NYS Comptroller Seal

 

Bureau of State Payroll Services

 

  Date:  February 24, 2003 Bulletin No. 368

ALL AGENCIES EXCEPT CUNY AND COURTS
Subject Salaried Employees Subject to Salary Withholding Who Have Not Been Placed on the Salary Withholding Program
Purpose Information and procedures to implement Salary Withholding for affected employees.
Affected Employees Employees who: Are currently in a salaried* position that is subject to the Salary Withholding Program
And
Who did not have any salary previously withheld
And
Who were also in a salaried* position at the time the withholding should have occurred. 

*Pay basis code = ANN, CAL, 21P or BIW
Effective
Date(s)
Effective immediately.
Timeline
Agencies review employment records starting in February, 2003
Upon completion of review, agencies notify affected employees three weeks in advance of salary withholding, but no later than March 27, 2003
Salary withholding to begin as soon as possible, but no later than April 23, 2003 for Administrative payrolls and May 1, 2003 for Institutional payrolls.
Background Section 200.2-a of the State Finance Law (Chapter 947 of the Laws of 1990, and Chapter 702 of the Laws of 1991) authorizes the withholding one tenth (five days) of salary for employees in various bargaining units (Attachment 1) and payment for the number of days withheld upon separation from service.

The agency is responsible for placing employees on Salary Withholding when they are initially hired or move from a position not subject to Salary Withholding into a position that is subject to the program.

OSC has determined that there are a number of employees who are currently in positions subject to the Salary Withholding Program whose salary may never have been withheld.

The agency is responsible for placing an eligible employee on the Salary Withholding Program if the employee has not previously had salary withheld.

Agency Report Salary Withholding Report
OSC has produced a "Salary Withholding Report" to assist agencies in identifying employees who are subject to Salary Withholding and may need to be placed on the Salary Withholding program. This report will be mailed to each affected employee's current agency. It will identify employees who meet all of the following criteria:

Employee is currently in an eligible bargaining unit (refer to Attachment 1 for a list of eligible bargaining units);
Employee's status is currently Active, Paid Leave, or Leave of Absence Without Pay, and
Employee has no days withheld in the Salary Withholding Balance panel in the Empl Record # identified on the report (panel is blank).

The report may include employees who had no days withheld when the report was generated, but were later placed on Salary Withholding.

The report does not identify employees who:

Previously had days withheld, but were "paid back" because they were appointed to positions not subject to this program or have left State service
And
Were subsequently reappointed or rehired into positions subject to the program, but were not placed back on Salary Withholding. These employees will not appear on the report since their Salary Withholding Balance Panel is not blank. Agencies are responsible for identifying these employees and placing them on Salary Withholding.
Agency Actions Reviewing the Report Agencies must review the history record of all employees appearing on the report and determine which of the following conditions apply. The agency must take the appropriate action after reviewing each employee's record (use PaySR Custom for Legacy records and Statewide Job Summary for PaySR records).

1. Currently active in agency and should have been placed on Salary Withholding, but was not:
The agency must place the employee on the Salary Withholding Program.
Exception: Employees who are currently salaried, but were hourly at the time withholding should have occurred, should not be placed on salary withholding at this time. A bulletin will be issued at a later date to provide agency procedures pertaining to hourly employees who were never placed on the Salary Withholding Program.

2. Currently inactive:
No agency action is required.

3. Employee has transferred to another agency.
The agency should contact the new agency to place the employee on the Salary Withholding Program, if applicable.

 

4. Employee is currently on a leave (with or without pay) and should have previously been placed on Salary Withholding, but was not.
The agency must place the employee on Salary Withholding when reinstated from leave.

 

5. Employee has been placed on the Salary Withholding Program since the report was generated.
No additional agency action is required.

 

6. Employee was previously placed on Salary Withholding, but the days withheld are currently stored in PaySR in another Empl Record #.
The agency must review the Statewide Job Summary to determine if another Empl Record # exists for that employee. If another Empl Record # does exist, the agency must contact the most current agency in that Empl Record # to obtain the Salary Withholding information.
No agency action is required, unless the employee was not placed on Salary Withholding in the former agency. In this case, the current agency must place the employee on the program.

 

7. Employee was placed on Salary Withholding during the initial implementation of the program in 1991, but was exempt from having days withheld because the employee was on a leave without pay during the original designated week (refer to payroll bulletin P-679, dated January 2, 1991):
Institution Lag 2/28/91-3/6/91
Institution Current 3/14/91-3/20/91
Administration Lag 3/7/91-3/13/91
Administration Current 3/21/91-3/27/91

 

If there is no comment in PaySR Custom or in the General Comments panel stating the employee was not subject to withholding because the employee was on a leave without pay during the designated week, the agency must enter a comment in the General Comments panel to explain the employee was exempt from having days withheld because he or she was on leave without pay during the designated week in 1991.

 

8. The condition is other than that stated above.
Agency must take the appropriate action, if any.

 

NOTE:  The agency is not required to send the report back to OSC. However, the condition number can be noted on the report after the employee's name for agency reference.
Notify Affected Employees To place an employee on the Salary Withholding Program, the agency must:
1. Notify the employee, in writing, three weeks in advance of the date that Salary Withholding will begin. The agency is required to retain a copy of the letter for each employee. This letter must be made available to OSC, upon request. A sample letter is attached (Attachment 2).

2. After notification has been made, place the employee on the Salary Withholding Program.

3. After Salary Withholding has been started, determine if the employee's check is sufficient each payroll period to withhold the earnings. If not sufficient:
a. End Salary Withholding by changing the Earn End Date on the Additional Pay panel.
b. Restart withholding when the check is sufficient.
Determine Amount to be Withheld For employees who must be placed on the Salary Withholding Program, the agency must determine the total amount of salary to be withheld, the total number of payroll periods the employee must remain on the program, and the amount to be withheld each payroll period. Refer to Sample Calculations (Attachment 3).

1.  Determining the Total Amount to be Withheld

The amount to be withheld must be based on the salary rate, additional salary factors, status, work percentage, pay basis code, and salary factor (regular or leap year) in effect at the time the original withholding should have occurred. To calculate the amount of earnings to be withheld, the agency must determine the amount that should have been withheld from the employee for each of the first 5 payroll periods, commencing with the date of appointment to the eligible position. The total amount to be withheld is the sum of the salary the employee earned on the last day of each of the first 5 payroll periods.

2. Determining the Total Number of Days to be Withheld

To calculate the total number of days to be withheld, the agency must use the employee's work percentage and status on the last day of each of the initial 5 payroll periods.

For example, if an employee worked 50% part-time during the initial 5 payroll periods, the employee must have a total of 5 days of salary withheld at the 50% rate.

3. Determining the Total Number of Payroll Periods the Employee Must Remain on Salary Withholding

The employee must be placed on the Salary Withholding Program for the same number of payroll periods as the number of days to be withheld, as calculated in # 2 above.

4. Determining the Total Amount of Earnings to be Withheld Each Payroll Period

To calculate the total earnings to be withheld each payroll, the agency must divide the total earnings to be withheld by the number of payroll periods the employee must remain on Salary Withholding, as calculated in # 3 above.
Placing Employee on Salary Withholding To place an employee on Salary Withholding, the agency must:

1. Insert a row on the Additional Pay panel, effective the first day of the current pay period, using the earn code SCO (Salary Withholding Override).
2. Enter the total amount of earnings to be withheld each payroll period in the Earnings field, preceded by a minus sign.
3. Enter the total amount of salary to be withheld in the Goal Amount field, preceded by a minus sign.
4. Enter the last day of the payroll period in which salary will be withheld in the Earn End date field.
5. Enter in the General Comments panel:
a. An explanation of the salary withholding calculation, including the date the original withholding should have occurred and the applicable information (annual salary rate(s), % of time worked, status, additional salary factors, pay basis code).
b. The number of FULL days withheld. For example, an employee who worked part-time 50% and had a total of 5 days withheld at the 50% rate, has 2.5 full days withheld.
OSC Actions After agencies have entered salary withholding information on the Additional Pay panel, OSC will:

1. Review the data supplied in the Additional Pay panel for the earn code SCO.
2. Review General Comments entered by the agency.
3. Update the Salary Withholding Balance Panel after the Earn End Date is reached to reflect the number of full days actually withheld.
Public Query To assist the agency in continuing to identify employees who must have salary withheld under the Salary Withholding Program, a query (UG_00_ELIG_SAL_WITHHLD_EMPS) has been made public and is now available for agency use. This query identifies only annual salaried employees.

OSC also will monitor compliance with the Salary Withholding Program.
Check/Advice Salary Withholding Override will print on the employee's check and/or advice with the amount withheld for that payroll period.
Questions Refer to Attachment 4 (Frequently Asked Questions) for further information. Additional questions regarding this bulletin may be directed to the Salary Determination mailbox.
Attachment 1 - List of Eligible Bargaining Units
Attachment 2 - Sample Text for Salary Withholding Letters
Attachment 3 - Salary Withholding Program Sample Calculations
Attachment 4 - Frequently Asked Questions