May 2015 Issue
April 29, 2015

ERS: Choosing your retirement date

Author: State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
Source: NYSUT United
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New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoliIf you're currently on your employer's payroll and considering retirement in the near future, you may be asking yourself, "How do I choose my retirement date?" Of course, before deciding, you'll need to do a little research. Will you meet all the eligibility requirements under your retirement plan? Did you receive an estimate of your retirement benefits, so you'll know approximately how much your monthly benefit will be before you actually file your retirement application? If you have any questions about your eligibility or your benefits, be sure to contact the ERS Call Center — we're here to help.

Once you're eligible and ready to retire, you can select any day, including a weekend or holiday, as your retirement date. Just remember, your retirement date is the first day you don't work and/or for which you don't get paid by your former employer. Your retirement application must be filed with the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System 15 to 90 days before your retirement date. A retirement application (Form RS6037) is available from your employer, our website or the ERS Call Center.

Many members retire toward the end of the month. That's because they won't have to wait as long to receive their first benefit check than if they retire at the beginning of the month. It can take us some time to complete your benefit calculation, because we have to wait to receive your final payroll information and any missing salary or service information from your employer (most employers have a lag payroll system).

So you're not left without income during this time, we'll mail you an advance check, usually about 90 percent of your monthly benefit, on the first business day of the month following the month after you retire. For example, if you retire any day during May 2015, we will mail your first advance check on July 1st and continue sending advance checks on the first business day of each month until our final calculations of your retirement benefit are completed. Once we finalize your benefit, we will pay you the difference between the advance payments you received and your actual monthly benefit, retroactive to your date of retirement.

For more information, please read our publication, How Do I Prepare to Retire? (VO1709), available on our website at

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, email

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

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