NYSLRS paid $13.4 billion in benefits to 487,407 retirees and beneficiaries during the State fiscal year that ended on March 31. These benefits are paid out through the New York State Common Retirement Fund (the Fund).
But NYSLRS is more than just the pension fund. The system had 673,336 members as of March 31, including county workers, professional firefighters and State troopers. Here are some facts about our membership:
- 530,547 active members (that is, members still on a public payroll) work for 2,962 public employers statewide.
- 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 active members are in the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS). The Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) accounts for 6 percent of NYSLRS membership.
- More than 44 percent of all members are in Tier 6. Fifty-eight percent of PFRS members are in Tier 2 and almost 49 percent of ERS members are in Tiers 3 and 4.
NYSLRS Retirees and Beneficiaries
The average pension for an ERS retiree was $25,105; the average for a PFRS retiree was $54,684. But these pension payments don’t just benefit the system’s retirees and beneficiaries. Because 79 percent of NYSLRS retirees and beneficiaries live in New York, $10.8 billion worth of benefits stayed in the State. And that money supported local businesses, paid local taxes and generated economic development statewide.
An Award-Winning Publication
Extensive information about NYSLRS members and retirees, the Fund, and Fund investments can be found in the 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). NYSLRS once again received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 2019 CAFR. The Certificate of Achievement is a national award recognizing excellence in the preparation of state and local government financial reports. NYSLRS has won this award for the last 16 years.