[ Your TRS Pension ]

New Year a great time to review your retirement portfolio

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Q :

Since it’s the start of the New Year, I’m reviewing my retirement portfolio. What information should I check?

A :

To start, make sure your beneficiary information is correct. Check names for misspellings or changes, update any new addresses and ensure your beneficiaries are listed in the proper order. And check your own name and address as well. Incorrect listings can cause unnecessary benefit delays.

If you haven’t already, the new year is also a good time to set up a MyNYSTRS account at nystrs.org, so you can quickly and easily access your retirement information. Lastly, if you have any prior service credit, the start of the new year is a good time to claim it. Call 800-348-7298, ext. 6030 for information.

Q :

During the late 1990s I worked as a graduate assistant while earning my master’s degree at the State University of New York. Can I get pension credit for that time?

A :

If you were on the SUNY payroll while employed, yes, you can. In fact, all tier members can get credit for work done prior to joining NYSTRS as long as it would have been creditable in a New York state public retirement system. This includes partial years of service, part-time and substitute teaching and even work as a summer camp counselor for a town recreational program, a clerk for a public library or an office assistant in a county government department. You can also receive credit for teaching in a public charter school that opts to participate in NYSTRS. You can’t, however, receive credit for federal government employment or non-public school teaching.

As always, it’s a good idea to contact NYSTRS at 800-348-7298, ext. 6030, or use the MyNYSTRS secure messaging feature to discuss your situation before purchasing.

For information about claiming and purchasing prior service, read the publication You Deserve the Credit. You’ll find it at nystrs.org under publications.

NYSUT TRS consultants
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Did you know?

The New York State Teachers’ Retirement System has thousands in unclaimed funds and abandoned accounts. To see if you’re owed a refund, visit secure.nystrs.org/unclaimedFunds/unclaimedfunds.aspx.