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Office of the New York State Comptroller’s Seal

NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Member Annual Statement

Understanding Your Member Annual Statement

The distribution of the 2016 Member Annual Statements begins in mid-May, 2016 and takes approximately six to eight weeks to complete. You will receive your Statement from your employer. If you are no longer working for a public employer, you will receive your Statement in the mail.

Your Statement contains valuable information that can help you understand your benefits and plan for the future. If you have questions about your Statement, you can use one of the buttons below to find the answers you need.

Updating Personal Information

How do I correct/change my beneficiary information?

If you wish to change, add or delete beneficiaries, you must complete a Designation of Beneficiary Form (RS5127) Adobe pdf and return it to our Beneficiary Unit. Please list all beneficiaries you wish to designate. Remember, submitting a new designation of beneficiary form supersedes any previous designations.

How do I correct/change my address information?

Notify us by completing the Change of Address Notification provided on Page 7 of your Statement. You can also complete our Change of Address Form (RS5512) Adobe pdf and return it to us. Please note, while you may contact our Call Center to change your address, our Call Center agents cannot change an address to a PO Box or foreign address over the telephone.

How do I correct/change my name information?

You can change your name by completing and submitting our Name Change Notice Form (RS5483) Adobe pdf. A signed letter requesting such a change is also acceptable; however, if a court order was required for the change, a copy of the court order must also be submitted.

How do I correct/change my date of birth information?

If your date of birth is wrong, make a copy of your Statement, circle the mistake and send it to:

Member & Employer Services Bureau

Registration Unit

110 State Street, 5th Floor

Albany, NY 12244.

Also include supporting documentation such as your birth certificate with your letter requesting that your date of birth be corrected. You do not need to send us the original document, but if you do, we will return it to you.

Contribution Questions

Why does my Statement indicate you haven’t received any contributions from me this year?

It’s likely you are not required to contribute. Most Tier 1 and 2 members and some Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) Tier 5 and 6 members don’t contribute. Members in Tiers 3 and 4 are only required to contribute until they either have ten years of membership or ten years of service credit, whichever comes first. Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) Tier 5 members must contribute for all their years of public service (except state correction officers, who are required to contribute up to 30 years of service). Uniformed court officers and peace officers employed by the Unified Court System must contribute 4 percent; other Tier 5 members contribute 3 percent. The majority of Tier 6 members must contribute for all their years of public service.

Please contact your employer if you have any questions. It is your employer’s responsibility to let us know at the time of registration whether or not you must contribute.

Does my employer contribute toward my pension?

Employers do not contribute to a member’s individual account, rather, they are billed separately for their share of the costs to participate in the System.

Why didn’t I receive my Member Statement?

There are a number of reasons why you may not have received your Statement. If you are no longer on your employer’s payroll, your Statement will be mailed to your home address. However, if the address we have on file for you is not current, you may not receive your Statement. The following are additional reasons why you may not have received your Member Annual Statement:

  • You had an open retirement case prior to May 1st. It is assumed that any member who has an open retirement case prior to May 1st is retiring and will no longer be an active member.
  • Your membership was terminated since the end of the Fiscal Year, by either a Transfer or Withdrawal.
  • Your date of membership was during the Fiscal Year, but no salary or days worked were reported.
  • Your salary and service crediting has been suspended pending compliance with one or more NYSLRS requirements (e.g. the submission of a record of activities required of some elected and appointed officials).
  • You did not have vested rights when you left the payroll and you have not been employed by a participating employer for 7 years or more.

Also, any member reported as having passed away will not receive a Statement.

As a Tier 6 member, how much should I be contributing to NYSLRS?

A Tier 6 member’s contribution rate is based on your annualized wage for the first three years of membership. Thereafter, it is based on all earnings reported during the two years previous. This is known as the “two-year look back.” For example, for a Tier 6 member with a date of membership between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013, the contribution rate for fiscal year 2016 (April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016) will be based on all earnings reported from April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014.

Membership Questions

How do I correct/change my Date of Membership/Date of First Credited Service information?

If you believe any of this information is incorrect, please make a copy of your Statement, circle the mistake and return it to:

Registration Unit

110 State Street, 5th Floor

Albany, NY 12244.

Also include any supporting documentation and a letter requesting that the information be corrected.

Why is my Date of First Credited Service different from my Date of Membership?

Your Date of Membership (DOM) is when you actually joined NYSLRS. Your Date of First Credited Service is when your employer first reported that you were on his/her payroll, or when you received credit for the non-member service purchased prior to your DOM.

Can Tier 6 members apply for reinstatement of a previous membership and tier?

Yes. If you believe you may be eligible for reinstatement to a previous Tier 1 or 2 membership, you should complete an Application to Reinstate a Former Tier 1 or 2 Membership (RS5506-I) Adobe pdf. If you have a previous Tier 3, 4 or 5 membership, please send a letter to:

Member & Employer Services Bureau

110 State Street, 5th Floor

Albany, NY 12244.

Provide us with as much information about your previous membership as possible (i.e. former retirement system, employer, job title, dates of employment and registration number).

Service & Salary Questions

Do I add the amount of service credited during the fiscal year to my estimated total service credit?

No. The estimated service credit we have on record for you as of March 31, 2016, includes the service credit you earned from April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016.

How do I verify that my service credit is correct?

If you will be eligible to retire within five years, you can request an estimate of your retirement benefit. We will ensure that all your allowable public service is credited as part of preparing your estimate. To request an estimate, send us your completed Request for Estimate Form (RS6030) Adobe pdf. Please be sure to list all your public employment and military service on the form. If you are in a plan that allows you to retire after a certain number of years (i.e. a 20- or 25-year plan), there is no age requirement to request an estimate, but you must be within five years of retirement eligibility.

If you are not yet eligible to request an estimate, but you need to know if you have attained the necessary amount of service to qualify for vested rights, please write to us. Include your name, retirement registration number, public employment and military service in your letter. If you are requesting credit for military service, please also include a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214).

How do I receive credit for my past service?

If you feel you are missing service credit you are entitled to, you can apply for it by sending either a Request for Previous Service Form (RS5042) Adobe pdf or a letter to:

Member & Employer Services Bureau

110 State Street, 5th Floor

Albany, NY 12244.

Please include a full description of the service you are asking to be credited with. If we find that you are eligible to receive credit for previous service, we will notify you. Please note, sometimes there is a cost associated with receiving this credit. Also, while the purchase of such optional service may increase your retirement benefit, it will not change your date of membership or tier status.

Are Tier 6 members able to get retirement service credit for military service in the U.S. armed forces?

Yes. Tier 6 members purchasing service credit for military service under Article 20 of the Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL) will pay 6 percent of their salary multiplied by the amount of service credit they are purchasing. To purchase Article 20 military service credit, send us an Application for Military Service Credit (RS5509) Adobe pdf along with a copy of your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214).

There are many laws and statutes besides Article 20 that dictate eligibility dates, circumstances, cost to you and your employer and maximum credit allowed. To find out if you qualify, send us a written request and a copy of your DD-214 or discharge papers.

Why is my service credit not up to date?

The service credit reported in your Statement is what we have on record for you as of March 31, 2016, the end of our fiscal year.

Why isn’t my service credit listed on my Statement?

Because of the complexity of service crediting rules, we are not able to list service credit for Tier 1 members, Police and Fire Retirement System members and members covered under special plans.

Why does my Statement say I am not paying for past service? Am I supposed to be paying for past service?

Not everyone has or pays for past service. If you worked for a participating employer before you joined NYSLRS, or have military service, you can request credit for this service. In some cases, there is a cost associated with receiving this credit. Or, if your employer did not deduct or deducted insufficient contributions from your paycheck after you became a NYSLRS member, you would be required to make payments. For more information on past service, read our booklet, Service Credit for Tiers 2 through 6 (VO1854).

How do I correct/change my salary information?

The salary information was provided to us by your employer and represents reportable salary they paid you during the fiscal year. You may have received payments that cannot be used in calculating your pension and therefore were not reported to us. If you feel your salary information is not correct, please contact your payroll office. If there is a discrepancy, they must send us an adjustment report requesting a change. Remember, the information on your Statement is for the period beginning April 1, 2015 and ending the following March 31, 2016 so it will not correspond to the calendar year earnings on your W-2 statement.

Loan Questions

There is a loan balance on my Statement. Why did my employer receive a letter to stop the deduction if the loan was not paid in full?

We typically send a letter to employers approximately two to three months prior to your loan being repaid advising them when the final deduction should be taken from your paycheck to satisfy your loan. It is possible your employer ceased deductions too soon or did not send in enough with the final payment. You can call our Automated Information Line, at 1-866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, New York area, to check your loan balance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Are Tier 6 members able to borrow against their contributions?

Yes. They must have at least one year of member service credit and meet loan eligibility requirements.

Retirement Benefit Questions

Why is my projected benefit on my Member Statement different from the estimate I received at a Consultation site or formal estimate in the mail?

The Statement projection is an automated calculation that only uses information we have on file for you as of March 31. Representatives at our consultation sites may add information supplied by you, such as sick leave accruals and lump sum payments, to the calculation of the projection. This information has not yet been verified with your employer, so it is not included in your Statement. The estimate you may have received in the mail after completing a Request for Estimate Form (RS6030) Adobe pdf will not include lump sum payments, unused vacation or sick leave credit but will project service credit and salary to your estimated date of retirement.

How is my Final Average Salary (FAS) calculated on the Statement?

The FAS is one of three important components that will determine your retirement benefit. (Your plan and service credit are the other two.) The FAS on your Statement is an automated calculation that only uses information we have on file for you and does not assume increases in salary. It will be different from the FAS that is calculated when a retirement examiner audits all your salary and service information. Since there are different ways to calculate FAS, you should contact us regarding any inquiries you might have about your FAS calculation.

Death Benefit Questions

Why doesn’t my Member Statement list my estimated death benefit?

If you have less than one year of total service credit, you would not have an estimated death benefit listed on your Statement. Similarly, if you are off the payroll of a participating employer and have less than ten years of service credit, your estimated death benefit would not be listed.

How do I get an estimate of my death benefit?

You may send a written request to our Benefit Calculation and Disbursements Bureau. Requests for death benefit estimates should be mailed to the bureau’s attention at:

New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS)

110 State Street

Albany, New York 12244.

How much will the post-retirement death benefit be?

If you are a Tier 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 member covered by Death Benefit Two and you retire directly from service, your beneficiaries may be entitled to a post-retirement death benefit. This benefit is also available to you if you are a vested member and your date of retirement is within one year of leaving covered employment. During your first year of retirement, the benefit is 50 percent of the ordinary death benefit payable at retirement; during your second year, it’s 25 percent. During your third year and thereafter, it is 10 percent of the ordinary death benefit that would have been payable at age 60, or at retirement, whichever was earlier. If you joined the Retirement System after age 60, contact us for information about your death benefit.

General Statement Questions

Can I change where my Statement is mailed?

Not at this time. Your Statement will automatically be mailed to your employer as long as you remain on the payroll. Your employer informs us of the mailing address we should use, and is responsible for distributing the Statement to you. If you leave public employment, we will mail your Statement to the home address we have on file for you. We are working to give you the ability in future years to choose how you receive communication from us.

How do I get a reprint of my prior year’s Member Statement?

Unfortunately, we are unable to reprint your Statement from any year other than the current one.

How do I get a reprint of my current year’s Member Statement?

Reprints of your current year’s Statement can be ordered once the Statement mailing is completed, usually in the middle of July. You may contact us directly to order your reprint.

Can I request a reprint for someone other than myself?

No. Due to security concerns, unless you are authorized to act on a member’s behalf in a legal or business matter, you cannot order a reprint for another person. Anyone who has the legal authority to act on a member’s behalf must put their request in writing and send us a copy of their Power of Attorney (POA).

Why does it take so long to get a reprint of my Statement?

We use an outside vendor for the reprint of Statements. The vendor prints and mails reprints every other week. Therefore, reprints typically take two to four weeks to be produced and mailed. We are working to give you online access to this information in the future.

I work full-time for one public employer and part-time for another. Why was my Statement mailed to my part-time employer?

If you work for more than one public employer, your Statement will be mailed to the employer who last reported your salary and service information to us. If more than one employer reported the information at the same time, the Statement will go to the employer who reported the most salary.

Why do I need an Identification Card?

With incidences of identity theft so prevalent in society, we’re committed to doing our utmost to ensure the safety of our members’ personal information. That’s why we now include Member Identification Cards in the Member Annual Statements. Your ID card contains the unique registration number you have been assigned within NYSLRS. You should use this number, rather than your Social Security number, whenever you contact us. Just clip the card out and save it in a secure and easily accessible place so your registration number will always be handy.