NPERS Guidance:

NPERS: Information about the possible impact of COVID-19 on School Plan members and employers (MARCH 19, 2020 - updated 5/8/2020)

NPERS has a video link to help members at this time who are unable to attend seminars or visit in person.  

It allows members to pause the video to discuss what they have heard or if they want to go to the online benefit estimator as they are watching. 

OSERS Guidance:

Omaha School Employees’ Retirement System: COVID-19 Update as of March 23, 2020

Do we have to log our hours to make sure this year counts for retirement?

The Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System (NPERS) provided guidance on March 19, 2020 for reporting hours and calculating school retirement service credit for teachers in connection with the COVID-19 closure period. See here.

NPERS has determined that the stoppage of teaching service resulting from the current COVID-19 epidemic is a form of statutory leave (or paid time off “PTO”) if the teacher is paid regular wages during a period of school closure due to the epidemic. In reaching this finding, NPERS refers to Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-8,106, which states:

“In case of epidemic sickness prevailing to such an extent that the school or schools in any school district shall be closed, teachers shall be paid their usual salaries in full for such time as the school or schools shall be closed.”

Emphasis added. For these situations, NPERS has determined such leave earned by a teacher is creditable service under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-902(6)(b). Schools must report hours, compensation, and contributions tied to this statutory leave to NPERS through the normal reporting process. NPERS indicates these situations should not have a negative impact on retirement benefit amounts.

Since § 79-8,106 requires that teachers shall be paid their usual salaries in full, the only hours a school district must report to NPERS are regular hours encompassing this paid leave period. PTO due to an epidemic would be reported to NPERS in the same manner that PTO is reported to NPERS for regular leave resulting from either personal leave or sick time leave. 

Under this guidance, a teacher would not be required by NPERS to track specific work hours or how many total hours in a day an employee provided teaching service. The statute requires teachers be paid their usual salaries based upon the regular hours they would have worked had the school not been closed due to an epidemic. It is these “regular hours” that are reported to NPERS and are derived from the hours worked had the school been in regular session.

Regardless of NPERS’ requirement for reporting creditable service hours, a school district may make their own determination as to whether hours should be tracked during “work from home” situations. Barring no language to contrary in a negotiated agreement, reporting these daily work hours may be required by a school district, but such hours should not form the basis of what a school district actually reports to NPERS.


The Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System and the Omaha School Employees System have provided guidance on the possible affect of COVID-19 on school plan member retirements as follows:

The Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System (NPERS) has provided legal guidance on the possible impact of COVID-19 on school plan member retirements.That guidance can be found here.

NPERS has determined that Neb. Rev. Stat. section 79-8,106 provides statutory leave for teachers.,106. If a teacher is paid regular wages during a period of school closure due to an epidemic, then for retirement purposes creditable service is earned, and the school district must report hours, compensation and contributions to NPERS. If administrators are rendering active services, then creditable service is also earned and similar information is reported to NPERS. It is less clear regarding the impact to classified staff and hourly employees. This is because school districts are addressing classified staff in a variety of different ways. If an employee is not rendering service and receiving no compensation, the school should not report any hours, compensation or contributions. This reduction in creditable service and compensation could affect employees’ retirement benefit in multiple ways.  Please refer to the School Plan handbook on the NPERS website:

The Omaha School Employees Retirement System (OSERS) indicates it sees no impediment to processing monthly retirement payroll. OSERS staff can work remotely to access the necessary touch points to ensure the processing of monthly pension payroll. The Omaha Public Schools is working also to ensure payroll is not hindered in the event of a disruption. 

If you have questions about your retirement or you’re planning to retire:

  • NPERS members should call the NPERS office at 402-471-2053 or 800-245-5712.
  • OSERS members should call the OSERS office at 531-299-0329.