February 2011 Issue
February 08, 2011

Calculate your ERS retirement benefit

Source: NYSUT United

Only you can decide when retirement is right for you. Since there are many factors to consider, including the amount of your pension, you should know there is a special feature of the ERS website called the Retirement Benefit Calculator that will help you estimate what your pension will be when you retire.

The calculator will project benefits for the following ERS members:

• Tier 1 and 2 members in the Section 75-h or 75-i regular plan;
• Tier 3 members in the Article 14 regular plan; and
• Tier 4 members in the Article 15 plan.

If you are not sure of your tier or retirement plan, check your Member Annual Statement. The statement contains other important information about your membership, including your reported salary, service credit and beneficiaries. You may find that keeping your statement handy is useful when using the calculator.

Getting started

Go to the Retirement System's webpage at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/ and click on "Use Our Benefit Calculator." Once there, click on the Benefit Projector Calculator link. You'll need to fill in the following:

• The system you belong to;
• The type of projection you'd like;
• The tier you are in; and
• Whether you are a state employee or a local government employee.

Click on the "Continue" button. On the next page, you can read about your retirement plan or go straight to the calculator.

Using the calculator

Benefit projections are based entirely on the information you provide. You will be asked to enter:

• Your date of birth;
• Your expected date of retirement or your age at retirement;
• Your earnings in the past year or your expected final average salary at retirement; and
• Your years of service at retirement.

If you plan to provide payment for a beneficiary after your death, you must also enter that beneficiary's date of birth since the joint allowance options are based on your and your beneficiary's birth dates.

After you complete this screen, you will receive an estimate of the Single Life Allowance option, which provides the maximum benefit to you for life with no payments to a beneficiary after you die.

To receive estimates of options that provide payment to a beneficiary after your death, choose the "Estimate Payment Options" button.

Once you are comfortable using the calculator, you can enter various retirement dates, final average salaries and service credit totals to help you determine a retirement date that meets your needs.

Please remember, the estimates produced by this calculator are approximations based on unaudited data. If you are within 18 months of retirement eligibility, we encourage you to request a general estimate. The Request for Estimate form (RS6030) is available on the website.

Q: How can I get help if I need it?

A: You can e-mail us from our website www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/contact_us/index.htm) or contact our Call Center toll-free at 866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 in the Capital District.

Every month state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, sole trustee of the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System, provides information on the system, which delivers retirement benefits to many NYSUT School-Related Professionals and other support staff. If you are an ERS member with a question of general interest, e-mail united@nysutmail.org.

For immediate assistance, contact the ERS Call Center toll-free at 866-805-0990, or 518-474-7736 in the Capital District.