Welcome, New Members

Welcome, new members of the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS).

What is NYSLRS? NYSLRS administers retirement benefits for New York State employees and municipal and non-teaching school district employees outside of New York City. With more than 1.1 million members, retirees and beneficiaries, NYSLRS is one of the largest public retirement systems in the nation.

NYSLRS is here to help you plan for a financially secure retirement. Your retirement may be far in the future, but decisions you make now will have a big impact on your later years. Here are a few things you should know:

How Pensions Work

A NYSLRS pension is a defined-benefit plan. Under this type of plan, once you are eligible for a pension and apply for retirement, you will receive a monthly payment for the rest of your life. The amount of your pension will be calculated using a formula set by State law.

However, many employees in the United States, particularly in the private sector, are enrolled in 401(k)-style retirement savings plans, or have no employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. The ultimate value of a 401(k) plan is based on the contributions made to individual accounts and investment returns on those contributions.

While a 401(k)-style plan can supplement a pension and Social Security benefits, it does not provide the same level of financial security as a defined-benefit plan. Unlike your NYSLRS pension, these plans do not guarantee a lifetime benefit.

New Members Checklist

Earning Service Credit

Your NYSLRS pension will be based on factors such as your tier, retirement plan, age at retirement, final average earnings and service credit. You’ll earn one year of service credit for every year of full-time employment with a participating employer. Part-time employment is prorated. You may also be able to receive credit for previous public employment or military service, which in most cases would increase your pension.

Plan Ahead: Start Saving Now

Your pension is only one part of a financially secure future. It’s also a good idea to save additional money for retirement. Your retirement savings can be a hedge against inflation and a source of cash in an emergency. A healthy retirement account will give you more flexibility during retirement, helping ensure that you’ll be able to do the things you want to do.

State workers and some local government employees can save for retirement through the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan, which also has some tax advantages. You can start by having as little as $10 deducted from each paycheck. You can choose how your money will be invested from a variety of options. Because of how compound interest works, the earlier you start saving, the better off you’ll be.

Your Next Steps as a New NYSLRS Member

If you haven’t already, sign up for a Retirement Online account. You can use Retirement Online to conduct business with NYSLRS, including naming a beneficiary for your death benefit, updating your contact information, and looking up your retirement plan information. This online tool will be an important resource throughout your career, especially as you near retirement, when you can use our benefit calculator to estimate your pension.

More Information

You can find more information about NYSLRS and your benefits in our booklet, Membership in a Nutshell.

13 thoughts on “Welcome, New Members

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Tier 3- 6 members with less than ten years of service may withdraw their mandatory contributions, plus interest, 15 or more days after leaving public employment. However, this action terminates membership and these individuals become ineligible for any Retirement System benefits.

      You may find our booklet What if I Leave Public Employment? helpful. For account-specific questions, please email our customer service representatives using the secure contact form.

    1. NYSLRS

      For most members, you will receive your first pension payment at the end of the month following your retirement month.

      For specific questions about current processing times, please email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website (http://www.emailnyslrs.com).

  1. Beth Adams

    I am just beside myself despite a number of emails back and forth with the NYSLRS. If I call, it’s a 45 minute hold. Emails do not explain what I need to do. (Past service credit and apparently prior contributions from back then). I just don’t understand why I have to get my prior contributions back and then pay to buy that time?? (That makes **no sense**).

    1. NYSLRS

      We apologize for the trouble you had trying to reach our Call Center. Your message is important to us and we have sent you a private message in response.

  2. joeanne chisolm

    the system is hugely flawed….I need to print out my benefits verification and all these hoops I am jumping through are ridiculous…..

    1. NYSLRS

      We apologize for the trouble you are having with Retirement Online.

      For help with, 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. The Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am – 5:00 pm.

  3. Rose cengiz C/O Gulcehre Guvenc

    i want to still continue to do with my retirement process i was away the reason is
    couldn’t follow the process with misunderstanding some reason try to handle it again and follow for my retirement for replacement as much as, I’m glad to have You too,
    Thank You with kindness

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Unfortunately, the NYSLRS social media team does not have access to your personal account information.

      To get account-specific information, 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.


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