Tag Archives: direct deposit

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.

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.

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.

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, you’ll be able to view your 1099-R tax form in Retirement Online starting at the end of January 2024 for calendar year 2023.

You can update your delivery preference now to receive an email as soon as this important document is available. If you choose to receive your 1099-R by email, you will not receive a printed copy in the mail.

View Your Retiree Annual Statement Online

Your Retiree Annual Statement provides important information about your benefit amount, deductions and tax withholding. Statements will be mailed at the end of February, but they’ll be available online sooner than waiting for your mailed copy.

Make the Switch to Email and Help Us ‘Go Green’

Email delivery gives you access to your important documents sooner and helps the environment by reducing paper consumption. Help us ‘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:

  • 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. 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.

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

If it’s been a while, you may need to look up your username or reset your password.

If you still need assistance, you can find step-by-step instructions in the Tools & Tips section of the Retirement Online page.

What Members Can Do in Retirement Online

Retirement Online is a secure and convenient way for members to do business with NYSLRS. Submitting applications through Retirement Online speeds up the process and enables NYSLRS to serve more customers more quickly. Here’s a look at some of the things NYSLRS members (not yet retired) can do online.

View Your Account Information

Sign in to Retirement Online for easy access to key information about your NYSLRS account. On your Account Homepage, scroll down to the ‘Account Info’ section. There, you can find your date of membership, tier, retirement plan, estimated total service credit and more.

Update Your Contact Information

It’s important that we have your current contact information to make sure you receive the news, letters and statements that we send you. You can change your mailing address, phone number or email address in the ‘My Profile Information’ section of your Account Homepage. Just click “update” next to the item you’d like to change.

You can save time and reduce paper waste by going green and opting to receive information from NYSLRS electronically. Choose “E-mail” next to ‘Contact by,’ and when important information is ready for you to view in Retirement Online, we will send you an email to let you know.

Retirement Online for members

View and Update Your Beneficiary

NYSLRS retirement plans provide death benefits for beneficiaries of eligible members who die before retiring. It’s a good idea to review your beneficiaries from time to time to make sure your choices reflect your current wishes. Retirement Online is the fastest way to add or remove beneficiaries or update beneficiary information. Click “Manage My Beneficiaries” on the right, under “I want to…”

Estimate Your Pension

How much will your pension be? It’s an important question as you’re planning for retirement. In just a few steps, most members can estimate their retirement benefit based on up-to-date account information, then save or print the estimate. Entering different dates and comparing the results can help you choose the retirement date that’s right for you. From your Account Homepage, go to the ‘My Account Summary’ section and click the “Estimate my Pension Benefit” button.

Apply for a Loan

It’s easy to apply for a loan in Retirement Online. If you are eligible to take a loan, you can see how much you can borrow, what your repayment options will be and whether your loan will be taxable — all before you apply. And, of course, if you decide to go ahead with the loan, you can apply online too. Click “Apply for a Loan” on the right, under “I want to…”

After you’ve received your loan, click the “Manage My Loans” button to adjust your payment amount or to make a one-time payment.

Request Credit for Previous Service

If you worked for a participating employer before joining NYSLRS, you may be able to purchase service credit for that time. You can use Retirement Online to request credit for previous public employment (and for military service) and to upload any supporting documentation. Click “Manage My Service Credit Purchases” to get started.

View Your Member Annual Statement

Your Member Annual Statement can help you understand your benefits. It’s a snapshot of your NYSLRS account based on the information we have on file for you as of March 31 each year, which is the close of our fiscal year. From your Account Homepage, go to the ‘My Account Summary’ area, click the “View My Member Annual Statement” button and follow the steps to view, print or save your Statement. While you’re there, consider updating your MAS preference to “email” in the ‘My Profile Information’ area of your Account Homepage to receive your Statements faster.

Generate a Mortgage Verification Letter

If you need to show your NYSLRS account information for a mortgage, just click the link under ‘I want to…’ to the right of ‘My Profile Information.’ You can print a document that shows your contribution balance, and, if you have an outstanding loan, the date of your last loan, the current balance and the interest rate.

Apply for Retirement

When you are ready to retire, Retirement Online allows you to skip the hassle of mailing paper forms or visiting our office. You can apply for a service retirement benefit, choose your pension payment option, sign up for direct deposit and submit retirement-related paperwork online. A big advantage of applying online is that you don’t have to get anything notarized. Read our Applying for Retirement blog post for more information and links to resources.

Other Online Transactions

If you previously were a member of another New York State public retirement system before joining NYSLRS, your service could be recredited and your date of membership and tier restored. You can click “Reinstate a Previous Membership” to get started.

If you leave public employment with less than ten years of service credit, you can use Retirement Online to withdraw your membership. However, this will terminate your membership with NYSLRS, so you may wish to speak with a customer service representative before you submit your withdrawal application if you have any questions. You can call them at 866-805-0990 or message them using our secure contact form.

Retirement Online After You Retire

Retiring soon? Retirement Online will continue to be an essential tool throughout your retirement years. For information about what retirees can do online, read Retirement Online for Retirees Just Got Better.

What Happens After You File for Retirement

The day has finally come — you filed for retirement. You submitted your retirement application through Retirement Online (or mailed a paper retirement application) and now you’re looking forward to your first pension payment. Here’s what to expect next.

Submit Any Additional Paperwork

After you file for retirement, we will send you and your employer an acknowledgement letter, which will list your retirement date. We may reach out to you for additional information to complete the retirement process — what option you selected, what federal tax to withhold, and your banking information for electronic payments.

file for retirement

Fortunately, if you used Retirement Online, you were able to select your payment option, provide tax withholding information, and enroll in our Direct Deposit Program when you completed the online application.

If you mailed a paper application and did not include this information, we’ll send you the necessary forms to fill out and send back to us. The forms are also available on our website if you want to print your own:

  • W-4P form: If you don’t submit a W-4P, we’ll withhold federal taxes based on the status “married with three dependents.” You can change your withholding at any time.
  • Direct Deposit Enrollment form: We encourage you to sign up for direct deposit, so you’ll have safe and reliable access to your pension payments on the last business day of each month. Paper checks are mailed on the second to last business day of each month and may take longer to receive.
  • Option Election form: If you haven’t received a pension estimate from our office in the past 18 months, you don’t need to include your pension payment option election when you file a paper application — you can wait until after you review an estimate to choose an option. We’ll send you an estimate, along with an option election form, after we receive your retirement application.

Receive Your First Payment

Once NYSLRS receives your retirement application, we will determine your initial pension benefit amount based on the earnings and service information we have on file at the time of your retirement.

Most NYSLRS retirees get their first pension payment at the end of the month following the month they retire. Please note: we cannot send your first payment until we have proof of your date of birth. A copy of your New York driver’s license, birth certificate, passport or naturalization papers are acceptable proofs. If you didn’t have proof of date of birth available when you submitted your retirement application, you can email us a copy by attaching it to our secure contact form or upload it using Retirement Online.

Possible Adjustments to Your Pension

If we receive additional payroll information from your employer, such as eligible lump sum payments, a retroactive pay increase or lagged regular earnings, we may need to adjust your pension payment.

Because of the many variables that are often involved in verifying service and salary details with your former employer, finalizing your retirement benefit amount can take some time. The time this takes depends on the complexity of your circumstances. For example, if you worked for multiple public employers, it may take longer to pull together all your earnings information. Also, if you are transferring service from another retirement system, filing a Domestic Relations Order or are seeking to purchase past service credit, you should expect a delay in receiving a finalized pension amount.

Once we have all the information we need, we’ll recalculate your pension amount. In most cases, your initial payments will be very close to the final benefit amount, but if your payment increases, you will receive a retroactive payment for the amount you are owed back to your date of retirement (the difference between your initial payments and your final retirement benefit amount).

Questions About Your NYSLRS Membership? Look Here for Answers

If you have general questions about NYSLRS or your benefits, we have a web page that can help you find the answers.

That’s because the NYSLRS Contact Us page does double duty. It not only lists contact information, it also helps you find answers for many of the common questions we get from members, retirees and beneficiaries. It covers subjects like address changes, loans, pension estimates, direct deposit and cost-of-living adjustments (COLA).

To get started, go to the Contact Us page and select the Member, Retiree or Beneficiary button to find the questions and answers you need. Each section has categories specific to that member group.

Member

answers
  • Address Change
  • Forms
  • Loans
  • Member Annual Statement
  • Mortgage Letter/Account Verification Letter
  • Pension Estimates
  • Retirement Online
  • Service Credit
  • Withdrawing from NYSLRS

Retiree

answers
  • 1099-R Reprint
  • Address Change
  • Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
  • Direct Deposit
  • Federal Taxes
  • Forms
  • Health Insurance
  • Pension Checks
  • Pension Verification Letters
  • Retirement Online

Beneficiary

answers
  • 1099-R Reprint
  • Address Change
  • Direct Deposit
  • Federal Taxes
  • Forms
  • Pension Checks
  • Pension Verification Letters
  • Reporting a Death
  • Retirement Online
  • Who is a Beneficiary?

Getting Account-Specific Answers

The information on the Contact Us page is general. If you’re looking for information specific to your situation, like your loan balance or a breakdown of your pension payment, sign in to Retirement Online. If you don’t already have a Retirement Online account, sign up today.

Stay-At-Home Tips During the COVID-19 Emergency

As the COVID-19 emergency continues, many of us are staying home and practicing social/physical distancing to reduce the spread of the virus. Staying home is especially important if you are an older adult, have a chronic health condition, or are immunocompromised.

Here are some tips on getting the help and services you need while limiting your time out of the house. And if you must leave your house, follow these steps to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.

COVID-19 emergency

Online Banking and Direct Deposit

Many banks have closed or limited the open hours of their branch locations, and are encouraging their customers to use online banking. Online banking allows you to monitor your account balances and pay bills from home. Certain mobile banking features can also allow you to deposit checks using a smartphone. Visit your bank’s website or call your bank’s customer service line to see what services are available.

This is also a good time to arrange for the direct deposit of incoming funds (such as your NYSLRS pension or your paycheck) to your bank account.

If your bank offers a drive-thru or walk-up ATM, the CDC recommends that you clean the ATM keyboard or screen with an antiseptic wipe before using it, and to wash your hands thoroughly after making transactions.

Online Grocery Shopping and Special Shopping Hours

Depending on where you live, your local grocery chain may offer online shopping. Visit your grocery store’s website to see what services are available. They may offer home delivery, where a delivery driver can leave your groceries at your door, or curbside pick-up, where you can pick up your order without needing to leave your car.

Your grocery store may also offer special shopping hours for older or other at-risk customers. If you are unable to place an online order, visit the store’s website or call ahead to see if there are special hours.

Virtual Doctor Appointments

Appointments with your doctor are important to keep, but in some instances, you or your doctor may want to postpone upcoming appointments for you or members of your family. Fortunately, some offices are now offering telemedicine visits as an alternative to in person appointments. Telemedicine visits can take the form of phone calls or video chats with your doctor or another healthcare professional. Visit your doctor’s office website or call ahead to see if this option is available to you.

Your health insurance company may also offer some information about telemedicine. Here are several New York health insurance providers who offer telemedicine resources:

If your doctor wants you to come to the office, be sure to ask about and follow any safety measures they’ve put into place. These safety measures are meant to protect you and your family, medical staff, and other patients.

And Your Pets Too!

Your pets may have medical appointments of their own to keep. Call your veterinarian to see if and how they are accepting pets or prescribing medicine during this time. In some instances, they may ask you to stay in the car while they take your pet inside for treatment.

The CDC offers additional information about keeping your pets safe during the COVID-19 emergency.

Getting Help from the Local Community

Stay in touch with what your local community is doing during the COVID-19 emergency. You can check community websites, social media groups, and local news outlets to see what services are being offered to seniors or at-risk adults. Other community resources, like reputable volunteer organizations, may also be available to assist you.

For more information about running errands during the COVID-19 emergency, visit the CDC’s website. If you live in New York, stay up to date on statewide initiatives by visiting the NY Department of Health’s website.

A Message from NYSLRS About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted our daily lives in ways large and small. As New York and the rest of the nation work on treatment and containment of this virus, many New Yorkers are concerned about what the future will bring.

The New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) wants to assure retirees and members who rely on the state pension fund for fiscal security that it is well positioned to weather the volatility in the financial markets.  Your retirement benefits are secure and you will continue to receive your pension payments.

Retirees: Please Sign Up for Direct Deposit

As NYSLRS closely monitors the public health measures being taken to prevent the community transmission of the coronavirus, there are circumstances that could arise that impact the delivery of pension checks, particularly the ability of retirees to go to the bank to deposit them.

sign up for direct deposit to avoid interruptions as a result of the coronavirus

NYSLRS strongly urges retirees to consider signing up for direct deposit, instead of receiving a monthly pension by check via mail delivery. The vast majority of our retirees have their retirement and Social Security benefits deposited directly into their checking or savings account. Direct deposit is quick and safe. To enroll in direct deposit, complete the Electronic Funds Transfer Direct Deposit Enrollment Application (RS6370).