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Tier 6 Benefit Information

State Correction Officers and SHTAs in the Office of Mental Health

Benefits of New York State correction officers in the special 25-year plan are not affected by Tier 6, except as described below. Correction officers who have 25 years of creditable service may still retire at any age with unreduced benefits, if they retire directly from an institution under the jurisdiction of the New York State Department of Correctional Services. Disability and death benefits are also not changed by Tier 6.

Membership Tier

New York State correction officers and security hospital treatment assistants who joined on or after April 1, 2012 are Tier 6 members.

Member Contributions

  • Members must contribute for 30 years or until retirement, whichever occurs first.
  • From 4/1/2012 through 3/31/2013, Tier 6 members contributed 3 percent of their gross salary.
  • Beginning 4/1/2013, the percentage is based on the member’s wages. Future salary changes may affect the member’s contribution rate.
Wages Contribution Rate
$45,000 or less 3%
$45,000.01 to $55,000 3.5%
$55,000.01 to $75,000 4.5%
$75,000.01 to $100,000 5.75%
More than $100,000 6%

Vesting

Tier 6 members must have ten years of service credit to be vested and eligible for service retirement benefits. Vested members who leave the payroll can apply for and receive a retirement benefit at age 63.

The vested retirement benefit is based on the service and salary earned as an active member.

  • For members with less than 20 years of service credit: 1.66% of the Final Average Salary (FAS) for each year of service credit
  • For members with 20 or more years of service credit: 35% of the FAS plus an additional 2% of the FAS for each year of service credit in excess of 20 years

Service Retirement Eligibility

Tier 6 correction officers and security hospital treatment assistants may retire with full benefits after completing 25 years of creditable service regardless of their age, or, if they have at least ten years of service credit, they may retire between ages 55 and 63 with reduced benefits for early retirement. The benefit reduction is 6.5 percent for each year prior to age 63 that a member retires.

Age at Retirement Percentage of Reduction
55 52.0
56 45.5
57 39.0
58 32.5
59 26.0
60 19.5
61 13.0
62 6.5
63 0

Reportable Salary Limit

  • Reportable salary may not exceed the salary of the Governor of the State of New York, which is set by law and is currently $179,000.
  • If the Governor’s salary changes, the reportable salary limit would change accordingly.
  • If a member reaches the reportable salary limit, you should not deduct contributions from any salary paid in excess of the limit.
  • You should continue to report all salary paid, days worked and any loan and/or arrears payments on your monthly report.

Overtime Limit

Overtime pay in excess of an annual cap is not included in the definition of wages. It should not be reported to the Retirement System and cannot be used in a final average salary calculation.

This overtime cap for fiscal year 2013 (April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013) is $15,000. The overtime cap increases each fiscal year. The amount of the increase is based on the Consumer Price Index on December 31 of the previous year. Please see our Tier 6 Overtime (OT) limit chart.

You should report overtime until the member has reached the overtime cap for that fiscal year. Once the cap has been reached, you should not report any additional overtime paid to that member for the remainder of the fiscal year. The member’s salary and days worked must still be reported; only overtime pay that exceeds the cap should not be reported. In addition, contributions should not be collected on any overtime amounts greater than the cap.

Other Earnings Limitations

Earnings from more than two separate employers in any one year will be excluded from the definition of wages for Retirement System purposes.

Final Average Salary (FAS)

  • FAS is the average of the highest five consecutive years of reportable salary subject to limits. Any year of salary used in the FAS calculation cannot exceed the average of the previous four years by more than 10 percent.
  • Lump sum payments at retirement for accumulated vacation will not be included in an FAS calculation.

(Rev. 4/14)