September 2016 Issue
September 29, 2016

TRS: 'Fall' into retirement

Source: NYSUT United

TRS teacher-members on the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System Board of DirectorsQ: I'm planning to retire at the end of the 2016–17 school year. Are there any special steps I should take this fall?

A: Yes, you can do a number of things. The New York State Teachers' Retirement System publishes a useful chart outlining quarterly steps for your final year. Here are some things you should do now:

● Review your contract — find out when you should notify your employer of your retirement date, and make an appointment with them to discuss health insurance coverage in retirement.

● If eligible, claim and purchase prior service credit for past New York State public employment or military service. For details, watch "PSI: Prior Service Investigation" at

● Attend a NYSTRS PREP seminar to learn about key retirement issues, including legal considerations, financial planning, Social Security and NYSTRS benefits.

● Schedule a benefits consultation with a NYSTRS representative to review the retirement process, and get estimates for possible retirement dates.

● Research your benefit payment options. Read the publication, Maximum or an Option, at

● Check your Benefit Profile. Is your service and salary information accurate? Ask your employer to send NYSTRS revised information if you find mistakes.

● If you are eligible to receive Social Security benefits at the end of the school year, contact the Social Security Administration for information.

● Monitor pending state legislation — new laws, such as statewide retirement incentives, could affect your NYSTRS benefits.

● If you can't attend a benefits consultation, use the online MyNYSTRS pension estimator to project your benefit,

● Download the free NYSTRS app, available through Google Play for android and the App Store for Apple products, for information, including schedules and directions for PREP seminars and consultations, and a retirement countdown clock.

● Explore the retirees' page at

● Watch "Retirement Countdown" and "Your NYSTRS Benefit Payment: Making the Choice That's Right for You,"

Did you know

Two types of service credit are available for active military duty: service preceding New York State Teachers' Retirement System membership and service interrupting NYSTRS membership. In all cases, honorable discharge documentation is required to verify military service.