Countdown to Retirement – 4-6 Months to Go

The countdown to retirement continues. Here are a couple of things you should do four-to-six months before your retirement date to make sure you stay on track.

Countdown to Retirement - 4-6 months to go

Locate Proof of Your Birth Date

Before NYSLRS can pay out any retirement benefits, we will need proof of your date of birth.

For most people, locating that proof is no big deal — a photocopy of your driver’s license will do. But if you don’t have proof of your birth date readily available, this is a good time to look for it or arrange to get a replacement. This is especially important if you need to write to an out-of-state registry or a foreign country for the necessary document.

If you intend to leave a lifetime pension benefit to a beneficiary after your death, we will need proof of their birth date as well.

In most cases, we will accept a photocopy of your proof of date of birth, and you can submit it when you apply for retirement online or by mail. If you mail us the original, we will return it to you.

Acceptable documents for proving your date of birth include your:

The National Center for Health Statistics’ website contains information for each state on where to write for your vital records.

Review Your Retirement Budget

In our Countdown to Retirement – 12 Months to Go blog post, we recommended that you calculate your retirement income and expenses. But circumstances can change in six months, so now is a good time to review your post-retirement budget and make any necessary adjustments. At this point, you may have a clearer picture of your retirement income or you may be aware of expenses that you didn’t consider earlier. A budget review will help ensure that you are still on track to retire on your terms.

If you missed it, be sure to read the first post in our series, Countdown to Retirement –  18 Months to Go. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for the final installment of this series.

26 thoughts on “Countdown to Retirement – 4-6 Months to Go

  1. Ellen McTigue

    I worked part time for several years. Is it possible to buy back the time to a full time equivalent?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      You cannot purchase credit for time you didn’t work.

      For more questions about purchasing credit for previous service, you can email our customer service representatives using our secure email form (www.emailnyslrs.com). Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
  2. josh salvagin

    Does your FAS have to be the 3 highest consecutive years or can it be your 3 highest years. I was not able to work for 3 months in 2020 / 2021 due to Covid, hence my salary for that year does not reflect the year before and the year after or the current year.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      For account-specific information about your particular situation, 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.

      Reply
  3. Tony Spano

    If an employee receives “premium pay” money that was received from a municipality, which was ultimately received from the American Rescue Plan funds, does it count towards your final average salary in either the Police and Fire or Employee Retirement System? Basically, are those funds received, pensionable?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      For assistance with your final average earnings 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.

      Reply
  4. kathy smolinski

    I was on the phone this morning for 25 minutes before I was offered an option to have someone call me back .. to just make an appointment for a consultation. 4 hours later I was never called back. Can anyone check this for me???

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      We apologize for the trouble you are having trying to reach our Call Center. Your message is important to us and we have sent you a private message in response.

      Reply
  5. maria a anzalone dascoli

    I work in a school system and our year goes from July 1st – June 30th. My W2 never reflects the actual contract amount. What salary will my pension be based on, contract amount or W2?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Your final average earnings (FAE) will be based on the period (three or five years, depending on your tier) when your earnings were highest. These are usually your years of employment immediately before retirement. The years do not need to match up with calendar years or fiscal years.

      For questions specific to your situation, 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.

      Reply
        1. NYSLRS Post author

          Final average salary is the average of the highest 36 or 60 (depending on your tier) consecutive months of earnings. Usually your FAS is based on the years right before retirement. The period used in calculating your FAS does not need to correspond to the calendar year or the State fiscal year.

          Reply
  6. kathy smolinski

    If you’re even considering retiring in the near future and want a consultation, DO NOT WAIT. Wait times just to make an appointment are an hour plus on the phone!!!

    Reply
  7. Matthew De Pasquale

    After 11 years with the NYSDOT, I left my position in 2002 with over 600 hours of unused sick time for one with the MTA. I plan on retiring from the MTA in 2022. Will I be credited with service time for the unused sick time?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      For account-specific questions, 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.

      Reply
  8. Gerilyn Niebler

    I filled in my application online. Now I want to drop in my birth proof- ny driver’s license, and my bank deposit form EFT with the voided check. Are they suppose to be jped or pdf? And where do I drop it into my application? THANK YOU

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      You can add direct deposit information to your retirement application online. Sign in to Retirement Online, go to the ’My Account Summary’ section of your Retirement Online Account Homepage and click the “Update My Retirement Application” button.

      You can attach and submit your proof of date of birth document, in either format, using our secure email form.

      Reply
    1. Matt De Pasquale

      I had over 600 hours of sick time when I left my position of over 10 years with the NYSDOT in 2002. I will be retiring from the MTA this year. Sections 41(j) states unused, unpaid sick leave may be converted into additional service credit. To be eligible, you must retire directly from public service or within a year of leaving. Am I eligible?

      Reply
      1. NYSLRS

        For account-specific questions, 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.

        Reply

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