COVID-19 Help Center

As the COVID-19 emergency continues, it is more important than ever for you to understand your benefits and know what steps to take if you become seriously ill. This page will help you to find information about COVID-19 as it relates to your NYSLRS benefits. Please visit this page periodically to stay informed of any changes due to COVID-19.

Death Benefit Information for Members and Retirees
COVID-19 Accidental Death Benefit

A better death benefit is available to eligible beneficiaries of members and recent retirees who die of COVID-19 in the line of duty.

Certain beneficiaries may be eligible to receive a monthly pension benefit instead of a one-time payment.

For additional information, please read our Enhanced Death Benefit for Survivors of COVID-19 Victims blog post.

Designating a Power of Attorney

It is especially important for members, retirees and their loved ones to be aware of the process for obtaining a NYSLRS Power of Attorney (POA). With a POA on file with NYSLRS, your agent would be able to take care of your retirement needs for you if you suddenly become ill and are unable to contact us personally.

Make Sure Your Beneficiaries are Up to Date

When you die, the law requires NYSLRS to pay your death benefit to the last beneficiaries you designated. That is why it is so important to check your NYSLRS beneficiary designations periodically.

The fastest way to view or update your beneficiaries is with Retirement Online.

NYSLRS Durable Power of Attorney Form

NYSLRS provides a Special Durable Power of Attorney form that is specific to retirement transactions and meets all New York State legal requirements. It allows your agent to act immediately in case of emergency, hospitalization or unexpected illness.

Our Power of Attorney web page provides additional information you may find helpful.

Filing for Retirement Benefits During COVID-19
Retirement Benefits

If you are eligible and planning to retire, you don’t need to delay filing. And, if you become ill with COVID-19, you may want to file for service retirement to protect your loved ones.

You can use Retirement Online to file for a service retirement benefit. See how easy and fast it is to file using Retirement Online.

15-Day Retirement Waiting Period Waived

The 15-day waiting period for a NYSLRS member’s retirement to take effect has been waived temporarily. Under the waiver, you can choose a date of retirement less than 15 days away.

Learn more about the waiver and filing for retirement.

Disability Retirement Benefits

If you become seriously ill from COVID-19, you may want to file for retirement in order to provide a continuing pension benefit to your beneficiary if you were to die.

Read our Filing for Retirement Benefits blog post for an overview of the filing process. Visit our Disability Benefits page for help finding the right application and to learn more about the process.

Information for Retirees
Sign Up for Direct Deposit

You don’t need to wait to receive your pension check in the mail or worry about getting to a bank to deposit your check. Sign up for our Direct Deposit Program and get your money quickly and safely.

Work During COVID-19 Crisis Won’t Affect Retiree Earnings Limit

Normally, most NYSLRS retirees who return to work for a public employer face an earnings limit, but that earnings limit has been temporarily suspended by the Governor by executive order during the emergency.

Your Pension Fund
Your Pension Fund is Strong. Your Pension is Secure.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused economic uncertainty as well as a public health emergency. Businesses are struggling, more people are unemployed, and markets are volatile. Regardless of the uncertain news, your Retirement System and pension fund are strong and secure.

Doing Business with NYSLRS
Use Retirement Online for NYSLRS Business

During the COVID-19 emergency, we want to make sure you are able to do business with us. In most cases, you can use Retirement Online instead of mailing in forms or calling. Take a look at some of Retirement Online’s features.

Retirement Online – Extended Hours
  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 7:00 am to 9:30 pm
  • Tuesday: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • Saturday & Sunday: 6:00 am to 11:00 pm
Staying Safe During the COVID-19 Emergency
Stay-At-Home Tips

Many of us are staying home and practicing social and physical distancing to reduce the spread of the virus. Here are some tips on getting the help and services you need while limiting your time out of the house.

Domestic Violence and COVID-19

Unfortunately, as the COVID-19 emergency continues, law enforcement and healthcare professionals are reporting an increase in domestic violence. If you are in an abusive relationship, or fear your situation may turn violent, these resources may offer some help.

How to Stay Safe Away from Home

There may be times when going out is unavoidable. If you must leave your house, follow these steps to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.