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Member E-News Archives — 2014

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September 2014

Hot Topics

Designating a Beneficiary: An Important Planning Decision When you join the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), you are asked to designate a beneficiary. This is important because your beneficiary may be eligible to receive certain benefits if you die while still working. Visit our nyretirementnews.com blog to learn more.

Close to Retirement?

Retirement Planning — Start Thinking Outside the Box When your retirement is approaching and you are eagerly anticipating your last day of work, take the time to start thinking about what your life will be like after retirement. Will your financial situation be stable once you start receiving your pension? Read more.

You Should Know: Retirement Online allows you to view your benefit information — such as your contribution balance and beneficiary designations — securely on our website. If you haven’t already enrolled, please take a few minutes to sign up for Retirement Online now.

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August 2014

Hot Topics

What Makes Up Your NYSLRS Pension? Many factors go into the calculation of your NYSLRS pension, but there are three core components that help us determine what your pension will be. They are:

  • Your NYSLRS retirement plan
  • Your Final Average Salary (FAS)
  • Your service credit

We use this information to calculate your retirement benefit — but how does each part fit into that calculation? Visit our NY Retirement News blog to learn more.

Close to Retirement?

Retirement Planning — Getting Your NYSLRS Retirement Estimate When it comes to retirement planning, it’s vital to become informed about your NYSLRS retirement plan, but also to make sure your records with NYSLRS are up to date. Keeping your records current, including your public employment history and who your beneficiary should be, helps us provide you with more accurate information about your retirement benefit. One way we do this is with a NYSLRS retirement estimate. Read more.

You Should Know: Retirement Online allows you to view your benefit information — such as your contribution balance and beneficiary designations — securely on our website. If you haven’t already enrolled, please take a few minutes to sign up for Retirement Online now.

Sign up to receive emails on other topics of interest from the Comptroller’s Office.

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July 2014

Hot Topics

How Divorce Affects Your NYSLRS Benefit If you get divorced, you should be aware that New York State’s highest court has determined that retirement benefits earned during a marriage are marital property. Therefore, in the event of a divorce, your ex-spouse may be entitled to a share of your benefit. See our new retirement blog for more information.

Close to Retirement?

The Top 5 Retirement Myths and Their Impact On Your Benefit Retirement laws and procedures can be confusing. Sometimes even a small misunderstanding can have a big impact. That’s why we feel it’s important to correct certain misconceptions that NYSLRS members have had over the years. Read about five of the most common myths.

You Should Know: Retirement Online allows you to view your benefit information — such as your contribution balance and beneficiary designations — securely on our website. If you haven’t already enrolled, please take a few minutes to sign up for Retirement Online now.

Sign up to receive emails on other topics of interest from the Comptroller’s Office.

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May/June 2014

Hot Topics

Connect With Us on Social Media — A Blog, Facebook & Twitter Please visit our new blog, New York Retirement News. Wherever you are on the path to retirement, you’ll find tips and tools to help current and soon-to-be retired members alike, along with other important Retirement System news. You can also like our Facebook page and follow our Twitter feed for quick tips and updates on a variety of retirement topics and Retirement System news.

The Member Annual Statement: An Important NYSLRS Membership Resource Every year between May and July, NYSLRS sends out an essential document to its members — the Member Annual Statement (MAS). Your Member Annual Statement contains important information about your NYSLRS membership, and is a valuable resource for new and current members, and for members thinking about retirement. If any of the information in your MAS is incorrect, be sure to correct it promptly. See our MAS Tutorial for details. Read more.

For New Members — A Quick Peek at your NYSLRS Retirement Benefits If you recently became a public employee in New York, you’re relatively new to the New York State & Local Retirement System. You should know that you are covered by a retirement plan that provides important retirement benefits. While pension benefits top the list, there are other NYSLRS retirement benefits which can help keep you and your beneficiaries financially secure. Read more.

Close to Retirement?

Retirement Planning Video — Start Planning Ahead In our first Preparing for Retirement video, we talked about finding the information you need to start your retirement planning. In Part Two — Repaying Your Retirement System Loans, you’ll learn how having an outstanding NYSLRS loan balance at retirement can impact your pension benefit. As you’ll see in this video, it’s crucial to repay any NYSLRS loans you may have before you file for retirement. Read more.

You Should Know: Retirement Online allows you to view your benefit information — such as your contribution balance and beneficiary designations — securely on our website. If you haven’t already enrolled, please take a few minutes to sign up for Retirement Online now.

Sign up to receive emails on other topics of interest from the Comptroller’s Office.

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May 2014

Hot Topics

Applying for Military Service Credit You may be eligible to receive additional service credit for your military service. Please read our Military Service Credit page to learn about the different sections of law and how to apply.

Close to Retirement?

Know Your Options You must choose one of several different monthly pension payment options when you retire. Some offer you a reduced monthly benefit, but will provide your beneficiary with a benefit after your death. Please read our Payment Option Descriptions page to learn more.

You Should Know: Retirement Online allows you to view your benefit information — such as your contribution balance and beneficiary designations — securely on our website. If you haven’t already enrolled, please take a few minutes to sign up for Retirement Online now.

Sign up to receive emails on other topics of interest from the Comptroller’s Office.

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March 2014

Hot Topics

What It Means to Be Vested You are “vested” when you’ve earned enough service credit to qualify for a pension. Members in Tiers 1 through 4 need five years of service credit to be vested; Tier 5 and 6 members must have ten years. If you leave public employment, you could be eligible for a vested benefit when you reach retirement age. You can learn more about the requirements for vested retirement benefits.

Close to Retirement?

Ways to Verify Date of Birth We cannot pay any pension benefits without proof of your birth date, and if you choose a payment option that provides a lifetime benefit to a beneficiary, we’ll also need proof of your beneficiary’s birth date. You can read the full list of documents we accept as proof on our Pre-Retirement Checklist.

You Should Know: Retirement Online allows you to view your benefit information — such as your contribution balance and beneficiary designations — securely on our website. If you haven’t already enrolled, please take a few minutes to sign up for Retirement Online now.

Sign up to receive emails on other topics of interest from the Comptroller’s Office.

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February 2014

Hot Topics

News from the Comptroller The Common Retirement Fund’s value grew to about $173.2 billion for the third quarter ending December 31, 2013, the Fund’s highest quarterly value ever. New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said that the Fund’s investment strategy contributed to the robust third quarter results. Read the full press release about the Fund.

Keep Your Address Current Have you moved recently? We need your current mailing address so we can provide you with information about your retirement benefits. Read our Change of Address page to see how you can update your address.

Close to Retirement?

Check Your Health Insurance Before You Retire The Retirement System does not manage post-retirement health benefits for its members. If you work for a non-State employer, such as a local government or public authority, contact your health benefit administrator to determine eligibility for post-retirement benefits for you and your family. If you work for the State, visit the Civil Service website for more information.

You Should Know: Retirement Online allows you to view your benefit information — such as your contribution balance and beneficiary designations — securely on our website. If you haven’t already enrolled, please take a few minutes to sign up for Retirement Online now.

Sign up to receive emails on other topics of interest from the Comptroller’s Office.

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January 2014

Hot Topics

New Changes to Partial Lump Sum Payments Police and Fire Retirement System members who are covered by a special 20- or 25-year plan and are eligible to receive a partial lump sum (PLS) payment of their benefit now have two more choices. In addition to the 5, 10 or 15 percent PLS payment options, eligible members can also choose a 20 or 25 percent option. Read our publication, Partial Lump Sum Payment at Retirement (VO1750), for more information.

Read Your Member Newsletter Online The current editions of The Update PDF icon, our newsletter for active Employees’ Retirement System members, and The Sentinel PDF icon, a newsletter for Police and Fire Retirement System members, are available on our website. Read about the latest retirement information you need to know and learn about your benefits.

Close to Retirement?

Divorce and Your Retirement Your retirement benefits could be affected if you divorce. Retirement benefits are considered marital property, which means your ex-spouse could be entitled to a portion of your benefit when you retire. Any division of benefits with your ex-spouse must be defined in a Domestic Relations Order (DRO). Learn more about divorce and DROs.

You Should Know: Retirement Online allows you to view your benefit information — such as your contribution balance and beneficiary designations — securely on our website. If you haven’t already enrolled, please take a few minutes to sign up for Retirement Online now.

Sign up to receive emails on other topics of interest from the Comptroller’s Office.

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