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Employer Reporting Basics

Independent Contractor vs. Employee

Some individuals provide services to the State or participating employers as independent contractors or consultants. These individuals may not join the Retirement System or receive service credit for consultant or independent contractor services. You should never include them on the monthly report.

To determine if the person you hired is an employee or an independent contractor, you should first determine if an employer/employee relationship exists. The Section 315.2 and 315.3 Regulations that became effective on April 1, 2008 include factors which could indicate an individual is an employee, as well as factors that may indicate an individual should be considered an independent contractor. They are just some of the factors indicating an individual is either an employee or an independent contractor Adobe pdf that you should consider when classifying an individual.

The regulations require that you send us a completed Certification for Individuals Engaged in Certain Professions Form (RS2414) Adobe pdf for each individual you hire as an attorney, physician, engineer, accountant, architect or auditor.

If after completing the certification form you determine that the individual is an employee, you must send us the completed certification form signed by your Chief Fiscal Officer and the following:

  • Documentation supporting the individual’s appointment as an employee and your decision to report the individual to the Retirement System;
  • Acceptance of the appointment by the local Civil Service Commission, where necessary;
  • Copies of the minutes from the meeting when the appointment was made, if made by a governing board.

If available, please also include a job description, evaluation or copy of any contract.

Mail the certification form and documentation to our Registration Unit by the first of the month after an individual is hired, so it reaches us before you file the first monthly report containing the employee’s salary and service.

If you wish to verify the status of any individual you hired prior to April 1, 2008, please complete Certification for Determining Independent Contractor or Employee Status Form (RS2415) Adobe pdf and mail it to our Employer Participation and Education Unit. Also use Form RS2415 for verifying the employee vs. independent contractor status of service providers other than attorneys, accountants, physicians, engineers, architects or auditors.

Certification forms must be signed by your primary chief fiscal officer (CFO), alternate chief fiscal officer or chief executive officer (CEO). You can designate an alternate CFO by:

  • Completing a Designation of Alternate CFO Form Adobe pdf signed by the CFO or CEO.
  • Sending a letter to our Employer Participation & Education unit. The letter must be on your letterhead and signed by either your CFO or CEO. You can fax the letter to 518-474-8357.

If you’re not sure whether an individual is a public employee or an independent contractor, email our Member & Employer Services Bureau.