Retroactive payments

Retroactive Payments and Your NYSLRS Pension

Retroactive Payments

Retroactive payments are lump sum payments you receive from your employer. These payments can be from new union contracts, arbitration awards or legal settlements that took place while you were on your employer’s payroll.

Your final average salary (FAS) is a major factor in your pension benefit calculation. Your FAS is the average of your three (five for Tier 6 members) highest consecutive years of earnings. For most people, their highest years of earnings come at the end of their careers.

If you receive a retroactive payment from your employer, it could affect your final average salary. Let’s look at how.

How Retroactive Payments Can Affect Your Benefit

When we calculate your FAS at retirement, retroactive payments are applied to the pay periods when they were earned, not when they were paid. In general, retroactive payments can increase your FAS as long as the time period in which you earned that money is part of the time period your FAS is based on.

Your employer should let us know if you receive a retroactive payment before or after you retire. If you are a State employee who receives a retroactive payment after you retire, we will recalculate your pension automatically; you do not need to notify us. If you receive a retroactive payment from a non-State employer after your pension calculation is finalized, send a letter to our Recalculation Unit in the Benefit Calculations & Disbursement Services Bureau. Please include a copy of your check stub and/or any correspondence you received from your employer. You may also email and upload this information to the Retirement System through our secure contact form.

For more information about FAS, read our Final Average Salary blog post. You can also find out specific information about your FAS by reading your retirement plan booklet, available on our Publications page.

26 thoughts on “Retroactive Payments and Your NYSLRS Pension

  1. Mitchell Bock

    i retired in Feb. 2016 There was a two percent raise that I am waiting for april 2015 to Feb 2016. When will this be adjusted for in my FAS. M Bock

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      For account-specific details (such as how long your pension recalculation might take), please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. One of our representatives will review your account to address your questions. 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
    2. Brian O. Smith

      I retired in October 2015…am I due anything retro-active?..Also your article stated legal settlements could factor into your FAS…I had a legal settlement that I received while I was working (from the Promotion Test Battery Exam…that was not factored into my salary..what do I do?

      Reply
      1. NYSLRS Post author

        If you believe that some payments were not factored into your final average salary, you can write to the Recalculation Unit in our Benefit Calculation & Disbursement Bureau. Write to:

        NYSLRS
        Attn: Recalculation Unit
        Benefit Calculations & Disbursement Services Bureau
        110 State Street
        Albany, NY 12244-0001

        Please include a copy of your check stub and any relevant correspondence you received from your employer. You may also email and upload this information to the Retirement System through our secure contact form.

        Reply
  2. Vee

    I retired May 2016, we were still under an old contract for the past 6 (now 7) years – so once this new contract goes into effect, you are saying I will get the retro money from these years? I hope so, that would be wonderful!

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      It depends on your contact and when you retired. Retroactive payment from newly negotiated union contracts come from your employer.

      The example used in this blog post is about employees who are in the Public Employees Federation (PEF) union. If you were a PEF member before you retired, you may have recently received a payment covering your earnings from April 1, 2016 through your date of retirement. Last summer, you may have received a retroactive payment covering your earnings from April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016. For PEF members, pension NYSLRS benefits will automatically be recalculated if these retroactive payments will affect the pension amount.

      If you were not a member of PEF, please contact your union or your previous employer to find out if you are owed any retroactive money.

      Reply
  3. Noreen

    Does the retroactive pay also affect the amount of sick pay that accumulated and is used towards health insurance payment? I retired in August 2017, and the contract was settled for the period from April1, 2017.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Unfortunately, NYSLRS doesn’t administer health insurance programs for its members or retirees.

      If you retired from New York State, you may need to contact New York State Civil Service. You could also try contacting the health benefits administrator at the employer you retired from.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Possibly. The example used in this blog post is about employees who are in the Public Employees Federation (PEF) union. If you were a PEF member before you left State service, you may have recently received a retroactive payment covering your earnings from April 1, 2016, through your last date worked. Last summer, you may have received a payment covering your earnings from April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016.

      If you retired last October and were a PEF member, NYSLRS will automatically recalculate your pension benefit if these retroactive payments will affect the pension amount.

      If you were not a member of PEF, please contact your union or your previous employer to find out whether you are owed any retroactive money.

      If you have questions about your NYSLRS account, we suggest you email one of our customer service representatives using our secure email form. They will be able to review your account to address your questions. 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
  4. Eugene Shifrin

    I retired from the Unified Court System 14 months ago. As you know my bargaining unit [C.O.B.A.N.C] recently approved an agreement with OCA going back 7 years with retroactive pay increases which I am affected by. Current employees received those increases with yesterday’s pay check. So far I have yet to find anyone to answer the question of when retirees will get theirs. Do you know?
    Gene Shifrin

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      While the NYSLRS social media team doesn’t have any specific information about your retroactive pay, you can find general information about how retroactive payments work here on our blog.

      To find out how long it should take to receive an increase in your pension payment, we suggest emailing our customer service representatives using our secure email form. One of them will get back to you. 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
  5. Jill Murray

    I retired Aug. 31, 2016 and just got a check in the mail for $390. It says pay start date 9/7/17 & pay end date 9/20/17. Under earnings, it has “Retro LSP Vacation”, “Retro Regular Pay Salaried”, and “Retro Salary LSP Annuals”. What is this for?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      The NYSLRS social media team doesn’t have access to your account information, however, if you received retroactive regular salary and vacation pay, it likely came from your employer. You can check with them to see what the payment is for.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      To get the account-specific information you need, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. Please let them know if you received any retroactive payments before or after you retired. 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
  6. Joseph Bray

    So if I am understanding this correctly once a contract is settled with the agency you retired from they send you your salary retro pay… the retirement system after getting your salary update adjusts your FAS. After that the Retirement system adjusts your benefit. Then issues a check or direct deposit for retro benefit payments?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Generally, if you earn a retroactive payment during the period that is part of your FAS calculation, we will recalculate your FAS and your pension benefit amount, and you will receive a retroactive adjustment in your next monthly benefit payment.

      If you have questions about a particular 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

      Any retroactive payments owed to retirees would come from an employer, not from NYSLRS. If you think you may be entitled to a payment because of a new union contract or other adjustment, please contact your former employer for more information.

      A retroactive payment for work performed during the period we used to calculate your final average salary could increase your pension. If you were a State employee and receive a retroactive payment after you retire, we will recalculate your pension automatically; you do not need to notify us.

      If you receive a retroactive payment from a non-State employer after your pension calculation is finalized, send a letter to our Recalculation Unit in the Benefit Calculations & Disbursement Services Bureau. The address is NYSLRS, 110 State Street, Albany, NY 12244. Please include a copy of your check stub and any related correspondence you received from your former employer. You may also email and upload this information to the Retirement System through the secure email form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com).

      Reply
  7. Ernie Williams

    I retired 15 months ago and still receiving the estimate pension. The wait of this length is pathetic. After calling I’m told it will be at least 1.5 years before they will look into it. Ridiculous!

    Reply
  8. Steven Wood

    I’ll be receiving a retro check from my previous employer. I retired from this employer in 2016. I am now working after retirement for a public agency. Will this retro check count against my $30,000 cap for working after retirement for this year?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      The $30,000 cap includes money earned in the current calendar year. Generally, retroactive payments that were earned in a previous year would not be included.

      Reply
      1. Steven Wood

        Thank you. The money was earned in 2014 to 2016. Years I was employed by that agency. Retro payment being made now but earned in 14 to 16.

        Reply
  9. Christopher Thompson

    Once a contract is signed how long do they have to pay you, your retroactive pay? We signed a contract on the 11 of September of this year 2019.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      For questions about receiving retroactive pay, please contact your employer or, if you are retired, your former employer.

      Reply

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