NYSLRS’ Special Retirement Plans

NYSLRSCertain PFRS and ERS members are under Special Retirement Plans manages more than 300 retirement plan combinations for its members, which are described in more than 50 plan booklets. But, for all that complexity, they breakdown into just two main types: regular plans and special plans. Under a regular plan, you need to reach certain age and service requirements to receive a pension. For instance, if you’re a Tier 4 member in the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) with a regular plan, you’re eligible for a benefit when you turn 55 and have five or more years of service credit. Most of our ERS members are in regular plans.

Special plans are a little different. With special plans, NYSLRS members can receive a pension after completing 20 or 25 years of service. There is no age requirement; you can retire at any age once you have the full amount of required service credit. Both ERS and the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) have special plans.

Special Plans for Special Services to the State

As of March 31, 2018, seven percent of active ERS members and 98 percent of active PFRS members are in special plans. These members fill roles such as:

  • Police officer;
  • Firefighter;
  • Correction officer;
  • Sheriffs undersheriff, and deputy sheriff; and
  • Security hospital treatment assistant.

Public employees in jobs like these face dangers and difficulties throughout their careers. They fight fires, patrol our neighborhoods, assist ill patients and more. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for the challenging, sometimes life-threatening work they do each day.

If you’d like to learn more about your retirement plan, please visit the Publications page of our website and review your plan publication. If you’re not sure which booklet covers your benefits, you can check your Member Annual Statement, ask your employer or send us an email using our secure contact form.

20 thoughts on “NYSLRS’ Special Retirement Plans

  1. Jeff

    What about those Tier 4 member that had over 20 years of services who were forced to retire before 55 due to disability?

  2. Brandon Minckler

    A 20 year retirement option for NYSDOCCS should be considered, with the demands and stressful work environment.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      The decision on whether to adopt benefit enhancements 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.

  3. Beverley

    I was a NYSDOCS in 1990 and left to go to Erie County Corrections still as a tier 4. Can I go back to NYSDOCS and retire with my 32 years on the job with no penalty because I am not 55 years old yet? Because Erie County does not have 25 and out.

    1. NYSLRS

      To receive a 25-year retirement benefit, you must have 25 years of service credit in a special plan. You cannot use service in a regular retirement plan to help you reach the 25 year threshold. Members in regular retirement plans must be at least 55 before they can retire.

      For account specific information, please call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990 or email them using the secure email form on our website. One of them will review your account and respond to your questions. Filling out the secure email form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

  4. luz

    I have been on SSDI since 12/2017. I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, Back and Neck issues due to a slip and fall injury outside the job. I was told from the job to retire on disability due to my struggles while working. One day i passed out in the bathroom and since then i was declared permenantly disabled. The NYSLRS denied me, I am only 48. I appealed and Judge has given a second hearing asking for more medicals from my pain management and neurologist. Both doctors declared me disabled being unable to work due to chronic pain and cognitive issues, Vertigo,insomia, depression, anxiety etc. I am on heavy medications for memory, sleep disorders, chronic pain and hypertension. The medicals prove enough evidence and they continue to push me away. The job denies me ever having any problems at all. Although the union themselves after reviewing my medicals said that i couldnt continue to work in this condition. Since 9/2019 the New York State Supreme Court has terminated as incapicitated employee. Now i have no job and no retirement. I was left in horrible financial hardship. I am already receiving Medicare. My question is why do i continue to get denied if i have been declared permenently disabled by all medical doctors. I even went to new doctors and they too agree i was permenantly disalbed. The last hearing the judge claimed Social Security has nothing to do with this. Can some one please advise me on what to do. Final determination is in a few days and i dont know what to do. I cannot afford an attorney at this moment. I couldnt find an advocate either, I am alone on this and dont know what to do to get approved. I worked 15 years for Supreme Court. I have now gotten worse in my symptoms. Please help. I tried working for few weeks Part time and also volunteering but couldnt stand or sit to long. Had many memory issues so had to let it everything go. I hate to just be home prior to this accident i worked two jobs 7 days a week but i have finally come to realization after seeking a physchologist that i am disabled and just need to live with it. I could no longer work ! Please advice me 🙁

    1. NYSLRS

      We apologize for the trouble you’re having. Your message is important to us and we have sent you an email in response.

    2. NYSLRS

      We understand that you spoke with a NYSLRS representative today. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

  5. Dave

    I retired in 2005 . as a tier 3 employee I took a loan against my pension which was not paid back at my time of retirement. My pension is reduced by $100 per month to pay back this loan. It’s been 14 years now how long should it take to repay loan?

    1. NYSLRS

      The reduction in your pension is not a loan repayment and does not reduce your loan balance. It is a permanent reduction.

      However, under a recent State law, ERS members can choose to repay the full amount that was due at retirement in a lump sum payment. Following your full repayment, your pension benefit would be increased from that point going forward, but it would not be adjusted retroactively back to your date of retirement.

      Please note, the $100 a month reduction in your pension does not count toward the amount you would have to pay as a lump sum.
      You can find more information on our Loans page.

  6. Tony

    Why aren’t NYS Court officers (Peace Officers) in a special plan they carry out the same duty’s as police officers , sheriffs and correction officers as they patrol court houses inside and the court house perimeter make on and off duty arrests, enforce all state and city laws at court facilities , issue summons for penal law and traffic violations respond to medical and none medical emergency’s as well as dealing with Emotionally Disturbed Persons protect our judges and perform special judicial escort and protection at judges residences when warranted protect staff and court house visitors and jury’s handle inmates in pens and escort them to and from their court appearance are trained in the use of force and deadly physical force as they are authorized to carry a firearm on and off duty, 7 officers have been killed while on duty 3 paid the ultimate price on 9/11 yet court officers must do 30 years and have age 55 to retire or be penalized for not having enough time or age to retire?

    1. NYSLRS

      Retirement benefits, including special retirement plans, are established by State law. NYSLRS administers programs that are signed into law. Any changes to retirement law must be approved by both houses of the State Legislature and be signed by the Governor. You may want to contact your local legislative representatives.

  7. JB

    Did you file a workers’ compensation claim? Based on your injury type, age, how many years you would have been able to work & other factors, you may be able to get $$$. For my carpal tunnel in both hands, I was deemed permanently disabled by 10% and received over one half my annual salary, tax free.

  8. maryloutravis

    I see no mention of nurses being in this classification, of “special” positions.
    I am a Tier 2 employee, as a RN I was permanently injured while working with a child. I have been denied NYS Disability Retirement. My injury has made me physically unable to work as a
    nurse. NYS lawyer stated my injury was not a “”good” injury. It was explained to me that it was a risk of my position to be injured, and my situation was not entitled to NYS Disability.

    1. NYSLRS

      A W-2 form is only for current employees. However, if you are a NYSLRS retiree, you may be looking for a 1099-R form for your pension.

      The fastest way to change your address is through Retirement Online. Once you sign in, just find your address under ‘My Profile Information’ and click ‘update’.

      If your new address is a U.S. street address (not a PO box), you can also change it by email, through our secure email form. Please be sure to complete all form fields and provide both your old and new addresses. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      You can also call us toll-free at 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 within the Albany, New York area).

      If you haven’t received your 1099-R by mid-February, you can request a reprint through our website, or you can call or email us to request a reprint.

  9. Cynthia Jamieson

    I read with great levity the letter from the anonymous retiree, I say levity because I am not able to fully retire at the age of 65, was that meant to be a joke? I was going to retire last year after major surgery but was unable to due to the retirement I had earned. Perhaps you can publish a letter from someone like me who cannot afford it and also I am not allowed to view my retirement wage online as I was told by the local security office this is due to the fact that I withdrew my retirement application. Laughing all the way to a full time job in an effort to save. thankyou


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