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Office of the New York State Comptroller’s Seal

NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Tier 6 Benefit Information

Highlights of ERS Tier 6 Benefits

These are the major Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) benefits affected by Tier 6. Benefits not described here have not changed. Read more about ERS Tier 6 benefits.


  • Members must contribute for all their years of public service, except for New York State Correction Officers covered by Article 14 whose contributions are limited to 30 years of service.
  • From 4/1/2012 through 3/31/2013, Tier 6 members contributed 3 percent of their gross salary, except for Uniformed Court Officers and Peace Officers employed by the Unified Court System who contributed 4 percent.
  • Beginning 4/1/2013, the percentage is based on the member’s wages.
Wages 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%
  • Under Internal Revenue Code Section 414(h), Tier 6 contributions are tax-deferred until they are distributed.
  • ERS Tier 6 Members can borrow against their contributions once they meet eligibility requirements.

Reportable Salary Limit

  • Reportable salary may not exceed the salary of the Governor of the State of New York, which is set by law and is currently $179,000.
  • If the Governor’s salary changes, the reportable salary limit would change accordingly.
  • If a member reaches the reportable salary limit, you should not deduct contributions from any salary paid in excess of the limit.
  • You should continue to report all salary paid, days worked and any loan and/or arrears payments on your monthly report.

Overtime Limit

Overtime pay in excess of an annual cap is not included in the definition of wages. It should not be reported to the Retirement System and cannot be used in a final average salary calculation. You can find the overtime limit for this fiscal year on our Overtime Limits for Tier 6 page.

Other Earnings Limitations

Earnings from more than two separate employers in any one year will be excluded from the definition of wages for Retirement System purposes.

Final Average Salary (FAS)

  • FAS is the average of the highest five consecutive years of reportable salary subject to limits. Any year of salary used in the FAS calculation cannot exceed the average of the previous four years by more than 10 percent.
  • Lump sum payments at retirement for accumulated vacation will not be included in an FAS calculation.

Service Retirement Eligibility

  • Members must have 10 years of service credit to be vested and eligible for a service retirement benefit.
  • Members in regular plans must be age 63 before they may receive an unreduced service retirement benefit. Regular plans are those that permit retirement after the member has attained a certain age and earned a certain amount of service credit; special plans permit retirement after the member has earned a certain amount of service credit.
  • Members can retire between ages 55 and 63 with reduced benefits for early retirement.
  • The benefit reduction is 6.5 percent for each year prior to age 63 that a member retires.

Service Retirement Benefit

  • With less than 20 years of service credit, the benefit equals 1/60th (1.66 percent) of the FAS for each year of service credit.
  • With 20 years of service credit, the benefit equals 35 percent of the FAS.
  • Members will receive an additional 2 percent of their FAS for each year of service credit in excess of 20 years.

Credit for Unused Sick Leave

Eligible members may receive service credit for unused, unpaid sick leave days at retirement. The maximum number of creditable sick leave days is generally 100, but can be 165 or 200 in certain cases.

(Rev. 4/12)