June 2017 Issue

ERS: Time to review your plan

Author: State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli
Source: NYSUT United
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New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoliOnce a year we provide New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System (ERS) members with a personalized Member Annual Statement to help guide their financial planning. Your statement details your ERS membership information as of March 31. Statements are mailed starting in mid-May and continue for several weeks.

The first three pages list basic facts, such as your tier, registration number, ERS ID, date of birth, date of membership, first day of credited service, any past service payments and any contribution and/or loan balances. This last item is important: Any outstanding loan balances at retirement will permanently reduce your benefit. Your statement also shows you a breakdown of any such reductions based on your age when you retire.

Page four provides service credit and salary information. For members of Tiers 2–6, your statement shows how much service credit you have earned. If you think you are missing service, contact us and we will look into it.

If you think your salary totals aren't accurate, check with your employer. Remember: These amounts are based on a fiscal year (April 1 – March 31); they probably won't match the information on your W-2 form, which is based on a calendar year.

Your statement also lists your retirement plan. If you have not already done so, please visit our Publications page at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/publications/index.php, where you can find your retirement plan publication and bookmark it for future reference.

Page five features important information about your death benefits and beneficiaries. To protect your privacy, our representatives cannot release details about your beneficiary or your death benefit over the phone or by email, so it's a good idea to hold on to your statement.

On page six, most members can find estimates of their pension benefit. These are based on your current salary and projections of what your service credit would be if you continue working at the same rate (full time or part time). You can also see the payment options available to you at different retirement ages.

Page seven highlights milestones specific to your retirement plan, such as death and disability benefit eligibility, vesting requirements and how your service credit can affect your benefit.

Your statement ends with general information about ERS and ways to stay connected through social media. If you have questions about your statement, visit our tutorial at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/members/mas_index.php.

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).

Every issue, 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 united@nysutmail.org.

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

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