Receiving Your Benefit
At retirement, you must decide how you want your retirement benefit paid. You can choose from several pension payment options, all of which will provide you with a monthly benefit for life. For example, you may elect the Single Life Allowance, which provides the maximum amount payable during your lifetime, with nothing payable to a beneficiary upon your death. Or you may choose a lower monthly benefit to provide for a possible payment to a designated beneficiary after your death.
Most members can estimate their pension using the benefit calculator in Retirement Online. The calculator uses your salary and service credit information to create an estimate. You can fine-tune your estimate by entering different retirement dates, beneficiaries, earnings, and service credit amounts to see how they affect your potential benefit, and then save or print it. Sign in to your Retirement Online account, go to the ‘My Account Summary’ area of your Account Homepage and click the “Estimate my Pension Benefit” button.
Members in certain circumstances (for example, members who have recently transferred a membership to NYSLRS) may not be able to use the Retirement Online calculator at this time. These members should contact us to request an estimate.
Filing Your Pension Payment Option Election
You must file your pension payment Option Election form (unless we tell you otherwise, as in the case of disability retirement) by the end of the month in which you retire. You have up to 30 days after your pension benefit becomes payable to change your selection. If you are a disability retiree, you may change your option selection up to 30 days after your disability application is approved, or up to 30 days after your retirement date, whichever is later.
You can choose your pension payment option when you use Retirement Online to apply for a service (not a disability) retirement. You can also print an Option Election form from our Forms page and submit it by mail.
If your election is not timely, by law we must process your retirement as if you had selected Cash Refund — Contributions, with your estate named as beneficiary.