After months of planning and preparation, you’re ready to apply for retirement. To get your NYSLRS pension benefit, you need to send in an application. Let’s look at what you should include with the form to help make the retirement process go more smoothly.
Filling Out the Retirement Application
Unless you’re filing for a disability retirement, you’ll need to fill out the Application for Service Retirement (RS6037). As you fill out the form, make sure you:
- Know your registration number. You can find it on your most recent Member Annual Statement or retirement estimate.
- Know your past employment. To help ensure you receive the proper credit for your public service, please list your public employment history. Include any military service and memberships in other New York public retirement systems.
- Include your beneficiary’s information. You won’t make an official beneficiary designation with this form, but including these details will help us give you specific amounts for the pension payment options that offer a lifetime benefit for a beneficiary.
- See a notary. The form must be filled out completely and signed by a notary public.
Proof of Birth
Make sure we have proof of your birth date. You can send it with your retirement application or before or after, but we cannot pay pension benefits without it. We accept photocopies of the following as proof:
- Birth certificate
- New York State driver’s license issued on or after January 1, 2005
- Enhanced driver license
- Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty (DD-214)
- Baptismal certificate
- Naturalization papers
You’ll need to choose your pension payment option, or how you want your pension paid. Option election forms are available on our website, but we will also send you a form after we process your application. If you choose an option that provides your beneficiary a lifetime pension benefit when you die, you must provide proof of your beneficiary’s birth date.
Federal Income Tax Withholding
Your NYSLRS pension isn’t subject to New York State income tax, but it is subject to federal tax. You can fill out a W-4P form any time to tell us how much to withhold from your monthly benefit. We don’t withhold income tax for other states. Visit the Retired Public Employees Association’s website to see whether your benefit will be taxed in another state.
Direct deposit is the fastest and most secure way to receive your pension benefits. You can enroll in our direct deposit program when you file for retirement. Just fill out a Direct Deposit Enrollment Application (RS6370), and return it to us.
Domestic Relations Order
If an ex-spouse is entitled to part of your pension, you should send us a copy of your domestic relations order (DRO) as soon as possible. The DRO gives us specific instructions on how to divide your benefits. We cannot finalize your pension until we review it and calculate the court-mandated distribution of your benefit. For more detailed information, please read our Divorce and Your Pension blog post.
If you have other questions about applying for retirement, read our publication, Life Changes: How Do I Prepare to Retire? or contact us.