CUNY Bulletin No. CU-691

Subject
Two-Year Look Back for Tier 6 CUNY Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
Date Issued
October 20, 2020

Purpose

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide agencies with instructions on how to update a Tier 6 employee’s Retirement Plan page due to the two-year look back.

Affected Employees

Tier 6 CUNY employees who are members of the ORP are affected.

Background

On March 16, 2012, the Governor signed Legislation creating Tier 6 pension plans. This tier applies to employees joining a retirement system after March 31, 2012. This Legislation authorized the creation of a new Tier 6 pension plan (Payroll Bulletin 1256). Effective with the first checks in April 2013, legislation required the employee contribution rate be based on the employee’s annual wage.

Once a Tier 6 member has reached three years of membership, his or her contribution rate is based on annual pensionable salary from two years prior*.

*Total salary should include pensionable salary from all PayServ job records, as well as agencies that are not in PayServ.

The employee contribution rates are:

Wages Contribution Rate
$45,000.00 or less 3%
$45,000.01 to $55,000.00 3.5%
$55,000.01 to $75,000.00 4.5%
$75,000.01 to $100,000.00 5.75%
$100,000.01 and higher 6%

The Benefit Plans and narrative descriptions with the variable contribution rates are found below:

CUNY

Benefit Plan Description
T6C030 TIAA CUNY TIER 6 3PCT
T6C035 TIAA CUNY TIER 6 3.5PCT
T6C045 TIAA CUNY TIER 6 4.5PCT
T6C575 TIAA CUNY TIER 6 5.75PCT
T6C060 TIAA CUNY TIER 6 6PCT

Effective Dates

Changes will take effect for the Institution paychecks dated December 3, 2020.

Eligibility Criteria

Tier 6 ORP members who enrolled in the ORP between April 1, 2012 and January 1, 2017 are eligible.

Agency Actions

Each agency must update the Retirement Plans page to change the Benefit Plan based on the agency’s review of the “two-year look back” salary.

Public query CUNY_TIER6_2YR_NEW will provide the employees’ earnings by Department ID for the calendar year entered. If the query results in multiple rows for an employee, the earnings from each row must be combined to determine the “two-year look back” salary. The query will prompt for:

  • Calendar Year – Enter 2018
  • Coverage Elect Date (Greater than) – Enter 3/31/2012
  • Coverage Elect Date (Less than) – Enter 1/1/2017

The CUNY University Benefits Office will run the query and provide each CUNY campus with the results to review the “two-year look back” salary, and to make necessary updates to the Retirement Plans page.

The charts found in the Background section of this bulletin should be used to determine if the contribution rate has changed and an update to their Benefit Plan is needed.

The Retirement Plans page must be updated for employees with a Payroll Status of Active, Leave of Absence, and Leave with Pay.

Any employee who is Rehired in Job by CUNY and is not active at another campus shall have a contribution rate based on their new or projected Compensation Rate.

Agencies must adhere to the 2020-2021 Agency Submission Schedule when updating the Retirements Plan panel in PayServ to affect the 12/03/2020 check date.

The steps to update the Benefit Plan are as follows:

  1. Open the Retirement Plans page. (Home>Benefits>Enroll In Benefits>Retirement Plans)
  2. Enter employee's Empl ID in the search box.
  3. Click Search.
  4. Select the correct Empl Rcd # for the corresponding Job Record (if multiple records exist).
  5. Insert a row in the Coverage section and enter the payroll period begin date in the Deduction Begin Date field.
  6. Enter the employee’s Date of Membership in the Election Date field. The same election date should be carried forward from the previous page.
  7. Select the appropriate Benefit Plan dependent upon the employees’ total annual earnings. (Use the charts provided in the Background section to determine the new Benefit Plan.)
  8. Save the transaction.
  9. Enter General Comments stating “Retirement Plans page updated for 2020 Two Year Look-back.”

Questions

Questions regarding the two-year look back may be directed to the University Retirement Plan Asset Officer: [email protected]

Questions regarding the PayServ entry may be directed to the Payroll Retirement Mailbox.