What to Know When Leaving Public Employment

There may come a time when you leave public employment. Even though you’d no longer work for a New York public employer, you’d still be a NYSLRS member. If you ever leave public employment, you should be aware of the effect it could have on your membership and benefits.

What Happens to My Contributions If I Leave Public Employment?

If you have less than ten years of service credit, you may end your membership and request a refund of your contributions by filing a Withdrawal Application (RS5014) pdf-icon.

If you are not vested (eligible for a retirement benefit) and do not withdraw your contributions, they will continue to earn 5 percent interest for seven years. After seven years, if you are still off the public payroll, your membership will automatically end and your contributions will be deposited into a non-interest-bearing account. Your contributions will not be automatically refunded.
Leave Public Employment

How Will Leaving Public Employment Affect My Death Benefits?

If you have at least ten years of service credit, 50 percent of your death benefit may still be payable if you die after leaving public employment. If you have less than ten years of service credit, the 50% death benefit is only available to you if you die within one year of leaving public service.

How Can I Pay Back My Outstanding Loans?

If you have any outstanding NYSLRS loans when you leave the public payroll, you must make payments directly to NYSLRS at least once every three months. You must repay your loan within five years of the date it was issued or you will default on the loan. Please note: since you will be required to pay ordinary income tax and possibly an additional 10 percent penalty on the taxable portion of the loan, defaulting on a loan carries considerable tax consequences.You also won’t be eligible to take a NYSLRS loan once you are off the public payroll.

How Can I Stay Informed About My Membership If I Leave Public Employment?

If you leave public employment, but haven’t ended your NYSLRS membership, you’ll still:

You’ll also need to keep your membership information updated. This includes information like:

Read our publication Life Changes: What if I Leave Public Employment? (VO1800) for more information.

10 thoughts on “What to Know When Leaving Public Employment

  1. denise ficalora

    I am in the nys retirement system as a part time worker. My hours,are accumulating but money is not taken put of paychecks. Can I have money taken out of the checks and put towards my pension for retirement ? I have 19.55 years in the Nyrs. I am working partime now to make twenty years. The nys retirement board is calculating my time from nys jobs I worked part time in the past. I was told it would take at least eight months to calculate the hours in question. This is going on since 2013. Help. Thank you. Denise.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Your NYSLRS retirement benefit is a defined benefit plan, which means that your retirement benefits would be calculated based on your salary and service credit, not the amount of contributions you have paid in. Continuing to pay into NYSLRS after you have left public employment would not increase your retirement benefit, and you cannot pay into your NYSLRS account after you leave employment with one of our participating employers.

      Unfortunately, the NYSLRS Social Media Team does not have access to your retirement account information. For answers to your questions about your service credit request, please email us using our secure email form and type your question in the comment field of the form. A customer service representative will review your account to address your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely provide you with the member-specific information you need. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

  2. Marlene Wright

    Do retired teachers need to apply for a TEACH account so that we will we registered? Do we even need to register with SED?

  3. victor ursan

    Super great info. I just want to take a moment and thank you for such a complete guide through NY public employee retirement bumps. Every public employee should invest some time to get educated on the matter. Thank you again for the free consultation you offer on your website and raising awareness on the importance on getting correct information. .

    1. NYSLRS

      Many thanks for the positive feedback. Our goal is to provide information that helps NYSLRS members understand their benefits and prepare for retirement.

  4. mat

    What happens if I have 25 years of service and I am tier 4 and decide to stop working job from within NYS retirement system. Do I have to start collecting now at 50 years old? Or can I choose to start collecting at 55 with penalty? Or can I wait till I’m 62 to start collecting benefits? Just curious what options are available at that point.

    1. NYSLRS

      Tier 4 members can’t start collecting a benefit until age 55 (assuming you are not in a special retirement plan that allows you to retire after a certain number of years of service, regardless of age). If you have less than 30 years of service, and you collect before age 62, you would have a permanent reduction in your pension.

      To get a projection of what the difference would be between collecting at age 55 and age 62, you can use our online benefit calculator tool (http://www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/members/projecting-your-pension.php).

      For personalized information, you can email our customer service representatives using our secure email form: http://www.emailNYSLRS.com. 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

      You may also find our recent blog post about retirement for Tiers 3 and 4 helpful: http://nysretirementnews.com/tier-3-4-members-when-is-the-right-time-to-retire/


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