Applying for Benefits
To apply for all Retirement System benefits, you must file the appropriate application form with the Office of the State Comptroller in a timely manner. Forms are available from our website, our Call Center or your employer. Specific filing instructions are detailed in each benefit description. If you need help, you can call or write us, or speak with an Information Representative at one of our consultation sites throughout New York State.
Filing With the Office of the State Comptroller
Many retirement benefit applications and other documents are required by law to be filed with the Office of the State Comptroller within specific time limits. For a form to be considered as “filed with the Comptroller,” it must be received by our Albany office, one of our consultation sites, or another office of the State Comptroller. Giving your employer the form does not mean that you have “filed with the Comptroller.”
As an alternative to visiting our offices to file these time-sensitive documents personally, you can fulfill the filing requirements by mailing the document to us. We will consider it filed when it is delivered to us by the Post Office. If you are concerned about meeting a filing deadline, you can mail the document via “Certified Mail — Return Receipt Requested.” When we receive the document, it will be considered as having been filed on the same date it was mailed.
To meet a filing deadline (such as an application for retirement benefits or an option election form), you can also send the document to us via fax. Although we will consider the form as filed on the date the transmission is received, you must still mail us the original document to continue the process and properly complete the filing requirement.
Filing Multiple Applications
Should you become ill or disabled and unable to perform your duties, depending on the circumstances, you may be eligible to file applications “without prejudice” for disability and regular service retirement benefits simultaneously. “Filed without prejudice” means we will process all filed applications and, if more than one benefit is approved, you will be given the opportunity to choose your pension from the approved benefits.