State Agencies Bulletin No. 1627

Two-Year Look Back for Tier 6 TIAA Voluntary Defined Contribution (VDC)
Date Issued
December 20, 2017


To provide agencies with instructions on how to update a Tier 6 employee’s Retirement Plan page due to the VDC two-year look back

Affected Employees

New York State employees who joined the workforce on or after July 1, 2013 and who were deemed non-unionized (non-represented or exempt), with an annual salary of $75,000.00 or greater


On March 16, 2012, the Governor signed Legislation creating Tier 6. 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 that included a Voluntary Defined Contribution Plan. (Please refer to Bulletin 1256)

Legislation required the employee contribution rate to 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 total pensionable earnings from two years prior.*

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

The employee contribution rates are:

Wages Contribution Rate
$45,000 or less 3%
$45,000.01 to $55,000 3.5%
$55,000.01 to $75,000 4.5%
$75,000.01 to $100,000 5.75%
More than $100,000 6%

The Benefit Plans and the narrative descriptions are found below:

Note: The variable contribution rates are identified within the description.

Benefit Plan Description

Effective Date(s)

Effective December 28, 2017 for paychecks dated January 24, 2018 (Administration Lag)
Effective January 5, 2018 for paychecks dated February 1, 2018 (Institution Lag)

Eligibility Criteria

Tier 6 TIAA members who enrolled in the VDC between July 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014

Agency Actions

Each agency is required to update the Retirement Plans page to change the Benefit Plan based on the agency’s review of the “two-year look back” salary. If updates are needed, they should be entered in PayServ between:

  • January 4, 2018 and January 12, 2018 for checks of January 24, 2018 (Administrative)
  • January 11, 2018 and January 19, 2018 for checks of February 1, 2018 (Institution)

The public query, VDC_TWOYR_LKBK_T6_YTD_SUM_AGY will provide employee’s earnings based on a calendar year. The query will prompt for:

  • Calendar year – Enter 2016
  • Department ID – Enter 5 Digit Department ID
  • Coverage Elect Date (Greater than) – Enter 3/31/2012
  • Coverage Elect Date (Less than) – Enter 1/1/2015

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 steps to update the Benefit Plan are as follows:

  1. Open theRetirement Planspage. (Home>Benefits>Enroll In Benefits>Retirement Plans)
  2. Enter employee'sEmpl IDin search box.
  3. ClickSearch.
  4. Select the correctEmpl 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 theDeduction Begin Datefield.
  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 Plandependent upon the employees’ total annual earnings. (Use the charts provided in the “Background” section to determine the new Benefit Plan)
  8. Save the transaction.


Questions regarding the VDC two-year look back should be addressed to Dave Morrell at SUNY (518) 320-1430 or [email protected].

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