Make Sure You Receive Your Member Annual Statement

Member Annual Statements are distributed to NYSLRS members each spring. Don’t wait for a mailed copy — get your Statement online instead! You can update your delivery preference in Retirement Online to receive an email when your Statement is available.

(Note: Retiree Annual Statements were made available online in February.)

Get Your Member Annual Statement Sooner

You’ll receive your Member Annual Statement sooner if you choose to receive it through Retirement Online.

To update your delivery preference:

  • Sign in to Retirement Online.
  • From your Account Homepage, click “update” next to ‘Member Annual Statement by.’
  • Choose “Email” from the dropdown.
Get Your Member Annual Statement Faster with Retirement Online

Check and Update Your Contact Information

Retirement Online is the fastest way to check your contact information and update it if needed. If you don’t already have an email address on file, please provide it so that we can contact you quickly if we need to notify you about important information such as a change to your benefits. Use a personal email address you will have access to before and after you retire, rather than a work email address. You should also make sure your mailing address and phone number are current.

To update your contact information, click “update” next to your email address, mailing address or phone number to make corrections.

Use Retirement Online to Stay Informed

Your annual Statement is a snapshot of your NYSLRS account as of March 31. For the most up-to-date information year-round, sign in to your Retirement Online account.

In Retirement Online, you can view your date of membership, tier, retirement plan, estimated total service credit and more. Check out what else members can do in Retirement Online.

If you don’t already have an account, learn more and register for one today. If you need help with Retirement Online, read our Retirement Online Tools and Tips blog post.

Protecting Yourself from Scams

Your retirement account can be an attractive target for scammers, and imposters continue to find new ways to try to impersonate government agencies, such as NYSLRS or the Social Security Administration. Learn to distinguish fake messages from official NYSLRS communications and protect yourself from scams.

protecting yourself from scams

How Scams Work

Imposters pretend to be an agency or organization you already know to gain your trust. They use similar logos or imagery in correspondence. They may contact you from an email address that mimics — but isn’t identical to — those used by employees of the actual organization. Some can even make a real agency’s phone number appear on caller ID (known as spoofing).

Usually, once they contact you, they claim there is a problem (or prize or new benefit available) that requires your immediate attention. But here’s the catch: to fix the problem or receive the reward, the imposter needs you to pay them a fee or provide personal data, such as your Social Security number or bank account information. They may even threaten you with legal action, a suspension of your benefits or arrest if you fail to act in time.

If someone contacts you and you notice these signs of a scam, remain calm. Hang up the phone or delete the message if you feel like something is off. It’s the easiest way to avoid accidentally giving away personal information.

Artificial Intelligence Gives Scammers a New Tool

You should also be aware of an emerging threat — artificial intelligence (AI), which allows machines to mimic certain human behaviors, such as speech and writing. AI can personalize phishing emails, making it harder to recognize a fraudulent communication. It can impersonate the voice of a family member or friend, making you think they are in trouble or need money.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from AI-enhanced scams:

  • Don’t share sensitive information through text or social media;
  • Don’t send or transfer money to unknown locations;
  • Consider designating a “safe word” for your family to use to identify themselves and share that word with family members and close contacts; and
  • When in doubt, hang up and call your loved one back.

Doing Business With NYSLRS

Retirement Online, the convenient and secure way to do business with NYSLRS, is only available from the NYSLRS website. There is no mobile app available from NYSLRS. If you have a Retirement Online account, keep your username and password in a safe place and don’t share them with anyone.

Generally, NYSLRS will only call you if we are following up on a previous communication from you, such as a phone call, secure email message, Retirement Online request, form or letter. For security, you can use your NYSLRS ID to identify yourself instead of providing your Social Security number. To find your NYSLRS ID, sign in to Retirement Online, or check your annual statement or other correspondence from NYSLRS.

It’s important to review the communications you receive from NYSLRS. We send you letters or emails (depending on your delivery preference in Retirement Online) whenever you update your Retirement Online account or benefit information. However, if you receive a notification of an account change you did not make, contact us immediately.

Keep Your Password Current

Also, be sure to sign in to Retirement Online at least once a year and update your password so it doesn’t expire.

Retirement Online for Retirees Keeps Getting Better

More than 480,000 members and retirees have discovered that Retirement Online is the fastest way to do business with NYSLRS. It’s secure and convenient, and helps you avoid calling or mailing forms. It also gives you instant access to information about your benefits. And, your important documents will be available online, sooner than printed copies are mailed.

Retirement Online for Retirees Keeps Getting Better

Retirees Can Do Even More in Retirement Online

The Fastest Way to Get Your 1099-R Tax Document

With Retirement Online, you can get the tax information you need faster. If you receive a taxable benefit from NYSLRS, your 1099-R is now available online. Sign in to view, save or print your tax form for 2023.

View Your Retiree Annual Statement Online

Your Retiree Annual Statement provides important information about your benefit amount, deductions and tax withholding. Beginning with your 2023 Statement, you can now access it in Retirement Online.

Make the Switch to Email and ‘Go Green’

Be the first to know when documents are available online — email delivery gives you access to your important documents sooner. It also helps the environment by reducing paper consumption. ‘Go green’ by choosing the paperless option.

It’s easy to make the switch. To receive an email when your 1099-R tax form and Retiree Annual Statement are available in Retirement Online next year:

  • Sign in to Retirement Online.
  • From your Account Homepage, click the “update” link next to ‘1099-R Tax Form Delivery by’ or ‘Retiree Annual Statement by.’
  • Choose “Email” from the dropdown.

Be sure to check that the email address listed in your Retirement Online profile is current.

If you choose the email delivery preference, you will not receive a printed copy in the mail.

Don’t Forget These Timesaving Features

Change Your Federal Tax Withholding

No forms needed — Retirement Online is the fastest way to update your withholding. If you submit your changes by the middle of the month, they will generally be applied to that month’s payment.

Generate a Pension Verification Letter

There are organizations that may ask you for a letter verifying your pension income — maybe for housing or as part of an application for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). You can use Retirement Online to save or print your own letter any time you need one.

Manage Your Direct Deposit

Use Retirement Online to securely update your direct deposit bank account information. Whether you’ve switched banks or need to move your deposits to a different account, you can make those changes quickly with Retirement Online. Changes are generally applied within one to two payments, and more quickly than if you send in a paper form.

View Your Pension Pay Stubs

You can access pay stubs for your benefit payments by clicking the date of the payment you want to view. You can track year-to-date totals and any deductions for health insurance, union dues, tax withholding or disbursements under a domestic relations order, giving you greater insight into your benefits. NYSLRS will also send you a notice whenever the amount of your monthly payment changes.

Update Your Contact Information

Let us know if you move or your phone number or email address change. Update your contact information quickly in Retirement Online to make sure you continue to receive important news and information about your benefits.

You can even schedule an address change, so you’ll get NYSLRS mail at your seasonal home without interruption.

Manage Your Beneficiaries

Eligible retirees can change their beneficiary for their post-retirement death benefit or update contact information for an existing beneficiary.

If You Haven’t Opened Your Account, Sign Up Today

If you don’t have a Retirement Online account, now is a great time to sign up. Click “Sign Up” on our Retirement Online Sign In page to get started. We have step-by-step instructions on registering for your account and how to sign in for the first time. If it’s been a while, you may need to look up your user ID or reset your password.

You may also find our Retirement Online Tools and Tips blog post helpful.

Your Retiree Annual Statement: Now Available Online

Your Retiree Annual Statement is now available in Retirement Online! Retirees who opted to go paperless already received an email notifying them that their Statement is available in their Retirement Online account.

If you did not change your delivery preference to email, your Statement will be mailed by the end of February.

Get Your Statement Online Now

Whether you chose email delivery or not, you can access your Statement in your Retirement Online account now. To view, save or print your Statement:

If you don’t have an account, you can find step-by-step instructions for registering in the Tools & Tips section of the Retirement Online page.

Your Retiree Annual Statement is now available in Retirement Online

Inside Your Retiree Annual Statement

Your Statement has a new look this year, but it still contains the same information you receive every year about your benefit amount, deductions and tax withholding. Your Retiree Annual Statement includes:

  • Your NYSLRS ID. To protect your privacy, use this number instead of your Social Security number when conducting business with NYSLRS.
  • The total amount of your annual benefit. (This is your base benefit, before taxes, deductions and credits.)
  • Your total net benefit for the year. (This is your benefit after taxes, deductions and credits.)
  • The total amount of any cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), if you are eligible.
  • Your total Medicare credits (if eligible).
  • Federal tax withholding (if applicable).
  • Other deductions taken from your pension, such as payments to an alternate payee or union dues.
  • Health insurance premiums. (NYSLRS doesn’t administer health insurance benefits, but we deduct retiree premiums at the request of your former employer.)

Next Year Don’t Wait for the Mail

Going forward, your Statement will be available online in early February each year.

Update your delivery preference now to receive an email as soon as next year’s Retiree Annual Statement is available online:

  • Sign in to Retirement Online.
  • From your Account Homepage, click the “update” link next to ‘Retiree Annual Statement by.’
  • Choose “Email” from the dropdown.

If you choose to receive your Statement by email, you will not receive a printed copy in the mail.

Use Retirement Online to Stay Informed

Your Statement is a snapshot of your NYSLRS account as of December 31, 2023. For the most up-to-date information year-round, sign in to Retirement OnlineIf you don’t already have an account, you can learn more or register today.

In Retirement Online, you can view pay stubs for your benefit payments. Check them if you have a question or to track year-to-date totals of your pension benefit as well as any deductions for health insurance, union dues, tax withholding or disbursements under a domestic relations order.

Your Statement is Not a Tax Document

While your Retiree Annual Statement does include information about your benefit payments and tax withholding, it is not a tax document. If your pension is taxable, you should have received a 1099-R tax form (either through your Retirement Online account or by mail, depending on your delivery preference) for filing your taxes.

Retirees: Your 1099-R is Available Online

Retirees: Your 1099-R is Available OnlineTax season is approaching, and with 1099-Rs available online, getting this key NYSLRS tax form is now faster and more convenient than ever.

Most NYSLRS pensions are subject to federal income tax (some disability benefits are not taxable). If you receive taxable income from NYSLRS, we provide a 1099-R tax form for filing your taxes. New this year, retirees who opted to go paperless received an email notifying them their 1099-R is available in their Retirement Online account. If you did not change your delivery preference to email, your 1099-R tax form will be mailed to you by January 31.

Understanding Your 1099-R

A 1099-R tax form is used to report the distribution of taxable retirement benefits. It shows:

  • The total benefit paid to you in a calendar year.
  • The taxable amount of your benefit.
  • The amount of taxes withheld from your benefit.

If you have questions about the information on the form, check our interactive 1099-R tutorial. It walks you through a sample 1099-R and offers a short explanation of each box on the form.

Get Your 1099-R Online Now

Whether you chose email delivery or not, you can access your 1099-R in your Retirement Online account now. To view, save or print your 1099-R:

  • Sign in to Retirement Online.
  • From your Account Homepage, click the “Manage My 1099-R Tax Forms” button.
  • Select “2023” from the dropdown.

If you don’t have an account, you can find step-by-step instructions for registering in the Tools & Tips section of the Retirement Online page.

Changing Your Federal Withholding

After you file your taxes, you may find that you need to adjust the federal taxes that are being withheld from your pension.

Retirement Online is the fast and convenient way to change your withholding information. You can also check your current withholding by signing in to Retirement Online and viewing your most recent pension pay stub. Visit our Taxes and Your Pension page for more information.

Note: New York State doesn’t tax your NYSLRS pension, and we can’t withhold income tax for other states.

Supplement Your NYSLRS Pension with Retirement Savings

Your NYSLRS pension can provide a significant portion of your retirement income, but it’s also a good idea to supplement your pension and Social Security with a retirement savings account.

Retirement savings can be an important financial asset when you retire. Savings can enhance your retirement lifestyle and give you the flexibility to do the things you want. Your savings can provide money for you to travel, continue your education, pursue a hobby or start a business. The money you set aside can also be a resource in case of an emergency, act as a hedge against inflation and boost your retirement confidence.

Set a Retirement Savings Goal

How much to save is a personal decision, but here are some things to consider.

Financial advisers often recommend saving 10 to 15 percent of your gross earnings throughout your career to retire comfortably. However, that advice is aimed at people with 401(k)-style defined contribution retirement plans as their main source of retirement income.

As a NYSLRS member, you’re part of a defined benefit plan, also known as a traditional pension plan. Your pension, based on your years of service and earnings, will provide a lifetime benefit. You can estimate your pension in Retirement Online to get an idea of the income it will provide in retirement.

Having a pension means you may not need to save as much as someone with only a 401(k). Use a retirement savings calculator to see how much a retirement savings plan could yield over time, or test the results of different savings amounts.

Below you can see potential savings results of someone who invests 50 dollars every two weeks over 30 years. While the stock market can be turbulent over the long term, stock market returns average about 10 percent a year.

Saving for Retirement

As you get closer to retirement, you should develop a plan to withdraw money from your retirement savings. A withdrawal plan will give you a better idea of the income you might expect from your nest egg.

Here is one possible withdrawal strategy, which was designed to provide retirement income for 20 years. Please note, if your retirement is far in the future, the money you withdraw may not have the same value that it has today. However, while inflation has been high recently, it does cycle and has been lower in the past.

Withdrawing from Retirement Savings

If you find you’ll need to save more to meet your goal, you can make adjustments to help ensure you’ll have enough savings in retirement.

Deferred Compensation – A Way to Save

State employees and many municipal employees are eligible to save for retirement through the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan. Once you’ve signed up, your retirement savings, which may be tax-deferred, depending on your plan, will be automatically deducted from your paycheck. (The Deferred Compensation Plan is not affiliated with NYSLRS.)

Check with your employer’s human resources or personnel office to see if they participate in the Deferred Compensation Plan or if they offer other savings options.

Read More About Retirement Savings

You can find more information about saving for retirement in these posts:

10 Things All NYSLRS Retirees Should Know

Retirees, brush up on your Retirement System knowledge!

10 Things All NYSLRS Retirees Should Know
  1. Get Your 1099-R Tax Form in Retirement Online
    Starting in 2024, your 1099-R tax form will be available in Retirement Online! Get yours faster and help us ‘go green’ — update your delivery preference now to receive an email when it’s ready, instead of waiting for it in the mail. (If you choose to receive your 1099-R by email, you will not receive a printed copy in the mail. Regardless of your delivery preference, you will be able to view and print your 1099-R by signing in to Retirement Online at the end of January.)
  2. Change Your Federal Tax Withholding in Retirement Online
    Retirement Online is the fastest way to update your withholding. Changes submitted by the middle of the month will generally appear in that month’s payment. Most NYSLRS pensions are subject to federal income tax (some disability benefits are not taxable).
  3. Not Taxed by New York State
    Your NYSLRS pension is not subject to New York State or local income taxes. Visit our Taxes and Your Pension page for more information. If you move to another state, your pension may be subject to that state’s income tax. If you’re thinking of moving to another state, check with that state’s tax department.
  4. Get Your Retiree Annual Statement in Retirement Online
    Starting in 2024, you can use Retirement Online to view and print your annual statement. Help us go green and update your delivery preference to receive an email when it’s available, instead of waiting to receive it in the mail.
  5. Manage Your Direct Deposit in Retirement Online
    Use Retirement Online to securely update your direct deposit bank account information. Whether you’ve switched banks or need to move your deposits to a different account, you can make those changes quickly with Retirement Online. Changes are generally applied within one to two payments. You can find out when your next pension payment is coming by checking our online pension payment calendar.
  6. Prove Your Pension Income Using Retirement Online
    You may need proof of your retirement income for housing or as part of an application for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). With Retirement Online, you can print or save an income verification letter any time you need one.
  7. Receiving Your Annual Cost of Living Increases
    Once you become eligible for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), you will receive a permanent increase to your pension amount every September. When your net benefit amount changes, NYSLRS will inform you.
  8. View Your Pension Payment “Pay Stub” in Retirement Online
    Sign in to Retirement Online to access full pay stubs for your pension payments. Select the date of the payment you want to review to see a breakdown of your pension payment, including your most recent COLA amount as well as any deductions made for health insurance, union dues, tax withholding or disbursements under a domestic relations order.
  9. You May Leave a Death Benefit
    Your survivors may be entitled to a death benefit after you die. Retirement Online makes it easy for eligible retirees to view their beneficiary selections, choose different beneficiaries or change contact information for an existing beneficiary. Anyone can report the death of a retiree by using our online death report form.
  10. Best-Funded, Best-Managed
    The New York State Common Retirement Fund holds and invests the assets of NYSLRS on behalf of members, retirees and their beneficiaries and continues to be one of the best-funded and best-managed public pension funds in the nation. Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli is the administrative head of NYSLRS and trustee of the Common Retirement Fund.

Not retired yet? Read our blog post 10 Things All NYSLRS Members Should Know.

Apply for Retirement in Retirement Online

Ready to retire? Retirement Online makes it fast and convenient to apply for retirement. There are no forms to mail in and nothing to have notarized. If you don’t already have an account, sign up today.

As a reminder, you must submit your application 15 – 90 days before your retirement date. Before you apply for retirement, make sure you have proof of your date of birth on hand. If you choose a pension payment option that leaves a lifetime benefit to a beneficiary when you die, we will need proof of their birth date too.

Retirement Online Makes It Fast and Convenient to Apply for Retirement

From there, you’ll go through a series of screens where you’ll be able to:

  • Choose a retirement date;
  • Get an estimate of your pension and the payment options available to you;
  • Select a payment option;
  • Enter federal tax withholding information;
  • Sign up for direct deposit (have your bank account information ready);
  • Upload required documents, such as proof of date of birth;
  • Pay off your NYSLRS loan or service credit purchase; and
  • Review your employment history.

After you click the “Submit” button, make sure you receive a confirmation message that your retirement application has been successfully submitted before closing your browser.

One Exception — Disability Retirement

NYSLRS provides disability benefits for members who are permanently disabled and cannot perform their duties because of a physical or mental condition. Applications for disability retirement can’t be submitted in Retirement Online. Members who wish to apply for a disability retirement need to submit a paper application. Visit our Disability Benefits page for more information.

For Benefit Information, Read Your Retirement Plan Publication

Your service and disability retirement benefits and death benefits are based on your tier, plan, service credit, and other factors. For comprehensive information about your available benefits, find your NYSLRS retirement plan publication.