Tips & Tricks
Knowing these insights into Retirement Online will save you time and trouble.
What’s a Member Talking Point?
Your members may come to you with questions about deductions or refund in their payroll records. The member talking point contains information that can help you address member concerns.
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File Upload Time
File uploads may take up to 3 minutes per thousand rows of data. Taking a file from ‘Success’ to ‘Posted’ takes less than a minute per thousand rows.
Important Steps to Complete Your Report Submission
In order to submit your report for final processing, your report must be certified as accurate. Be sure to check the box next to ‘I agree to the submission of this Employer Report,’ before you click the ‘Submit’ button to finish. Your report is not considered complete until it is Uploaded, Submitted and its status is listed as ‘Posted’.
Dealing with Social Security number, Registration Number, or Control Initial Mismatches
You may encounter errors when a Social Security number, Registration Number, or Control Initial mismatch is found. Go to the Reporting Dashboard and select the Member Contribution Rates page to reconcile the information. If you are unable to resolve an issue, call the Retirement Online Employer Help Desk at 844-619-9614, select 1 as an employer, and then select 5 to be routed to Employer Reporting.
Download Your Errors and Warnings
If you have errors or warnings, you must download the messages as Excel files. Errors will not be viewable once the report is submitted. The Excel file creates a reference you can work from to address and close out issues after your report has been submitted. To download, look for the spreadsheet icon on the top right hand corner of the table on the Errors and Warnings tab.
Contributions that Exceed the Amount Owed
NYSLRS will only collect contributions that are owed. Contributions that exceed the expected amount will no longer be accepted — this will appear in a warning. To view these contributions, start at the Reporting Dashboard and select the Improper Withholdings page. Employers will need to refund the amount listed in the Excess Amount field back to their employees. An excess amount may also result from loan or service credit payments that exceed the outstanding account balance due.
Identifying Reports and Adjustments You Didn’t Post
NYSLRS staff may post a report, on your behalf, to update data that couldn’t be posted from a previous report you submitted, or as a means of posting information submitted on an Adjustment Report (RS2050) form. Be sure not to modify these reports if they are in Initiated status, as NYSLRS staff are still working on them. If you’re an Employer Reporting security role holder, you may see report posting notices for these NYSLRS reports. Here’s how to identify the posting: Access the report in the Employer Reporting Dashboard and look at the Comments section. If it reads Processed by NYSLRS, then the report has been posted by NYSLRS on your behalf.
New Reports vs. Adjustment Reports — How to Decide Which to Use
In Retirement Online, adjustments are changes to previously reported data for a specific member. If you need to update information for a member for a payroll that you’ve already reported, please submit an adjustment report. If you haven’t reported a member in a specific report yet, use a regular report. To determine what information was reported for a member in a specific report, please use the Search Employee feature on either the Retirement Online Account Homepage, or the Employer Reporting Dashboard. You will need either the Payroll or Employer Reporting Uploader/Submitter security roles to perform this search.
Reporting Optional Employees Who Join NYSLRS Mid-Reporting Cycle
When an optional employee joins NYSLRS partway through a reporting period, report all days and earnings the employee earned for the entire reporting period. Retirement Online will automatically split the salary and service based on the employee’s membership date and will calculate expected contributions. You should also report if you have already taken deductions for this employee. The system will inform you if you have over- or under-deducted.
010/020 Report Codes for New ERS/PFRS Members
To prepare for the shift to enhanced reporting, we’ve changed the way report codes are issued for new members. If you are a non-state employer enrolling a new member using Retirement Online, their enrollment will now follow these rules:
If the employee is being enrolled into an ERS position for the first time at your location, then their report code will be “010.”
If the employee is being enrolled into a PFRS position for the first time at your location, then their report code will be “020.”
All of your existing members who were previously reported using RIR may be reported using their old report code. If you are re-hiring an employee at your location into a position within the same retirement system (ERS or PFRS), then you will continue to report them using their old report code.
Service Credit Purchases and Deficiencies
How are deficiencies handled?
When you receive a report warning stating, “Reported contributions are less than required amount,” this means that a member has been reported and their reported contributions did not meet the expected amount. Two actions need to take place; first, please verify that the proper contribution rate is recorded in your payroll system for that employee. Second, because all member accounts must be made whole, NYSLRS will create a deficiency Service Credit Purchase account for that member that will need to be collected in a later report. You will receive a deficiency notification on your Account Homepage in the Notification section for each impacted member.
Member Talking Point
- If a member owes contributions, they will see the deficiency reflected in their personal Retirement Online account as a service credit purchase.
- Once the required contributions have been collected, the service credit purchase will be complete.
- Possible reasons for owing contributions: member was not initially assigned the correct contribution rate or contributions were underreported by the employer.
Completing Service Credit Purchase Requests
You will receive notifications to validate salary and service information for members purchasing service credit. This notification will specify the employee’s information, as well as the start and stop dates for the service the employee is attempting to purchase. If the service an employee is attempting to purchase has not been reported in Retirement Online, fill out and return the Monthly Salary and Service Certification form (RS5120) to NYSLRS. Remember, you may use the Search Employee button to determine what exactly has been reported for this employee at your location.
Loan Deduction Changes
You will receive notifications for when to start, stop and increase an employee’s loan deductions.
Member Talking Point
- An employee’s NYSLRS loan must be repaid within five years. Periodically, NYSLRS will look at an employee’s loan deductions to determine if they are on track to repay the loan on time.
- In most cases, the deduction increase will be small. Employees may see a larger increase if, for instance, they went on leave without pay and did not make any loan payments.
Notifications & Forms Triggered by Employee Retirements
When an employee at your location applies for retirement, all Personnel security role holders will receive a notification requesting that a Statement of Accrued Payments and Leave Credits form (RS6221) be completed. The Personnel security holder may either upload this form through the Retirement notification or upload the form through the Upload Member Document link on the Employer Retirement Online Account Homepage. We are working to provide further information on these Retirement notifications such as member name and date of retirement.
Make Sure You Confirm Employee’s Personal & Job Info
Prior to clicking the “Submit” button on the Member Enrollment Dashboard, it is imperative you take a moment to confirm the Personal and Job Information for the employee being enrolled. If you identify an error, click the “Edit” button to fix the error prior to clicking “Submit.” Submission of errors in these fields can result in incorrect reporting information, inaccurate records being created and incorrect dates of membership being established, among other problems.
Incorrect data may result in the failed submission of a monthly report, and if not caught before they are submitted, these errors will likely result in significant member reporting delays. These errors could also result in you having to manually modify your employer report, as well as manually adjust interest and arrears for the member.
Retirement Online Availability
To see today’s Retirement Online hours of operation, hover your mouse over the sign in box on the Retirement Online employer homepage.
Where to Sign In to Retirement Online
Bookmark the Retirement Online employer homepage for quick and easy access for signing in. Bookmarking other pages won’t work — so make sure you only sign in from this page.
Be Careful with Your Back Button
When using Retirement Online, don’t use the ‘back’ button at the top of your browser. This may cause you to lose your work. Always use the navigation controls within Retirement Online for the best results.
Retirement Online works best when viewed with Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. You may experience problems if you work in Retirement Online using other browsers.
Sign In Issues
Having trouble signing in? Try clearing your cache .
Fixing Conflicts When Working with Other Programs
State employers: Retirement Online may not work properly when you’re using programs like PayServ or the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS). For more on using these programs while working in Retirement Online, read our guide on using multiple PeopleSoft applications .
Don’t Lose Your Work to a Log Out
Retirement Online times-out (logs you out) after 20 minutes of inactivity. Make sure to navigate in the system or you will be signed out.
Download Data to Your Computer
Reading a long table in Retirement Online? You can download the table data as an Excel file for easy reading and sorting.
Instructions Are a Click Away
Retirement Online help is built right into the system. Click the ‘Help’ link at the top right corner of the screen your working in to get instructions on completing your task.
One User ID/Password Per Customer
Don’t share your user ID or password with another employer contact. If you need additional access to Retirement Online, speak with your employer’s security administrator to adjust your security access.
Go Easy on the Submit Button
In Retirement Online, do not click ‘submit’ more than once. Some procedures take time to process, and clicking ‘submit’ repeatedly may cause problems with your work.
Avoid Multiple Sessions
Do not have multiple sessions of Retirement Online open simultaneously. This cause conflicts in the system that may affect your work.
Confused About Notifications In Retirement Online?
We have several helpful resources on our website to help. See our Retirement Online notifications tool for a complete guide to the notifications you may see — and guidance on what to do if you get a notification. Also, watch our video on managing notifications which will help you understand the different types of Retirement Online notifications.
Reporting Days and Earnings for New Optional Members
You must report all days and earnings for an optional member in the month the member joins NYSLRS. This includes days and earnings for both before and after the date of membership.
Many optional members may not have a date of membership that matches their hire date.
In the past, you only reported the days and earnings after the date of membership for an optional member’s first month. Going forward, days and earnings for both before and after the date of membership must be reported. This change will help all employers transition to enhanced reporting and result in more accurate records of service credit.
Retirement Online will automatically split the days, earnings, and contributions based on what is reported by the employer.
If you’d like to know more about how NYSLRS calculates the proper days, contributions, and earnings of optional members in that first month, please see this quick guide .