1980s-2000s Timeline

Delegates Meeting Photos

1980s: NYSTRS introduces Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars across the state. These develop into the Pension & Retirement Education Program (PREP) in 2010.

1983: Tier 4 is established initially with new age reductions and a requirement that members work until 62 before retiring, but the new tier eliminates the Social Security benefit offset rule under Tier 3. Due to Tier 4 benefit improvements enacted by state law since then, Tier 3 members now automatically receive the better of Tier 3 or 4 benefits.

1984: NYSTRS moves to its own newly constructed building at 10 Corporate Woods Drive, Albany.

1985: A new law permits Tier 3 and 4 members to retire without an age factor at age 55 with 30 years of service.

1991: Active membership totals 195,000. Net worth totals $26 billion. There are 71,000 retirees receiving $998 million in annual benefits.

1994: A lump sum payment option is permitted for members whose benefit would be less than $1,000 per year. In 2003, this is increased to $2,400 per year.

1996: NYSTRS begins offering benefits consultations through video at school locations. By 2020, members can have video consultations through their own personal mobile devices.

1998:  State laws introduce a vested death benefit for those with an active membership who are no longer working, as well as an accelerated death benefit for members who have a terminal illness or require extraordinary treatment. In addition, a reinstatement provision is introduced so current members can restore their original NYS membership. Vesting for Tier 1-4 members is changed to take effect after five years of service instead of 10.

1999: The System’s website is established at NYSTRS.org. The website is enhanced regularly, enabling members to access multiple self-service tools through their secure MyNYSTRS account and enabling employers to report salary and service credit electronically through the Employer Secure Area.

2000: A guaranteed annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of 1-3% is established for the first $18,000 of the Maximum pension benefit of eligible retirees. The Article 19 Benefit Enhancement is also enacted, which provides up to two additional years of service for Tier 1 and Tier 2 members and ends pension contributions from Tier 3 and Tier 4 members after 10 years of service or membership. Additional laws expand eligibility for prior service and military service credit.

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