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Date: October 5, 2017

Bulletin Number: UCS-249

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Subject Prepaid Legal Service Benefit for Unified Court System (UCS) Employees

Purpose To inform agencies of the processing of the 2017 Prepaid Legal Service Benefit.

Affected Employees Employees represented by Communication Workers of America (CWA), Local 1180 in bargaining unit SD.

Employees represented by District Council 37 in bargaining unit SK who reside within the zip codes identified below:

New York City Zip Codes
Brooklyn
Bronx
Queens
Manhattan
Staten Island
112XX
104XX
110XX, 111XX, 113XX, 114XX
100XX, 101XX, 102XX
103XX
   
New York State Zip Codes
Nassau County

Suffolk County
110XX, 115XX, 116XX, 117XX, 118XX

06390 & 117XX (except 11719,
11764, 11778,11786, 11789, 11792)

Westchester County

105XX, 106XX, 107XX, 108XX

Rockland County 10901, 10911, 10913, 10920, 10923, 10927,
10931, 10952, 10954, 10956, 10960, 10962,
10964, 10965, 10968, 10970, 10974, 10976,
10977, 10980, 10982, 10983, 10984, 10986,
10989, 10993, 10994

Note: The Zip code criteria is only applicable to members of
District Council 37.

Background Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 61, certain fringe benefits including employer-funded group legal service benefits are considered taxable income.  Therefore, the value of this benefit will be added to the employee’s taxable gross wages, for tax withholding purposes, and reflected on the 2017 Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement).

Effective Date(s) Paychecks dated November 15, 2017(Administration).

OSC Actions

OSC will automatically apply the Prepaid Legal Service Benefit for the 2017 calendar year for employees who were in a status of Active or Paid Leave and received salary from a position in Bargaining Unit SK or SD at any time during calendar year 2017. 

Listed below are the unions, bargaining units, values of the Prepaid Legal Service Benefit and the Earnings Codes:

Union Bargaining
Units
Value Earnings
Code
District Council 37 SK $107.00 PL3
CWA, Local 1180 SD  $89.00 PL5

District Council 37 has determined that nonresident aliens are also eligible to receive this benefit.  The Earnings Codes used to process the benefit for nonresident aliens who meet the criteria stated above are as follows:

Earnings Code NRA Income Code
XPL IC 18
YPL IC 19
ZPL IC 20

OSC will set up Social Security and Medicare tax deficiency deductions for any employee who is inactive at the time the benefit is applied.  As a result, the deficiency will automatically be recovered through payroll deduction should the employee later return to the payroll.

Control-D Report Control-D report NPAY771 (Time Entry Payment Report) identifies all employees for whom the Prepaid Legal Service Benefit was applied.

Tax Information The Prepaid Legal Service benefit is supplemental taxable income, will be added to the employee’s taxable gross wages, for tax withholding purposes, and is subject to employment taxes and income taxes.

Federal, State and New York City income tax withholding will be calculated using the Aggregate method.  Yonkers income tax withholding will be calculated using the Flat Rate method.  Yonkers Flat Rate Withholding is 1.61135% for Yonkers residents and 0.50% for Yonkers non-residents.

Agency Actions Agencies should notify affected employees.

Payroll Register and Employee’s Paycheck/Advice The applicable earnings code and associated value will be displayed on the agency’s payroll register and the employee’s paycheck and/or direct deposit advice.

Questions Questions regarding this bulletin may be emailed to the Tax and Compliance mailbox.