June 2015 Issue
May 21, 2015

TRS: Resigning vs. retiring — what's the difference?

Source: NYSUT United

Teacher-members on the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System Board of DirectorsQ: Is it true that I must resign from my district before retiring? Doesn't retiring imply that I've resigned?

A: Believe it or not, it doesn't. Resignation is between you and your employer; retirement is between you and the New York State Teachers' Retirement System. Before retiring, you must first resign from your district since you can't be on payroll and be retired.

Additionally, for NYSTRS purposes, your effective retirement date must be at least one day beyond your resignation date. For example, if your last working day is June 30, your earliest retirement day would be July 1. Scheduling a consultation with your human resource or business office, or with your local union representative, to determine your district's retirement policy, is a good first step.

Q: Can I return to the workforce immediately after retiring?

A: It depends on where you go to work. If you work for a private or a federal employer, you can return to the workforce immediately. However, if you plan to work for an employer who participates in the NYSTRS system, you MUST have a service break before returning to the workforce — weekends and holidays don't count. Typically the break needs to be at least one business day. However, to avoid problems if you're considering returning to work, contact NYSTRS at 800- 348-7298, ext. 6150, before making a final decision.

Additionally, under Section 211 of the Retirement and Social Security Law, for one year from your retirement date, you can't work in a position that's the same, or similar to, one you previously held.

Lastly, if you're collecting a NYSTRS retirement benefit and you take a job in retirement with another NYS public employer, you can't join another NYS public retirement system. For more details, consult the NYSTRS publication, Working in Retirement, at www.nystrs.org/main/library/working.pdf.


About 90 percent of the funds used to pay New York State Teachers' Retirement System benefits come from investment returns and employee contributions.