Date: October 31, 2011

Bulletin Number: CU-433



Retroactive Transactions for CUNY Agencies


To revise the procedures governing OSC’s review and approval of retroactive transactions.

Affected Employees

Agencies that submit retroactive transactions on behalf of their employees.

Effective Date(s)



Although it is not always possible for agencies to complete their required processing steps by the effective date for all transactions, agencies must process salary changes in the payroll system as timely as possible.

Due to the increased frequency of retroactive transactions with an effective date greater than one year old, OSC has revised the submission procedures to ensure that any necessary documentation has been received by OSC and that agencies have received prior approval by the Bureau Director of OSC Payroll Services before submitting these transactions.

The procedures in this Bulletin supersede payroll Bulletin CU-112 that was issued March 16, 2001.

Retroactive Transaction Procedures

Transactions retroactive a year or more:
All transactions that are retroactive a year or more must have prior approval by OSC before they are submitted. Transactions retroactive a year or more which do not have prior approval by OSC will be denied.

The following chart summarizes the revised procedures governing the submission of retroactive transactions to OSC.

Transaction Types

Submission Procedures

  • Appointments, excluding adjunct appointments (e.g., hires, rehires, concurrent hires)
  • Reinstatements from leaves
  • Corrections to appointment, reinstatement, leaves and separation dates
  • Promotions
  • Salary increases including Longevity Increments, Longevity Differentials and Service Increments reported on the Additional Pay page*
  • Changes in percentage of time worked

May be reported no more than five (5) payroll periods retroactive without justification. This allows for a total of 60 business days (the current pay period plus five retroactive periods).

  • Teaching and non-teaching adjunct appointments

Appointments for the semester currently being processed require no justification. Appointments for a prior semester may be reported no more than five (5) payroll periods retroactive without justification.

  • Miscellaneous payments submitted via the Time Entry page (e.g. overtime, adjunct, lump sum payments, additional job)
  • Assignment Differentials for Security Titles (Arms, Canine, Special Assistance for Events (SAFE) Team Leader)

May be reported no more than nine (9) payroll periods retroactive without justification. This allows payment for a total of 100 business days (the current pay period plus nine retroactive periods).

*For increases submitted for classified staff whose pay basis code is ANN, a CUNY Classified Staff Payroll Authorization Form (OFSR-607) signed by Raymond O’Brien or Carmelo Batista Jr. must be submitted to OSC in the same payroll period the Action is requested on the Job Action Request page or the Additional Pay page.

Correction of Payroll Errors
There is no time limit on the correction of payroll errors (e.g., failure to pay increments to unclassified staff or contractual salary increases to eligible employees). If an employee has been paid a salary less than that authorized by a union agreement, the agency should submit the appropriate pay change(s) on the Job Action Request page. An explanation of the correction must be entered in the Status Reason block. If OSC determines the pay changes are warranted, the pay changes will be approved and an adjustment will be paid retroactive to the date of the error. Corrections retroactive a year or more must have prior approval by OSC before they are submitted.

Back Salary Awards
Retroactive transactions that result from the terms of a Court Order, Arbitrator's Award, Human Rights Decision, GOER or Grievance Settlement or Civil Service Commission Action must follow established Back Salary Award procedures. Refer to Payroll Bulletin #423 for more information.


Agency Responsibilities

Transactions that fall within the revised procedures:
In general, OSC will not require agencies to obtain advance approval or provide documentation on retroactive transactions that fall within the revised procedures. However, OSC reserves the right to require agencies to provide an explanation and/or documentation to substantiate specific transactions when warranted.

Transactions that exceed the revised procedures:
For transactions that exceed the revised procedures, agencies must provide an explanation/justification for the retroactive transaction on the General Comments page. In some cases, OSC may request supporting documentation to further substantiate the proposed transaction. Transactions submitted without General Comments will be denied by OSC.


Questions about this bulletin may be directed to the Payroll Earnings mailbox.