Countdown To Retirement: What To Do 12 Months Before Your Retirement Date

Countdown to retirement - 12 MonthsThere are important things you need to do in the final months leading up to your retirement date. Our Countdown to Retirement Series will help you remember what to do and when to do it.

Last month we discussed what you need to be concerned about when you’re 18 months away from retirement. This second post describes what you should be aware of at 12 months out, when educating yourself about pre-retirement issues could spell the difference between a process that’s stress free and one that isn’t.

Locate Proof of Birth

We must have proof of your birth date before any benefits can ever be paid to you. We’ll accept your birth certificate as proof, but we’ll also accept one of the following documents:

If you send us the original, we will return it to you. If you don’t have the original, in most cases, a photocopy of the document is acceptable.

Please provide us with your proof of birth sooner rather than later, in the event you need to contact another party for your information. Also, if you’re thinking about choosing a retirement option that provides a lifetime benefit to a beneficiary, we will need proof of your beneficiary’s birth date too.

Send Us Your DRO

According to New York law, pensions earned during the marriage are considered marital property. As a result, if you are divorced, your retirement benefit could be split between you and your ex-spouse. Please make certain we have a valid domestic relations order (DRO) on file if you agreed to or were ordered by a court to have a portion of your pension benefits paid to your ex-spouse.

If you have any questions about DROs, you can always review our Guide to Domestic Relations Orders.

Counting Down from 12 Months

Your planned retirement date is just a year away. Check back for more Countdown to Retirement posts on pre-retirement issues, reviewing other retirement income, and preparing a post-retirement budget. If you have any pre-retirement questions, please contact us.

18 thoughts on “Countdown To Retirement: What To Do 12 Months Before Your Retirement Date

  1. Christfried Arfsten

    your 12 months to retirement bulliten said we shouild send in proof of our date of birth, who should this be sent to?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Thanks for your question, Chris. If you are about to retire, you can mail your proof of date of birth to:

      New York State and Local Retirement System
      110 State Street
      Albany, NY 12244-0001

      If you are not getting ready to retire, and just want to have your proof of date of birth on file with us, please mail it to:

      New York State and Local Retirement System
      Attention: Member and Employer Services Bureau
      110 State Street
      Albany, NY 12244-0001

      Please be sure to include your retirement registration number with your proof of date of birth.

      We will also be contacting you directly with the same information.

      If you have any other questions, we encourage you to email us using the “Contact Us” page on our website, at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/contact_us/index.php.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Chris, thanks for your question. There are a few ways you can go about getting the information you’re looking for:

      • You can visit our website and use our Benefit Projector Calculator to help you estimate your pension based on the information you enter. You can use your latest Member Annual Statement to help you fill out the calculator.
      • You can contact our call center toll-free at 1-866-805-0990 to request a Benefit Projection through our automated phone line. Your projection can be mailed to your home as soon as the next business day.
      • You can also schedule an appointment to speak to an Information Representative by phone or meet with an Information Representative at one of our consultation sites. Our staff can help you project your pension.

      Hope you find this helpful.

      Thanks!

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Thanks for your comment

      While we naturally want to help you, we feel your concerns would be better answered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) itself. You can contact the agency directly by calling its toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 . Alternatively, you may contact SSA online to find out when you may want to start receiving retirement benefits by visiting http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners.

      You might also want to read the SSA’s own publication, When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits, or couple of our recent social media posts, Are You Social Security Saavy? and Three Ways to Maximize your SSA Benefits.

      We hope this information proves useful to you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us again whenever you require assistance with any other retirement-related question you might have.

      Reply
  2. Witte

    For the proof of date of birth I plan on using a passport or driver’s license. Can I mail in photocopies of these documents? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Witte,

      Thanks for your question. You can provide us with a photocopy of your passport and driver license to prove your date of birth. Make sure you provide your member registration number too. You can mail the copies to:

      New York State and Local Retirement System
      Attn: Benefit Calculations & Disbursement Services Bureau
      110 State Street
      Albany, NY 12244-0001

      If we need to see the original documents, we’ll contact you.

      We hope this helps,

      NYSLRS

      Reply
  3. Kathy

    I have an appointment in March in White Plains, NY. I know I have to show my drivers license at that time, should I bring additional papers – passport, baptismal certificate?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Your driver’s license is all you need for photo identification.

      If you intend to file for retirement at your appointment, you may wish to bring proof of your date of birth, such as your passport. It’s also a good idea to bring any recent NYSLRS correspondence, your last retirement estimate and/or your most recent Member Annual Statement if you have them, and a list of your questions.

      Reply
  4. Kelly Hughes

    What if I’m unsure if I’m retiring in one year or three years. Who do I send my proof of birth in to, in that instance? (Retirement or Member and Employee Services Bureau)

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      You can send a copy of your proof of date of birth to our Member and Employer Services Bureau:

      NYSLRS
      Member and Employer Services
      110 State Street
      Albany, NY 12244-0001

      Reply
  5. Thomas K.

    I mailed documentation to NYSLRS to provide proof of date of birth last summer but do not know if it was received. How do I know if NYSLRS received it? Is that something that NYSLRS could put under our account information that we could access through Retirement NYS Online?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      We appreciate your input about Retirement Online.

      Please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form (see link below). One of our representatives will review your account to address your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

      http://www.emailNYSLRS.com

      Reply
  6. Sandra Hayes

    Good morning,
    I send in a service breakdown request on December 16, 2016. I still have not received anything back. I plan on retiring in 2018 and I need this information to plan.
    Thank you for your help
    Sandra Hayes

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      To get the account-specific information you need, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form (see link below). One of our representatives will review your account to address your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

      http://www.emailNYSLRS.com

      Reply

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