How Tier 6 Contribution Rates Can Change

Most members of the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) contribute a percentage of their earnings to help fund pension benefits. For Tier 6 members, that percentage, or contribution rate, can vary from year to year. If you joined NYSLRS on or after April 1, 2012, you are in Tier 6.

Tier 6 contribution rate

When Tier 6 Contribution Rates are Determined

Tier 6 contribution rates are calculated annually. New rates become effective each year on April 1, the beginning of the State’s fiscal year. Once your contribution rate is set for a fiscal year, it will not change for the rest of that fiscal year. However, depending on your earnings, it may change the following year.

How Your Tier 6 Contribution Rate is Calculated

As a Tier 6 member, your contribution rate is based on how much you earn. Changes in your earnings may result in changes to your contribution rate.

For the first three years as a NYSLRS member, your contribution rate is based on an estimated annual wage we receive from your employer. After three years, the rate is based on what you actually earned two years prior. The minimum contribution rate is 3 percent of your earnings, and the maximum is 6 percent.

See our Member Contributions page for additional information.

Learn More

The percentage you contribute while you work does not affect the pension amount you may receive in retirement. Your NYSLRS pension is a lifetime benefit based on your retirement plan, years of service credit and final average salary. You can learn more about your pension by reading your plan booklet on our Publications page. For help finding the right plan book, read our blog post, Knowing Your Retirement Plan is the Key to Retirement Planning. For more information about ERS Tier 6 memberships, read our blog post, What to Know About ERS Tier 6.

6 thoughts on “How Tier 6 Contribution Rates Can Change

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      NYSLRS members can purchase credit for public employment before they joined NYSLRS.

      The decision on whether to adopt benefit enhancements or pass new legislation comes from the State Legislature and the Governor. The retirement system (NYSLRS) administers legislation and programs that are signed into law. You may want to contact your local legislative representatives.

  1. George

    Do tier 6 retirees receive a life insurance benefit. If so what is that amount and when it effective?

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Depending on your retirement plan, your beneficiary may be entitled to a death benefit, which is a one-time lump sum payment.

      The post-retirement death benefit is calculated at retirement based on what your death benefit was before you retired. During your first year of retirement, the benefit is 50 percent of the death benefit that would have been payable at retirement; during your second year of retirement, the benefit is 25 percent. During your third year and thereafter, the benefit will be 10 percent of the death benefit that would have been payable at age 60, if any, or at retirement, whichever was earlier.

      You can find more information in your retirement plan booklet on our Publications page.For specific information, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form.

      One of them 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.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Statements will start going out within the next two weeks. Unless you have chosen the email option, your 2020 Member Annual Statement is being mailed to the address we have on file for you. Mail distribution will take about seven weeks, so most members can expect their Statements by the end of June.

      If you have chosen the email option, you will receive an email letting you know when your Statement is available in your Retirement Online account.

      If you would like to sign up for the email option for your 2021 Statement, go to the “My Profile Information” section on your Retirement Online account homepage, click “update” next to ‘Member Annual Statement,’ then check “email.”


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