April 2013 Issue
March 28, 2013

ERS: Tier 6 members - Your contribution rate may change

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

Are you new to the retirement system? If you became a member on or after April 1, 2012, you are in Tier 6. The introduction of Tier 6 last year brought many changes — but the most important one involves the way new members contribute to the Employees' Retirement System (ERS). The majority of ERS Tier 6 members will contribute throughout their years of public service.

From April 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013, the contribution rate for all Tier 6 members was 3 percent of their gross salary. However, beginning April 1, 2013, a Tier 6 member's contribution rate will depend on his or her annual wage.

(A chart of the various Tier 6 contribution rates is available on our website at: www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/employers/tier-6/member_contributions.php.)

For members who join after March 31, 2013, the contribution rate for the first three years of their membership will be based on the annualized wage provided to us on their registration application. After this three-year period and for the remainder of their membership, their contribution rate will be based on their earnings from two years prior.

Your contribution rate could change from one fiscal year to the next depending on your earnings. Once your rate is established for a fiscal year, you will contribute at that rate for the entire fiscal year.

Q: How do I know if I am contributing enough to the retirement system?

A: By March 1 of each year, we will inform your employer of the contribution rate you are required to pay for the upcoming fiscal year (April 1 through March 31). Your employer must then deduct the correct amount from your wages.

Q: I just started working in public service and don't know much about the retirement system. What can I do to learn more?

A: Our website — www.osc.state.ny.us/retire — is a good place to learn about the retirement system. And, for the latest retirement news, sign up for E-News, our email newsletter.

Also, if you are a Tier 6 member, you'll be especially interested in members' frequently asked questions about Tier 6, which can be viewed on our website at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/members/tier-6/faq.php.

We encourage all new members to sign up for Retirement Online — a secure area on our website where you can access your personal retirement information. This includes the most recent salary postings reported by your employer, estimated total service credit and current beneficiaries, among other things. To enroll in Retirement Online, visit our website at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/portal.htm.

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.