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NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Transferring or Terminating Your Membership

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Tier Reinstatement

Tier Reinstatement is a method of restoring a membership that has been terminated.

For Tier Reinstatement purposes, your membership terminates when:

  • You have less than five years (ten years for Tier 5 and 6 members) of service credit and have not worked in covered public service for at least seven years; or
  • You have less than ten years of service credit, leave public employment for at least 15 days and voluntarily withdraw your membership and contributions; or
  • You transfer your membership to another public retirement system in New York State

If you previously were a member of this System, or another public retirement system in New York State, your service may be recredited and your date of membership and tier restored. However, an earlier tier of membership does not always result in a better benefit. Please review your options carefully before making your decision, and contact us with any questions you have.

If your previous membership was with this System, we will initiate reinstatement to Tier 3, 4, 5 or 6, or an earlier date within these tiers, by sending you information about your eligibility and giving you the opportunity to purchase credit for your withdrawn service. For reinstatement to Tier 1 or 2, or to an earlier membership date within Tier 2, send us a completed Application to Reinstate a Former Tier 1 or 2 Membership (RS5506) Adobe pdf.

If your previous membership was with another retirement system, please write our Member & Employer Services Bureau at:

110 State Street Albany, NY 12244-0001

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Transfers

When new members join NYSLRS, they are in Tier 6. Some new members are still members of another public retirement system in New York State. If this applies to you, you may be eligible to transfer that membership to us. You must be off the payroll for the covered employment in the other system and make a request to the other system to transfer while you are still an active member of that system. When the transfer is completed, your date of membership will be changed to the date of membership of the retirement system from which you transferred, if it’s earlier than your current date of membership. If applicable, your membership tier will also change.

You may transfer membership within the following New York State public retirement systems:

  • New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System
  • New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System
  • New York State Teachers’ Retirement System
  • New York City Employees’ Retirement System
  • New York City Teachers’ Retirement System
  • New York City Police Pension Fund
  • New York City Fire Department Pension Fund
  • New York City Board of Education Retirement System

In addition, New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System members may transfer their membership to, or from, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Pension Fund.

To transfer your New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System or your New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System service to another New York State public retirement system you need to complete an Application for Transfer of Membership (RS5223) Adobe pdf.

In most instances, you will be credited with the transferred service. Exceptions include:

  • Some special retirement plans which require service in a particular title. For example, police and fire plans requiring 20 or 25 years of service. Although the transferred service is allowable for meeting vesting, disability and death benefit requirements, the service may not be used toward the required 20 or 25 years needed in a special plan.
  • Situations where you had a full-time position in our retirement system and a part-time position in another system at the same time. Only one year of service credit is allowable in a fiscal year, so no additional service credit would be given for the part-time employment.

Under these and other certain circumstances it may not be beneficial to transfer your membership because you may be eligible for a retirement benefit, or eligible to withdraw your membership contributions from the other system. If you have any questions concerning your transfer or if you are covered by a special plan, you should contact both your present retirement system and the one you plan to transfer to before completing the application. The transfer is effective upon receipt of the application and may be irrevocable. For questions about your Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) membership, contact our Call Center at 1-866-805-0990 or at 518-474-7736 in the Albany, New York area.

In most cases, transfers are irrevocable, but there is one exception; PFRS members covered by sections 381-b (State Police) or 384-d (20-year plan) of the Retirement and Social Security Law (RSSL), who transferred an ERS membership to PFRS, can reverse this transfer. Chapter 390, Laws of 2009, allows the ERS membership and service credit to be reinstated. Before you reinstate an ERS membership, you should be aware of the possible costs. If you were required to contribute toward your ERS retirement plan and withdrew those contributions when you transferred the membership to PFRS, you must repay the contributions plus interest when you reverse the transfer.

To reverse a previous transfer, complete an Application for Transfer of Membership in Accordance with Chapter 390 (PF5467) Adobe pdf.

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Withdrawal

Tier 3 and Tier 4 members:

  • If you leave public employment with less than five years of credited service, you may choose to terminate your membership and withdraw your accumulated contributions plus interest. If you do not terminate your membership, once seven years have elapsed since your last public employment, your membership will terminate automatically as required by Retirement Law. You can receive a refund of your contributions by filing a Withdrawal Application (RS5014) Adobe pdf. Note that interest on your contributions ceases after seven years of inactivity.
  • If you leave public employment with at least five, but less than ten, years of credited service, you may choose to:
    • terminate your membership and withdraw your accumulated contributions plus interest; or
    • leave your contributions in your account and qualify for a retirement benefit when you are age 55.
  • To help you decide which would be more beneficial, go to our Benefit Projection Calculator.
  • If you have ten or more years of credited service, you cannot withdraw from the New York State and Local Retirement System.

Tier 5 and 6 members:

  • If you leave public employment with less than ten years of credited service, you may choose to terminate your membership and withdraw your accumulated contributions plus interest. If you do not terminate your membership, once seven years have elapsed since your last public employment, your membership will terminate automatically as required by Retirement Law. You can receive a refund of your contributions by filing a Withdrawal Application (RS5014) Adobe pdf. Note that interest on your contributions ceases after seven years of inactivity.
  • If you have ten or more years of credited service, you cannot withdraw from the New York State and Local Retirement System.

At the time of withdrawal you can choose to have the taxable portion of your withdrawal payment made as a direct rollover to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or to your new employer’s plan if that plan accepts rollovers.

To withdraw your membership, complete a Withdrawal Application (RS5014) Adobe pdf.

(Rev. 3/16)

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