Q: 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 www.nystrs.org/Library/Videos/Member-Information.
● 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 www.nystrs.org/Library/Publications/Nearing-Retirement.
● 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, www.nystrs.org.
● 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 www.nystrs.org/retirees.
● Watch "Retirement Countdown" and "Your NYSTRS Benefit Payment: Making the Choice That's Right for You," www.nystrs.org/Library/Videos/Member-Information.
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.