Retroactive payments

Retroactive Payments and Your NYSLRS Pension

Retroactive Payments

Retroactive payments are lump sum payments you receive from your employer. These payments can be from new union contracts, arbitration awards or legal settlements that took place while you were on your employer’s payroll.

If you receive a retroactive payment from your employer, it could affect your pension benefit calculation.

How Retroactive Payments Can Affect Your Benefit

Your final average earnings (FAE) are a major factor in your pension benefit calculation. It’s the average of your three (five for Tier 6 members) highest consecutive years of earnings. For most people, their highest years of earnings come at the end of their careers.

Retroactive payments are applied to the pay periods when they were earned, not when they were paid. So, retroactive payments can increase your FAE, and therefore your pension benefit, as long as the time period in which you earned that money is part of the time period your FAE is based on.

Your employer should let us know if you receive a retroactive payment before or after you retire. If you are a State employee who receives a retroactive payment after you retire, we will recalculate your pension automatically; you do not need to notify us. You will receive correspondence from us explaining any change in your pension benefit.

If you receive a retroactive payment from a non-State employer after your pension calculation is finalized, send a letter to our Recalculation Unit in the Benefit Calculations & Disbursement Services Bureau. Please include a copy of your check stub and any correspondence you received from your employer related to the payment. Mail it to:

NYSLRS
Attn: BCDS – Recalculation Unit
110 State Street
Albany, NY 12244-0001.

You can also email and upload this information to the Retirement System through our secure contact form.

For more information about FAE, read our Final Average Earnings blog post. You can also find out specific information about your FAE by reading your retirement plan booklet, available on our Publications page.

61 thoughts on “Retroactive Payments and Your NYSLRS Pension

  1. Richard Procter

    I Retired Nov of 2020. I am still waiting on a recalculation of my pension with sick time / vacation time . I see numerous people have been posting this issue here and the same response is always posted after .

    The NYSLRS Social Media team does not have access to your account information, but we’d like to help. We recommend you email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website. Filling out the secure form allows our representatives to safely contact you about your personal account information.

    Come on already get the work done already and stop dragging your feet NYSLRS.

    Reply
    1. Steven Wood

      Took me well over 18 months for a recalculation and that was only after I contacted my local assemblyman. He got it done in 2 weeks.

      Reply
    2. Cheryl

      Yes, they give the same answer and nothing comes of it.
      I emailed a customer service representative as they suggested and this is the reply I got back:

      “Retirement calculations are generally completed by the end of the month following the month in which members retire. In some cases, slight adjustments are made to these initial retirement calculations, due to pensionable accruals and reporting of final payments from employers. These
      retirement recalculations are processed in date order, and are generally marginal relative to the overall benefit amount. Upon their completion, any monies you are owed will be disbursed to you retroactively to your original date of retirement. There is not currently a timeframe to complete your recalculated benefit adjustment.”

      This is BS, they need to get it done! First they told me it could take up to 18 months, then they told me up to 2 years….now they are saying there’s no time limit! It’s been 2 years and 3 months since I retired. They say the difference is “generally marginal”, well there’s an $85 per month difference between my pension projection they gave me when I met with someone prior to retiring and what I am getting. I don’t call that “marginal”!

      Reply
    3. vegan1dmd

      I seem to be having the same issues as everyone else who’s commented but I want to be very clear: My new pension amount subsequent to the new PEF contract has been recalculated AND I have received retroactive payment for three months WORK (April -June 2019) from my employer. BUT am I not owed retroactive PENSION payment from July 2019 to now as a result of a higher FAS?? The answer I repeatedly get when I email is so ignorant I believe they’re not even reading the email. They keep saying ‘OSC doesn’t have anything to do with retroactive payments based on contract – that’s your former agency’. UM…..NO! Do we all need to come out of retirement and be OSC’s customer service? This is what happens when all the talent retires and they hire people who don’t care about their jobs and who got stimulus payments while never losing a paycheck or benefits.

      Reply
      1. NYSLRS

        We’d like to resolve your issue. Your message is important to us and we have sent you a private message in response.

        Reply
      2. Princess

        Does the IME has to say you’re permanently disabled for a medical retirement? Or can he also say your injury will not allow you to work in that particular job anymore .

        Reply
        1. NYSLRS Post author

          NYSLRS provides a disability retirement benefit for members who are permanently disabled and cannot perform their duties because of a physical or mental condition.

          For information about the disability retirement process, please visit our Disability Benefits page on our website.If you have additional questions, please call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area), press 2, then follow the prompts. You can also email them using our secure email form. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

          Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      If your disability benefit application is approved, your date of retirement will be the date your application was filed or the day after the last day you were paid on the payroll, whichever is later. For more information, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form.

      Reply
  2. Louis Gallo

    I retired in February 2021 and submitted a request for recalculation in March with the necessary documentation requested by the recalculation unit. Can someone please advise me to how long the process takes from beginning to end.
    Thank You.

    Reply
    1. Brian

      I requested my pension be recalculated, submitting necessary documentation requested by the recalculation unit… in September/October of 2019..As of November 2021..my pension has not been recalculated…I’ve called them numerous times…After waiting for several minutes (sometimes up to 1 hr)…they tell me that they have my info, and will send a memo to the individual working on the case. I was told by various representatives that the process would take a year to a year and a half.. It has now been 2 years and 1 month. I wish you luck Louis. Maybe if we could communicate…together we could get to the bottom of this!!!

      Reply
      1. Frank L Rini

        I also retired in in October of 2019. i have been on the phone with them three times over the last two years. Still waiting for them to recalculate my pension.

        Reply
      2. LISA A. DAVIS

        I retired October 30, 2020. I was told it could take a year and a half to two years for them to recalculate adding in all my sick time etc etc. I hope it doesn’t really take two years or more!!!! It’s been a year and two months now.

        Reply
      3. elaine

        I retired in June 2019, still waiting too. Also waiting on the promised communication from whomever has been assigned to my case.

        Reply
        1. NYSLRS Post author

          The NYSLRS Social Media team does not have access to your account information, but we’d like to help. We recommend you email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website. Filling out the secure form allows our representatives to safely contact you about your personal account information.

          Reply
      4. Cheryl Hall

        I retired in November 2019 so it’s also been 2 years and 1 month for me and my pension has still not been recalculated for my unused sick leave and lump sum vacation pay. I just received retro pay a month or so ago (I’m assuming for a settled contract) so that should also be calculated in my FAE. I called the retirement system about a year and a half ago and they told me it could take up to 18 months. I finally called GOER several months ago and I was told that it could take up to 2 years. Well time has run out….I’m wondering why it’s taking even longer. This is so frustrating!

        Reply
        1. NYSLRS Post author

          The NYSLRS Social Media team does not have access to your account information, but we’d like to help. We recommend you email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com). Filling out the secure form allows our representatives to safely contact you about your personal account information.

          Reply
  3. Maggio P. Ventura

    How does it work for pension calculation purposes when you cash out compensatory time you took in lieu of a cash payment. For example if my employer allowed me to cash out 480 hours of comp time eared threw out my earlier years does that amount count to the years it was earned or the year it was cashed out?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Your pension calculation and the specific types of earnings that can be included depend on your plan and tier.

      For account-specific information, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. One of them will be able to answer your questions. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
  4. Jane

    Hi, I currently work for the Unified Court System. When I look at my NYSLRS member annual statement it shows the retro payment from 2018 as a lump sum counting towards my pensionable amount (FAS) for the year it was paid not for the multiple years it was earned. How do I know that the adjustment was made and what the corrected amounts are for the years affected by the retro? The member annual statement used to show the reported salaries for the last five years but now that it went online only shows one year so I’m not able to see that info. Is there somewhere on my account online that I can look this up? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      You can view your earnings from the last five State fiscal years (April 1 – March 31) in Retirement Online. Click “View My Recent Employment Summary” from your Account Homepage. If you don’t have an account, go to the Sign In page and click the” Sign Up” link under the “Customer Sign In” button.

      For account-specific questions about your retroactive payments, please call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area), press 2, then follow the prompts. You can also 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
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Retroactive payments and pay for unused vacation time may affect the calculation of your final average earnings (FAE).

      For information specific to your situation, please call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area), press 2, then follow the prompts. A representatives can also provide information about how leaving public service may affect other benefits.

      You can email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com). Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information. You may also find our booklet What if I Leave Public Employment? helpful.

      Reply
  5. Christopher Thompson

    Once a contract is signed how long do they have to pay you, your retroactive pay? We signed a contract on the 11 of September of this year 2019.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      For questions about receiving retroactive pay, please contact your employer or, if you are retired, your former employer.

      Reply
  6. Steven Wood

    I’ll be receiving a retro check from my previous employer. I retired from this employer in 2016. I am now working after retirement for a public agency. Will this retro check count against my $30,000 cap for working after retirement for this year?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      The $30,000 cap includes money earned in the current calendar year. Generally, retroactive payments that were earned in a previous year would not be included.

      Reply
      1. Steven Wood

        Thank you. The money was earned in 2014 to 2016. Years I was employed by that agency. Retro payment being made now but earned in 14 to 16.

        Reply
  7. Ernie Williams

    I retired 15 months ago and still receiving the estimate pension. The wait of this length is pathetic. After calling I’m told it will be at least 1.5 years before they will look into it. Ridiculous!

    Reply
    1. Lawrence Hochberg

      I retired almost a year and a half ago and also still receiving estimated pension. I called and they could not say why such a delay. They said send a letter. I sent a letter and did not receive a response! Next letter will go to comptrollers office and elected reps. COVID is not an excuse for this long a delay.

      Reply
      1. NYSLRS

        We apologize for the trouble you are having. Your message is important to us and we have sent you a private message in response.

        Reply
      2. John

        Please let us know what happens since this affects your adjusted gross income with Medicare. There needs to be a clear answer why this is taking almost 3 years? The replies by NYSLRS seems to be automated and when you call the representatives they do not have an explanation. They give you a non-answer, basically that they are not able to give you any answer. Please keep us updated. Thank you!

        Reply
    2. Ellen A Jacob-Kinbacher

      I thought the delay in my pension being recalculated was due to Covid, but apparently not since it was like this before Covid – I retired on 1/02/2020 and I am still receiving the estimated pension amount – I’m 20 months retired today!

      Reply
      1. Bess Watts

        I retired in Oct 2019 and still have not received my recalculated pension. Originally they said 18 months, the second inquiry stated “There is not currently a timeframe to complete your recalculated benefit adjustment.” now it is close to 2 years. Completely frustrating.

        Reply
        1. James R Seaboldt

          Similar situation here, Retired July 2020 still waiting for recalculated pension. It includes a half year of sick time and a months vacation pay. Significant increase in my pension

          Reply
      2. Frank L Rini

        I also retired in Oct 2019 and I’m still waiting for them to recalculate my pension. I have heard of people that retired in June 2019 and are still waiting. I have been on the phone with them 3 times and haven’t got anywhere with them. They say they will look into it and I never hear back.

        Reply
        1. NYSLRS Post author

          The NYSLRS Social Media team does not have access to your account information, but we’d like to help. We recommend you email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com). Filling out the secure form allows our representatives to safely contact you about your personal account information.

          Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Any retroactive payments owed to retirees would come from an employer, not from NYSLRS. If you think you may be entitled to a payment because of a new union contract or other adjustment, please contact your former employer for more information.

      A retroactive payment for work performed during the period we used to calculate your final average salary could increase your pension. If you were a State employee and receive a retroactive payment after you retire, we will recalculate your pension automatically; you do not need to notify us.

      If you receive a retroactive payment from a non-State employer after your pension calculation is finalized, send a letter to our Recalculation Unit in the Benefit Calculations & Disbursement Services Bureau. The address is NYSLRS, 110 State Street, Albany, NY 12244. Please include a copy of your check stub and any related correspondence you received from your former employer. You may also email and upload this information to the Retirement System through the secure email form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com).

      Reply
  8. Joseph Bray

    So if I am understanding this correctly once a contract is settled with the agency you retired from they send you your salary retro pay… the retirement system after getting your salary update adjusts your FAS. After that the Retirement system adjusts your benefit. Then issues a check or direct deposit for retro benefit payments?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Generally, if you earn a retroactive payment during the period that is part of your FAS calculation, we will recalculate your FAS and your pension benefit amount, and you will receive a retroactive adjustment in your next monthly benefit payment.

      If you have questions about a particular situation, we recommend emailing our customer service representatives using our secure email form. One of our representatives will review your account and respond to your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      To get the account-specific information you need, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. Please let them know if you received any retroactive payments before or after you retired. One of our representatives will review your account and respond to your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
  9. Jill Murray

    I retired Aug. 31, 2016 and just got a check in the mail for $390. It says pay start date 9/7/17 & pay end date 9/20/17. Under earnings, it has “Retro LSP Vacation”, “Retro Regular Pay Salaried”, and “Retro Salary LSP Annuals”. What is this for?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      The NYSLRS social media team doesn’t have access to your account information, however, if you received retroactive regular salary and vacation pay, it likely came from your employer. You can check with them to see what the payment is for.

      Reply
  10. Eugene Shifrin

    I retired from the Unified Court System 14 months ago. As you know my bargaining unit [C.O.B.A.N.C] recently approved an agreement with OCA going back 7 years with retroactive pay increases which I am affected by. Current employees received those increases with yesterday’s pay check. So far I have yet to find anyone to answer the question of when retirees will get theirs. Do you know?
    Gene Shifrin

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      While the NYSLRS social media team doesn’t have any specific information about your retroactive pay, you can find general information about how retroactive payments work here on our blog.

      To find out how long it should take to receive an increase in your pension payment, we suggest emailing our customer service representatives using our secure email form. One of them will get back to you. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Possibly. The example used in this blog post is about employees who are in the Public Employees Federation (PEF) union. If you were a PEF member before you left State service, you may have recently received a retroactive payment covering your earnings from April 1, 2016, through your last date worked. Last summer, you may have received a payment covering your earnings from April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016.

      If you retired last October and were a PEF member, NYSLRS will automatically recalculate your pension benefit if these retroactive payments will affect the pension amount.

      If you were not a member of PEF, please contact your union or your previous employer to find out whether you are owed any retroactive money.

      If you have questions about your NYSLRS account, we suggest you email one of our customer service representatives using our secure email form. They will be able to review your account to address your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

      Reply
  11. Noreen

    Does the retroactive pay also affect the amount of sick pay that accumulated and is used towards health insurance payment? I retired in August 2017, and the contract was settled for the period from April1, 2017.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Unfortunately, NYSLRS doesn’t administer health insurance programs for its members or retirees.

      If you retired from New York State, you may need to contact New York State Civil Service. You could also try contacting the health benefits administrator at the employer you retired from.

      Reply
  12. Vee

    I retired May 2016, we were still under an old contract for the past 6 (now 7) years – so once this new contract goes into effect, you are saying I will get the retro money from these years? I hope so, that would be wonderful!

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      It depends on your contact and when you retired. Retroactive payment from newly negotiated union contracts come from your employer.

      The example used in this blog post is about employees who are in the Public Employees Federation (PEF) union. If you were a PEF member before you retired, you may have recently received a payment covering your earnings from April 1, 2016 through your date of retirement. Last summer, you may have received a retroactive payment covering your earnings from April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016. For PEF members, pension NYSLRS benefits will automatically be recalculated if these retroactive payments will affect the pension amount.

      If you were not a member of PEF, please contact your union or your previous employer to find out if you are owed any retroactive money.

      Reply
  13. Mitchell Bock

    i retired in Feb. 2016 There was a two percent raise that I am waiting for april 2015 to Feb 2016. When will this be adjusted for in my FAS. M Bock

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      For account-specific details (such as how long your pension recalculation might take), please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. One of our representatives will review your account to address your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

      Reply
    2. Brian O. Smith

      I retired in October 2015…am I due anything retro-active?..Also your article stated legal settlements could factor into your FAS…I had a legal settlement that I received while I was working (from the Promotion Test Battery Exam…that was not factored into my salary..what do I do?

      Reply
      1. NYSLRS Post author

        If you believe that some payments were not factored into your final average salary, you can write to the Recalculation Unit in our Benefit Calculation & Disbursement Bureau. Write to:

        NYSLRS
        Attn: Recalculation Unit
        Benefit Calculations & Disbursement Services Bureau
        110 State Street
        Albany, NY 12244-0001

        Please include a copy of your check stub and any relevant correspondence you received from your employer. You may also email and upload this information to the Retirement System through our secure contact form.

        Reply
        1. Robert P Colombo

          I retired in 1997 from NYSDOCS, now called NYSDOCCS. I have requested, a recalculation of a miscellaneous deduction in excess of $700, due to a “lump sum” payment from compensation. This was a settlement, not a “lump sum” payment. This request has been sent to the Recalculations Unit through Certified Mail numerous times. The mail Dept at 110 State St has verified these requests have been received.
          Your advice to contact:
          NYSLRS
          Attn: Recalculation Unit
          Benefit Calculations & Disbursement Services Bureau
          110 State Street
          Albany, NY 12244-0001

          IS TOTAL NONSENSE, I have had to go through my legislative reps in Albany to get any response at all,

          Robert P Colombo

          Reply
          1. NYSLRS Post author

            We apologize for trouble you are having. Your message is important to us and we have sent you a private message in response.

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