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Office of Human Resources
Benefits Bulletin Board


The Human Resources’ Benefits Office would like to provide the below information as it relates to Medicare.  While this information does not answer or consider all the various scenarios, the FAQS below and the following NYSHIP link(s) should be helpful: 


Q. Do I need to enroll in Medicare Part A and B once I turn 65? 
If you continue to be an active employee in a "benefits eligible" position and you have New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) coverage either under your own or as a dependent of an active NYS employee (i.e., spouse), you are NOT required to enroll in Medicare (Parts A or B). This exemption also includes eligible dependents (i.e., spouse) of NYSHIP enrollees.  However, in most cases you should at least enroll in Part A (hospital insurance) as for most people, Part A is free. NYSHIP would still be your "primary" insurer under hospital benefits as an active employee or dependent of an active employee with Medicare being your "secondary" payor.

Q. How to apply for Medicare if I want to enroll in just Part A as an active benefit’s eligible employee?
A. About three months before you turn 65, contact the Social Security Office to arrange for enrollment in Medicare Part A. Visit your local Social Security office or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. Additionally, information about applying for Medicare is available on the web at

Q. I am an active employee with a domestic partner who is enrolled in NYSHIP as my dependent and who is turning 65. Are the Medicare rules different for domestic partners?
A. Yes. Because Medicare is a federal program that does not recognize domestic partners as Internal Revenue Service-eligible dependents, Medicare becomes primary for your domestic partner at age 65 even though you are still actively employed in a benefit’s eligible position and he/she/they is enrolled in NYSHIP as a dependent. Regardless of your employment status, your domestic partner must have Medicare Parts A and B in place when they are first eligible due to age for Medicare. Please note that your domestic partner would retain NYSHIP as secondary coverage, and he/she/they would be eligible for Medicare Part B reimbursement from the NYS Department of Civil Service.  Please call (1-800-833-4344) for further details.

Q. When I retire (age 65 or older) do I have to enroll in Medicare even if I am enrolled in NYSHIP?
A. Yes, NYSHIP requires retirees to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B once you are retired and eligible for Medicare. Medicare becomes your primary insurance (Medicare pays first) at that point. Your covered dependents must also enroll when eligible (i.e., they turn age 65). NYSHIP will not provide any benefits for coverage available under Medicare if you or a dependent are eligible for Medicare coverage that is primary but fail to enroll when eligible. You will then be responsible for the full cost of services that Medicare would have covered.

As a reminder, all retirement benefits (i.e., health insurance) are processed through the HR Benefits Office, so contact us approximately 3-4 months prior to your date of retirement to ensure timely Medicare enrollment for yourself or eligible dependent.

Additionally, the attached publication from Social Security Administration” “Understanding The Benefits” is a helpful guide when meeting with staff who are about to retire who are age 65 or older (including NYSHIP dependent).  This publication is updated every year (re. Medicare Part B costs) and explains the basics of Social Security retirement benefits as well as benefits/costs associated with Medicare (remember, NYSHIP eligible retirees/dependents 65 and older ONLY need to enroll in Parts A & B, (not Parts C or D). 

Understanding the Benefits - SSA

The collective bargaining agreements between the State and CSEA, Council 82, NYSCOPBA, PBANYS, allow employee waiver of holiday compensation. Consequently, between April 2 and May 15, 2024, employees should notify the payroll office in writing, using the "Waiver of Additional Money for Holiday Work" form, if they elect to waive holiday compensation and choose to receive instead compensatory time off for holidays worked. The waiver will remain in effect until at least April 1, 2025. Employees may also elect to revoke any waiver of holiday compensation now in effect by filing out this form and submitting to the payroll offices by May 15, 2024.


The 2024 NYSHIP Option Transfer Period runs from November 30, 2023 through December 29, 2023.

During the annual Option Transfer Period, employees may make changes to their NYSHIP Option, including electing the Opt-out Program, if eligible.

For employees enrolled in the Pre-Tax Contribution Program (PTCP), the annual Option Transfer Period is the time when they may request changes that will affect their biweekly premium deduction for the new plan year (examples of allowed changes are a request to change from Family coverage to Individual coverage, cancel coverage altogether or change from after tax deductions to pretax deductions).

Pre-Tax Information

Please see the links below for NYSHIP information, plan options, and employee share premium rates for 2024:

Option Transfer changes can be requested by logging into NYSHIP’s Self-Service at: New York State Health Insurance Program - Benefits Self-Service ( or by completing a PS-404 form and submitting it to Ellen Brown, Sr. Personnel Associate in the office of human resources.

The Opt-out Program allows eligible employees who have other employer-sponsored group health insurance to opt out of NYSHIP coverage in exchange for an incentive payment. This incentive payment is:

  • $1,000 for opting out of Individual coverage or $3,000 for opting out of Family coverage;
  • prorated and credited to your biweekly paycheck thorughout the year and 
  • payable only when you are eligible for NYSHIP coverage at the employee share of the premium

To participate in the Opt-out Program, you must:

  • be a member of a group eligible for the Opt-out Program*
  • have been enrolled continuously in NYSHIP since either April 1, 2023 or your first date of NYSHIP eligibility (if that date is later than April 1)
  • have other employer-sponsored group health insurance coverage

To enroll, complete and submit the following forms to Ellen Brown, Sr. Personnel Associate, December 29, 2023:

* Employees who are represented by UUP and employees of Participating Employers (PEs) are not currently eligible to participate in the Opt-out Program. It is no longer necessary to reenroll in the Opt-out Program each year. No action is required for current Opt-out enrollees who are still eligible and wish to remain in the Program during the upcoming plan year.

The IRS has announced Annual Retirement Plan Contribution limits as follows: 2024 403 (b) / 457 Voluntary Annual Contributions (VSP / NYS DCP)
Under age 50: $ 23,000
Turning age 50 or older:  $ 30,500
(older worker catch-up $7,500)

2024 Annual Compensation Limit 401(a) (Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) $ 345,000

Attached please find the IRS announcement, the Annual Universal Availability Notice along with the effective date guide to make changes to your Voluntary Savings Plan.

The 2024 Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) for 2024 allows eligible UUP represented and Management Confidential (M/C 13) employees to exchange previously accrued annual leave (vacation) in return for a credit to be applied toward their employee share of NYSHIP premiums on a biweekly basis.

The enrollment for the 2024 PEP program runs from: Wednesday, November 1, 2023, through Monday, December 11, 2023.

The election form must be filed with Human Resource's Office by the close of business on December 11, 2023. 

Enrollment Form

The 2024 Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) for 2024 allows eligible Classified CSEA-represented and Management Confidential (M/C 06) employees to exchange previously accrued annual leave (vacation) and/or personal leave in return for a credit to be applied toward their employee share of NYSHIP premiums on a biweekly basis.
The enrollment for the 2024 PEP program runs from: Wednesday, November 1, 2023, through Monday, December 11, 2023.
The election form must be filed with Human Resource's Office by the close of business on December 11, 2023.
Classified CSEA/MC Enrollment form is found at: PEP 2024 Combined Enrollment Form.pdf (

Supervisors play a vital role in the growth and development of their CSEA-represented NYS employees.

That’s why we are encouraging NYS managers and supervisors to attend an informational webinar about our Adult Education Basics program on Thursday, August 3, at 11 a.m.

During the one-hour webinar, participants will discover:

  • The increasing need for Adult Education Basics training
  • The benefits associated with taking our classes to both supervisors and their staff
  • Upcoming courses and ways supervisors can help employees with enrollment

This fall, we will accept applications for two related courses: Enhance Your Skills: Reading, Writing, and Math Basics and Focus on Pronunciation: Level 1.

Webinar classes fill quickly, register as soon as possible. The registration deadline is July 31.

For more information, contact us at (800) 253-4332 or email

Two new Online Learning Certificate programs are available to prepare CSEA-represented NYS employees to advance their careers or gain extra knowledge to stay competitive in their current positions.

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) – CSEA-represented NYS employees will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in DEI to help foster thriving and cohesive teams.
  • Microsoft Excel 2016 Essentials – CSEA-represented NYS employees will have the opportunity to develop and improve their skills with this popular computer application.

Eligible employees may apply between July 10, 2023 to January 30, 2024. To earn a certificate, participants must successfully complete all required courses by January 30, 2024.

Supervisory approval is not required for courses taken outside of the normal workday.

Online Learning Certificate Programs

Under the Over40 Comp Time II Pilot Program (Over40 II), overtime-eligible State employees represented by CSEA, may opt to earn compensatory time at the time and one-half rate in lieu of overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek and to cash out that time at a later date. The 2023-2024 program year will conclude on June 21, 2024 (Administration Payroll).

Enrollments for eligible employees for the 2023-2024 program year, which will commence with the payroll period that includes July 1, 2023, must be submitted by employees no later than close of business June 1, 2023. 

Enrollment Form

CSEA-represented NYS employees:

Statewide Targeted Tuition Benefits Program is continuing.

Save time and money on tuition for eligible programming through the Partnership’s Statewide Targeted Tuition Program. CSEA-represented NYS employees training in the following career fields can receive up to two targeted tuition benefits. This is in addition to the two standard tuition benefits available to all CSEA-represented NYS employees. This means eligible employees can receive a total of four tuition benefits. Each benefit can cover up to $1,220. The four benefits can add up to $4,880 per year. The additional benefits help employees attain their coursework faster while reducing their tuition expenses. Statewide Targeted Tuition Programs

• Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

• Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

• Information Technology

• Nursing

• Welding

Courses must be in session, at some point, between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024. Applications must be received by March 31, 2024.

For more information go to: or contact a Partnership advisor at (800) 253-4332 (Option 1) or

The collective bargaining agreements between the State and CSEA, NYSCOPBA, and PBANYS, allow employee waiver of holiday compensation. Consequently, between April 2 and May 15, 2023 employees should notify the payroll office in writing, using the attached form, if they elect to waive holiday compensation and choose to receive instead compensatory time off for holidays worked. The waiver will remain in effect until at least April 1, 2024. Employees may also elect to revoke any waiver of holiday compensation now in effect by filing the attached form with the payroll office by May 15, 2023.

Waiver of Holiday Compensation Election Form


Online education through the Empire Knowledgebank (EKB) learning platform offers many opportunities in professional writing. - Professional Writing Skills: A Write it Well Guide - Improving Your Technical Writing Skills - Best Practices for Communicating in the Digital Age - Business Writing - Grant Writing - And Many More To access EKB, fill out the application at:
EKB License Application

December 2022 Spotlight on Professional Writing Skills

The State of New York provides a $50,000 accidental death benefit and a tuition benefit for dependent children for New York State employees who die as a result of an accidental on-the-job injury.

Both benefits are available to the following State employee groups:

Administrative Services Unit   02
Agency Police Services Unit   31
Institutional Services Unit   04
Management/Confidential   06
Operational Services Unit   03
Security Services Unit   01 & 21
State University of New York—   13
Management Confidential

Accidental Death Benefit

The accidental death benefit is paid only if an employee dies as a result of an accidental on-the-job injury and the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) issues a determination providing for payment of a death benefit under the Workers' Compensation Law. The accidental death benefit is $50,000, paid to the employee's surviving spouse and children. If there are no beneficiaries, the benefit is paid to the deceased employee's estate. The benefit is in addition to other State death benefits and is paid to the beneficiaries in the same proportion as the WCB determination. Employees in bargaining unit codes 01, 06, 07, 17, 18, 21, 31, 61, 62, and 91, whose beneficiaries receive full payment under the Federal Public Safety Officers Benefit Act (42 USC 3796, et seq.) are not eligible for the accidental death benefit. Members of the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU), bargaining unit code 28, are entitled to the accidental death benefit only.

Dependent Children Tuition Benefit

This benefit provides college tuition assistance to dependent children of New York State employees who die as a result of an accidental on-the-job injury. For the purpose of this benefit, dependent children are those designated by the Workers' Compensation Board to receive a death benefit.

Tuition assistance is paid in full if a dependent child attends an undergraduate college or community college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. In addition, some bargaining units will provide tuition assistance at the SUNY tuition rate if the dependent child attends a private college or university in New York State. This benefit is for tuition only and does not cover fees mandated by the college, room and board, books, or incidentals. The State pays the benefit directly to the college.

The Flex Spending Account (FSA) is a state employee benefit that saves you money by allowing you to pay for certain expenses with pre-tax dollars. Under this program, you can choose from three different benefits:

  • The Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) lets you set aside any amount from $100 up to $3050 for the 2023 plan year to pay for health care expenses that are not reimbursed by your health insurance or other benefit plan. However, only medically necessary medical, hospital, dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drug expenses for you, your spouse, and your eligible dependents can be reimbursed by your HCSA.
  • The Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAA) allows your family to set aside up to $5,000 or $2500 based on your tax filing status. In pre-tax dollars for eligible custodial childcare, elder care, or disabled dependent care expenses that are necessary for you and your spouse, if you are married, to work.
  • The Adoption Advantage Account lets you pay for expenses related to the adoption of an eligible child with pre-tax dollars. Eligible state employees may contribute up to $15,950 in the Adoption Advantage Account for the 2023 plan year.

This year we have a new administrator for the FSA, Total Administrative Service Corporation (TASC). TASC will be handling enrollments for the 2023 plan year while our current vendor, Health Equity/WageWorks will be responsible for the run out of the 2022 plan year. All employees will be required to newly enroll in the new system, including those who are re-enrolling.


Employees will continue to access a debit card to use for eligible purchases and charges. After January 1, current FSA debit cards from Health Equity/WageWorks will be deactivated. Participants in the 2023 program who enroll prior to December 1 should receive the new TASC debit card by January 1, 2023. Those participants who enroll after December 1 and before the December 12 deadline will receive their new debit card by mid-January. However, their claims and expenses will still be eligible for reimbursement.

Plan year 2023 will also include the maximum carryover of 2022 remaining balances. After the run-out period ends on March 31, 2023, up to $610 of funds remaining in 2022 accounts will be carried over to participants' 2023 accounts for use during the 2023 plan year. Funds will be deposited into 2023 accounts by April 30, 2023.


Plan year 2023 will also include a grace period. Any remaining funds from the 2022 plan year can be used to pay for expenses incurred between January 1, 2023 and March 15, 2023.

Open enrollment will run from November 1, 2022 to December 12, 2022 ending at 11:59 p.m. ET.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations do not allow us to make exceptions for employees who miss the deadline, regardless of their reason.

In addition to the informational flyer a more detailed brochure and the 2023 FSA enrollment book will be available at You may also visit the Flex Spending Account website at to view program details online and the enrollment process. You may also call the FSA Hotline at 1-800-358-7202 for more information, where customer service representatives are ready to assist you.

To Enroll:

On November 1 the link to enroll will be available at, or employees can call 800-358-7202 to enroll.

The State University of New York Voluntary Savings Plan 2023 UNIVERSAL AVAILABILITY NOTICE

The State University of New York ("SUNY") provides employees with the opportunity to save for their retirement through the SUNY Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan (the "Plan"). Participation in the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan is a great way to build your retirement savings through pre-tax and/or post-tax payroll deduction contributions.

2023 Universal Availability Notice (PDF)

  • The New Faculty Peer Mentoring Program is being offered this fall at no cost to tenure track faculty on all 64 SUNY campuses. This is a collaboration between the Center for Mentoring, Learning and Academic Innovation (CMLAI) SUNY Empire State College and the SUNY Center for Professional Development (CPD). The program is designed to support the work of new tenure track colleagues in their first two years across the State University of New York. This Peer Mentoring Program offers new faculty an opportunity to talk about vital issues as teachers, scholars and advisors. Registration and program information can be found at

  • Lumen Circles, a nine week online community where you reflect on your teaching practice and connect with faculty from other campuses are also free for all SUNY faculty. Circle themes include: Active Learning; Belonging & Inclusive Teaching; Evidence-based Teaching; Teaching with OER & OER-enabled Pedagogy; and Online Teaching. Registration and more information are at

    Please note: SUNY ESF faculty may not be able to utilize many of the Lumen resources because we use Syracuse University’s Blackboard.

For those who want a longer in-depth program, there is the Teaching and Learning for New Faculty Certificate Program. The Certificate provides evidence that faculty have attained a basic set of essential skills and knowledge needed for teaching at SUNY. The program consists of three six-week facilitated and interactive online asynchronous courses. Discounts are available for those on CPD member campuses and who register for all three courses at once. Registration information and program completion details are available at




My New York State Health Insurance Program (MyNYSHIP) is the online source to your personal enrollment record as a participant in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP).

Once you have registered with MyNYSHIP, you can:

  • View the current address contained in your NYSHIP enrollment record.
  • View a summary of the health, dental and vision plans in which you and any family members are enrolled.

In addition to being able to view your personal and enrollment information, once you enter your Activation Code, you can also:

  • Change your home address with NYSHIP. This will also change your address with your NYSHIP insurance carriers.
  • Order ID Cards for yourself and covered family members when enrolled in The Empire Plan.

This offer is now live. Peloton has a dedicated FAQ page to cover a variety of common questions. As a reminder you can check to see if you are eligible hereUnitedHealthcare announced that they are teaming up with Peloton to offer a free year worth of Peloton membership to people who have “select” UnitedHealthcare insurance plans.

Members of the SUNY family may be eligible for group discounts and offers from a variety of vendors, merchants, and providers. The following information outlines a few of these discount programs.

* Please note that SUNY does not endorse, support, or benefit from any of the programs or offers listed, and that this information is provided strictly for your information and further exploration. You should carefully review and research any programs or offers before enrolling or providing any personal information. Only representatives from each program, vendor, or merchant are knowledgeable and experienced enough to address your questions or to assist you with their respective programs.

The Deferred Compensation Plan is a voluntary retirement savings program, created by Federal and state law, enabling public employees to defer a portion of their gross pay. The following provides an overview of the plan: NYS Deferred Compensation Plan. For greater detail on the Plan and its benefits, visit the Plan Website at or call the Plan HELPLINE at 1-800-422-8463

For Pre-Retirement Planning check out the following link: Pre-Retirement Planning. Also, when you are ready to retire, contact Ellen Brown in Human Resources.

Members can now have video consultations with a NYSTRS representative using their own personal electronic device: personal computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. The choice is yours!

Book your appointment today through your MYNYSTRES account at or by calling 800 -348- 7298 EXT 6100.