City Payroll Training

Online Payroll Training

All TMRS cities submit a Monthly Payroll Report (payroll) every month, which includes the current, correct TMRS contribution rate. To learn how to submit payroll, please follow these steps:

  1. Download and print the Payroll Reference Guide (PDF). Read this document first, and keep the printout for reference.

  2. Watch the tutorial “How to Fill Out Payroll Forms,” which guides you through completion of TMRS payroll forms, and shows you how to calculate the correct amount to send to TMRS each month.

  3. As needed for review, see the FAQs tab above for more information regarding payroll submission

  4. Congratulations! You have completed training for manual payroll filing. You are ready to fill out your TMRS-0002 and TMRS-0003 to submit them to TMRS.

For additional information about processing your city's payroll, see "How Do I… Process the City Payroll?"

FAQs Regarding Payroll Submission

Q.   Who is required to participate in TMRS?

A.   Employees who receive compensation and perform duties in a position that normally requires services for not less than 1,000 hours a year are required to participate in TMRS.

  • The city should evaluate all positions to determine if those positions require services for at least 1,000 hours a year.  In other words, every position should be classified as “TMRS eligible” or “not TMRS eligible.”  
  • The TMRS Act does not include a definition for “full-time” or “part-time” positions.   Rather, it defines participation based on the number of hours a person is expected to perform over the course of a year. 
  • The city should make this determination based on what the position normally requires, and not based on how many hours the person performing the job actually works.
  • Once the city makes a determination that a position requires at least 1,000 hours a year, then any employee hired to fill that position is required to participate in TMRS.  Employees do not have the option to decline participation.

Q.   What does TMRS consider compensation?

A.   “Compensation” is defined as the sum of payments made to an employee for performance of personal services. The types of payments considered to be “compensation” include base pay, overtime, vacation and sick leave (including payments for unused vacation and sick leave), longevity pay, certification pay, severance pay, employer pickup of employee contributions to TMRS, “cafeteria plan” benefits, and almost any other form of payment made to an employee, other than direct expense reimbursement.

  • Rule of thumb: If it’s taxable, it’s compensation.

Q.   Do city contribution rates change every year?

A.   Yes, rates change annually. Each year the city goes through an actuarial valuation process to determine what rate the city will pay the following year. To know your city’s contribution rate, consult your rate letter, which is mailed to your city and also posted on the TMRS website.

Q.   Can I send my TMRS Summary of Monthly Payroll Report (TMRS-0003) electronically?

A.   Yes, TMRS encourages you to do so. The best, easiest way to file your city payroll electronically is to use the TMRS City Portal, an online tool giving cities the ability to share data with TMRS. We strongly encourage cities to go through the online training and become users of the City Portal. To start this process, send an e-mail to TMRS’ City Portal Contact, Veronica Escobedo. If your city is already on the Portal and has a City Portal Administrator, contact your Administrator so you can become an Authorized User of the City Portal and easily submit your monthly payroll electronically.

Q.   What is the deadline for submitting my monthly payroll to TMRS?

A.   The monthly payroll must be submitted to TMRS no later than the 15th day of the month following the payroll period being reported. 

  • The payroll form must be completed and signed by the authorized city official
  • Payment is considered timely if submitted before the 15th of the month.
  • A late fee will be incurred if the payroll is received after the 15th day of the month.

Q.   How do you calculate the late fee?

A.   If the payroll is not received by the 15th day of the month, the city must pay interest on the past due amounts at an annual rate that is the total of TMRS’ investment return assumption for the preceding year, plus 2%.  

  • Late interest accrues daily until the report is received. 
  • Once the payroll report is received, TMRS will calculate the late fee and notify the city of the amount due. 
  • Cities should include the late fee on the following month’s payroll report.  

Q.   Why does TMRS require an authorized city contact to sign the City Certification section of the payroll report? 

A.  TMRS must verify that the payroll information being reported is true and accurate.  Therefore the City Certification section must be signed only by an authorized contact.

Q.   Are negative adjustments allowed on the payroll?

A.   No. Our payroll system does not recognize any negative adjustments. Therefore, if an adjustment is required, please contact our office for further instructions on how to submit a correction. 

Q.   What is the “Explanation for adjustments” section of the TMRS-0003?

A.   This section will be used only if the city needs to inform us of any adjustments that were made on the payroll report regarding employee or city contributions. Please be sure to provide detailed information (including member name and SSN), why the adjustment is required, and the month for which you are making the adjustment.  

Q.   Is the TMRS Summary of Monthly Payroll Report required with every payment?

A.   Yes. In order for TMRS to allocate the submitted funds, the city must submit a completed Summary of Monthly Payroll Report (TMRS-0003) each month.

Q.   Can a payroll adjustment be submitted on a member who has refunded or retired?

A.   No. Once an account has been either refunded or retired, TMRS can no longer make any adjustments. Therefore, it is extremely important that you contact TMRS immediately if you notice an error was made.

Filing Payroll Electronically

  1. TMRS encourages you to use the TMRS City Portal for electronic filing. Besides allowing you to run reports and perform other functions, the City Portal is the easiest way to file your payrolls electronically. Contact your City Portal Administrator to become an Authorized User of the City Portal. If your city doesn’t yet have access to the City Portal, you can get started by sending an e-mail to TMRS’ City Portal Contact, LaShelle Ruiz, at

  2. After you have filled in your forms, you can file them electronically by using TMRS’ secure FTP site. The Electronic Payroll Guide (PDF download) shows you how to submit payroll using TMRS’ secure FTP site. It also explains how to file the PAYMENT using ACH.

If you have any questions after reviewing these materials, call 800.924.8677. If you have problems accessing any of these links, send a note to the TMRS webmaster.