The Top 5 Retirement Myths And Their Impact On Your Benefit

NYSLRS Members Would Be Wise to Avoid These Misconceptions

Retirement laws and procedures can be confusing. Sometimes even a small misunderstanding can have a big impact on your benefit. That’s why we feel it’s important to correct certain misconceptions that NYSLRS members have had over the years. The following are five of the most common myths:

Myth #1 My NYSLRS loan has gone into default and I have already paid taxes on it, so that means my loan has been satisfied and I no longer need to repay it.

Fact Not only does your loan still need to be repaid, but it continues to accrue interest. Since you cannot pay off your loan once you retire, an outstanding loan at retirement will permanently reduce your benefit. However, it does not prohibit you from filing for or receiving your pension.

Myth #2 I am required to contribute toward my pension. When I retire, my benefit will be based on what I have contributed to NYSLRS.

Fact Your member contributions are not a factor in the calculation of your pension. Your pension is based primarily on your service credit and the salary you earned when you were an active member. Other factors that may play a role in the calculation include your retirement plan and your age at retirement. In addition, if you have any outstanding loan balance when you retire, it will permanently reduce your retirement benefit.

Myth #3 I cannot collect my pension until I start receiving Social Security.

Fact You can collect your pension as soon as you meet the eligibility requirements of your retirement plan. Most members in regular retirement plans can retire as early as age 55. You should check the eligibility requirements for your tier when planning for your retirement.

Myth #4 If I am vested, off payroll and no longer working for a public employer, NYSLRS will automatically start paying me my pension as soon as I meet eligibility requirements.

Fact Since only you can decide when retirement is right for you, in order to begin collecting your pension benefits, you must file an Application for Service Retirement (RS6037).

Myth #5 I recently applied for retirement by giving my employer the paperwork.

Fact Giving your employer your retirement paperwork does not mean that you have filed for retirement and will receive your benefits. To apply for your NYSLRS benefits, you must file your retirement application form with the Office of the State Comptroller. For a form to be considered as “filed with the Comptroller,” it must be received by our Albany office, one of our consultation sites, or another office of the State Comptroller.

Have a concern that wasn’t covered? You can always email us from the Contact Us page of our website.

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