SUNY Bulletin No. SU-319

Two-Year Look Back for Tier 6 SUNY Optional Retirement Plan (ORP)
Date Issued
December 24, 2021


The purpose of this bulletin is to provide agencies with instructions to update Tier 6 employees’ Savings Plans pages due to the two-year look back.

Affected Employees

Tier 6 New York State Education Department (NYSED) and SUNY employees who are members of the ORP are affected.


On March 16, 2012, the Governor signed legislation creating Tier 6. Members of this tier enrolled in a retirement system after March 31, 2012. This legislation authorized the creation of a new Tier 6 pension plan. (Please see Payroll Bulletin No. 1256)

Effective April 2013, legislation required the employee contribution rate to be based on employees’ annual wage.

Once Tier 6 members reached three (3) years of membership, their contribution rate is based on annual pensionable salary of the prior two years. 

Note: Total salary should include pensionable salary of all PayServ job records, including agencies not in PayServ.

Employee Contribution Rates:

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 Greater 6%

Benefit Plans and Narrative Descriptions:


Benefit Plan Description Time Participating
T6SU08 SUNY ORP-T6-3-6PCT-ER8PCT < = 7 Years
T6SU10 SUNY ORP-T6-3-6PCT-ER10 PCT > 7 Years

Note: Enter variable contribution rates in Percent of Earnings field of the PayServ Savings Plans panel.

Effective Dates

Effective paychecks dated February 2, 2022.

Eligibility Criteria

Tier 6 ORP members enrolled in the ORP between April 1, 2012 and January 1, 2019 are eligible.

Agency Actions

Agencies must update the Savings Plans page, changing the Percent of Earnings based on review of the “two-year look back” salary.

Public query 92_2_YR_LOOKBACK_SUNY_ORP_P2 provides employees’ earnings by Dept ID for the calendar year entered. If the query produces multiple rows for an employee, the earnings from each row must be combined, determining the “two-year look back” salary. When this query prompts for:

  • Calendar Year – Enter 2020
  • Coverage Elect Date (Greater than) – Enter 03/31/2012
  • Coverage Elect Date (Less than) – Enter 01/2/2019

SUNY System Administration must provide each SUNY campus with the query results for review of the ‘two-year look back’ salary, and make necessary updates to the Savings Plans page.

NYSED must run the query and update the Savings Plans page accordingly.

Information in ‘Background’ section above should be used to determine whether the contribution rate has changed and if an update to an employee’s Percent of Earnings is needed.

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

Agencies must adhere to the 2021-2022 Agency Submission Schedule when updating the Savings Plan panel in PayServ affecting the February 2, 2022 check date.


  1. Open Savings Plans page. (Main Menu>Benefits>Enroll In Benefits>Savings Plans)
  2. Enter Empl ID into search box.
  3. Click Search.
  4. Select correct Empl Rcd number for corresponding Job Record (if multiple records exist).
  5. Insert row within Coverage panel and enter payroll period begin date into Deduction Begin Date and Coverage Begin Date fields.
  6. Enter employees’ date of membership into Election Date field.
    • Carry the same election date forward from previous page.
  7. Enter employees’ benefit plan into Benefit Plan field.
    • Carry the same benefit plan forward from previous page.
  8. Enter determined Percent of Earnings, dependent upon employees’ total annual earnings.
    • Information from above ‘Background’ section should be used to determine new Percent of Earnings.
  9. Save transaction.
  10. Open General Comments page and add comment stating, “ORP Savings Plans page updated for 2022 Two Year Look-Back.”


Questions regarding the two-year look back may be directed to SUNY University-Wide Benefits at: [email protected].

Questions regarding PayServ entries may be directed to the Payroll Retirement mailbox.