|Serving New York Educators Since 1921|
You must join NYSTRS if you are employed under all of the following conditions:
You may join NYSTRS if you are employed in a New York State Community College or SUNY, where you may elect coverage by NYSTRS, the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Program (TIAA-CREF).
Alternatively, if you are hired on or after July 1, 2013 with estimated annual wages of $75,000 or more and you are not a member of a NYSUT bargaining unit, you may join the Optional Retirement Program instead of NYSTRS.
Yes. You may join if you are employed less than full time by any of the NYSTRS-participating employers.
Membership tiers refer to groups of members whose benefits are determined by different sections of the law and regulations. Your tier is determined by your date of membership; both are listed in your annual Benefit Profile. There are five membership tiers:
Vested is the status that members attain with a certain amount of New York State service credit, which makes them eligible for a retirement benefit at age 55. Tier 5 and 6 members vest with 10 years of state service credit. For all other tiers, five years of credit is necessary to vest.
If you leave teaching before you vest (as defined in question 4) and do not intend to return to service, you should withdraw your member contributions and interest earned and cancel your membership. You will not receive your employer's contributions. Should you return to teaching at a later date, you may reinstate your former membership under your former tier.
If you don't withdraw your contributions and interest earned, you can keep your NYSTRS membership active by working the equivalent of 20 full-time days in a school year for a participating NYSTRS employer(s) every seven years.
All information regarding your membership can be found in your personal NYSTRS Benefit Profile, sent to you annually. It gives you a summary of your membership status and a projection of your benefits, along with comprehensive explanations. You can also view your personal information online, including your Benefit Profile, with a MyNYSTRS account.
There are many things to consider under such circumstances. Our publication If You Are No Longer Able to Work provides a comprehensive look at disability retirement, including eligibility, the filing process, benefits, and what to do if you become critically ill.
Yes, but it may not be necessary. You can have membership in more than one New York State public retirement system and receive benefits from more than one system. However, if you are no longer working in employment reportable to one of the systems, you should contact both systems to discuss the pros and cons of transferring membership.
As a "Discontinued Member" of this System, you may qualify for a NYSTRS benefit, but it would be based on NYSTRS service only. Please contact us for further information.