Police and Fire Retirement System Benefits
Most Tier 6 members contribute a percentage of their gross salary for all their years of public service, but there are some exceptions:
- Members enrolled in retirement plans limiting the amount of creditable service they may accrue are not required to contribute once they reach the maximum amount of service allowed by their plan.
- If a union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement in effect on January 9, 2010 requires an employer to offer a non-contributory plan, any new employees who join while that agreement is in place, and who elect the special plan, may not be required to contribute.
The contribution rate from April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013 is 3 percent. Beginning April 1, 2013, your contribution rate will be based on your annual wage. Future salary changes may affect your 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%|
The amount of your retirement benefit is based on your service credit and final average salary.
You receive retirement service credit for your public employment (paid service as an employee or officer of an employer that participates in the New York State and Local Retirement System). One year of full-time employment is the same as one year of retirement service credit. Part-time service is prorated.
Final Average Salary (FAS)
FAS is the average of your highest five consecutive years of earnings in public employment, subject to limitations. Usually, this period is the five years of employment immediately before retirement, but it can occur at any time during your career.
The wages in any year used in the FAS cannot exceed the average of the previous four years by more than 10 percent. Any amount in excess of the 10 percent is excluded from the FAS calculation.
Your FAS can include, but is not limited to, the following types of payments. In some cases, certain restrictions may apply.
- Regular salary
- Overtime and noncompensatory overtime up to the annual limit, if earned in the FAS period
- Holiday pay
- Longevity payments (maximum of five), if earned in the years used in the FAS calculation
In most cases, the following payments cannot be included in the FAS:
- Unused sick leave
- Payments made as a result of working vacation
- Any form of termination pay
- Payments made in anticipation of retirement
- Lump sum payments for deferred compensation
- Any payments made for time not worked
- Lump sum payments for accumulated vacation
- Wages in excess of the Governor’s salary, currently $179,000
- For members paid by three or more employers, wages paid by more than two of those employers
Overtime pay in excess of 15 percent of your regular annual wages cannot be used in your final average salary calculation.
Service Retirement Benefit
If you are in a special 20- or 25-year retirement plan (Sections 384, 384-d, 384-e or 384(f) of the Retirement and Social Security Law), you will be eligible for a service retirement benefit when you have accrued the amount of creditable service required by your plan, regardless of your age.
If you are in a regular retirement plan, you will be eligible for a service retirement benefit when you have ten or more years of service credit and reach retirement age. You can receive your full retirement benefit at age 62 or choose to retire as early as age 55 with a reduced benefit.
|Age at Retirement||Percentage of Reduction|
Your service retirement benefit is the same as the benefit provided to Tier 5 members. Please refer to the summary of your retirement plan on our publications page.
This benefit is payable to you for your lifetime. It may also provide a payment to a beneficiary after your death, depending on the benefit payment option you choose at retirement.
Vested Retirement Benefit
If you leave public employment before you are eligible for a service retirement benefit, but have at least ten years of credited service, you can apply for and receive your vested retirement benefit at age 63. Vesting is automatic — you do not have to fill out any paperwork or file an application. However, you will need to file a retirement application to begin receiving your vested benefit.
Disability Retirement Benefit
If you become unable to perform your duties because of a permanent physical or mental incapacity, you may be eligible for a disability retirement benefit, which is a lifetime pension based on your FAS and, in some cases, your service credit and age at retirement. If your disability is job-related, no minimum amount of service credit is required; otherwise you need a certain amount of service credit to qualify. The service credit requirement depends on your retirement plan. There are also specific filing requirements that must be met.
If you die while you are in public service, your beneficiary may be entitled to a death benefit payment. Members in special plans are eligible after 90 days of service; members in regular plans are eligible after one year of service. If your death is due to an on-the-job accident, no minimum amount of service credit is required. Your member contributions plus interest earned are also payable to your beneficiary.