Where in New York are NYSLRS Retirees?

NYSLRS retirees tend to stay in New York, where their pensions are exempt from State and local income taxes. In fact, 79 percent of NYSLRS’ 496,628 retirees and beneficiaries lived in the State as of March 31, 2021. And more than half of them lived in just ten of New York’s 62 counties.

So where in New York do these retirees call home? Well, there are a lot of NYSLRS retirees and beneficiaries on Long Island. Suffolk and Nassau counties are home to nearly 63,000 recipients of NYSLRS retirement benefits, with annual pension payments exceeding $2.2 billion. But that shouldn’t be surprising. Suffolk and Nassau counties have the largest and third largest number of pension benefit recipients, respectively, of all the counties in the State outside of New York City by population. (The City, which has its own retirement systems for municipal employees, police and firefighters, had 23,655 residents who were NYSLRS retirees and beneficiaries.)

NYSLRS retirees in New York

Erie County, which includes Buffalo, ranked number two among counties in the number of NYSLRS retirees, with more than 32,000. Albany County, home to the State capital, ranked fourth with close to 20,000. Monroe, Westchester, Onondaga, Saratoga, Dutchess and Oneida counties round out the top ten.

All told, retirees and beneficiaries in the top ten counties received $6.2 billion in NYSLRS retirement benefits in 2020-2021.

Hamilton County had the fewest NYSLRS benefit recipients. But in this sparsely populated county in the heart of the Adirondacks, those 496 retirees represent nearly 10 percent of the county’s population. During fiscal year 2020-2021, $11 million in NYSLRS retirement benefits was paid to Hamilton County residents.

NYSLRS Retirees Across the Globe

Outside of New York, Florida remained the top choice for NYSLRS retirees, with 38,872 benefit recipients. North Carolina (9,695), New Jersey (8,078) and South Carolina (6,873) were also popular. There were 638 NYSLRS benefit recipients living outside the United States as of March 31, 2021.

32 thoughts on “Where in New York are NYSLRS Retirees?

    1. NYSLRS

      NYSLRS does not administer health insurance programs for its retirees, so we cannot answer your questions about your health insurance benefits.

      The New York State Department of Civil Service administers the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) for New York State retirees and some municipal retirees. You can call them at 1-800-833-4344 or 518-457-5754 or email them at pio@cs.ny.gov.

      If you retired from a public employer that did not participate in NYSHIP, your former employer’s benefits administrator should be able to answer your questions.

    2. Maureen Halloran

      Are you old enough to collect SS and have you started collecting it? If you are 65 or older and are not yet collecting SS, it could have something to do with Medicare. Apparently at age 65, if you are collecting SS, the process of switching to Medicare primary is pretty seamless, and your health insurance will convert to secondary coverage automatically. If you are not collecting SS I am not sure I understand the whole process of converting to Medicare, but I don’t think it is a seamless process. That is the only scenario I can think of.

  1. Paloma A Kalife

    I am one of the few 638 retirees that lives outside of the United States. I miss New York very much but I have family obligations which keep me in Madrid, Spain.
    I am not happy with the lack of banking flexibility for receiving my monthly pension. My check still goes to an American bank, however my S.Security check is deposted in my bank account here in Madrid. Also, I cannot open my on line account because I don’ t have an American phone anymore.
    Help! I would be great if you can place attention to these issues
    Thank you!

    1. NYSLRS

      To safeguard personal information and keep accounts secure, Retirement Online is only accessible to customers in the United States and Canada. If you need to do business with NYSLRS, you can still email us using our secure contact form or download forms you may need from our website.

      NYSLRS provides direct deposit through the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) Network, which facilitates batch payment processing within the United States to domestic U.S. financial institutions. If you have questions about direct deposit, please email us.

  2. Scott

    I’ll always love Long Island, but… between the outrageous property taxes, high cost of living, horrific traffic, cold weather 6-7 months of the year and people’s poor attitudes, New York is NOT the place to retire! Upstate may be different, but NOT Long Island!

    1. Bruce Kiggins

      Get out of NY entirely. You don’t realize what a horrible place it is to live until you live somewhere else. The tax savings aren’t worth the grief, and many States either don’t charge tax on the pension, or will allow a several thousand dollar deduction. Here in SC you can deduct $15,000 from your pension, and after 65 all of it.

  3. Robert W Perez

    Present and future retirees living in the Empire State have an important voice. Speak up on the issues by calling your elected officials. Retirees are a strong voting block. Get involved by joining your union retiree organization. Yes your union has a retiree organization. And they have great benefits above and beyond advocacy with your elected officials. The list includes but not limited to Alliance of Public Employee Organizations of NY, PEF Retirees, CSEA Retirees, NYSARA etc.
    Join to be empowered.

  4. ctmountaineer

    Can’t afford to retire in NY. Long time 9/11 disabled retirees are stuck with greatly reduced benefits instead of the 3/4 salary benefits afforded uniformed personnel and current civilian employees who retire due to 9/11 related disabilities, thus those who suffered most and longest are treated much more poorly and unfairly.

    1. NYSLRS

      Unfortunately, benefits available under different retirement plans are determined by State law. NYSLRS administers benefit programs, including disability benefits, that are signed into law. Any changes to State law must be approved by both houses of the State Legislature and signed by the Governor.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      NYSLRS retirees live all across the United States and around the world. It doesn’t affect their pensions directly. However, a move out of state may have tax implications.

      While NYSLRS pensions have been (and continue to be) subject to federal income tax, they are not taxed by New York State. If you move out of New York, your pension will be subject to the tax laws of your new home state, and you may have to pay state taxes on your pension. The Retired Public Employees Association tracks which states tax pensions.

      If you want more information, check out our Taxes and Your Pension page.

      You may wish consult a tax advisor for details.

      1. Wende

        Why are we still Required to file and have to pay for Preparation of NYS Taxes after we retire even tho we don’t have to pay them year round?

      2. Anne L Haun Rymski

        I’m looking forward to my move to SC. Better weather and my property taxes the 1st year will be less than 1/7th of what I pay in the Vampire State. After one year those will go down along with the SC income taxes which at the max the first year may be $2300. Have friends and a warm, loving church group that I look forward to spending more time with. While gasoline prices have gone up down there, no where near the price up here. And the biggie, SC totally supports the US Constitution and all its amendments.

        1. Proud New Yorker

          If you’re anything like a typical Republican, you probably don’t even begin to understand the amendments and change their meaning to suit your whims.

        2. Martha Chiplock

          SC has oppressive heat, humidity, snakes, alligators, and Lindsey Graham. What is there to like about SC?.

    2. Ka

      I moved to one of the other states that has a lower cost of living and doesn’t tax our pension or social security. This state has no income tax and it resembles the upper Hudson Valley without monstrous snowfall! It’s not a democrat state and that’s why we moved!

  5. Cliff

    I moved out of state 15 years ago but I could never afford to move back because of the high property taxes and cold winters.

  6. Lisa Vitalo

    I wish it were more affordable for retirees in NYS. It is hard to make a decision as a retiree to relocate, where life will be more affordable, or to stay in NY where family and friends are, but the cost is prohibitive.


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