10 Things All NYSLRS Members Should Know

Brush up on your Retirement System knowledge! Here are 10 things all NYSLRS members should know.

10 Things All NYSLRS Members Should Know
  1. Lifetime Retirement Benefit
    You are part of a defined benefit pension plan, which provides a lifetime benefit at retirement based on your earnings and years of service.
  2. Qualify for a Retirement Benefit by Becoming Vested
    Becoming vested is a key milestone in every NYSLRS member’s career. Once you’re vested, you have earned enough service to qualify for a retirement benefit, once you meet the minimum age requirements established by your retirement plan.
  3. Tier Determines Benefits
    Your tier determines your eligibility for benefits under your plan and how those benefits are calculated.
  4. Conduct NYSLRS Business Using Retirement Online
    Retirement Online is the fastest and most convenient way to do business with NYSLRS. It only takes a few minutes to open your account. Use Retirement Online instead of calling or mailing for instant access to benefit information and convenient tools to make account changes.
  5. Estimate Pension Using Retirement Online Calculator
    Most members can use Retirement Online to create benefit estimates based on the most up-to-date information we have on file. You can enter different retirement dates and payment options to see how those choices would affect your benefit.
  6. Use Plan Publication to Learn about Benefits
    Your retirement plan publication is a comprehensive source for information about your benefits.
  7. Pension Calculated Using Highest Earnings
    Your final average earnings (FAE) is another major factor in calculating your NYSLRS pension. When we calculate your pension, we find the set of consecutive years (one, three or five, depending on your tier and retirement plan) when your earnings were highest. 
  8. Request Past Service Credit Before Retirement
    Service credit is one of the major factors in calculating your NYSLRS pension. You earn a year of service credit for each year of full-time employment with a participating employer. In some cases, you may also be able to request additional credit for past service.
  9. NYSLRS Membership Includes Death and Disability Benefits
    NYSLRS membership provides more than just retirement benefits. If you become seriously ill or injured, you may be eligible for a disability benefit. And, you may also be eligible to leave a beneficiary a death benefit if you die while working for a public employer.
  10. Best-Funded, Best-Managed
    The New York State Common Retirement Fund holds and invests the assets of NYSLRS on behalf of members, retirees and their beneficiaries and continues to be one of the best-funded and best-managed public pension funds in the nation. Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli is the administrative head of NYSLRS and trustee of the Common Retirement Fund.

NYSLRS is one of the largest public retirement systems in America, serving more than 1.2 million members, retirees and beneficiaries. Read A Look Inside NYSLRS to learn more about your retirement system.

11 thoughts on “10 Things All NYSLRS Members Should Know

  1. Richard R Osterhout

    If an ex spouse remarries, does she disqualify for money from me that she has been receiving since my retirement in 2003, for a domestic payout?

  2. Zbigniew B.

    Why does the Retirement System not work online for people who live outside the USA (in my case Poland)?
    You simply cannot create an account online .
    Zbigniew B

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Retirement Online is not accessible to customers outside of the United States and Canada. This is to safeguard your personal information and keep your account secure. For help with your account or for assistance, you can contact the NYSLRS Call Center at 866-805-0990, press 2 and follow the prompts. The Call Center is available Monday through Friday from 7:30 am – 5:00 pm.

      You can also message our customer service representatives using the secure form on our website. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Use the comment box to request the information you need.

  3. Diane Brown

    My husband passed away in 2010 and he was my beneficiary. I remarried in 2013 I would like to make him my beneficiary we are still married. Can this be done.

    1. NYSLRS

      However, if your retirement plan provides a one-time, lump sum death benefit after you retire, you can change your beneficiary (or beneficiaries) for that benefit.

      The fastest way to view or update your post-retirement death benefit beneficiaries is in Retirement Online. You can add beneficiaries, update beneficiary information or remove beneficiaries. Sign in, then click “Manage My Beneficiaries” on the right, under “I want to ….”

      However, if you’re talking about the beneficiary for your pension, in most cases the answer is no. If you are retired and chose a pension payment option that provides a lifetime benefit for a surviving beneficiary, you cannot change that beneficiary, even if they die before you do.

      You can read more about beneficiary designations in our Life Changes: Why Should I Designate a Beneficiary? publication. If you are retired, you may wish to read our Can You Change Your Beneficiary After You Retire? blog post.

  4. Padmini Curnan


    I received my first pension check on 11/30. Thank you so much for making the whole application process easy.

    One question – I tried to view my paystub on Retirement Online but that feature is not working.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      For help with Retirement Online, please call our customer service representatives at 866-805-0990, press 2, then follow the prompts.


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