Public Employees Social Security

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Welcome to the
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s
Public Employees’ Social Security (PESS)
Program’s Home Page.

The State of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is proud to offer this Web site as a handy, quick reference tool for public employers and their employees, attorneys, accountants, auditors, payroll officials, finance officials, and others who need information about Social Security and Medicare (hospital insurance) requirements for state and local government employees. This Web site is designed to help anyone who is confused about Social Security and Medicare coverage, benefits, and tax withholding requirements for state and local (public) employees, or who does not have the time to research the complex laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines involved with state and local Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA), Social Security, and Medicare matters.

The Colorado Public Employees’ Social Security (PESS) Program is responsible for administering the Social Security and Medicare coverage program for all state and local (public) governmental employers throughout the State of Colorado. A significant part of the Colorado PESS Program’s responsibilities is to assist all of Colorado’s public employers by serving as a facilitator and communication bridge between those employers and the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which are the two principal federal agencies responsible for coverage, benefits, and tax withholding associated with Social Security and Medicare.

While this Web site is part of the State of Colorado’s Homepage and includes examples using Colorado and its political subdivisions, the issues presented are national in nature, so the majority of the information is applicable to any other state (including all 50 states, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico).

In this site are answers to such questions as:

  Why are Social Security and Medicare coverage and tax withholding requirements for state and local government employees different than for private sector employees?

  How can a state or local government employer be sure it is in compliance with Social Security and Medicare coverage and tax withholding requirements since proper coverage and withholding differs not only from employer to employer, but also from employee to employee?

  What is a Section 218 Agreement and why it is important to many state and local government employers?

  Why are some state and local government workers excluded from Social Security and Medicare?

  How does participation in a public retirement system affect Social Security benefits for state and local government employees?

  Which federal or state agency should be contacted if a public employer/employee has a question about Social Security or Medicare benefits, coverage, or tax withholding?

To continue, select your state from the drop down at the top of the page.

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