Monthly Archives: February 2015

Top 10 New York Retirement News Posts

One year ago, New York Retirement News went live, bringing the members and retirees of the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) the retirement news you need to know. Let’s look at some of the top 10 blog posts from this past year:

  1. The Top 5 Retirement Myths and Their Impact on Your Benefit
    A quick look at some common misconceptions NYSLRS members have about their retirement benefits.
  2. Countdown to Retirement: The Last 18 Months
    When you’re about 18 months away from retirement, think about requesting a NYSLRS retirement estimate.
  3. Countdown to Retirement: What to Do 12 Months Before Your Retirement Date
    Your retirement date’s a year away: time to think about what you need to do to get ready.
  4. What Unused Sick Leave at Retirement Might Mean for You
    Some NYSLRS members may be eligible for additional service credit for their unused, unpaid sick leave at retirement.
  5. Top Five Pre-Retirement Goals for NYSLRS Members in 2015
    New year, new goals. Here are five pre-retirement goals we think NYSLRS members can reach in 2015.
  6. How Divorce Affects Your NYSLRS Benefit
    If you get divorced, your ex-spouse may be entitled to a portion of your NYSLRS benefit.
  7. Retirement Planning – Start Thinking Outside the Box
    What will your life be like after retirement? Time to start post-retirement planning.
  8. What Makes Up Your NYSLRS Pension?
    There are three main parts that make up your NYSLRS pension. Do you know what they are?
  9. Retirement Planning – Getting Your NYSLRS Retirement Estimate
    Want a preview of what your retirement benefit could be? A NYSLRS retirement estimate can help with that.
  10. NYSLRS – One Tier at a Time: ERS Tiers 3 & 4
    The first in a new blog series all about NYSLRS retirement tiers.

Thanks for following us this past year. Keep an eye out every Wednesday for posts from NYSLRS.

NYSLRS – One Tier at a Time: PFRS Tier 2

Today’s post looks at Tier 2 in the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS). A majority of PFRS members are in Tier 2, which began on July 31, 1973 and ended on June 30, 2009. Most Police and Fire Retirement System members are in “special” retirement plans that allow for retirement after 20 or 25 years, regardless of age, with­out penalty.

The special plans that cover municipal police officers and firefighters fall under Sections 384, 384(f), 384-d, and 384-e of Retirement and Social Security Law. As of March 31, 2014, there were 21,382 Tier 2 members in these plans; most of whom are covered by either Section 384-d (37.5 percent) or 384-e (61.8 percent).

Check out the graphic below for the basic retirement information for PFRS Tier 2 members.

PFRS-Tier-2-Benefits

*This graphic was updated on 2/19/15.

For more detailed information about your benefits, please review your retirement plan publication: Special 20- and 25-Year Plans for PFRS Tier 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 Members (Sections 384, 384-d and 384-e) (VO1517).

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

What Is Creditable Service for Police & Fire Retirement System Members?

The answer has a few twists and turns.

When you retire, the pension benefit you receive will be directly related to your retirement service credit.

As a member of the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS), you earn service credit for your paid public employment with a participating PFRS employer. With more than 34,000 members in it, PFRS provides service and disability retirement benefits, as well as death benefits to police officers and firefighters who work for participating public employers, exclusive of New York City.

What Credit Counts Towards Retirement?

One question The New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) is often asked is, how much of my public service ‘counts’ towards retirement?

It can sometimes be a complicated question to answer. Most PFRS members are in retirement plans that allow for retirement after 20 or 25 years, regardless of age, without penalty. The public service that can be used toward your 20 or 25 years is determined by legislation and differs among plans offered to PFRS members.

For example, in the largest PFRS plan – which has 14,840 members in it and which was established by Section 384-e of the Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL) — you can accrue creditable service:

  • As a firefighter or police officer under the 384-e plan;
  • As a member or officer of the New York State Police;
  • In the military, as specified by law.

Service as a sheriff, corrections officer, or volunteer firefighter would also not be creditable in Section 384-e of the RSSL.

Contact Us Before Transferring Membership or Purchasing Service Credit

If you have worked for multiple New York State public employers and are unsure if all of your service is creditable towards your 20 or 25 year plan, contact us before transferring membership or purchasing service credit. You should also be sure to request an estimate from us well before your planned date of retirement if there is any question about your creditable service.

NYSLRS Loans: What You Need To Know

If you’ve taken a loan against your New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) contributions, please remember to pay it back before you retire. An outstanding NYSLRS loan balance at retirement will permanently reduce your retirement benefit. You can’t make loan payments after you retire, and the reduction doesn’t go away after we recover the funds.

Loan Reduction Examples

Here are some loan reduction examples you might find helpful:

Loan Reduction Amount at Retirement (ERS Tiers 3, 4, 5 and 6)

At Age Outstanding Loan Balance Annual Pension Reduction
55 $1,000 $53.18
$5,000 $265.90
$10,000 $531.80
60 $1,000 $59.35
$5,000 $296.74
$10,000 $593.47
62 $1,000 $62.35
$5,000 $311.74
$10,000 $623.48
65 $1,000 $67.59
$5,000 $337.95
$10,000 $675.90
70 $1,000 $79.12
$5,000 $395.60
$10,000 $791.20

Loan Reduction Amount at Retirement (PFRS Tiers 3, 5 and 6)

At Age Outstanding Loan Balance Annual Pension Reduction
45 $1,000 $45.02
$5,000 $225.11
$10,000 $450.23
50 $1,000 $49.06
$5,000 $245.31
$10,000 $490.63
55 $1,000 $54.46
$5,000 $272.30
$10,000 $544.60
60 $1,000 $61.70
$5,000 $308.49
$10,000 $616.98
62 $1,000 $65.25
$5,000 $326.26
$10,000 $652.53
65 $1,000 $71.45
$5,000 $367.27
$10,000 $714.54

Tax Implications

Members who retire with outstanding NYSLRS loans that exceed the federal limit for non-taxable loans may face significant tax consequences. Part or all of your loan balance may be considered taxable funds that were credited to your account and would be subject to federal income tax in the year that you retire. Also, if you’re under age 59½ at the time your loan becomes reportable, you may be subject to an additional 10 percent penalty tax.

Contact Us

For the payoff balance on your NYSLRS loan, call our automated phone service toll-free at 1-866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 within the Albany, New York area. For information on how to make additional payments or increase your loan payment amount, please visit our Loans: Getting One and Paying it Back page.