Here are some of our most popular blog posts from the past year. Not surprisingly, during 2020 members and retirees were interested in information about doing business with NYSLRS online. Fortunately, new Retirement Online features made that a lot easier during a challenging time.
- Retirement Online Makes Retirement Fast, Easy
You can now file your service retirement application in Retirement Online. This convenient new feature can reduce paperwork and save you a trip to the post office.
- What to Know About ERS Tier 6
Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) Tier 6 includes members who have joined NYSLRS since April 1, 2012. It now accounts for 45 percent of all ERS membership. This is a basic overview of retirement benefits for ERS Tier 6 members.
- Do We Have Your Correct Contact Information?
Keeping your mailing address and other contact information up to date ensures that you receive important information from NYSLRS about your benefits. Once again, Retirement Online makes the task easy to accomplish.
- Doing Business With NYSLRS
Retirement Online is a secure, easy way to check your benefit information and conduct transactions in real time. Here’s a rundown of the many features it offers.
- Estimate Your Pension in Retirement Online
How much will your pension be? Most NYSLRS members can use the pension calculator in Retirement Online to get a benefit estimate based on information we have on file for them. You can enter different retirement dates to compare potential benefits.
Before we say goodbye to 2018, let’s take a look back at a few of the year’s most popular blog posts.
For NYSLRS members, the formulas used to calculate our pension benefits are based on two main factors: service credit and final average salary. While service credit is fairly straightforward — it’s generally the years of service you’ve spent working for a participating employer — what is a final average salary (FAS)?
Some special plans allow NYSLRS members to retire after 20 or 25 years with no pension reduction. However, most of us have a choice to make: wait until the full retirement age specified by their plans or retire as early as age 55. It’s an important decision; those who retire early may receive a permanently reduced pension benefit.
Retirees: While your NYSLRS pension is not taxed by New York State, it is still subject to federal income tax. If your tax bill is larger than expected, or if you’ve been getting a hefty tax refund regularly, you may want to adjust the federal withholding from your NYSLRS pension. Follow these step-by-step instructions.
Many Tier 3 and 4 members of the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) are eligible to retire under the same retirement plan, so we often think about them together. According to our most recent numbers, the combined tiers make up nearly 60 percent of ERS members — by far the largest segment. Here is a quick look at the benefits these members may receive before and after retirement.
Even with a defined-benefit plan like you receive through NYSLRS, retirement planning is not a one-time task. Whether you’re reviewing your NYSLRS benefits or other retirement matters (like Medicare coverage or required minimum distributions), there are important considerations at almost every age leading up to retirement — and even in the years that follow.
As we wrap up another year, let’s take a look back at the most popular New York Retirement News posts of 2017.
- NYSLRS – One Tier at a Time: ERS Tiers 3 & 4
When you join the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), you’re assigned a tier based on the date of your membership. Members of Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) Tiers 3 and 4 represent nearly two-thirds of our membership, and their retirement plans are similar. Many are nearing retirement. This blog, part of a series, is an overview of ERS Tier 3 and 4 retirement benefits.
- Tier 3 & 4 Members: When Is The Right Time To Retire?
If you’re in ERS Tier 3 or 4, you can retire as early as age 55. But working a few more years could have a big impact on the amount of your pension. Here are some factors to consider before you opt for an early retirement.
- $15 Billion in Lost Money. Could Some Of It Be Yours? Find Out.
Is it possible you left money in an old bank account? Maybe you lost track of a security deposit, insurance payout, stock dividend or mutual fund? Could there be a distant relative who left bonds in your name?
- Taxes and Your NYSLRS Retirement Benefit
Your NYSLRS retirement benefit isn’t subject to New York State or local income taxes, but it is subject to federal income tax. Before you retire, take some time to think about how taxes could affect your retirement planning.
- How Much Will My Pension Be?
For anyone thinking about retirement, one big question looms: How much money will I have to live on after I stop working? Your NYSLRS pension is a lifetime benefit. Having a good idea of what that monthly amount will be is essential to effective retirement planning. Fortunately, we offer tools to help you estimate your future pension.
As we wrap up 2016, let’s take a look back at our most popular posts.
Where did you go? Not far, it turns out. Seventy-eight percent of NYSLRS retirees and beneficiaries stay in New York State. However, the rest have made homes around the country and even around the world.
Work is work, and credit is credit. But, if you work part-time, there’s some math involved. We helped members crunch the numbers.
It’s all about becoming vested, earning enough service credit to qualify for a pension benefit — even if you leave public employment. We went through the ins and outs of becoming vested for members of both the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS).
Even if you leave public employment, you’re still a NYSLRS member. We gave members a rundown on their options and how their benefits may change after moving to private employment before retirement.
You won’t need to pay New York State or local taxes on your NYSLRS retirement benefit, but other states and federal income tax are another matter. We gave members and retirees some insight into federal tax withholding and the 1099-R form.
Once you’ve earned the service credit, it’s time to get ready for retirement. We gave members a six-item checklist to make sure they’ve laid the groundwork for a smooth application process.
We looked at the death benefit that Tier 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 ERS members in regular plans receive.
A solid lead up to retirement is essential, but picking the right retirement date is important too. We gave members some tips about when to submit their applications, how to pick a date and what their first benefit payments will look like.
NYSLRS members are spread out over two systems, six tiers and 346 retirement plan combinations. It can be easy for information to get jumbled between coworkers and between plans. So, we cleared up some common misconceptions we’ve heard from members and retirees over the years. This is an entry in our Retirement Myths series.
The better you understand your road to retirement, the better you can plan for it. We took a look at the journey for Tier 3 and 4 ERS members and pointed out several retirement benefit milestones they’ll pass along the way. We also took a look at Tier 5 and Tier 6 member milestone, too.
As 2015 comes to a close, let’s look at the top 10 blog posts you shared with friends this past year:
A One Tier at a Time feature that looked at one of our smallest plans in the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS): Tier 1.
An update for eligible NYSLRS retirees about the cost-of-living adjustment they’d receive in September 2015.
How NYSLRS plans ahead to maintain the funds it needs to pay current and future benefits.
How Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli defends NYSLRS against the abuse of public funds.
Tier 1 may be the smallest tier in the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS), but it was the third most popular One Tier at a Time post to share.
Each summer, we mail out approximately 700,000 Member Annual Statements filled with personalized benefit information you need to know.
A NYSLRS Basics feature that looks at what your final average salary is and the part it plays in your pension calculation.
Choosing how we’ll pay your retirement benefit is a big decision. Which payment option best meets your needs?
Comptroller DiNapoli spoke to a retiree group about how the pension money paid to retirees flows directly back into our communities, stimulating and growing our local economies.
…and, the most shared post of 2015 is:
Our most shared blog post is also our first One Tier at a Time post, featuring Tiers 3 & 4 in ERS.
Thanks for sharing, and Happy New Year!