Employee Benefits Questions

Is the VSP a State retirement program?
No, the VSP is a Stony Brook University program open to those with the required service eligibility who choose to retire or resign within a specified time frame.
Who is eligible to participate in this voluntary program?
Stony Brook University (West Campus, HSC,) full-time M/C, UUP, CSEA, Council 82, PEF and NYSCOPBA employees, as well as full-time employees of the Stony Brook Foundation and Research Foundation's administrative employees. We are unable to extend this opportunity to Research Foundation employees who are compensated from the direct costs of an externally sponsored project.
Are Hospital Employees eligible to participate?
If you are directly funded by a Hospital or LISVH account or are in a Hospital title, you cannot participate in the program.
I am a rehired retiree, can I take advantage of this program if I meet the years of service requirement?
No, this program is not available to employees who have previously retired.
Do leaves count towards years of service?
Official leaves are counted towards the 25 years' service requirement. Leaves will be reviewed by HRS for final determination.
Does my supervisor need to approve my VSP Contract?
No. you do not need supervisory approval to participate in the VSP III.
Do I need to inform my department of my intent to separate or will HRS notify them?
You are required to provide your department with a copy of your irrevocable retirement/resignation.
Is my Contract for the VSP confidential?
Due to the fiscal liability to the department, the department Chair or Director will be provided with a list of all employees who submit an application for the VSP lll program. It is still your responsibility to notify your supervisor of your retirement or resignation.
From which date will my years of eligible University service be calculated?
You must have completed 25 or more years of service at Stony Brook University as of your retirement/resignation date.
Must I be working full-time on the date of my separation?
You must be full time as of March 1, 2011 and continue to be full time on the effective date of your retirement.
From which date will my salary be calculated?
The payout will be calculated based on your March 1, 2011 base salary.
Will my lump-sum payment be based on my salary including the "location pay", "also receives" or "extra service" I'm currently receiving?
No. The lump-sum payment will be calculated based on your base salary as of March 1, 2011.
Will I be taxed on the lump sum payout?
The "Lump Sum Payout" is considered Supplemental Wages according to the IRS. Supplemental wages are wage payments to an employee that are not part of regular wages and will be taxed separately from your regular wages. Tax rates for Supplementary Wages paid separate from regular wages in 2011 are as follows; *rates subject to change

* Federal Income Tax Withholdings = 25%
* NY State Tax Withholdings = 9.77%
* Social Security = 4.2% (up to 106,800 of taxable wages)
* Medicare = 1.45%
Can I use my vacation leave time to carry me to my separation date?
Yes, if organizational needs are met, your supervisor may approve the use of vacation and holiday time.
Does my time worked as a graduate or teaching assistant count toward my 25 years of service?
No. Time worked as a graduate or teaching assistant will not count toward the 25 years of service?
If I complete and submit a Voluntary Separation Program Contract, can I later rescind my decision (keep my job)?
No. Once you submit the Irrevocable VSP III Contract you cannot rescind your application.
If I have negotiated a phased retirement program with by my department, may I participate in the VSP lll?
No, employees may only participate in one University incentive/retirement program.
If the State offers an incentive program can I combine the State program with a University incentive?
No, eligible employees may only participate in one Separation/Incentive program. Employees who elect to participate in a State ERI will be ineligible for the Stony Brook University Program.
Will I be eligible for unemployment insurance?
While the University does not make unemployment determinations, employees voluntarily separating (resigning or retiring) from their positions are not usually eligible for unemployment insurance.
Who should I contact if I still have questions or need to make an appointment?
You should contact Lisa Coleman in HRS at (631) 632-4870.