Retirement Age and Your NYSLRS Pension

For some NYSLRS members, your retirement age matters when it comes to receiving your NYSLRS retirement benefits.

Your pension will be based largely on your years of service and final average salary, but your age at retirement is also a factor. How age plays into the equation depends on your tier and retirement plan.

Members in regular retirement plans can retire as early as age 55, but they may face significant pension reductions if they retire before their full retirement age. The full retirement age for members in most tiers is 62, and it’s 63 for Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) Tier 6 members and for Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) Tier 6 members who leave public employment before retirement age, but have enough service to receive a pension. If you joined NYSLRS on or after April 1, 2012, you are in Tier 6.

retirement age

Benefit reductions are prorated by month. The closer you are to your full retirement age when you retire, the less the reduction will be. Here are some examples of how that would work.

  • ERS Tiers 2, 3 and 4, PFRS Tiers 2, 3 (Article 11), 5 and 6: If you retire at age 58 1/2, your pension will be permanently reduced by 16.5 percent.
  • ERS Tier 5: If you retire at age 58 1/2, your pension will be permanently reduced by 20.83 percent.
  • ERS Tier 6: If you retire at age 58 1/2, your pension will be permanently reduced by 29.5 percent.

Once you retire with a reduced benefit, the reduction is permanent — it does not end when you reach retirement age.

Retirement Age Exceptions

Tier 1 members can retire at 55 without a benefit reduction. Benefit reductions don’t apply to ERS Tier 2, 3 or 4 members if they retire with 30 years of service. Tier 5 Uniformed Court Officers and Peace Officers employed by the Unified Court System can also retire between 55 and 62 without penalty if they have 30 years of service.

More Information

Understanding how age affects your NYSLRS benefits is crucial to retirement planning. To learn more, please review your retirement plan booklet on our Publications page.


9 thoughts on “Retirement Age and Your NYSLRS Pension

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      The percentage you refer to is tied to the years a person works. Whether you have a cap on the number of years you can use toward your pension depends on your retirement plan and tier. For more information about your retirement plan, you can read your retirement plan booklet. For account-specific information, you can email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
    2. Marcelino Ortiz

      Im planning to retire by age 55 with only 14 years if service. With the 27% penalty reduction, I’m afraid I have to get a per diem job just to offset the big amount if money I’m loosing. My question is, can I work per diem shifts as many as I want or will there be some restrictions ?

      Reply
      1. NYSLRS Post author

        If you are receiving a NYSLRS pension and work for a public employer in New York State, your earnings in a calendar year will be subject to an earnings limit. Under current State law, NYSLRS retirees can earn up to $30,000 per calendar year from public employment without a reduction in their pension. There is generally no earnings limit once the retiree is 65. For more information you can read our publication, What if I Work After Retirement.

        For information specific to your circumstances, please email our customer service representatives using the secure form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com). 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. MACG

    Can a ERS Tier 5 member retire with ten years of service at age 55 but NOT collect on pension until their age is beyond 62 to avoid the percent reduction?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      That’s correct, if you’re a Tier 5 member with ten years of service and you leave public employment at age 55, but don’t collect a pension till age 62, you won’t have a reduction for early retirement.

      Keep in mind that your pension will not start automatically and you must file a retirement application to receive a benefit. You may be interested in How Do I Prepare to Retire? This booklet takes you step by step through the retirement process.

      Reply

Leave a Reply