How Your Tier 6 Contribution Rate Can Change

Most NYSLRS members contribute a percentage of their earnings to help fund pension benefits. For Tier 6 members (those who joined NYSLRS on or after April 1, 2012), that percentage, or contribution rate, can change from year to year.

Tier 6 contribution rate

When Tier 6 Contribution Rates are Determined

A Tier 6 member’s contribution rate is calculated annually. New rates become effective on April 1, the beginning of the State’s fiscal year. Once your rate is determined for a given fiscal year, it doesn’t change for the rest of that fiscal year.

Recently enacted legislation removed overtime earned from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022, from the Tier 6 contribution rate calculation. For some Tier 6 members, this means lower contribution rates for up to two years, including this coming State fiscal year. Read about it in our blog post, Overtime Pay Temporarily Excluded From Tier 6 Contribution Rates.

How Your Tier 6 Contribution Rate is Calculated

Tier 6 contribution rates are based on what you earn during a State fiscal year, from April 1 through March 31. The minimum rate is 3 percent of your earnings, and the maximum is 6 percent. Your contribution rate is calculated by NYSLRS based on the earnings reported by your employer.

If you are a Tier 6 member with three or more years of membership in NYSLRS, your rates are based on your earnings from the last completed fiscal year. We provide rates to your employer in March, a few weeks before they need to apply any rate changes for the Tier 6 employees at your organization. For example, the contribution rate being provided to your employer in March 2023 is based on earnings for the fiscal year that ended March 2022 (so, what you earned from April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022).

This video will help explain how your contribution rate is determined:

If you are a new NYSLRS member, during your first three years of membership your contribution rate is based on an estimated annual wage that your employer provided when you were enrolled as a new member.

Learn More

The amount you contribute to the Retirement System will not affect the amount of your pension. A NYSLRS pension is a defined-benefit plan. Under this type of plan, once you are eligible for a pension and apply for retirement, you will receive a monthly payment for the rest of your life. The amount of your pension will be calculated using a formula based on your retirement plan, years of service and final average earnings. You can learn more about your pension by reading your retirement plan publication. Use our Find Your NYSLRS Retirement Plan Publication tool to find yours.

4 thoughts on “How Your Tier 6 Contribution Rate Can Change

  1. Sandra Ferraro

    I don’t understand why Tier 6 members continue to contribute to the pension fund until they retire, unlike Tier 4. This is significant. Shouldn’t that be shared among all in-service members, regardless of tier level? Why are Tier 6 members at the 6% pension contribution rate contributing more of their salary compared to other tier members at a lower salary level/lower contribution rate? How is all of this equitable?! As a single parent, every bit counts!

    1. 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 state legislative representatives.

  2. James F Swan

    How do you calculate someone pension. I have 16 years when I’m retiring at end of year and would like to calculate. I’m a tier 4.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Your pension calculation depends on both your tier and your plan. Your retirement plan publication offers a comprehensive overview of your benefits — including your pension calculation — and you can find it with our Find Your NYSLRS Retirement Plan Publication tool.

      Most Tier 4 members can use Retirement Online to create NYSLRS pension estimates based on the salary and service information we have on file for you. Sign in to Retirement Online. From your Account Homepage, go to the ‘My Account Summary’ section and click the “Estimate my Pension Benefit” button.

      You can:

      • Enter different retirement dates and beneficiaries to see how they affect your potential benefit;
      • Adjust your earnings or service credit if you anticipate an increase in earnings or plan to purchase past service; and
      • Save or print your estimate.

      If your estimate cannot be completed using Retirement Online’s pension calculator, please message our customer service representatives using our secure contact form to request a pension estimate. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.


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