How Your Tier 6 Contribution Rate Can Change

Most NYSLRS members contribute a percentage of their earnings to help fund pension benefits. For Tier 6 members (those who joined NYSLRS on or after April 1, 2012), that percentage, or contribution rate, can vary from year to year.

Tier 6 contribution rate

When Tier 6 Contribution Rates are Determined

A Tier 6 member’s contribution rate is calculated annually. New rates become effective each year on April 1, the beginning of the State’s fiscal year. Once your rate is set for a fiscal year, it will not change for the rest of that fiscal year.

Recently enacted legislation will lower contribution rates for some Tier 6 members for two years. Read about it in our blog post, Overtime Pay Temporarily Excluded From Tier 6 Contribution Rates.

How Your Tier 6 Contribution Rate is Calculated

Tier 6 contribution rates are based on what you earn during a State fiscal year, from April 1 through March 31. The minimum rate is 3 percent of your earnings, and the maximum is 6 percent.

Your contribution rate is calculated by NYSLRS. Rates are based on your earnings from the last completed fiscal year and provided to your employer in March, a few weeks before your employer needs to apply rate changes for all the employees at your organization. The contribution rate you are paying today is based on what you earned from April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021.

During your first three years as a NYSLRS member, your contribution rate is based on an estimated annual wage we receive from your employer when you were enrolled as a new member. After three years, the rate is based on what you actually earned two years earlier.

If you are a Tier 6 member with three or more years of membership in NYSLRS, this video will help explain how your contribution rate is determined:

See our Member Contributions page for more information.

Learn More

The amount you contribute to the Retirement System will not affect the amount of your pension. Your NYSLRS pension is a lifetime benefit based on your retirement plan, years of service and final average earnings. You can learn more about your pension by reading your plan booklet on our Publications page. For help finding the right plan book, read our blog post Knowing Your Retirement Plan is the Key to Retirement Planning.

3 thoughts on “How Your Tier 6 Contribution Rate Can Change

  1. Tom

    Why do I still have to contribute 6% when my pensionable OT is capped? After a certain point, I’m paying 6% of my earnings and I can’t even use that toward my FAS. This seems wrong!

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      For questions about your contribution rate, please send your question to our customer service representatives using our secure email form. Filling out the secure form allows NYSLRS to safely contact you about your personal account information.

  2. David sylvester

    Here is problem, that I have found with this plan.This plan is based on your earnings, but has become a problem for myself who is a tier 6 member is we are paying on earnings from Two years prior. That’s great and ok. But when the state and unions don’t agree on a contract for for a couple years and you are owed a retro check that money is included into the third year and could and has put you over the earnings rate(eg. 55000 to 75000 and 75000 to 100000). Now your paying on a rate that you actually didn’t earn for that year, because the retro check are from earning for prior years. Example. 2020. 2% deferred total earned 71500. 2021 total earnings 73650 plus 2020 deferred of 2%. =1650 total 75300. Contribution rate went from 4.5% to 5.75% because of the retro money for 2020.this retro was a government decision.Members didn’t have any option in this, but are now forced to pay more into the retirement system, because of the government decision to withhold the 2% contractual salary increases. If you have any question you may contact me at the information below.


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