A Look Inside NYSLRS

NYSLRS provided pension benefits to more than 500,000 retirees and beneficiaries during the State fiscal year that ended on March 31. These benefits are provided by the New York State Common Retirement Fund (the Fund).

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli is administrative head of NYSLRS and trustee of the Fund. It is widely recognized as one of the best-managed and best-funded public retirement funds in the nation.

NYSLRS information

NYSLRS Membership                                                          

But NYSLRS is more than just the pension fund. The system serves more than 685,000 members as of March 31. Here are some facts about our membership:

  • 506,084 active members (that is, members still on the public payroll) work for 2,972 public employers statewide.
  • About one-third of those active members work for New York State. The rest work for counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts and public authorities.
  • Nearly 94 percent of total active members are in the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS). The Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) accounts for 6 percent of total active membership.
  • More than 50 percent of all Retirement System members are in Tier 6.
  • In ERS, 54 percent of members are in Tier 6, while 40.5 percent are in Tiers 3 and 4.
  • In PFRS, 45 percent of members are in Tier 6, while 48 percent are in Tier 2.

NYSLRS Retirees and Beneficiaries

The average pension for an ERS retiree was $26,467 as of March 31, 2022; the average for a PFRS retiree was $58,522. But these pension payments don’t just benefit the System’s retirees and beneficiaries. Seventy-nine percent of retirees and beneficiaries stay in New York and generate billions of dollars in economic activity across the state. Their spending supports local businesses, contributes to local taxes and creates jobs in our communities.

Learn More About NYSLRS

Extensive information about our members and retirees, the Fund and Fund investments can be found in the 2022 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report. This report includes detailed information about the Fund’s investments, strategies and financial position. It also provides details about NYSLRS’ 1.19 million members, retirees and beneficiaries.

13 thoughts on “A Look Inside NYSLRS

  1. Charles

    It’s been 2 1/2 years since I retired and my pension has not yet been finalized. Every time I email the retirement system they give me a runaround. First time they told me 1 year then 18 months now they say there is no set time. whats going on with you people in Albany.

    Reply
    1. Cecilia

      MC: I notice there was no response from NYSLRS regarding your comment about health insurance. In fact, NYS has raised premiums over 25% in the last two years effectlvely wiping out the entire COLA for those earning the average benefit or less. They need to either adjust the COLA to account for these premium increases for those paying for the health insurance or reduce the premiums for retirees, otherwise the ERS retirees will eventually see their pension wiped out.

      Reply
      1. NYSLRS

        NYSLRS does not administer health insurance programs for its retirees.

        The New York State Department of Civil Service administers the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) for New York State retirees and some municipal retirees. You can email them or call them at 1-800-833-4344 or 518-457-5754.

        If you retired from a public employer that did not participate in NYSHIP, you can contact your former employer’s benefits administrator for information about health insurance.

        Reply
        1. Cecilia

          Thanks for the reply. Of course, I am aware that NYSLRS does not administer the health insurance program, but my point was to make NYSLRS aware that NYSHIP’s back to back increases of approximately 12.5% in 2022 and 2023 have effectively undo a retiree’s COLA increases. This is obviously a particular hardship for those living on a $26000 pension, and perhaps NYSLRS might take that into consideration when calculating the inflation rate for its retirees.

          Reply
          1. NYSLRS Post author

            Your point is well taken, but to be clear, NYSLRS does not set COLA amounts. Retirement benefits, including COLA, are established by law. The decision on whether to enact new laws comes from the State Legislature and the Governor. The State Legislature would need to pass a bill and the Governor would need to sign it into law in order to change the COLA amount.

  2. 53daveg

    Thanks for protecting retirement system funds from the politicians. As with other similar retirement systems, once the politicians get their hands on it, it goes away.

    Reply
  3. Joyce M Youngs

    Mr. DiNapoli,
    Keep up the good work you are doing for our NYS retirement fund. It’s nice to know that our system is the best. RI where I now reside could use your expertise with their state retirement system.

    Reply
  4. Louis J. Savini

    Thank you Mr. DiNapoli for your continued care of the New York Pension system. God Bless you and your staff.

    Reply

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