[ Your ERS Pension ]

Thinking of retiring? Know your options


The retirement plans administered by the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System guarantee members a monthly lifetime pension benefit when they retire.

The benefit you receive depends on your specific retirement plan and membership tier. You can look up your plan using our Find Your NYSLRS Retirement Plan Publication tool at bit.ly/plan-publication.

Your pension benefit amount also depends on the payment option you choose at retirement. You can choose from several options. For example:

  • The Single Life Allowance provides the maximum amount payable during your lifetime. However, if you choose this option, you cannot designate a beneficiary to receive monthly pension payments after you die.
  • Other payment options, such as Joint Allowance options, give you a reduced monthly benefit, but provide a continuing payment to a beneficiary when you die. The amount you and your beneficiary receive is based on the percentage of your pension you wish to leave for your beneficiary, as well as your and your beneficiary’s birthdates.

NYSUT ERS consultants

Most NYSUT School-Related Professionals* belong to the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System (ERS). Contact any one of our consultants for assistance.

Tarrytown Region:
Trudi Davis | 914-592-4411

Nassau/Suffolk Region:
Karen McLean | 518-625-1966

North Country/Potsdam Region:
Cheryl Rockhill | 518-240-8890

Syracuse Region:
Virginline Woodall | 518-617-0268

* Certified teaching assistants belong to the state TRS.

When you retire, you only have 30 calendar days after your pension benefit becomes payable to change your option before your choice is permanent. Even if you aren’t about to retire, it makes sense to consider your options before you need to make a decision.

You can estimate your pension in Retirement Online. Enter different retirement dates, earnings and service credit totals to see how your choices affect your potential benefit and pension payment options. Sign in to Retirement Online at bit.ly/RO-sign-in. From your Account Homepage, go to the “My Account Summary” section and click the “Estimate my Pension Benefit” button.

When it comes time to retire, Retirement Online makes that convenient too. When you apply online, you can review estimated payment options and amounts before picking your payment option. You can also apply for retirement by mail, but then you’ll need to submit a separate payment option form as well as other documents. Paper retirement and option forms need to be notarized.

You can read more about pension payment options and filing for retirement at nyretirementnews.com/choosing-your-pension-payment-option.

Thomas DiNapoli

In every issue, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, administrative head of the State and Local Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and trustee of the Common Retirement Fund, provides information on the System, which delivers retirement benefits to many NYSUT School-Related Professionals and other support staff. If you are an ERS member with a question of general interest, email united@nysut.org.

For immediate assistance, call the ERS Contact Center toll-free at 866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 in the Capital District.