Retirement Online Makes Applying for Retirement Fast, Easy

You can file for a service retirement benefit using Retirement Online. This new feature makes applying for retirement faster and easier than ever before. If you don’t already have an account, sign up today.

applying for retirement

File for a Service Retirement Online

After signing in to your Retirement Online account, scroll down to the ‘My Account Summary.’ On the right, under the heading ‘I want to…,’ click the green “Apply for Retirement” button.

From there, you’ll go through a series of screens where you’ll be able to:

  • Choose a retirement date;
  • Get an estimate of your pension and the payment options available to you;
  • Select a payment option (many provide a continuing benefit for a beneficiary after you die);
  • Sign up for direct deposit; and
  • Attach required documents, such as proof of date of birth.

A big advantage of filing for Retirement Online is that you do not have to get anything notarized.

After you click the “Submit” button, it is important that you do not close your browser until you receive a confirmation message that states your retirement application has been successfully submitted.

This help guide offers step-by-step instructions.

Filing for Service Retirement by Mail

You can still print an Application for Service Retirement and pension payment option election form and mail them to NYSLRS. If you mail the application, we recommend “certified mail, return receipt requested.” When we receive the form, the postmark date will serve as the filing date.

If you use regular mail, the filing date is the date we receive it. However, if you were to die after your application is mailed, but before we receive it, a legible postmark will serve as a filing date. (If you mail it from a post office, you can ask for a hand cancellation, which may help ensure the postmark is legible.)

If you plan to mail your application, you may want to read our blog post, Your Checklist to Apply for Retirement.

For More Details, Read Your Retirement Plan Booklet

Your service and disability retirement benefits and death benefits are based on your tier, plan, service credit, and other factors. For details about your available benefits, please read your retirement plan booklet, available on our Publications page, or you can call our Contact Center at 866-805-0990 if you have questions.

23 thoughts on “Retirement Online Makes Applying for Retirement Fast, Easy

  1. Stephen D

    My union’s contract with the State had ended March 31, 2019, and they are currently in negotiations with the State. If we were to get a retroactive pay increase back to April 1, 2019, how would that affect my pension? I will be retiring in about a year, and I wanted to know whether when calculating my pension the increase would be reflected as if I had actually received this higher salary each of the past three years, or whether it would be a lump sum increase in the year I receive it.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      A retroactive payment could affect your pension if the payment is for work performed during the period we use to calculate your final average earnings (FAE). Your FAE calculation would be based on when the payment was earned, not when the retroactive payment was made.

      Reply
  2. Petra Maxwell

    I went on to Retirement Online to project my monthly and annual payments based on an anticipated future retirement date. When I did this, I checked the calculations against what I know to be my past annual income amounts and noticed that several years of income are not recorded in your system. The only amounts records are the last 3 years of income. The years that are missing are the years that I earned the highest levels of income – close to double what I’m earning now. How can I get this corrected so my pension projections are accurate?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      For account-specific questions, please call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area), press 2, then follow the prompts. You can also email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.  

      Reply
  3. Pete Scott

    I am tier 4. I have been in the system since 14 March 2000. In addition, I also have 3 years of military service added to my total service. Yet, as of the latest benefit statement, I only have 23.10 years recognized. I would expect to see 24 years. Please explain the difference.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      The service credit estimate in your most recent Member Annual Statement shows your service credit as of March 31, 2020. You can find more up-to-date service credit information in Retirement Online. If you don’t already have an account, go to the Sign In page and click the “Sign Up” link under the “Customer Sign In” button.

      Reply
  4. Robert Lott

    I have left the public service retirement system with 5.6 yrs vested service and a cash balance still in my account, i was told after seven yrs of being inactive the state retirement system would close my account and and forward the cash balance to me.. Is this fact?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      No, NYSLRS will not automatically forward your account balance. You must request a refund of your contributions.

      To withdraw your membership, sign in to your Retirement Online account, go to the ‘My Account Summary’ area of your Account Homepage and click “Withdraw My Membership.” You can also apply by mail by submitting the Withdrawal Application (RS5014). However, withdrawing your contributions would make you ineligible for any Retirement System benefits.

      We recommend that you call our customer service representatives to discuss the implications of withdrawing your contributions. Call 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area), press 2, then follow the prompts. One of our representatives will review your account and respond to your questions. You can also email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
  5. Donna Louise Ham

    What is the process to cash out my retirement savings? I’ve not had enough time in the system to collect a retirement.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Tier 3-6 members with less than ten years of service may terminate their membership and withdraw their mandatory contributions, plus interest, 15 or more days after leaving public service. You can find more information about withdrawing your contributions on our website.

      If you have account-specific questions before withdrawing, you can call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area) or email them using the secure form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com). Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
  6. Jan

    Hi. How does the senate bill s 2722a and s 8151a for early retirement buyout NYSLS apply to my retirement at this time .

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      At this time, we are not aware of a retirement incentive program that applies to NYSLRS members. If a State retirement incentive program is approved by both houses of the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, NYSLRS will notify your employer and provide the kinds of details you are looking for on our website and on social media.

      Reply
  7. Kamilla

    How long does it take to start requesting my medical records? I applied for disability retirement from NYS.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      For questions about your disability retirement application, please contact your disability caseworker. If you do not have your caseworker’s phone number, you can call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990, press 2, then follow the prompts. One of our representatives will review your account and respond to your questions.

      Reply
  8. Dan

    I am tier 4, 55 years old and have 6.55 years of service. I still work in a different career, can I take my retirement benefit and still keep working? Will it affect the amount of benefit?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Generally, NYSLRS retirees can collect a NYSLRS pension and also work for a private-sector employer without affecting their pension amount.

      However, most members in regular retirement plans face pension reductions if they retire before their full retirement age (age 62 for Tier 4 members).

      For information specific to your situation, please email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      We apologize for the trouble you are having.

      For help with Retirement Online, please call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area), press 2, then follow the prompts.

      Reply
  9. Doreen DIppolito

    I am a teir 4 RN i wanted to know If i retired from the hospital i work at now can i wait until I am 62 before collecting my retirement benefit, and be able to collect the full benefit. I am currently 56 and wanted to retire from WMC but not collect until age 62 would i be elegible to collect full benefit

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Correct, a Tier 4 member who leaves public employment before full retirement age of 62 can begin receiving a pension at age 62 without a reduction for early retirement.

      However, leaving the public payroll before you retire may affect your eligibility for certain death benefits and health benefits. We suggest you email our customer service representatives using the secure email form to ask how leaving the public payroll would affect your benefits. Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

      You may also wish to speak to your health benefits administrator to find out how going off payroll would affect any post-retirement health benefits you may be entitled to.

      You may find our booklet What if I Leave Public Employment? helpful.

      Reply

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