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Retirement planning for Tier 3 and 4 members


f you are a Tier 3 or 4 New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) member, now is the time to plan for retirement. Understanding your service credit milestones and retirement benefit calculation will help you make important retirement-related decisions.

You are a Tier 3 or 4 member if you joined ERS from July 27, 1976, through Dec. 31, 2009. For most Tier 3 and 4 members, your retirement benefits are based on Article 15 of the Retirement and Social Security Law.

For these members:

  • You can retire with full benefits at age 62.
  • You are eligible to retire once you are age 55 and have at least five years of service credit, but your benefits may be reduced.
  • If you have 30 or more years of service credit, you can retire as early as age 55 and before age 62 with no benefit reduction.
  • If you retire with fewer than 20 years of service credit, your benefit equals 1.66 percent of your final average earnings (FAE) for each year of service.
  • If you retire with 20 to 30 years of service credit, the benefit is 2 percent of your FAE for each year of service.
  • If you retire with more than 30 years of service credit, the benefit is 2 percent of your FAE for each year of service up to 30. For each year beyond 30, you will receive 1.5 percent of your FAE.

Visit ERS online to learn about benefit reductions, osc.state.ny.us/retirement/members/about-benefit-reductions, or to read about how your FAE is calculated, osc.state.ny.us/retirement/members/final-average-earnings.

Retirement Online can help with your retirement planning. Log in to your account to see your estimated service credit total, apply for additional service and to pay off any loans, which would reduce your pension at retirement. You can also use the site to estimate your pension and, when you are ready, apply for retirement. To register or to sign in, go to web.osc.state.ny.us/retire/sign-in.php.

Be sure to bookmark the publications page, osc.state.ny.us/retirement/publications, so you can refer to your retirement plan information as needed. Visit contactNYSLRS.com if you have questions.

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.