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FAQ

Below are the answers to some frequently asked Human Resource questions 

Q. When I divide my annual salary by 26 paychecks, the number I get doesn't equal my gross pay. Why not?

A. The State has to contend with leap year and other factors, so the correct way to figure your biweekly gross pay is to multiply your annual salary by .038356 (which is actually 14 days times 1/365) or by .038251 (which is actually 14 days times 1/366) in a leap year.

Q. If one of my children who was going to college decides to drop out for a semester, can I continue their health insurance?

A. Yes, but you will have to pay directly for their coverage. You need to come to the Benefits Office and fill out the form to remove them from your insurance. At the same time, we can give you the address to which you write to begin the COBRA health insurance process.

Q. If I take an early withdrawal from my supplemental retirement annuity (SRA) before I retire will I have to pay New York State taxes on it?

A. No. If you have reached age 59-1/2 when you make the withdrawal. Since January 1, 1982, Section 612 (c)(3a) of the New York State Tax Law has provided a state tax exemption on the first $20,000 of pension and annuity income received by an individual who has attained age 59-1/2 and resides in the State of New York. This is in addition to the fact that Section 612 (c)(3)(i) of the NYS Tax Law provides that regular pensions provided by the State, its subdivisions and agencies—i.e., NYS Teachers' Retirement System, NYS Employees' Retirement System, Optional Retirement System (ORP)—are not subject to New York State income taxes.

Q. Can I take my money out of my SRA, TDA, or my Optional Retirement Account (RA)?

A. Supplemental Retirement Annuity (SRA) funds are available to you while continuing in employment and upon separation from service, subject to early withdrawal penalties if you take them out before age 59-1/2. Also, of course, you pay tax on the distributions in the year that you take them. Optional Retirement Program (ORP) Retirement Annuity (RA) funds are not available while employed, and are only available at separation from service if, at that time, you are at least age 55. Even then, distributions are limited to amounts in your CREF accounts only. You may, of course, move TIAA funds into CREF accounts at the rate of 10 percent per year, but TIAA funds are not otherwise available for cash distributions.

Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) funds are governed by the same rules as Retirement Annuity (RA) funds.

Q. Can a part-time professional staff appointee (academic or professional employee) be granted tenure?

A. The Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York exclude part-time service in determining eligibility for tenure for both professional staff categories. (Reference Article XI (Appointment of Employees).

Q. If I have chosen not to work during the between semester campus shutdown and then get sick during this period, may I charge my absence to sick leave?

A. No. Sick leave can only be charged for absences on days that you are both scheduled and available to work. If you get sick on a weekend, you don't get two days off the following week; or when you get sick while on a scheduled two-week vacation in California, your absence is still charged to vacation accruals. The same logic applies to holidays.

Q. Can a person appointed to qualified academic rank be given a term appointment?

A. Yes. Appointees to qualified academic rank may be appointed to temporary or term appointments. They receive all other benefits and terms and conditions of employment except that their time in qualified academic rank does not count towards meeting the "academic rank" service requirements for tenure.

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