Date: October 31, 2011

Bulletin Number: 1097



Retroactive Transactions for Executive Branch 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 Servicesbefore submitting these transactions.
The procedures in this Bulletin supersede Payroll Bulletin No. 235 which was issued February 15, 2001.

Retroactive Transaction Procedures

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

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

Transaction Types

Submission Procedures

  • Appointments (e.g., hires, rehires, concurrent hires)
  • Reinstatements from leaves
  • Corrections to appointment, reinstatement and separation dates
  • Promotions
  • Salary increases for unallocated positions*
  • Changes in percentage of time worked

Transactions in this category that are subject to Civil Service review and approval will be approved by OSC if NYSTEP approval has been granted, regardless of the effective date. Transactions in this category that are not subject to Civil Service review and approval may be reported no more than five (5) payroll periods retroactive without justification. This allows payment for a total of 60 business days (the current pay period plus five retroactive periods).

  • Changes to additional pay factors (e.g., inconvenience, shift differential, location pay**)
  • Miscellaneous payments (via Time Entry pages)

May be reported no more than nine (9) payroll periods retroactive. This allows payment for a total of 100 business days (the current pay period plus nine retroactive periods).

  • Reclassifications
  • Reallocations
  • Increased Hiring Rates
  • Geographic Differentials**
  • Shift Differentials

Pay changes, position changes and additional pay changes should be submitted timely and will be approved retroactive to the approved effective date in NYSTEP.

  • Civil Service Commission Reinstatement (Rule 5.4)

Payable from the effective date stated in the Commission approval letter.

  • Institution Teacher Promotions

Following issuance of certification by SED, payable to the date when the additional courses were completed.

* Salary increases based on DOB-approved performance evaluation and advance plans for unallocated positions that are equated to grades may be processed as retroactively as the dates of the plans permit.

** There is no limit on retroactive payment of location pay and geographic differentials when the entire agency is located in an eligible area.

Correction of Payroll Errors
There is no time limit on the correction of payroll errors (e.g., failure to pay performance advances, longevity payments, contractual salary increases to eligible employees). If an employee has been paid a salary less than that authorized by law, 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 #432 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 are subject to Civil Service review and approval (e.g., retroactive appointments), OSC will verify that Civil Service approval has been granted. In the event that Civil Service approval is not granted, OSC staff will contact the agency to address each situation on a case-by-case basis.
  • For transactions that do not require Civil Service approval (e.g., salary increases for unallocated positions, unclassified position transactions, miscellaneous payments, changes to additional pay factors), 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.