To apply for all Retirement System benefits, you must file the appropriate application with the Office of the State Comptroller in a timely manner. You can file for a service retirement benefit online. Sign in to your Retirement Online account, go to the ‘My Account Summary’ area of your Account Homepage and click “Apply for Retirement.” Paper forms are available on our Forms page, or from our Call Center or your employer. Specific filing instructions are provided for each of the benefits described in this plan book. If you need help, you can call 866-805-0990 (518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area), make an appointment for a pre-retirement consultation or send your question using our secure contact form.
Filing With the Office of the State Comptroller
For an application to be considered as “filed with the Comptroller,” it must be submitted electronically through Retirement Online, or in the case of a paper application, received by our Albany office, one of our consultation sites, or another office of the State Comptroller. Giving a paper application to your employer does not mean that you have “filed with the Comptroller.”
Important Filing Deadlines
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 (such as the requirement to file your retirement application at least 15 days but not more than 90 days before your retirement date or the deadline to submit your option election form).
If you are concerned about meeting a filing deadline, you may choose to submit your documents through Retirement Online, which is the fastest filing method, by certified mail or by fax:
- Retirement Online — You can apply for a service (not disability) retirement online and upload retirement-related documents.
- Certified Mail — If you mail a document “Certified Mail — Return Receipt Requested,” we will consider it as having been filed on the same date it was mailed once it is delivered to us by the Post Office.
- Fax — To send the document to us by fax, please include your name, NYSLRS ID, phone number and the person or department you wish to reach. Although we will consider the form as filed on the date the fax is received, you must still mail us the original document to continue the process and properly complete the filing requirement.
Service retirement documents (Retirement Application, Option Form, proof of your date of birth) can be faxed to our Benefit Calculation and Disbursements Bureau at 518-474-3510.
Disability retirement documents can be faxed to the Disability Services Bureau. For applications in-process or to apply for a disability retirement benefit, documents can be faxed to 518-474-3091 or 518-408-3587. Documents for approved disability retirement applications (Pension Payment Option Form, proof of your date of birth) can be faxed to 518-408-3766.
Member documents (Designation of Beneficiary Forms) can be faxed to our Member and Employer Services Bureau at 518-474-9438.
Filing Multiple Applications
If you become ill or disabled and are unable to perform your duties, you may be eligible to file applications for disability and regular service retirement benefits simultaneously “without prejudice,” depending on the circumstances. This 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.