The New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) consists of two retirement systems: the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS). Your job title determines what system you’re in. In some cases, however, it’s possible to have a dual membership, to be a member of both systems.
How Does Dual Membership Work?
Let’s say you work as a firefighter, so you’re a member of PFRS. You decide to take on a part-time job as a bus driver for your local school district. Your school district participates in ERS, so you’re eligible for ERS membership. You fill out the membership application, and now you’re a member of both ERS and PFRS. The date you join each system determines your tier in each membership.
Implications of Dual Membership
As a member of both systems, you’d have separate membership accounts. Let’s look again at our fire-fighting bus driver example. While working as a firefighter, you make any required contributions and earn service credit toward your PFRS pension only. The same is true for your work as a bus driver—your required contributions and earned service credit only go toward your ERS pension, not your PFRS pension.
There are other implications to dual membership. Assuming you’re vested in both memberships and meet the service credit and age requirements, you could retire and collect a pension from both systems. You’d need to file separate retirement applications for ERS and PFRS, and we’d calculate each pension separately. We’d calculate your ERS pension using the final average earnings (FAE) you earned as a bus driver and your PFRS pension using the FAE from your time as a firefighter.
And, since you’d have both an ERS pension and a PFRS pension, you would need to choose a beneficiary for each in the event of your death.
You’ll want to make sure to know the details of your retirement plan in each system. If you have questions about dual membership, or want to discuss your particular situation when you decide to retire, please contact us.
Is there any issues or conflict of interest if you jobs are both full-time? One in each system (ERS/PFRS) and contributed both fulltime to each respectively …
To discuss your dual membership, please email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website. One of them will review your account and respond to your questions. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.
If you are in both eh ERS and PFRS, can you combine the salary to get your FAS in either of the plans. If you make (example) 50k with ERS and 50K PFRS can you use a FAS of 100k in the PFRS to retirement calculations?
If you are vested in both ERS and PFRS and meet the service credit and age requirements, you could retire and collect a pension from both systems. However, we would calculate the FAS for each pension separately.
For account-specific information about how this may apply in 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.
I was a member of ERS for 8 years before changing jobs to a Police Title in PFRS. Can I go back to ERS when I retire if the benefit is higher?
For information about transferring your membership, please email our customer service representatives using the secure form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com). One of our representatives will review your account and respond to your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.
I was a volunteer firemen for 35 yrs.
You can only earn NYSLRS service credit through paid employment with a participating public employer. If you have a question about NYSLRS membership, you can email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website at http://www.emailNYSLRS.com.