Monthly Archives: January 2015

How Retirement Age Can Affect Your NYSLRS Retirement Benefit

Only you can decide when it’s the right time to retire from public service, but keep in mind that your age at retirement can affect your retirement benefit. If you’re a New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) member in a regular retirement plan, you can retire with full benefits at the age specified by your plan. You have the option to retire as early as age 55, but you’d receive a permanently reduced benefit.

Full Retirement Ages

Most retirement plans have an age requirement you’d have to meet to retire with full benefits. For Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) members in Tiers 2, 3, 4 and 5 and Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) members in Tiers 2, 3, 5 and 6, the full retirement age is 62. ERS Tier 6 members can retire with full benefits at age 63. PFRS Tier 6 members who have left the payroll are eligible to apply for their benefit at age 63.

Service Credit Exceptions

For some retirement plans, if you have a certain amount of service credit, benefit reductions don’t apply to you. Benefit reductions don’t apply to ERS Tier 2, 3 or 4 members who retire between 55 and 62 with 30 or more years of service credit. Tier 5 Uniformed Court Officers and Peace Officers employed by the Unified Court System with 30 or more years of service can also retire between 55 and 62 with an unreduced benefit.

Retirement benefits for all other ERS Tier 5 and Tier 6 members and PFRS Tier 2, 3, 5 and 6 members not in a special 20- or 25-year plan will be reduced for early retirement — even if they have 30 years of service credit.

Benefit Reductions

If you’re thinking about retiring early, it’s important to know that the benefit reductions are prorated by month, so the closer you are to your full retirement age, the less the reduction will be. It’s also important to know that once you retire with a reduced benefit, that reduction is permanent.

The following tables break down the reductions by membership tiers:

ERS Tiers 2, 3 and 4 / PFRS Tiers 2, 3 (Article 11), 5 and 6

Age at Retirement Percentage of Reduction
62 0
61 6.00
60 12.00
59 15.00
58 18.00
57 21.00
56 24.00
55 27.00

ERS Tier 3 State Correction Officers and
Security Hospital Treatment Assistants (SHTA)

Age at Retirement Percentage of Reduction
62 0
61 6.67
60 13.33
59 16.67
58 20.00
57 23.33
56 26.67
55 30.00

ERS Tier 5

Age at Retirement Percentage of Reduction
62 0
61 6.67
60 13.33
59 18.33
58 23.33
57 28.33
56 33.33
55 38.33

ERS Tier 6

Age at Retirement Percentage of Reduction
63 0
62 6.50
61 13.00
60 19.50
59 26.00
58 32.50
57 39.00
56 45.50
55 52.00

Contact us if you have any questions about benefit reductions or any other retirement-related topics. Please be sure to review your online retirement plan booklet for a full description of the benefits you’re entitled to as well as the reductions and restrictions you should be aware of.

NYSLRS – One Tier at a Time: ERS Tiers 3 & 4

(We know that’s two, but let us explain)

When you join the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), you’re assigned a tier based on the date of your membership. There are six tiers in the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and five in the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) – so there are many different ways to determine benefits for our members. Our new series, NYSLRS – One Tier at a Time, walks through each tier and gives you a quick look at the benefits the members are eligible for before and at retirement.

Today’s post looks at Tiers 3 and 4 in the Employees’ Retirement System. Now, we know these are technically two tiers, but many of the members in these tiers are eligible to retire under the same retirement plan: Article 14 (for Tier 3 members) or Article 15 (for Tier 3 and 4 members). They also represent the largest percentage – 64.2 percent – of our ERS membership. Of our current 496,441 ERS members, 318,939 are in Tiers 3 and 4.

Check out the graphic below for the basic retirement information for Tier 3 and 4 members.

If you’re an ERS Tier 3 or 4 member, find your retirement plan publication from the list below for more detailed information about your benefits:

Stay tuned for more NYSLRS – One Tier at a Time posts. Next time, we’ll take a look at one of our PFRS tiers.

Change Your Mind, or Plans? Here’s How to Withdraw a NYSLRS Retirement Application

Even though you’ve been preparing for retirement, sometimes certain life events happen and you may find yourself in a position where you just aren’t ready to retire. In some cases, this can happen right after you’ve already filed your NYSLRS retirement application. Don’t panic – you can pull your retirement application at any time before your retirement date.

How Can I Stop a Retirement Application I’ve Already Submitted?

To withdraw your application, you can either submit the Withdrawal of Application for Service Retirement (RS6354) form or send us a signed letter indicating you wish to withdraw your retirement application. Please include your name, address and registration number and/or the last four digits of your Social Security number in your letter.

Filing Forms with the Comptroller

Filing a form to withdraw your service retirement application is just like filing a form to apply for a service retirement. For any form to be considered “filed with the Comptroller,” it must be received by:

We will consider a form filed on the day you deliver it personally or when the Post Office delivers it to us. If you are concerned about meeting a deadline, you can mail the document via “Certified Mail – Return Receipt Requested” and we will consider it filed on the date it was mailed. You can also send the document to us via fax, but you must still mail us the original to meet the filing requirement. Please see our Contact Us page for more information.

Please keep in mind that if your retirement withdrawal is filed on or after your effective date of retirement, it is invalid and you will be officially retired.

When We Receive Your Retirement Withdrawal

Once we receive your request to withdraw your retirement application, we’ll send you an acknowledgment letter and also notify your employer, but we strongly encourage you to let your employer know immediately of your decision. That will help you and your employer avoid any unnecessary termination processing.

When Your Circumstances Change

When you’re ready to retire, you’ll need to file a new Application for Service Retirement (RS6037) form. Your application must be on file with us at least 15 days, but not more than 90 days, before your new retirement date.

Contact us if you have any questions about withdrawing your retirement application or any other retirement-related topic you might have.

Just Started A New Public Sector Job? Remember This Step…

Are you a current New York State & Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) member who just started working at a new job in the public sector? Even though you’re already a NYSLRS member, make certain that your new employer sends a membership application for you. By sending us a new membership application, your employer provides us with updated information about your membership.

The Importance of the Filling Out a New Membership Application

iStock_000022114002Large_resizedBesides providing updated information to us, like the start date of your new position and your job title, the membership application is important for other reasons as well. Up-to-date member information:

  • Ensures that your employment history and benefit projection are accurately reported in your member annual statement.
  • Helps guarantee that benefit determinations are based on the most current information.
  • Identifies any delays between the time you began working and the time your employer started reporting you.
  • Ensures that we will receive the correct amount of contributions for your membership in NYSLRS.
  • Allows us to update your retirement plan in our computer system if you change plans as a result of your new employment.

Starting a new public sector job is also a good opportunity for you to update your beneficiary information. Members often neglect to change their beneficiary designations after marriages, births or deaths, which can result in payments being made to the last named beneficiary, who may not necessarily be the person you would currently select.

Submitting the Membership Application

You should let your employer know that you are already a member of NYSLRS and need to have a new application submitted. Your employer will then complete the appropriate sections of the application, since only employers can complete and submit an application when you change public employers. Check with your Human Resources office to confirm that your application has been submitted.

Contact us if you have any questions about submitting a new membership application, or any other retirement-related topic you might have.