Salary and Service: Keys to Retirement Benefits

Messaging for Customers

To protect the health of our members and employees, Retirement System consultation offices are closed until further notice. To schedule a phone consultation, and for all other inquiries, contact us at 1-866-805-0990; 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area. However, we strongly encourage you to use Retirement Online to do business with NYSLRS at this time.

COVID-19 Information: To understand your NYSLRS benefits if you are impacted by COVID-19, and the steps to take if you become seriously ill, visit our COVID-19 Help Center.


Two major factors will determine the amount of your NYSLRS pension: How long you work and how much you earn. They are referred to as Service Credit and Final Average Earnings (FAE).

Service Credit

You earn one year of service credit for every year of full-time employment with the State or a participating public employer. Part-time work is prorated. Get credit for all your public service.

Military Service Credit

If you served in the military, you may be eligible to purchase up to three years of military service credit.

Final Average Earnings

Your Final Average Earnings (FAE) are your average earnings during a period when your income is highest. For members in Tiers 1-4 the average is based on earnings over three consecutive years; for Tiers 5 and 6, it is based on five consecutive years.

Your Retirement Plan

Your tier and retirement plan determine which earnings are used to calculate your FAE. Your plan is listed in your Member Annual Statement (MAS). If you cannot find your plan booklet on our Publications page, please contact us for assistance.