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 NYSLRS or receive service credit for consultant or independent contractor services. You should never include them on the earnings report you submit to NYSLRS.

To determine if the person you hired is an employee or an independent contractor, first determine if an employer/employee relationship exists. Sections 315.2 and 315.3 of our regulations which were effective on April 1, 2008, include factors that are considered in order to determine whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor.

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

If, through completing the Certification form, you determine an individual providing services is a public employee, that individual must be paid through your payroll, regardless of whether payment is made on a salary or a fee basis. You must send us the completed Certification form, signed by your chief fiscal officer (CFO), along with the following:

  • Documentation supporting the individual’s appointment as an employee and your decision to report the individual to NYSLRS;
  • 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 Pension Integrity Bureau by the first of the month after an individual is hired, so it reaches us before you submit the first earnings and service report to NYSLRS for that individual.

Pension Integrity Bureau
110 State Street
Albany, NY 12244-0001

If you wish to verify the status of any individual you hired prior to April 1, 2008, please complete and submit a Certification for Determining Independent Contractor or Employee Status Form (RS2415). 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 CFO, alternate CFO or chief executive officer (CEO). You can designate an alternate CFO by:

  • Completing a Designation of Alternate CFO Form signed by the CFO or CEO.
  • Sending a letter to our Pension Integrity Bureau. The letter must be on your letterhead and signed by either your CFO or CEO. You can fax the letter to 518-486-9577.

If you’re not sure whether an individual is a public employee or an independent contractor, email our Pension Integrity Bureau.


Rev. 11/18