Monthly Archives: October 2014

Preparing for Retirement: Part Seven — Choosing Your Retirement Option

After many months of retirement planning, finally filing your retirement application is a major milestone. But your retirement process isn’t finished yet – you still need to choose your NYSLRS retirement option. When choosing your retirement option, it’s important to think about what your needs will be in retirement so you can pick how you’d like your monthly pension benefit paid to you.

Retirement Planning — Choosing Your NYSLRS Retirement Option

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 Seven – Choosing Your Retirement Option, you’ll go over what an option election is and how you can learn more about them before making your decision.

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. Even though the Preparing for Retirement video series is complete, you can always review previous retirement planning videos like:

When You’re Retired

Our website has many resources to help you prepare for retirement, but don’t forget to check back with us after you retire. Our Retiree home page can keep you informed about pension payments, tax information and other relevant retiree news. Make sure to check it out.

National Save For Retirement Week: The Importance Of Saving For Retirement

Most People Do Not Have Enough Money Saved for Retirement

Although there are few things certain in life, it’s good to know your New York State & Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) pension is one of them. But your pension is only one part of a good financial plan. That’s why we advocate a well-rounded approach to saving for retirement by considering Social Security and personal savings as well.

Unfortunately, according to a recent Employee Benefit Research Institute survey, most Americans have very little savings set aside for retirement, and many don’t know how much they’ll need later in life. In fact, about 36 percent of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement. The survey also revealed that only 44 percent say they or their spouses have tried to calculate how much money they’ll need in order to live comfortably during retirement.

The findings underscore the fact that Americans need to start saving to avoid further retirement insecurity.

National Save for Retirement Week

This year’s National Save For Retirement Week is from October 19 – 25. It provides an opportunity for people to review their own personal financial situation and determine if they are on track to reach their retirement goals. National Save For Retirement Week has been held annually since 2006, when the United States Congress adopted a resolution specifically designed to elevate public knowledge about retirement savings.

Groups such as the International City Management Association (ICMA) offer educational retirement resources, including more participatory activities like today’s National Pack-a-Sack Lunch Day. According to the ICMA, you could save thousands of dollars over seven years just by bringing your own lunch to work. Check out ICMA’s Big Savings Calculator to see how you can take steps to save money for retirement just by making fewer everyday purchases.

There are several ways to save for retirement. One savings plan to consider is a deferred compensation plan.

Deferred Compensation Plans Work

A deferred compensation plan can be another source of retirement income to consider when saving for retirement. Deferred compensation is a type of plan where part of your earned income is paid back to you at a later date. The money you set aside is tax-deferred, which means you do not pay federal or State tax on it until you begin to collect it.The New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP) is a voluntary retirement savings plan created for New York State employees, and employees of participating employers. Participants in the NYSDCP have their contributions deducted automatically from each paycheck to their deferred compensation account. They can also choose from different investment options within the plan for their account.

If you work for a local government employer, please check with your human resources officer or benefit administrator to learn about deferred compensation plans.

Start Saving Now

The sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. Check out our Weekly Investment Plan to see how making a weekly investment can grow by age 65. With just a little planning and added effort on your part, you’ll have added security for your retirement years.

New AARP Study Finds More Than 25% of New York Baby Boomers Aren’t Confident They’ll Ever Retire

According to the findings of a new American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) report, 27 percent of individuals who are 50 years-of-age or older and currently working in New York State are not confident they will ever be able to retire. More than half of those surveyed say their retirement will be delayed for financial reasons, and 26 percent said they do not have any access to a retirement savings plan through their employer. What’s most alarming is that out of those confident they will retire, 60 percent said they’d be likely to leave New York after retiring.

“Retirement security is eroding day by day,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, one of the panelists at last month’s Boomer Flight Conference sponsored by AARP and City and State in Albany. “Failure to act now will only make the problem worse for the baby boomers and the generations to follow.”

Watch more of the Comptroller’s remarks from the Boomer Flight Conference.

Boomers Help Stimulate the New York Economy

AARP reported that baby boomers retired from New York’s workforce would deliver $179 billion a year to the state’s economy. According to research done by AARP and Oxford Economics, the total economic impact of New York’s 50 and older is nearly $600 billion, supporting 53 percent of the state’s jobs and 44 percent of the state taxes. But AARP also revealed that if 60% of working boomers headed out of state, they would carry with them over $105 billion annually.

New York may still have a chance at retaining the boomer population, if improvements are made. Out of those surveyed by AARP, the following said they’d be more likely to stay in New York as they age if the following areas were improved:

  • Health (77 percent)
  • Housing (70 percent)
  • Transportation (66 percent)
  • Jobs for older residents (61 percent)

“Without a long-term strategy on retirement security,” DiNapoli continued, “we risk condemning an increasing percentage of hardworking New Yorkers and Americans to poverty in their senior years.”

2014 State of the 50+ in New York State (Full report, PDF)

Firefighters Deserve A Salute Every Day

Keeping Us Safe and Sound

10/9/14 Correction to Infographic: Retired Firefighters make up 2.1% of Retired NYSLRS Members, not 1.9% as previously shown.

It’s National Fire Prevention Week (NFPW) this week and, while attention is properly focused on promoting fire prevention, we believe a tip of the cap – or helmet, if you will – should also be extended to all firefighters who are members of the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS).

Though volunteer firefighters are not part of the NYSLRS family, we value their contributions, their work ethic and the pride they take in safeguarding us as well.

Of the 524,427 active members in NYSLRS, 31,218 are in the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS). Of these, more than 6,300 are active firefighters; there are also 8,900 brave men and women who are retired firefighters.

NYSLRS Membership and Firefighters

Unlike most members of the New York State and Local Employees Retirement System (ERS), who are given the option of joining the System, firefighters working for the employers who participate in PFRS must become members of NYSLRS. The milestones for PFRS members are different than they are for ERS members.

In addition, employers can choose to offer different retirement plans or optional benefits to their employees via special plans. A special plan allows for retirement after completing a specific number of years of credited service in specific job titles rather than attaining a certain age. Nearly 44 percent of all PFRS members (14,840) are enrolled in these special 20- and 25-year plans.

Firefighters are Heroes

To the members of the New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York and the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs; to the county fire marshals, supervising fire marshals, fire marshals, assistant fire marshals, assistant chief fire marshals and chief fire marshals: thank you for your service to New York and its citizens. You are truly underappreciated heroes who render valuable service to us all, and for that we are grateful.

Retirement Planning – Filing for Retirement

After many months of retirement planning, it’s time to fill out your NYSLRS retirement application. Applying for retirement is easy, especially if you’ve done your research and taken the proper steps to prepare for your retirement in advance.

Preparing for Retirement: Part Six – Filing Your NYSLRS Retirement Application

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 Six – Filing Your NYSLRS Retirement Application – you’ll learn about the important parts of the form, and how to file your NYSLRS retirement application with the Office of the State Comptroller.


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. Even though the Preparing for Retirement video series is almost complete, you can always review previous retirement planning videos like:

The last video will take you through choosing the option of how your pension benefit will be paid to you.