April 2012 Issue
March 21, 2012

ERS: Direct deposit = safe, fast pension payments

Author: State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
Source: NYSUT United

If you are filing for retirement or have already retired, as an Employees' Retirement System member, you should consider enrolling in our Direct Deposit Program. With direct deposit, you'll receive your monthly pension payments faster and more securely than by check. Your money will be in your checking or savings account on the last business day of each month.

More than 87 percent of our retirees and beneficiaries — about 348,000 — take advantage of this convenient service. Why?

Speed. Although pension checks are mailed on the second-to-last business day of each month, it still might take several business days for the post office to deliver them. With direct deposit, there's no waiting, and you don't have to go to the bank to cash your check — your money is immediately available.

Safety. With direct deposit, you won't ever need to worry about a pension payment being lost or delayed. Your payment is electronically transferred right to your bank account. It will be there when you need it.

• Predictability. With direct deposit, you know exactly when your money will be in your account. And, as Tropical Storm Irene proved all too well last year, mail service is sometimes disrupted as a result of nature's unpredictability.

Q: How do I enroll in the program?

A: Complete our Direct Deposit Enrollment Application, which is available on our website at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/forms/rs6370L-3.pdf. Please do not use direct deposit forms issued by your bank.

If you enroll when you file for retirement, your payments will be made by direct deposit once your final pension calculations are complete. Any advance payments you may receive (estimated payments based on your full retirement benefit) will be made by paper check.

Q: I'm already enrolled in the program. How do I change the account where my payment is deposited?

A: You can change the account or the bank by completing a new enrollment application. It can take up to 30 days to complete the change. We recommend that you keep the old account open until the first deposit is made to your new account or bank.

Q: I have direct deposit for my paycheck. When I retire, will I automatically receive my pension payments by direct deposit?

A: No. Pension payments come from a different source than your paycheck, so you need to authorize a ‘new' direct deposit. When you retire, you'll have to enroll in the retirement system's Direct Deposit Program for your pension payments.

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

A: Email us from our website, www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/contact_us, or contact our Call Center toll-free at 866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 in the Capital District area.