Retirement Planning Step by Step


Retiring is a major life event with a lot to consider. If you’re thinking about retiring this year, you may have lots of questions. We are here to help you every step of the way!

Do Your Research

As a teacher, you instruct students to prepare for assignments and do their research. Now it’s your turn to do your research as you plan for retirement.

Explore the Retirement Planning > Ready to Retire page.
The information, publications and videos provided there will walk you through everything you need to know – from what to do early in the process to what to expect after you file for retirement.

Estimate Your Pension Benefit.
Your annual Benefit Profile will give you a general idea of your benefit. You can also use the online pension estimator in MyNYSTRS to generate a projection that includes service and salary from the current school year.

Select the Benefit Payment Best for You.
To learn which benefit payment is best for you, review our brochure Maximum or an Option: Choosing a Benefit Payment Right for You and watch our two-part video “Your NYSTRS Benefit Payment – Making the Choice That’s Right for You.” Your Benefit Profile and the MyNYSTRS Pension Estimator provide estimates of the various payment options.

Hear From the NYSTRS Experts

Schedule a Benefits Consultation.
Meet with a NYSTRS representative to discuss your retirement questions. The representative will provide an estimate of your pension and explain the different benefit payment options and how choosing an option to provide a potential payment to a beneficiary would impact your pension benefit. You will also learn how to file for retirement and what to expect during the retirement process.

Consultations are held in-person at our Albany office, by phone, via video on your personal device, or at select video consultation sites around the state. Book an appointment through MyNYSTRS or call (800) 348-7298, Ext. 6100. Consultations may be booked up to 120 days in advance. Appointments fill up fast.

Please Note: If you are not planning to retire at the end of this school year, we encourage you to wait and book an appointment in the fall.

Apply for Retirement With NYSTRS

File an Application for Retirement.
Retiring from your employer does NOT automatically trigger retirement benefit payments. You must also file an application for retirement with NYSTRS to receive your monthly pension payment. You can file on your date of retirement, as long as it is at least one day after your contract with your employer expires. If you want to receive your first payment in July, file by early June.

File online through MyNYSTRS (age 55+), which streamlines the application process and eliminates the need to fill out and mail an eight-page paper application. Prefer paper? Then use the Application for Retirement (RET-54).