January-February 2018 Issue
December 21, 2017

ERS: Helpful tips when filing for retirement

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

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoliYou've reviewed your finances, have a good idea of your monthly pension amount and have even picked a retirement date. What's next?

You need to file your retirement application with the Office of the State Comptroller to make it official. Most employees must file between 15 and 90 days before their retirement date. Be sure to list all of your public employment. If you've ever been a member of another public retirement system in New York State, note that as well. Your application is a legal document; you must sign it in the presence of a notary public and have it notarized. When you are ready, mail us your application (we recommend certified mail, return receipt requested), or drop it off at one of our consultation sites. Do not give it to your employer.

When we receive your application, we will inform your employer and begin the process of verifying your salary information. We will also send you an acknowledgment letter and a list of any documents we need to process your application. If you have not received a retirement estimate within 18 months before your retirement date, we will send you one to help you choose your pension payment option. You should also file a W-4P form, which lets us know how much federal tax to withhold.

Finalizing your retirement benefit amount can take some time. You may be eligible to receive partial payments until we establish your benefit amount. When we finalize your pension amount, you'll receive any money you are owed back to your date of retirement (the difference between any partial payments and your finalized retirement benefit amount). Be sure to take advantage of our direct deposit program, which allows us to safely deposit your monthly benefit directly into your bank account.

Retirement applications are available online at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/forms/index.php. We have many resources on our website to help guide you through the retirement process, including, How Do I Prepare to Retire? (www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/publications/o1709.php). Another good resource is our blog, nyretirementnews.com, where we highlight retirement planning information.

Be sure to sign up for Retirement Online, our self-service tool that gives you direct access to your retirement account. Register at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/retirement_online/customers.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).