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Section 4: Reportable Salaries 

How to Report | Arbitration Awards, Settlements, Grievances & Litigation | Accounts Payable Disbursements | Consultants, Independent Contractors and Casual Employees | Retirees of New York State Public Employment | Contract Settlements and Contract Changes | Disability Payments | Extended Day and Summer Programs | Fringe Benefits | Health and Dental Benefits | Leaves of Absence | Sabbatical Leave | Post-Retirement Earnings | Strikes | Tax Sheltered Annuities | Termination PayWelfare Benefit Funds | Workers’ Compensation | Guide to Reporting Payments | Table of Contents

How to Report

The following has been designed to assist you on how to report certain types of payments to NYSTRS. The monthly reporting system should be used to report all payroll disbursements to NYSTRS members in accordance with a valid employment contract approved by the employers' board of directors.

If you make payments outside a valid employment contract approved by the board, please contact our Employer Reporting Unit at (800) 356-3128, Ext. 6220 (447-2900 if calling from the Albany area) for direction on correctly reporting these payments. Please also contact us if you have any other questions on the material in this Manual.


Arbitration Awards, Settlements, Grievances & Litigation

Payment for arbitration awards, settlements, grievances and litigation may be usable in a Final Average Salary (FAS). However, any and all payment provisions relative to these actions must be forwarded to NYSTRS for evaluation, as per Education Law. Under Section 520-1 of the Education Law NYSTRS has the authority to require that each employer under its jurisdiction file with the Retirement Board any data necessary to carry out its statutory responsibility. Section 520 states: "each employer shall keep such records and from time to time shall furnish such information as the retirement board in the discharge of its duties may require."

In the interim, before a decision is made, report these monies under NYSTRS Pay Type J: MTD Awards Pay. Also note:

  • The mandatory deductions for Tier 4-6 contributing members SHOULD be withheld from such payments.
  • Service days should NOT be calculated for this category.

Accounts Payable Disbursements

Monies paid to, or for, the member are sometimes paid by separate check through accounts payable. These earnings must be reported separately to NYSTRS since they are not generally reported through the normal employer reporting process. Use the Monthly Employer Reporting Correction Form (ERP-1) to report these earnings, and please make note of the reason for the payment.

Please note that the monies paid through accounts payable, whether deemed to be Non-Regular Compensation or Termination Pay, must be reported to NYSTRS for all NYSTRS members. NYSTRS reserves the right to request further details relative to non-NYSTRS payment(s) made to members or through accounts payable on their behalf.

In order to efficiently and effectively report any payments made through accounts payable to, or on behalf of, NYSTRS members and retirees not disclosed on the monthly report, please fax (518-447-2979), or mail a copy of the document authorizing the accounts payable disbursement(s) to NYSTRS' Employer Reporting Unit.

Acceptable documentation includes the approved warrant, wire instructions, board authorization or other like document. The document must clearly indicate the: NYSTRS member's name; the member's NYSTRS EmplID or Social Security number; date of disbursement; reason for the disbursement; dollar amount; the employer; and, the employer's contact information. The document must include a general instructional statement, such as "the disbursement will not be included in the monthly report."

It is important to remember, if any adjustments are made to these disbursements subsequent to their being reported to the NYSTRS, an amended report must also be submitted. The document must include the same detail listed above with supporting detail as to how the original report was amended. For example: "The original report submitted on 6/16/08 was not correct for a specified member. The correct dollar amount for this member's specific disbursement was $5,000."

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Consultants, Independent Contractors and Casual Employees

Consultant, independent contractor and casual employee salaries are not reportable to the System since the individual is not considered an employee for such service. In order to determine if the individual is a consultant, refer to the Guidelines to Assist Reportability for Consultants, Independent Contractors and Casual Employees (RMS-96) and the Internal Revenue Guidelines to determine employee-employer relationship.


Retirees of New York State Public Employment

It is the participating employer's responsibility to report to NYSTRS any monies earned by a retiree as post-retirement pay, even if paid to a third-party employer. Retirees employed via a third party should be instructed to contact NYSTRS to determine the possible impact on their retirement benefit.

Participating NYSTRS employers must submit all consultant, independent contractor and casual employee agreements impacting NYSTRS active and retired members prior to the agreement taking effect, and as soon as they are executed. Failure to do so may adversely affect, and result in substantial reduction and/or temporary loss of, pension benefits.

Report these payments under NYSTRS Pay Type N: MTD Post Retirement Pay.

Also see Post-Retirement Earnings in this section.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD NOT BE withheld from such payments.

You will not be billed on these payments.

Service days should not be calculated for this category.

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Contract Settlements and Contract Changes

You MUST inform the System if contract salary/Annual Base Pay Rate (ABPR) changes are expected for any or all NYSTRS members. If you prepare your Monthly Employer Report and your location is still negotiating salaries, you should still report the contract salary/ABPR currently in effect. Please inform us of any pending salary negotiations that may result in revisions to contract salaries/ABPR for one or more school years.

Forms for reporting pending salary negotiations or anticipated contract salary/ABPR changes will be sent to non-SUNY locations before the start of each school year. They are as follows:

QTR-25.5 To be completed by ALL locations to inform the System whether or not retroactive CONTRACT SALARY changes are anticipated for the school year.
QTR-25.6 To be completed by locations who checked the second or third line on form QTR-25.5. Its purpose is to inform the System in which report period contract salary changes take place and to what date the changes are retroactive. If some teachers are not affected by the change, you should notify us in writing.

Once your negotiated agreements have been completed, a copy must be forwarded to the System. If newly negotiated contractual payment provisions are executed before the contract is printed, the document(s) authorizing the disbursement(s) must be submitted to NYSTRS. As always, NYSTRS' review of the payment provision is required in order to identify the appropriate NYSTRS pay type and facilitate proper reporting. This is required for all administrator, teacher, and teacher assistant agreements and related payment provisions.

If payments for late settlements are made after the June report is submitted for the effected year, retroactive payments must be reported. See Section 2 for additional details on retroactive payments.

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Disability Payments

Reportable Payments

Long Term Disability payments made to NYSTRS members having an employer-employee relationship, provided to all employees via a collective bargaining agreement and being paid directly by their employer, will be reportable to the System.

These payments will be credited to the member's record as salary at part pay and may accrue service credit.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD BE withheld from such payments.

Service days should be calculated for this pay category.

Non-Reportable Payments

As in the past, any money paid by a private or third-party administrator is not reportable to the System. A school district being self-insured has no bearing on the determination of whether or not these payments should be reported.

Long Term Disability payments will have no effect on a member's eligibility to retire. Any Long Term Disability payments made by a school district after the date a member retires should not be reported to the System.


Extended Day and Summer Programs

Compensation to members for Extended Day Programs and Summer Programs are generally reportable under NYSTRS Employer Reporting Pay Category C: MTD Instructional Pay. Please review NYSTRS Administrative Bulletins 2004-2, 2004-6, and 2007-7 for additional details.

Traditional Summer School is reportable under NYSTRS Pay Category D: MTD Summer School Pay.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD BE withheld from such payments.

Service days should be calculated for this pay category.

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Fringe Benefits

Taxable Fringe Benefits

All NYSTRS members who have their taxable fringe benefits reported to the IRS and/or "paid" through payroll must have the taxable portion of these benefits reported to the System, with few exceptions, as Non-Regular Compensation.

Reimbursements of expenses to the member and payments made outside the member's collective bargaining agreement are both considered non-NYSTRS Pay.

Taxable fringe benefits include, but are not limited to, the following taxable events:

  • The taxable value of employer-provided cell phones and cell phone allowances.
  • Taxable portion of employer-paid life insurance premiums. Currently, under IRC 79, premiums associated with policies greater than $50,000 are taxable.
  • The taxable value of employer-provided automobiles.
  • Employer-paid stipends and allowances for auto use.
  • Payment in lieu of health or dental insurance.

Taxable fringe benefits are not included in the calculation of a member's 3-year Final Average Salary. These monies may, however, be used in the calculation of a 5-year Final Average Salary for eligible members . Use NYSTRS Pay Type Category L: MTD Non-Regular Compensation to report taxable benefits.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD NOT BE withheld from such payments.

You will only be billed for any Tier 1 members receiving this payment.

Service days should not be calculated for this pay category.

Non-Taxable Fringe Benefits

Non-taxable fringe benefits are not reportable to NYSTRS. If you have questions on the taxability of fringe benefits, they should be directed to the Internal Revenue Service at
(800) TAX-1040. Questions regarding the reportability of fringe benefits to NYSTRS should be directed to our Employer Reporting unit at (800) 356-3128 Ext. 6220 (447-2900 if calling from the Albany area).

Non-taxable fringe benefits include, but are not limited to, the following employer-paid benefits: (Note that IRC codes are examples and not necessarily all inclusive.)

•  Medical insurance (See Administrative Bulletin 2003-3 for additional detail);

•  Dental insurance;

•  Leave sellbacks to purchase health, dental, vision, welfare fund benefits, etc.;

•  Education expenses (in accordance with IRC §127, §132(d) or §117(d);

•  Qualified tuition reductions (IRC §117 and §132);

•  Travel, transportation, food and lodging expenses (Note: Both taxable and non-taxable expenses are considered not reportable to NYSTRS);

•  Employer-paid professional licenses and dues;

•  Employer-paid disability insurance payments (IRC § 106(a));

•  Employer-paid life insurance policies up to and including a $50,000 face value (IRC §79);

•  Employer-paid IRC §105 contributions; and,

•  Employer-paid IRC §125 contributions.

Non-taxable fringe benefit payments are not reportable to NYSTRS. If for some reason these payments are made through payroll, instead of accounts payable, report the payments to NYSTRS using Pay Category M: MTD Non TRS Pay.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD NOT BE withheld from such payments.

You will not be billed on these payments.

Service days should not be calculated for this pay category.

Employee Benefits Paid by Members with Pre-Tax Dollars

The Internal Revenue Code Section 125 provides a way for you to pay certain medical and/or dependent care expenses with before-tax dollars. This tax-savings arrangement is often called a "cafeteria plan" or "flexible spending plan." Employee 403(b) contributions are also treated in this manner for tax purposes.

Generally, these employee-paid contributions are properly reported in the Annual Base Pay Rate before the employee contribution in pre-tax dollars. Therefore they should generally not be reported separately to NYSTRS. Please review the Health and Dental Benefits portion of this section for additional details.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD BE withheld from such payments.

Service days should be calculated for this pay category.

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Health and Dental Benefits

As described under Fringe Benefits in this section, health insurance, dental insurance and certain other non-taxable benefit payments made by the employer in accordance with IRS regulations are considered a non-taxable fringe benefit of employment and should not be reported to NYSTRS. Generally, payments made directly to the member in lieu of this insurance are considered non-regular compensation.

Some collective bargaining agreements offer increased monies in the member's base salary in lieu of any contractual health or dental benefit. Generally, this practice allows the member to purchase insurance through the employer at the group rate. In order to be consistent and fair, when a participating NYSTRS employer contractually eliminates a benefit for a select group or groups, increases the member's base pay and allows employees to participate in a group health plan, these monies are considered Non-NYSTRS Pay. Please see Administrative Bulletins 2000-7 and 2002-2 for additional details and restrictions.


Leaves of Absence

Members who are on approved military, sick or maternity leave of absence may receive salary and service credit if they are on a paid leave.

These paid leaves must be included on your monthly report as described above.

Please note: full-time annual base pay rate (contract salary) should be reported for all members on a leave of absence at part pay.

See Section 2 for additional reporting guidelines regarding leaves of absence.

Also, any leaves granted in exchange for cessation of employment, resignation, or a retirement election, are considered Termination Payment(s). See Administrative Bulletin 2008-2 for additional detail.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD BE withheld from such payments.

Service days should be calculated for this pay category.

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Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leave granted in accordance with the employment contract and not in exchange for cessation of employment, resignation, or a retirement election may be used in a final average salary calculation, provided it is granted for a period of time the member ordinarily works.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD BE withheld from such payments.

Service days should be calculated for this pay category.

Summer sabbatical leaves and other like-kind paid leaves resulting in compensation for a period of time the member does not ordinarily work (e.g., summer sabbatical for a 10-month member) must be reported under NYSTRS Pay Type L: MTD Non-Regular Compensation.


Post-Retirement Earnings

Post-retirement earnings are monies paid to a member for services rendered after retirement from NYS service. As mentioned previously in this section, it is the participating employer's responsibility to report to NYSTRS any monies earned by a retiree as post-retirement pay, even if paid to a third-party employer. Retirees employed via a third party should be instructed to contact NYSTRS to determine the possible impact on their retirement benefit. Also, NYSTRS Administrative Bulletin 2006-1 and Section 2 of this manual contain additional reporting details for post-retirement earnings.

Report these payments under NYSTRS Pay Type N: MTD Post Retirement Pay. The earnings of all NYSTRS retirees working under consultant agreements must be reported to NYSTRS on a yearly basis. You may report these earnings by annually sending a copy of the consultant's 1099 in care of the Retirement Member Services Unit.

Also see Retirees of New York State Public Employment in this section.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD NOT BE withheld from such payments.

You will not be billed on these payments.

Service days should not be calculated for this pay category.

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Strikes

If teachers in your location go on strike, please contact the System for reporting instructions.


Tax Sheltered Annuities

Employee Contributions to a Tax Sheltered Annuity

These member payments are properly reported in the Annual Base Pay Rate before the employee contribution in pre-tax dollars. Therefore, employee-paid TSA payments are not reported to NYSTRS.

Employer Contributions to a Tax Sheltered Annuity

Although these disbursements are typically an accounts payable disbursement, employer-paid Tax Sheltered Annuities paid through the payroll are reportable to NYSTRS as Non-Regular Compensation. Use Pay Category L: MTD Non-Regular Compensation to report them.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD NOT BE withheld from such payments.

You will only be billed for any Tier 1 members receiving this payment.

Service days should not be calculated for this pay category.


Termination Pay

Termination payments are any payments for unused leave accruals. Therefore, any member selling back leave annually, intermittently over their career, or before or after a retirement election must have the payment reported to NYSTRS as a termination payment regardless of the timing of the payment. Also, any monetary compensation or leave granted as a result of a retirement election, resignation, or death is to be reported as a termination payment. For example, paid leaves of absence granted in exchange for retirement must be reported to NYSTRS as a termination payment.

The most notable exceptions to the reporting of termination pay are retiree health and dental insurances. Termination benefits associated with these non-taxable fringe benefits are not reportable to NYSTRS.

You should review Sections 2, 3 and 16 of this Manual for additional information on this topic.

These payments should not be included in base salary or contract salary amounts on your report.

Use NYSTRS Pay Category K: MTD Termination Pay for these monies.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD NOT BE withheld from such payments.

You will only be billed on these payments for any Tier 1 member with a date of membership prior to 6/17/71.

Service days should not be calculated for this pay category.

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Welfare Benefit Funds

Employer payments to these funds may be disbursed for a variety of reasons. Frequently, the allowable benefits include, but are not limited to, insurance co-payments, vision care, child care, dental insurance, and life insurance. These payments are not reportable to NYSTRS unless the benefit is taxable. If you have questions on the taxability of fringe benefits, they should be directed to the Internal Revenue Service at (800) TAX-1040.

Taxable fringe benefit payments are reportable to NYSTRS. Please use Pay Category L: MTD Non-Regular Compensation to report these payments.

Non-taxable fringe benefit payments are not reportable to NYSTRS. If for some reason these payments must appear on the monthly report to NYSTRS, please use Pay Category M: MTD Non-TRS Pay to report these payments as required.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD NOT BE withheld from such payments.

You will only be billed for any Tier 1 members receiving this payment.

Service days should not be calculated for this pay category.

Generally, employee-paid contributions to a welfare benefit, or like-kind benefit, are properly reported in the Annual Base Pay Rate before the employee contribution in pre-tax dollars. Therefore they should generally not be reported separately to NYSTRS. Please review the Health and Dental Benefits portion of this section to obtain additional details.

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Workers' Compensation

A school district being self insured has no bearing on the determination of whether or not these payments should be reported.

Workers' compensation payments will have no effect on a member's eligibility to retire. Any workers' compensation payments made by a school district after the date a member retires should not be reported to the System.

Reportable Workers' Compensation Payments

Workers' compensation payments to NYSTRS members having an employer-employee relationship (i.e., the employee is entitled to benefits under the negotiated agreement) and being paid directly by their employer will be reportable to the System.

These payments will be credited to the member's record as salary and may accrue service credit.

The mandatory deductions for Tier 4 – 6 contributing members SHOULD BE withheld from such payments.

Service days should be calculated for this pay category.

Non-Reportable Workers' Compensation Payments

As in the past, any money paid by a private or third party administrator is not reportable to the System. Also, any money and/or settlement paid for expected "scheduled loss of use" or "permanency classification" not associated with actual and causally related time loss from work is not reportable to the System.

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Guide to Reporting Payments

The following chart has been prepared as a general guide to employers to enable them to quickly identify payments which should and should not be reported to NYSTRS. This is a guide and is not all inclusive. Should you have any questions, please call our Employer Reporting Unit at (800) 356-3128, Ext. 6220 (447-2900 if calling from the Albany area).

Reportable Payments to Members

All unclassified duties falling under the Education Department's jurisdiction and conducted by NYSTRS members. For example:

  • Attendance Officer (if unclassified)
  • Attendance Teacher
  • Business Administrator
  • Chaperone
  • Coaching
  • Co-curricular
  • Curriculum writing
  • Department Chairman or Coordinator
  • Director of Elementary Education
  • Director of Secondary Education
  • Director of Vocational Education
  • Director of Pupil Personnel Services
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Home Tutor
  • Mentor
  • National Board Certification
  • Nurse Teacher
  • School Librarian
  • Summer School
  • Supervising student clubs or activities
  • Teacher Assistants (not employed with the State University of New York)
  • Teacher Center Duties
  • Teacher Support Aid (formerly known as Excellence-in-Teaching monies)
  • Team Leader

In addition to the above, SUNY graduates and Teaching Assistants who have been reported continuously since 1982 may be reported to the System.

Note: Membership is mandatory for full-time employees conducting these duties and optional for part-time staff.

Non-Reportable Payments to Members

Any position that does not require a School District Leader (SDL) certificate and is not more than 50 percent related to instructional support should NOT be reported to NYSTRS.

Also all full-time Civil Service classified duties. For example:

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Attorney
  • Bus Driver
  • Business Manager
  • Census Taker
  • Clerk of the Board
  • Clinical Assistant Instructor
  • Consultant
  • District Clerk
  • District Treasurer
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Personnel
  • Independent Contractors and their employees
  • Interpreter
  • Latchkey Program (non-instructional)
  • Maintenance Personnel
  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Personal Expense Reimbursement
  • Physical Therapist
  • Printer
  • Project Manager
  • Psychologist
  • Reimbursement for Business Expenses (e.g., travel, training, tuition, professional liability insurance)
  • School Medic
  • Social Worker
  • Sports Officials
  • Teacher Aide

Note: SUNY Graduate and Teaching Assistants who have not been reported continuously since 1982 should be excluded from the SUNY report.

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