Member Milestones for ERS Tier 3 and 4

Knowing your member milestones can help you plan for your retirement. Most Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) Tier 3 and Tier 4 members (unless they are in special retirement plans) retire under the Article 15 retirement plan. If you’re covered by this retirement plan, you have a set of member milestones that affect how your pension is calculated and how much you’ll receive at retirement.

ERS Tier 3 and 4 member milestones

Here are some important Tier 3 and 4 milestones:

  • With ten years of service credit, you would be eligible to apply for a non-job-related disability benefit if you are permanently disabled and cannot perform your duties because of a physical or mental condition.
  • Also with ten years of service credit, your beneficiaries may be eligible for an out-of-service death benefit if you leave public employment and die before retirement.
  • With ten years of service credit, you are no longer able to withdraw your membership and receive a refund of your contributions if you leave public employment.
  • You are eligible to retire once you are age 55 and have five years of service credit. However, there would be reductions to your benefit if you retire before age 62 with less than 30 years of service credit.
  • You can retire with full benefits at age 62.
  • If you retire with less than 20 years of service credit, the benefit is 1.66 percent of your final average earnings (FAE) for each year of service.
  • If you retire with 20 to 30 years of service credit, the benefit is 2 percent of your FAE for each year of service.
  • If you retire with more than 30 years of service credit, the benefit is 2 percent of your FAE for each year of service up to 30. For each year of service beyond 30, you will receive 1.5 percent of your FAE.

The amount of your pension depends on several factors, including your years of service credit and your age when you retire. Read our blog post, Tier 3 & 4 Members: When Is The Right Time To Retire?, for information to consider. You can also estimate your pension in Retirement Online and enter different retirement dates to see how those choices would affect your benefit.

6 thoughts on “Member Milestones for ERS Tier 3 and 4

  1. Rylanda Bruno

    My name is Rylanda Bruno and I have 33 almost 34 years of service. I plan on resigning in august of this year and I’m 53 not yet retirement age. Will I be penalized for leaving early ? I know that I will not get a pension until I’m 55. I just want to live my life starting now. I know I’m so close to retirement age but just can’t wait. Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. NYSLRS

      Your pension won’t be reduced if you leave public employment before you turn 55, but leaving the public payroll before you are eligible to retire may affect your eligibility for certain death benefits and health benefits.

      We suggest you email our customer service representatives using the secure email form to ask how leaving public service would affect your NYSLRS benefits.

      You may also wish to speak to your health benefits administrator to find out how going off payroll would affect any post-retirement health benefits you may be entitled to.

      You may also find our publication What If I Leave Public Employment? helpful.

  2. Anthony Fontanelli

    I have been retired for one year and have not received my vacation and sick days applied to my retirement credits. I understand you have new software PeopleSoft that is causing some of the delay.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      When you retire, your pension payment is based on the salary and service information we have on file for you at retirement. In some cases, slight adjustments are made to the initial amount after we receive and process final payroll information from your employer. These recalculations are processed in date order and are generally minimal compared to the overall benefit amount. 

      Once we have all the information we need and we finalize your benefit amount, if your payment increases, you will receive a retroactive payment for the amount you are owed back to your date of retirement.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      You can change the amount of federal withholding from your pension payment by completing and submitting a W-4P form. You can check your current withholding amount in Retirement Online.

      For information about federal taxes, please visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website or speak to a tax preparer.

      For account-specific questions about your retirement benefit, 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.


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