Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Fund – Strength Through Strategy

The New York State Common Retirement Fund (the Fund) holds assets in trust for all NYSLRS members and retirees. As trustee, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli is accountable for the performance and management of the Fund and ensures that investment policies and practices adhere to the highest levels of ethical conduct and transparency. Comptroller DiNapoli seeks the input of a wide-range of internal and external advisors to determine the best allocation of assets and investment choices for the Fund.

The Fund also relies on an extensive network of outside advisors, consultants and legal counsel to provide the Comptroller with independent advice and oversight of all investment decisions. Outside advisors and internal investment staff are part of the chain of approval that must sign off on all investment decisions before they reach the Comptroller for final approval.

An independent review released in February 2013 found that the Fund is one of the most transparently and ethically managed public pension funds in the country. The review also found that the Fund is well run, invests effectively on behalf of its members and operates with industry-leading openness.

Vicki Fuller is the Chief Investment Officer of the Fund, and as she notes in this video, the Fund has remained strong for the NYSLRS members and retirees who depend on it. The consistent performance of the Fund can be attributed to a long-term investment strategy and asset allocation policy that balances a maximum level of return with an appropriate level of investment risk.

For more detailed information on the Fund, visit the Division of Pension Investment and Cash Management.

For extensive historical data and detailed information about how the Fund is managed, visit the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports section of our website.

Retirement Planning – Start Planning Ahead

This post was originally published on May 21, 2014. The video was updated on 6/8/16 to include 2016 loan reduction amounts.

In our first Preparing for Retirement post, we talked about finding the information you need to start your retirement planning. Now that you’ve researched more about your retirement plan, it’s important to spend the last few years of your public employment career making sure your records with the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) are up to date and that you’ll be able to retire within your timeframe. It’s best to take care of these matters now instead of at the last minute.

Preparing for Retirement: Part Two – Repaying Your Retirement System Loans

The Preparing for Retirement 7-part video series discusses the main aspects of retirement planning to help NYSLRS members nearing retirement make good, informed decisions for the future. In Part Two – Repaying Your Retirement System Loans, you’ll learn how having an outstanding NYSLRS loan balance at retirement can impact your pension benefit. As you’ll see in the following video, it’s crucial to repay any NYSLRS loans you may have before you file for retirement.

Important Links for Retirement Planning

Where to Find More Retirement Planning Information

If you are close to retirement and have more questions, consider scheduling an appointment to meet with an information representative at one of NYSLRS’ consultation sites in New York State. Don’t forget to check back for the rest of the Preparing for Retirement video series, which includes retirement planning topics like:

  • Requesting a retirement benefit estimate
  • Personal financial planning during retirement
  • How divorce may affect your pension
  • Filing your retirement application
  • Choosing the option of how your pension will be paid

For New Members – A Quick Peek at your NYSLRS Retirement Benefits

If you recently became a public employee in New York, you’re relatively new to the New York State & Local Retirement System (NYSLRS). You should know that you are covered by a retirement plan that provides important retirement benefits. And, while pension benefits top the list, there are other NYSLRS retirement benefits which can help keep you and your beneficiaries financially secure.

Two Key Benefits You Should Know About

If you are an Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) Tier 5 or Tier 6 member, you are covered by certain job-related death and disability benefits.

  • A non-job related death benefit after 1 year of service credit, and
  • A disability benefit, with 10 years of service credit, if you are unable to perform your duties because of a permanent physical or mental incapacity.

Similarly, if you are a Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) Tier 5 or Tier 6 member in either the 20- or 25-year plan, or an ERS Tier 5 or 6 Correction Officer, your NYSLRS retirement benefits include:

  • A non-job related death benefit after 90 days of service credit, and
  • A non-job related disability benefit after 10 or more years of service credit.

You can learn more detailed information about your benefits by finding your retirement plan publication on our website.

What It Means to be Vested

As a Tier 5 or 6 member, you will be vested once you have ten years of credited service. This means you are entitled to a NYSLRS retirement benefit even if you leave public employment before you are old enough to retire. Once you are vested, you are eligible to receive a retirement benefit as early as your 55th birthday. Your benefit will be based on service and salary earned when you were an active member with NYSLRS.

Remember, your pension isn’t the only benefit of being a member of NYSLRS. Those disability and death benefits are important as well. And learning about all your NYSLRS retirement benefits is an investment in your financial future. Since we are committed to helping you make informed decisions about that future, please do not hesitate to contact us whenever you have questions about those benefits.

Consider Adding a Personal Savings Plan to Your NYSLRS Retirement Benefits Mix

As a NYSLRS member, you can look forward to your pension as one source of income. Your Social Security benefits will be another source. But as a new NYSLRS member who is considering a personal savings plan, the biggest benefit you have is time. Having time on your side to save for retirement is critical. But this benefit you provide to yourself is totally up to you. You have to take that step, so don’t wait, start saving for retirement now.

A good financial planner, accountant or attorney can help you prepare for retirement, so you may want to consult with one to develop a practical plan that meets your needs and goals.