PLEASE NOTE: New York State recently placed both ERS and PFRS under the heading of NYSLRS (New York State and Local Retirement System):
ERS provides service and disability retirement benefits, as well as death benefits to employees of participating public employers in non-teaching positions, exclusive of New York City. This includes uniformed services personnel, such as correction officers and sheriffs.
PFRS provides service and disability retirement benefits, as well as death benefits to police officers and firefighters who work for participating public employers, exclusive of New York City.
The new combined website can be found here: www.osc.state.ny.us/retirement/members
The benefits available for non-instructional employees depend on the school board's decision to participate in the New York State Employees' Retirement System (ERS). There is no law that requires them to do so, but if they elect to participate, the law precludes the establishment of any retirement system for a civil service employee other than the Employees' Retirement System (ERS). Permanent, 12-month, full-time employees must join the system.
Part-time employees have the option to join the system and are encouraged to do so. They should contact their district's business office.
Employees' contributions are paid into ERS by payroll deduction each payroll period.
Employers' contributions to ERS are paid once each year upon receipt of a bill from the system.
Active members in the ERS who worked for a period of time with a public employer prior to joining the ERS or rendered service in the U.S. Armed Forces during a conflict may be able to claim retirement credit for that service. Members are encouraged to contact the ERS directly to determine their eligibility for this additional service credit and the process through which to obtain retirement credit.
Members of the ERS who have retired from service but want to return to public employment may be able to do so without a diminution of their retirement benefits. Retired members who would like to return to public service are encouraged to contact the ERS directly for more information on the different options that are available.
Retirement for private-sector employees is a subject for negotiation. Members should consult their collective bargaining agreements and local leadership for information about retirement benefits available to them.
Teachers' Insurance Annuities Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) is available to members in public higher education who have the choice of joining TIAA-CREF (a defined-contribution benefit plan), the Employees' Retirement System (ERS), or the State Teachers' Retirement System (TRS). (The latter two are defined-benefit pension plans.) TIAA-CREF also is known as "the optional retirement plan."