Countdown to Retirement — Four to Six Months Out

Once you decide to retire and begin preparing, the final months leading up to your retirement date go by quickly. Previously, we discussed the steps to take when you’re eight months away from retirement. As we continue our Countdown to Retirement, let’s take a look at what you should be doing four to six months out.

Six Months: Post-Retirement Budget

At 18 months out, we suggested requesting a NYSLRS retirement estimate. You should have that estimate by now and, with it, a much better idea of what your retirement benefit could be. Now, you can prepare a post-retirement budget and make decisions about your goals and how you want to spend your money in retirement.

We offer worksheets to help you prepare a post-retirement budget on our website. For a more realistic budget, keep track of your current spending for a month or two to get an idea of your expenses. Be sure to factor in periodic expenses, such as car insurance and taxes.

Countdown to Retirement: 4 to 6 months out

Four Months: Proof of Your Birth Date

We will need proof of your date of birth before we can pay you any benefits. You won’t need to send it in until you submit your retirement application, but now is a good time to make sure you have what you need. We’ll accept any of these documents as proof:

  • Birth certificate;
  • Baptismal certificate;
  • Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214);
  • New York State driver’s license issued on or after January 1, 2005;
  • Passport; or
  • Naturalization papers.

In most cases, a photocopy is acceptable. If you do send us the original, we will return it to you.

It’s a good idea to look for proof of your birth date sooner rather than later, in case you need to arrange to get a replacement. Also, if you’re thinking about choosing a pension payment option that provides a lifetime benefit to a beneficiary, we will need proof of your beneficiary’s birth date too.

Counting Down

Your planned retirement date is just a few months away. As you approach three months away from retirement, check back for the final post of our Countdown to Retirement series on filing your Application for Service Retirement (RS6037) and other forms. If you have any questions as you prepare for retirement, please contact us.

7 thoughts on “Countdown to Retirement — Four to Six Months Out

  1. Debra Hornbeck

    I’m new to this retirement stuff. I have worked for 31 years at a school. I plan to retire in June of 2021. Can I get a telephone meeting with the retirement to discuss what I need to do,due to things being closed with COVID.
    I have no idea as to what steps I need or what paperwork I need.

    1. NYSLRS

      To schedule a phone consultation, please call us toll-free at 1-866-805-0990.

      In the meantime, you can read about your NYSLRS benefits and retirement on our website. Your retirement plan booklet (which you can find on our Publications page) contains the benefit information specific to your retirement plan. 

      If you are unsure what your plan is, you can look it up in your Retirement Online account. You can also use Retirement Online to estimate your pension based on the salary and service information we have on file for you. To sign in, or to create an account, visit our website

      You may also want to visit the Preparing for Retirement timeline on our website. The timeline can help you plan ahead as you see the retirement process step by step.

  2. Sackman

    Almost 31 years of working in this mess and NOW they need proof of birthdate……wow. Please, just let me leave.

  3. Therese Windus

    I applied in may 2018 to request information about service credit to be applied before I retire I still hAve not heard anything except that now it takes 18 months insteAd of 12 months to hear. WHY???

    1. NYSLRS

      We apologize for the lengthy processing time. NYSLRS is working diligently to address the record number of retirements and new member enrollments we are currently experiencing. Our first priority is to make certain pension and death benefits are paid timely and accurately to the more than 470,000 retirees and beneficiaries we serve.

      To help meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, we have undertaken a major computer system upgrade designed to improve service well into the future. This multiyear project will help us better serve our customers by streamlining processes and expanding self-service options, some of which will be available later this year.

      As we switch over to newer technologies, it is inevitable that we will encounter some bumps in the road. We appreciate and thank you for your patience during this time of transition.

  4. Mike

    I have an appointment this Friday to submit my retirement application. Can I bring a photocopy of my Wife’s (my beneficiary) driver’s license or will they need the original?

    1. NYSLRS

      Yes, generally, a photocopy of a New York State driver’s license issued on or after January 1, 2005, is acceptable. However, if you have specific concerns, we recommend calling our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990 (518-474-7736 in the Albany, New York area).

      You can also email our representatives using our secure email form.


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