Questions About Employee Benefits

What benefits am I eligible for as a state employee?
That depends on what union represents you and your employment status. For a list of your union's benefits view the Benefit summaries page. Consult plan documents for complete details about benefit programs or contact Human Resources at (315) 386-7325 for additional information. Take a look at our list of Helpful Benefit Phone Numbers and Web Sites.

How do I enroll for benefits if I am eligible?
When you are hired or newly eligible for benefits, you will receive a packet containing the forms and information you will need to enroll for benefits. If you do not receive this information within two weeks of your appointment to a benefits eligible position, contact Human Resources at (315) 386-7325.  Please keep in mind that your enrollment paperwork must be received in this office within 30 days of your initial or qualifying appointment or effective dates may be delayed.

Where can I get more information on benefits as a UUP employee?
Go to the UUP website and click on “Benefits”.

Where can I get more information on benefits as a CSEA employee?
Go to the CSEA Employee Benefit Fund website to view information on dental and vision benefits (and participating providers for each) along with other benefits available to CSEA employees.

When can I change health insurance plans?

Generally, the option/transfer period is November to December with the change of insurance effective in January. Notices regarding the option/transfer period are sent out via e-mail. View employee benefits at Civil Service.

When can I change my health coverage level (i.e., individual to family, waived to covered)?

Immediate changes in health insurance coverage can be made when a valid qualifying event occurs by filling out the Health Insurance Transaction form. Such events include marriage, birth of a child, or a dependent child graduating or reaching the maximum age of coverage. Changes can, under certain circumstances, be made without a qualifying event but would be subject to tax penalties and an additional waiting period. Please visit the Civil Service web site or contact human resources at 386-7325 if you have any questions or need additional information.

I was just married, divorced, or had a baby . . . what forms do I need to complete?

If you want to make changes to your health insurance coverage, you will need to complete the Health Insurance Transaction form. You will also need all required supporting documentation;  such as social security card, birth certificate and marriage license to add a dependent to your existing health insurance coverage. CSEA members will need to complete a Universal Enrollment Form to add a dependent or the Remove Dependent form to remove a dependent to adjust their dental and vision coverage accordingly. UUP members will need to complete a UUP Marital/ Dependent Status change form. You may also want to review your beneficiaries and tax forms at this time.

How do I change my name or address?
If you need to change your name, address, emergency contact information or other biographic information with the College, you will need to complete an Address/Name Change Form and any applicable forms listed therein. Legal name changes must be accompanied by acceptable proof (court order, marriage license, social security card, etc.). Once completed and processed by Human Resources, the form will update your records. You will need to contact your retirement, supplemental retirement provider, and union separately.

Can health insurance be continued if I am recently divorced, or my dependent loses eligibility, or my employment ends?

Yes, through COBRA, a Federal continuation of benefits program. The procedures to apply for coverage can be provided to you by Employee Benefits. If you or a dependent (child, spouse) loses eligibility, you (or they) must write Employee Benefits Division in Albany within 60 days of coverage termination. The address is: State of New York, Department of Civil Service Employee Benefits Division, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12239. You can call them at 1-800-833-4344 with questions.

How do I replace lost or stolen benefit cards?
If you are enrolled in the Empire Plan, contact Human Resources by email and request a replacement. A new card will be ordered for you and sent directly to your home address within 7 to 10 business days of the order date. If you are enrolled in an HMO, you must contact the member services department of the HMO.

Can I continue my health insurance into retirement?

Yes, if you meet the eligibility requirements.  To learn about health insurance continuation in retirement, please visit NYSHIP Online or contact the Health Benefits Administrator in Human Resource at 386-7325 for additional assistance.

How many times a year can I change my Tax-Deferred Annuity/403(b) contribution level?

There is no limit to the number of annual changes to your Tax-Deferred Annuity/403(b). Simply fill out the Salary Reduction Form and send to Human Resources or contact Human Resources at (315) 386-7325 for additional information.

How do I change the beneficiary designation on my retirement plan(s)?

It is a good idea to periodically review the beneficiary designations on your retirement plans and life insurance policies to take into account any life changes you may have experienced (birth of child, death of parent, divorce, etc.). This way you can be secure in the knowledge that your wishes will be carried out, in the event that anything should ever happen to you. If you need to change your beneficiary designation, you can contact each plan directly. You are encouraged to send a copy to the Human Resource office so that your benefit file accurately reflects the changes.  You can also visit Human Resources to make any necessary changes.

 Can I put money aside on a pre-tax basis to pay for dependent, elder, or health care expenses?

The Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAA) is a flexible spending account program governed by the regulations of the Internal Revenue Service. The program provides State employees with the opportunity to pay for childcare, elder care, or other dependent care expenses on a pre-tax basis. Participation in this program allows employees to set aside up to $5,000 annually in pre-tax salary to pay for their dependent care expenses. Some employees are eligible for up to an $800 employer contribution. Some employees who participate in the DCAA Account save more than $1,500 annually on their dependent care expenses!

The Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) is another type of flexible spending account program that allows eligible State employees to set aside from $150 to $2,500 annually in pre-tax salary to pay for health-related expenses that are not reimbursed by health insurance. Medically necessary medical, dental, prescription, vision and hearing expenses for enrollees and their dependents are eligible for reimbursement. At this time, the benefit is available to MC, UUP, PEF, and CSEA represented employees.

The open enrollment period for these plans is usually in the fall. New employees hired after the open enrollment period can enroll within 60 days of hire. Participants who are currently in the DCAA or HCSA must re-enroll each year if they wish to continue their benefits. If you need additional information, or wish to obtain an enrollment kit, please call 1-800-358-7202, or visit

If you have any other questions or need further assistance, please contact Human Resources at (315) 386-7325.

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?
Not if you have reached age 59-½ 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 59-½ 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 [ie., NYS Teachers' Retirement System, NYS Employees' Retirement System, Optional Retirement System (ORP)] are not subject to New York State Income Taxes.

Can I take my money out of my SRA, TDA, or my Optional Retirement Program Retirement Annuity (RA)?
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- ½. Also, you pay income tax on the distributions in the year that you take them. Optional Retirement Program (ORP) Retirement Annuity (RA) funds are available through new loan provisions. Contact Human Resource Services for more information. Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) funds are governed by the same rules as SRA funds.

How do I get more information about the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan?
You can call the Helpline at (800) 422-8463 (Monday-Friday: 8am – 11pm; Saturday: 9am – 6pm, except holidays) or visit their website at

Contact Information

Human Resources Office
Address: 34 Cornell Drive Canton, NY 13617
Campus Location: French Hall
Phone: (315) 386-7325
Fax: (315) 315-386-7064

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm