Retirement Age and Your NYSLRS Pension

For some NYSLRS members, your retirement age matters when it comes to receiving your NYSLRS retirement benefits.

Your pension will be based largely on your years of service and final average earnings, but your age at retirement is also a factor. How age plays into the equation depends on your tier and retirement plan.

Members in regular retirement plans can retire as early as age 55, but they may face significant pension reductions if they retire before their full retirement age. The full retirement age for members in most tiers is 62, and it’s 63 for Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) Tier 6 members and for Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) Tier 6 members who leave public employment before retirement age, but have enough service to receive a pension. If you joined NYSLRS on or after April 1, 2012, you are in Tier 6.

pension reductions based on retirement age

Benefit reductions are prorated by month. The closer you are to your full retirement age when you retire, the less the reduction will be. Here are some examples of how that would work.

  • ERS Tiers 2, 3 and 4, PFRS Tiers 2, 3 (Article 11), 5 and 6: If you retire at age 58 1/2, your pension will be permanently reduced by 16.5 percent.
  • ERS Tier 5: If you retire at age 58 1/2, your pension will be permanently reduced by 20.83 percent.
  • ERS Tier 6: If you retire at age 58 1/2, your pension will be permanently reduced by 29.5 percent.

Once you retire with a reduced benefit, the reduction is permanent — it does not end when you reach retirement age.

Retirement Age Exceptions

Tier 1 members can retire at 55 without a benefit reduction. Benefit reductions don’t apply to ERS Tier 2, 3 or 4 members if they retire with 30 years of service. Tier 5 Uniformed Court Officers and Peace Officers employed by the Unified Court System can also retire between 55 and 62 without penalty if they have 30 years of service.

More Information

Understanding how age affects your NYSLRS benefits is crucial to retirement planning. To learn more, please review your retirement plan booklet on our Publications page.

You can check your service credit total and estimate your pension using Retirement Online. Most members can use our online pension calculator to create an estimate based on the salary and service information NYSLRS has on file for them. You can enter different retirement dates to see how your choices would affect your potential benefit.

6 thoughts on “Retirement Age and Your NYSLRS Pension

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Depending on your retirement plan, if you have 30 years of service credit, you can retire at age 55 without a reduction, but you are not required to have 30 years of service in order to retire at age 55.

      For account-specific information, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. Filling out the secure email form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
  1. Deborah Schlosser

    I’m a tier 4 and would like to retire after 20 years. I’ll be 53 years old. How will that affect my retirement?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Tier 4 members can receive their full retirement benefit at age 62 or retire as early as age 55 with less than 30 years of service and receive a reduced benefit. Depending on your plan, it’s likely that you would not be able to retire and collect a pension at age 53.

      If you chose to leave public employment, you would be able to apply for a vested retirement benefit once you turn 55. However, leaving public payroll before you are eligible to retire may affect your eligibility for certain death benefits and health benefits.

      If you are considering leaving public payroll before age 55, we suggest you email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website to ask how it would affect your pension benefits. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      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.

      Reply
  2. Artie Campbell

    If you were out sick for 2 months without pay , would you receive credit fo that time in the retirement system.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Employees who are not working and are not being paid by their employer do not earn service credit toward retirement.

      For account-specific information, 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.

      Reply

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