State Agencies Bulletin No. 470

Revised Policies and Procedures for Recovery of Overpayments
Date Issued
April 1, 2004


To announce revised policies and procedures for recovering overpayments made to New York State employees.

Statutory Authority

State Finance Law, Section 200.3
This Bulletin supercedes Payroll Bulletin P-441, issued July 17, 1985, and "Overpayment of Salary," Part III, Page 26 of the New York State Salary Manual, issued in 1996.

Affected Employees

All employees who incur an overpayment of earnings.

Effective Date(s)



The recovery of overpayments is governed by Section 200.3 of the State Finance Law which has been revised and states the following:

  • "(a) In any case where a state employee has, as a result of an administrative error, received salary or other compensation payments in excess of that to which he or she was entitled, the state will not attempt to recover such overpayment, except in those cases described in paragraph (b) of this subdivision.
  • Notwithstanding the foregoing, the state will, where such overpayment is still continuing, immediately reduce the employee's current salary so that the salary paid to such employee prospectively is the salary the employee is entitled to receive.
  • (b) Nothing contained in paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall prevent the state from recovering, by offset or otherwise, any overpayment made (i) for a period when the employee was neither performing services for the state nor on approved leave or (ii) under circumstances where the comptroller reasonably determines that the employee knew, or that a reasonable employee should have known, that the salary paid to him or her was in excess of that which he or she was entitled to receive."

Attached Overpayment Recovery Chart

The attached chart, Recovery of Overpayments to New York State Employees (Attachment B), was developed to assist Agencies in the determination of overpayment recovery and is categorized by Transaction Type.

A description of the use of each column is found in Attachment A.

Agency and OSC Procedures

When an overpayment occurs, the Agency must refer to Attachment B to determine if the overpayment is recoverable under the State Finance Law. Upon determination, the Agency must follow the applicable procedures outlined in Attachment C.

Additional Information Regarding Recoverable Overpayments

Please refer to Attachment D for additional information regarding recoverable overpayments.

Additional Information Regarding Unrecoverable Overpayments

Please refer to Attachment E for additional information regarding unrecoverable overpayments.

Agency Tips to Avoid Overpayments or Ensure Recovery

Attachment F has been developed to assist Agencies in taking the necessary preventive measures to avoid or greatly reduce the number of overpayments that occur each pay period.


Questions concerning this Bulletin should be referred to your Payroll Auditor.

Attachment A - Column Descriptions for Attachment B
Attachment B - Recovery of Overpayments to NYS Employees
Attachment C - Agency and OSC Procedures
Attachment D - Additional Info. Regarding Recoverable Overpayments
Attachment E - Additional Info. Regarding Unrecoverable Overpayments
Attachment F - Tips to Avoid Overpayments or Ensure Recovery