When you joined the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), you were assigned a tier based on the date of your membership. This post looks at Tier 5 members of the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS).
Your tier determines such things as your eligibility for benefits, the calculation of those benefits, death benefit coverage and whether you need to contribute toward your benefits.
ERS has six tiers. Anyone who joined from January 1, 2010 through March 31, 2012 is in Tier 5. There were 33,619 ERS Tier 5 members as of March 31, 2022, representing 5.2 percent of ERS membership.
Most ERS Tier 5 members (unless they are in special retirement plans) retire under the Article 15 retirement plan. Check out the graphic below for the basic retirement information for Tier 5 members in this plan.
As of April 9, 2022, Tier 5 members only need five years of service credit to become vested. If you are a vested member in the Article 15 retirement plan, you are eligible for a lifetime pension benefit as early as age 55. However, if you retire before the full retirement age of 62, your benefit will be reduced.*
If you retire with less than 20 years, the benefit is 1.66 percent of your final average earnings (FAE) for each year of service. If you retire with 20 to 30 years, the benefit is 2 percent of your FAE for each year of service. For each year of service beyond 30 years, you will receive 1.5 percent of your FAE. For example, with 35 years of service, you can retire at 62 with 67.5 percent of your FAE.
Where to Find More ERS Tier 5 Information
For more information about ERS Tier 5 membership, find your NYSLRS retirement plan publication. It’s a comprehensive description of the benefits provided by your specific plan.
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.
Members may not be able to use the Retirement Online calculator in certain circumstances, for example, if they have recently transferred a membership to NYSLRS. These members can contact us to request an estimate or use the “Quick Calculator” on our website. The Quick Calculator generates estimates based on information you provide.
For information about other tiers, our series NYSLRS – One Tier at a Time gives you a quick look at the benefits for other tiers in both ERS and the Police and Fire Retirement System.
*Uniformed court officers or peace officers employed by the Unified Court System that have at least 30 years of credit may retire with a full benefit as early as age 55.