NYSLRS – One Tier at a Time: PFRS Tier 6

When you join the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), you’re assigned a tier based on the date of your membership. There are six tiers in the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and five in the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS). Your tier determines such things as your eligibility for benefits, the calculation of those benefits, death benefit coverage and whether you need to contribute toward your benefits.

Our series, NYSLRS – One Tier at a Time, walks through each tier to give you a quick look at the benefits in both ERS and PFRS. Today’s post looks at PFRS Tier 6. Anyone who joined PFRS on or after April 1, 2012 is in Tier 6. Tier 6 members currently make up almost 40 percent of PFRS membership, totaling 13,956 members, making it the second largest tier in PFRS.

About Regular Plans and Special Plans

Under a regular plan, you need to reach certain age and service requirements to receive your NYSLRS pension. If you’re covered by a special plan, there is no age requirement, and you can receive your pension after completing 20 or 25 years of service.

Nearly 80 percent of PFRS members are in plans covered under Sections 384, 384-d, 384-e or 384-f of the Retirement and Social Security Law. Read our Police and Fire Retirement System blog post for information about different PFRS plans.

Check out the graphic below for the basic retirement information for PFRS Tier 6 members.

PFRS Tier 6

Where to Find PFRS Tier 6 Information

If you’re a PFRS Tier 6 member, please find your retirement plan publication from the list below for more details about your benefits. If you’re not sure what retirement plan you’re in, you can find that information in the My Account Summary section of your Retirement Online account. You can also check your Member Annual Statement, ask your employer or email us using our secure contact form.

For special plans under miscellaneous titles, please visit our Publications page. Check out other posts in the PFRS series:

20 thoughts on “NYSLRS – One Tier at a Time: PFRS Tier 6

  1. Mike

    Is there a way to opt out of the pension program? With contributing 6 percent im better off investing that amount into my deffered or roth and actually being able to have MY own money. I will most likely not break even with how much i contribute in my pay checks compared to what i will get in my pension.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Once you join, you cannot opt out of NYSLRS while you continue to be employed by a participating public employer.

      Tier 3- 6 members who leave public employment with less than ten years of service may withdraw their mandatory contributions, plus interest, 15 or more days after leaving. However, this action terminates membership and these individuals become ineligible for any Retirement System benefits. Members who leave employment with more than ten years of service cannot withdraw their contributions; however, they will be eligible to apply for and receive a retirement benefit when they reach retirement age.

      You should know that, unlike a 401(k), the pension you will receive from NYSLRS will not be based on the amount of contributions you paid into the system. NYSLRS benefits are defined benefit plans, which means you will receive a lifetime benefit that will be based on your years of service and your earnings.

      Reply
  2. Alex E.

    If I have tier 6 (20 years) as a fire fighter and my age at 20 years of service would be 45, would I be able to retire directly into receiving my benefits or would I have a 10 year gap that I need to fill somehow?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Firefighters in special plans that allow for retirement after 20 or 25 years of service can retire at any age. For account-specific information about your benefits, please email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website. One of them will review your account and respond to your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
      1. Greg

        My employer offers FAS 1 year. Per comptrollers web site our contract meets requirements. How can I have this changed on my statement. I am currently in 384-D

        Reply
        1. NYSLRS Post author

          For assistance, please email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website. One of them will review your account and respond to your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.

          Reply
  3. Dolores M

    what does is mean full retirement is 62 (63 for members not on the payroll)? The booklet just shows full retirement at age 63

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      For Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) Tier 6 members, age 62 is the full retirement age for a service retirement benefit. For Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) Tier 6 members, the full retirement age is 63.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      For Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) Tier 6 members, age 62 is the full retirement age for a service retirement benefit. For Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) Tier 6 members, the full retirement age is 63.

      Reply
  4. Joseph

    They forget that there are people in tier 3. They never put out information with law updates (2016 bill signed by governor allowing tier 3 to go into 5). Nobody knows unless you look up law yourself! Silent minority!

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Yes, you’re right, there was a 2016 bill enacted in to law. However it affected an extremely limited number of NYSLRS members. The 2016 law doesn’t allow all PFRS Tier 3 members to elect Tier 5; it only allows members who transfer from another retirement system into PFRS to elect to join Tier 5.

      If you have any questions about your specific situation, we recommend emailing our customer service representatives using our secure email form. One of our representatives will review your account and respond to your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      That depends on your retirement plan. Generally, PFRS members are covered under special plans that let them retire after 20 or 25 years. If that’s the case for you, once you qualify, your benefit will be 50 percent of your final average salary at any age.

      It’s a good idea to email our customer service representatives for account-specific information. Please use our secure email form, and one of our representatives will review your account to address your question. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      William,

      Our blog series One Tier At A Time plans to examine PFRS Tier 1 on Wednesday, May 27. Stay tuned.

      NYSLRS

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Patrick,

      Our blog series One Tier At A Time plans to examine PFRS Tier 1 on Wednesday, May 27. Stay tuned.

      NYSLRS

      Reply

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