Final Average Salary (FAS)
For Tier 2-5 members, the final average salary is the average of your highest three consecutive school years of salary earned whenever
they occurred in your salary history. Typically, it is the average of your last three
years. Tier 1 members are eligible for either a three-year or five-year FAS, whichever provides the better benefit. Tier 6 members must use a five-year FAS as described below.
We are often asked which payments
can and cannot be included in the calculation of a FAS. Following is an attempt to clarify
it. If you need more
information or clarification, please call us at (800) 348-7298, Ext. 6250.
The Three-Year FAS for Tier 2-5 members (also available to Tier 1 members) can include payments
- Full-time teaching services (e.g., regular compensation);
- Summer school;
- Driver education;
- Supervision of traditional after-school clubs; and,
- Teaching or administration of educational after-school
The Three-Year FAS cannot include:
- Non-regular compensation (i.e., bonuses, taxable fringe benefits, payments in lieu of health insurance);
- Employer contributions into a tax shelter account;
- Payments made outside contract terms;
- Payments made on the eve of retirement;
- Buyouts/termination pay (e.g., payments for unused leave or a local retirement incentive);
- Payments for services ordinarily performed by classified positions,
consultants, or independent contractors;
- Payments used to purchase health insurance through the
- Pay for duties not reasonably incidental to that of an
administrator or full-time teacher (e.g., bus driver, district clerk, clerk of the board,
school attorney); or,
- Compensation for computer maintenance, master teacher presenter, or
Also excluded from the three-year FAS calculation are yearly increases in regular salary
exceeding the following limits:
- Tier 1 — 20% of the previous year's salary.
- Tier 2 — 20% of the average of the previous two years'
- Tiers 3, 4 and 5 — 10% of the average of the previous two years' salaries.*
*The Internal Revenue Code limits the amount of annual compensation that can be used in the FAS calculation for NYSTRS members with a membership date on or after July 1, 1996. The compensation limit for the 2012-13 school year is $250,000.
Five-Year FAS — Tier 1
- Will be used automatically if it is higher than the three-year FAS;
- Cannot include payments made to secure your resignation or
artificially inflate your FAS; and,
- Cannot include payments not otherwise reportable to NYSTRS, including (but not limited to):
- Payments made outside the terms of a collective bargaining agreement or
long-standing employment agreement.
- Payments for services ordinarily performed by persons in the classified service,
or by consultants or independent contractors.
- Payments to a member for the purchase of health insurance through the
- Earnings from titles such as bus driver, computer maintenance worker, district
clerk, clerk of the board, school attorney, legal consultant or master teacher
Additionally, if your date of membership is prior to June 17, 1971, the
- You are not subject to the salary increase limits of the three-year FAS. (Those with a date of membership of June 17, 1971 or later are subject to the limits.)
- You can include termination payments provided (1) they are
contained in a collective bargaining agreement or a long-standing employment agreement,
and (2) they are made by the end of the calendar year of retirement. Termination payments
include retirement incentives, longevity payments and payments for unused leave.
If your date of membership is prior to July 1,
1973, non-regular compensation is includable in a five-year FAS calculation.
Non-regular compensation includes, but is not limited to:
- Taxable fringe benefits;
- Bonuses; and,
- Payments in lieu of health insurance.
Five-Year FAS — Tier 6
All the same rules that apply to the three-year FAS are in effect, with the following additions:
- Salary greater than the NYS governor's salary (currently $179,000) cannot be included in the FAS calculation.
- For those with multiple employers, pensionable salaries are limited to the two highest-grossing positions per school year.
- Salary increases exceeding 10% of the average of the previous four years' salaries are excluded from the FAS calculation.
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