January 2017 Issue
February 01, 2017

ERS: How to factor service credit

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

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoliService credit is one of the main factors that determines eligibility for your benefit from the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System (ERS). While it is based on the number of days you worked, rules for receiving service credit vary by tier and whether you are employed full time or part time.

Generally, one year of full-time work equals one year of service credit. For most ERS members, full time is at least 260 working days a year on a 12-month basis. However, in an educational setting, at least 180 working days a year on a 10-month basis is full time. For institutional teachers, the requirement is 200 days; for college employees, 170 days. Full-time employees working on a 10-month basis can choose to spread their pay out over 12 months. They still earn a single year of service credit.

Calculating service credit for part-time workers requires a little math. Your employer establishes the standard work day (SWD) for your job title. This represents how long a full-time employee in that title would work each day. SWDs must be at least six hours, but no more than eight hours.

After that, calculating service credit is simple. We divide the total number of hours you work by the SWD. Here's an example: You're a 10-month, part-time employee. The SWD for your job title is eight hours, but you work six hours per day. That works out to be 1,080 hours for the year. Divide that by the eight-hour SWD, and you earn 135 days of service credit. With a 180-day year, that's three-quarters of a year. If, on the other hand, the SWD for your job title is eight hours, and you work eight hours a day for 180 days, you would receive a full year of service credit.

Regardless of your membership tier, you do not earn service credit for any period of time in which you do not receive salary, with a few exceptions (such as if you are on sick leave at half-pay or, in some cases, if you are receiving Workers' Compensation benefits).

If you have questions about your service credit, you can email us using our secure contact form at emailNYSLRS.com.

NYSUT ERS consultants

Most NYSUT School-Related Professionals* belong to the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System (ERS). NYSUT ERS consultants are available to help SRP members navigate the retirement system. Consultants can answer questions, provide forms and help members contact the ERS. Contact any one of our consultants for assistance.

* Note: Certified teaching assistants belong to the state Teachers' Retirement System (TRS).

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 united@nysutmail.org.

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