Power of Attorney

Power of AttorneyThe NYSLRS Special Durable Power of Attorney form allows you to designate someone else to act on your behalf regarding retirement benefit transactions. The person you designate, referred to as an “agent,” could be your spouse, another family member or a trusted friend.

Why is this important? Under normal circumstances, NYSLRS won’t release your benefit information to anyone else without your permission — even to your spouse. With a power of attorney (POA) on file, we would be able to discuss your benefits with the agent you appointed.

The NYSLRS POA form is specific to retirement transactions and meets all New York State legal requirements. You may want to designate a power of attorney in case of emergency, hospitalization or unexpected illness, but you don’t have to wait until something happens before you file a NYSLRS POA form.

What Can Your Agent Do?

The NYSLRS form is for a “durable” POA, which means the person you designate can act for you if you become incapacitated. But the NYSLRS POA form only covers Retirement System transactions. It does not authorize your agent to make health care decisions for you or make changes to your Deferred Compensation plan.

Your agent can get account-specific information about your benefits by phone, email or mail. Your agent can request copies of documents in your retirement file or update your address or phone number. If you are still an active member, your agent can also take out a NYSLRS loan or file a retirement application for you. If you are retired, the agent can change the amount of taxes withheld from your pension.

Special Authority

If you use NYSLRS POA form, and your agent is your spouse, domestic partner, parent or child, they will have “gifting authority.” That means they can direct deposit money into a joint bank account, designate or change your death benefit beneficiaries, or choose a retirement payment option that provides for a beneficiary after your death.

If you wish to assign gifting authority to an agent who is not your spouse, domestic partner, parent or child, you must indicate that you want your agent to have the ability to designate him or herself as a beneficiary. This can be done in the “Modifications” section of the NYSLRS POA form.

Find Out More

A power of attorney is a powerful document. Once you appoint someone, that person may act on your behalf with or without your consent. We strongly urge you to consult an attorney before you execute this document.

You can also find information on the Power of Attorney page on our website.

6 thoughts on “Power of Attorney

  1. Benjamin Gamoran

    Doesn’t a power of attorney have to be “durable” in case the one making the poa becomes incompetent? I see no reference to durability in your article on this subject.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      The form provided by NYSLRS is a durable power of attorney. Under a durable power of attorney, the agent can act for you even if you become legally incapacitated (see page 1 of the form).

      If you are considering executing a POA, we recommend consulting an attorney.

  2. David Stoyell

    The article on Power of Attorney in this issue of New York Retirement News stipulates that you require the Statutory Gift Rider for certain transactions. Many of us have Powers of Attorney that were executed prior to the change in NY State Law that requires the Statutory Gift Rider for new POA’s. However, we were told that the powers granted in our POA’s (that were executed prior to the change in the law) were still valid, including the gift gifting authority that used to be allowed without any rider.

    As the article is written, it is implied that you will not honor our old POA’s and that we have to execute a new one with a Statutory Gift rider if we want our agent to contunue to have that authority. Is this true that you will not honor our old POA’s in this respect?

  3. Frank DeLille

    Do I have to be retired? Should I execute the NYSLRS POA while still working for the state and with 5 years to go?

    1. NYSLRS

      Whether you execute a POA is your decision, but you can execute a Power of Attorney at any time; you do not need to be retired.


Leave a Reply