Unfortunately, the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in record growth in unemployment. If you are a NYSLRS member who finds yourself out of work or furloughed (on an authorized leave of absence or temporarily laid off), you may find the following information helpful.
What Happens to Your NYSLRS Loan?
If you have an outstanding NYSLRS loan and are furloughed from your job, you can defer payments until you go back to work, provided you return to work within one year.
You still must repay your loan within the original five-year repayment period. When you return to work, your loan will be recalculated and your minimum payment will be increased to ensure your loan balance is paid off on time. Interest will still accrue during the deferment, and the added interest will be included in the recalculation.
In order to receive this deferment, you must have your employer send a fax to us (518-486-9877), on their letterhead, indicating the date your furlough began and when they predict it will end.
You can find more information about managing your NYSLRS loan payments in our recent blog post.
Leaving Public Employment
If you leave public employment and are not yet ready to retire, you may want to read our booklet What If I Leave Public Employment? This booklet describes your rights as a NYSLRS member and tells you how to claim any benefits you are entitled to when it comes time for you to retire.
If you decide that this is a good time to retire, you should be aware that you can now apply for retirement online. This new Retirement Online feature makes applying for retirement faster and easier than ever before.
We’ve compiled on our website a number of articles and updates about the COVID-19 emergency that you may find helpful. Here you will find information about enhanced death benefits for survivors of COVID-19 victims, filing for retirement benefits during the pandemic and what you can do to protect your loved ones if you become seriously ill.
I am a school substitute custodian, nearing 76 and am taking a leave of absence due to the pandemic and not sure if I’ll return. How can I get my retirement moneys from NYSLRS in a lump sum and how soon?
If you have less than 10 years of service, you may end your membership and request a refund of your contributions. You must be off the payroll at least 15 days before submitting the application. However, ending your membership means you are not eligible to receive a pension.
If you are vested (have enough years of service to be eligible for a pension benefit) and you decide that this is a good time to retire, you can apply for a retirement benefit. Retirement Online makes doing business with NYSLRS fast and easy. You can submit a request to withdraw your membership or estimate your pension benefit and apply for retirement, if you’re vested, with your Retirement Online account.
We suggest you email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website to ask about your retirement options. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.
If you are furloughed, does that time of being out of work count towards your retirement ?
Furloughed employees who are not working and are not being paid by their employer do not earn service credit toward retirement.
For account-specific information, you can email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com). 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.
Can we buy back the service credit we did not accrue when we were furloughed?
Unfortunately, furloughed employees who are not working and are not being paid by their employer do not earn, and cannot purchase, service credit toward retirement.
For questions specific to your circumstances, 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.
If you retire August 1, 2020 and are 56 with almost 27 years of service if the state enacts incentives, that my employer who has said they will not participate but if NYScovers the cost would I be able to take advantage of it ?!
While several statewide retirement incentive bills have been introduced in the Legislature, they have not progressed through the legislative process. If a State incentive program is signed into law by the Governor, we’ll notify your employer and provide details for our NYSLRS members on Facebook and our website.
What would be the direct link to follow on bills that are being introduced to sign?
The New York State Assembly (nyassembly.gov) and Senate (http://www.nysenate.gov) have information about legislation on their websites.
Is early retirement incentive is coming
The New York State Legislature occasionally enacts statewide retirement incentive programs, which must be approved by both houses and then signed into law by the Governor. The Retirement System (NYSLRS) administers programs that are signed into law. While there are several statewide retirement incentive bills that have been introduced, they have not progressed at all, as of yet, through the legislative process. We’ll notify your employer if a State incentive program is signed into law, and we’ll provide details for our NYSLRS members on Facebook and our website.
Although I am retired that seems very fair to members that are working and have been furloughed again great decisions by Mr DiNapoli