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.
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).