You are required to contribute 3 percent of your gross earnings toward your retirement benefits for all your years of public service, unless you are a:
- Uniformed court officer and required to make 4 percent contributions;
- Peace officer employed by the Unified Court System and required to make 4 percent contributions; or
- State corrections officer and required to make 3 percent contributions for 30 years of service.
If you are employed by more than one participating employer, once you join the Retirement System, all earnings and service earned in connection with all public employment must be reported to this System, even if your membership is only mandatory with one.
Under Internal Revenue Code Section 414(h) (as of July 1, 1989), your required contributions are tax-deferred until they are distributed to you. These contributions are reportable for federal income tax only when you withdraw or retire from the Retirement System. Therefore, your contributions are:
- Not reported as wages for federal income tax;
- Reported as wages for New York State and local income taxes;
- Reported as wages for Social Security;
- Reported as wages to the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System; and
- Calculated on your full gross earnings, before any reductions for any other tax-deferred plan.