School employees in non-teaching titles are eligible to become members of the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System (ERS). If you’re an ERS member, service credit is one of the main factors that will determine your retirement benefit. Many school employees work for 10 months out of the year or work a part-time schedule. Have you ever wondered how this affects your service credit?
If you’re a school employee who works full-time, you receive one year of service credit per school year. Generally, a full-time, 10-month school year requires at least 180 days worked in any school year. However, depending on your employer, your full-time academic schedule could require a minimum of 200 or 170 days.
Part-time school employees earn service credit based on the number of days they work. Part-time credit is calculated by dividing the number of days worked by the number of days in a full-time year. Let’s say a school employee works 135 days in a year, and 180 is considered full-time: 135 days worked/180 days in a year = 0.75 years of service credit, or 75 percent of a full-time year.
The most convenient way to find out how much service you’ve earned with ERS is through Retirement Online, our self-service tool that gives you access to your retirement account information. You can register or sign in at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/index.php.
You can also check your Member Annual Statement, which is provided to you every summer. Statements are sent out from May to July, and school employees usually receive their statements first. For most members, your next statement will show how much service credit you’ve earned for the past state fiscal year (April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018). It will also show your total service credit as of March 31, 2018.
If you think you are missing service credit that you may be entitled to, please read our publication, Service Credit for Tiers 2–6 (www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/publications/vo1854.php), to find out what types of service are creditable and how to apply. You may also be able to receive credit for military service. It is very important that you claim — as early as possible — all the service credit you are entitled to receive because records documenting your previous service may be lost or destroyed with the passage of time.
If you have questions specific to your account, please contact us at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/contact_us/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).
In every issue, state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, administrative head of the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and trustee of the Common Retirement Fund, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For immediate assistance, call the ERS Contact Center toll-free at 866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 in the Capital District.