November 2012 Issue
October 26, 2012

ERS: Keep your employment info up to date

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

Are you an Employees' Retirement System (ERS) member who just started working for a new employer? New employees who are already ERS members should make certain that ERS receives a new membership application.

Only employers can complete and submit an application when you change public employers, so check with your Human Resources office to confirm that your application has been submitted.

Submitting the application will keep your employment information complete and current. It will provide updated information about your start date and job title, but it's important for other reasons as well. Up-to-date member information:

  • Ensures that your employment history and benefit projection are accurately reported in your yearly member statement.
  • Helps guarantee that benefit determinations are based on the most current information.
  • Identifies any delays between the time you began working and the time your employer started reporting you. Delays could result in deficiencies in contributions. Early detection prevents the accumulation of interest charges on these contributions for you as well as your employer.
  • Allows us to update your retirement plan in our computer system, if you change plans as a result of your new employment. Completing a new membership application is also a good opportunity for you to update your beneficiary information. Members often neglect to change their beneficiary designations after marriages, births or deaths, which can result in payments being made to the last named beneficiary, who may not be the person you would currently select.

Q: Do I still have to complete the beneficiary section of the application if my beneficiaries have not changed?

A: No, you do not need to complete that section if your beneficiary information is not changing. You only need to complete this section if you would like to make a change to your previous designation.

Q: Should I submit a new application when I take a new job or should my new employer submit it for me?

A: You should let your employer know that you are already a member of ERS and need to have a new application submitted. Your employer will then complete the appropriate sections of the application.

Q: I just began working as a teacher aide last month. Is it true that my contribution rate as a Tier 6 member may change over time?

A: As a Tier 6 member, your contribution rates will vary based on your annual compensation starting April 1, 2013. Feel free to visit our website for more information.

Q: How can I get more information?

A: Contact our Call Center toll-free at 866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 in the Albany area.