Once you decide to retire and begin preparing, the final months leading up to your retirement date go by quickly. Previously, we discussed the steps to take when you’re four to six months away from retirement. As we wrap up our Countdown to Retirement, let’s take a look at what you should be doing in the final three months.
Final Three Months: Filing for Retirement
You need to file an Application for Service Retirement (RS6037) with us 15–90 days before your retirement date. You can download the form from our website or pick up a physical copy at one of our consultation sites. Make sure to fill out the application completely and have it notarized.
If you send the form by “Certified Mail — Return Receipt Requested,” we will consider your application filed on the date it was mailed. Please don’t give your application to your employer; send it directly to NYSLRS.
Once we receive your application, we’ll mail you a confirmation letter. If you’ve received an estimate from us within the past 18 months, we will include three forms with the letter:
- Use the W-4P form to decide how much you want withheld from your pension benefit for federal taxes.
- Use the Direct Deposit Enrollment Application (RS6370) to receive your pension benefit payments electronically, right in your bank account.
- Use the option election form to choose how you want your pension benefit paid and whether you would like to leave a lifetime pension to a beneficiary when you die.
If you haven’t received an estimate, we will just send you the W-4P and Direct Deposit Enrollment Application forms. We will begin processing your estimate, and once it’s complete, we will send it to you along with an option election form.
Choosing Your Pension Payment Option
Select a payment option based on your most recent estimate. All of the options provide a monthly benefit for life, and some provide payments to a designated beneficiary when you die. You must file this form by the last day of the month in which you retire (unless otherwise notified).
Make Sure You’re Prepared
As your retirement date draws near, think about scheduling an appointment at one of our consultation sites. A consultation is not required, but our information representatives can answer any questions you have, help you complete the paperwork and notarize your retirement application. You can also contact us if you have questions.