT 59620-0102

Please Note:
The SSSA acts as a liaison for local governments, the SSA, and the IRS. If you have personal benefit questions in regards to your:

Social Security, please contact your local Social Security office, which can be found at the Social Security Office Locator or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

Medicare, please contact a Medicare resource found at Helpful Medicare Contacts for Montana or by calling 1-800-633-4227.