Countdown to Retirement – 1-3 Months to Go

Congratulations! After years of hard work and planning, the big day is almost here. It’s time to file for retirement.

You must submit your service retirement application 15 to 90 days before your retirement date.

Countdown to Retirement – 1-3 Months to Go

Filing Online

Online filing offers a secure and convenient way to apply for a service retirement benefit. You can upload needed documents instead of having applications notarized and taking them to the post office. You can also check on the status of your application once you submit it through Retirement Online. To get started, sign in to your Retirement Online account, scroll to the ‘My Account Summary’ section and click the “Apply for Retirement” button.

From there, you’ll go through a series of screens where you’ll be able to:

  • Choose your retirement date;
  • Get an estimate of the pension payment options available to you;
  • Select a pension payment option and beneficiary;
  • Have federal taxes withheld;
  • Sign up for direct deposit; and
  • Upload required documents, such as proof of date of birth.

After you click the “Submit” button, do not close your browser until you receive a confirmation message saying your application has been successfully submitted.

Once you submit your application, you will see a summary page that will include all the information that you have submitted through Retirement Online. Review this information to be sure that your online application is complete and your chosen option benefit and beneficiary information are accurate. This is very important since there are specific deadlines for selecting or changing a pension option and beneficiary.

If you don’t have a Retirement Online account, you can sign up today.

Filing by Mail

If you prefer, you can submit a paper retirement application. Complete an Application for Service Retirement (RS6037) and mail it to NYSLRS. (Do not give your retirement application to your employer.) Your application must be signed, notarized, and received by NYSLRS. We recommend that you mail your application “certified mail, return receipt requested.”

If you have received a recent pension estimate and you know which pension payment option you want, you should include your pension payment option form when you mail your retirement application. If you have not received an estimate, we will send you one, along with an option form, after we receive your application, but you must select an option within the deadlines required by law.

If you file by mail, you must also send us the following documents:

 We cannot start paying benefits until we receive proof of your date of birth.

If you have questions about filing for your retirement benefits, you can schedule a pre-retirement telephone consultation. To make an appointment, call 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area), press 2, then follow the prompts.

Read the Rest of Our Countdown to Retirement Series

This is the final installment of our Countdown to Retirement series. Missed our earlier posts? Catch up with them here:

7 thoughts on “Countdown to Retirement – 1-3 Months to Go

  1. John M, Kowalski

    When does “Tier reinstatement” kick in for an applicant? I already Transfer from one retirement system – NYSTRA – to ERS. It is referenced on the retirement application.. Not sure what to include here….

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      For an answer to your account-specific question, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information. Be sure to include a description in the comment field of the form.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Most members can use their benefit calculator in Retirement Online helpful to estimate their pension using information NYSLRS has on file for you. Sign in to your account, go to the My Account Summary area of your Account Homepage and click the “Estimate my Pension Benefit“ button. The estimates you create in Retirement Online allow you to choose different retirement dates. If you don’t already have an account, go to the Sign In page and click the “Sign Up” link under the “Customer Sign In” button.

      For account-specific information, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

    2. Gary Paul

      I see they didnt answer your question. It is always beneficial to retire at the end of the month. you have to go a full calendar month before you get your first check. For instance, if you retire May 30, you have to go the whole month of June without a retirement check. You’ll have your first retirement check July 1. (and if time correctly, your last payroll check should come around June 14…essentially you’d never miss a check… comparison, If you Retired May 01, you’
      d still have to go thru June and get your first retirement check July 1……big difference

  2. Rob Reyngoudt

    Is there a benefit or possibly a disadvantage of retiring before the start of the fiscal year if I plan on immediately working a state job, at the $35K maximum salary, after retiring?

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Most NYSLRS retirees can earn up to $35,000 per calendar year from post-retirement public employment without a reduction in their pension. There generally is no earnings limit starting in the year the retiree turns 65. With respect to retiree post-retirement earnings, there is no benefit/disadvantage to retiring before or after 4/1.

      If you are returning to work for the same employer after you retire, certain rules and laws apply. When you retire, you must have a bona fide termination from employment and be removed from payroll before your retirement date. If you have a prearranged agreement to be hired by your current employer, or if you are kept on the payroll and paid for services past your retirement date, your retirement may not be a termination and your service retirement application could be voided.

      Before accepting public employment, we highly recommend that you speak with a NYSLRS customer service representative. You can call them at 1-866-805-0990 or email them using our secure email form. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      You can also read more about post-retirement employment in our Life Changes: What If I Work After Retirement? publication.


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