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New York City Employee Retirement Benefits

Iii Pension Reform: Steps Toward A Defined

City Retirees Say New Health Benefits Will Bankrupt Them

A defined-benefit pension system, like the one that New York City offers to its public workers, has two main drawbacks. First, it leaves the city holding all the risk the employer promises to pay out a certain income each year, regardless of the performance of its investments in the market. In worst-case scenarios, economic downturns may create pension-fund losses that a state or municipality needs to backfill at the exact moment when their budgets are otherwise strained. For New York City, this problem is particularly acute. Because the citys income-tax base is very sensitive to the performance of Wall Street, the city is exactly the wrong actor to hold stock-market risk. This policy has left the city holding a rather large unfunded pension liability. As of June 30, 2019, the citys pension obligations totaled $203.1 billion, and that obligation was 78.7% funded. An official post-Covid-funded ratio has yet to be released, but the number is unlikely to be encouraging.

Second, defined-benefit systems also distort personnel decisions by incentivizing a sclerotic form of job lock. These pension plans are slow to vest and are not portable . Public employees have less flexibility to leave for a new job or to retire before they are fully vested, and potential employees who might join the public workforce later in life are forced to forgo most pension benefits.


Cash Balance Plans

Reform Without Revolution

Find Your Retirement Plan Publication

Your retirement plan publication is an essential resource that provides comprehensive information about your NYSLRS benefits. You can look up your specific plan using our Find Your NYSLRS Retirement Plan Publication tool. All you need is your benefit plan code and Tier, which you can find in Retirement Online.

Office Of Labor Relations Health Benefits Program

When you start receiving a pension from NYCERS, you may be eligible for City-paid health insurance benefits. Health benefits are not offered or administered by NYCERS.

Please go here for videos and other information on how to apply for health benefits as a retiree, be reimbursed for Medicare Part B, and more.

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Iv Early Retirement Initiative

To balance the citys most recent budget, the mayor committed to finding a billion dollars in labor savings. That is a very tall order. An early retirement initiative is a common tactic for budget-strapped governments and is likely to be part of the citys plan to meet its goal. These initiatives work by offering employees faster vesting on the condition that they agree to retire now. In effect, this program saves money by moving people off payroll but has to compensate them through a more generous retirement package than they would normally receive. In a recent report, Eric Kober highlighted an ERI as an important source of savings during this crisis, but cautioned that to realize meaningful savings, the program must be targeted to job titles in which retiring employees need not be replaced, at least on a one-for-one basis. However, the history of ERIs in the city show that targeting can be easier said than done.

Tier 6 Member Vesting Update

Do New York City Teachers Have Adequate Retirement Benefits ...

On April 9, 2022, Governor Hochul signed Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2022 relating to the New York State budget for the 2022-2023 state fiscal year. Part TT of the 2022-2023 Budget Bill amended the Retirement and Social Security Law to lower the minimum number of years required for Tier 6 members to vest for service retirement from 10 years to 5 years of credited service.

IMPORTANT: Eligibility for Retiree City Health Benefits has NOT changed by the above Part TT of the Budget Bill. Pursuant to the Section 12-126 of the NYC Administrative Code and New York City Health Benefits Summary Program Description, below summarizes enrollment eligibility for City Health Benefits as a retiree:

  • You have at least ten years of credited service as a member of a retirement system maintained by the City or the Department of Education years of credited service as a member of a retirement system maintained by the City) OR
  • You have at least fifteen years of credited service as a member of either the Teachers Retirement System or the Board of Education Retirement System if you were an employee of the City or the Department of Education appointed on or after April 28, 2010, and held a position represented by the recognized teacher organization on the last day of paid service. Where this paragraph and paragraph both apply, this paragraph controls. AND
  • You receive a pension check from a retirement system maintained by the City or the Department of Education.
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    New York Retirement System

    The pension fund of New York is one of the three largest in the nation and serves well over one million plan participants. This success has put the state in a great spot for the health of its employees retirements. The New York retirement system is one of the simplest in the U.S., though there are still some nuances to be wary of. For those who want some extra help, the SmartAdvisor tool can pair you with financial advisors who serve their area.

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    Nyslrs Retirees And Beneficiaries

    The average pension for an ERS retiree was $26,467 as of March 31, 2022 the average for a PFRS retiree was $58,522. But these pension payments dont just benefit the Systems retirees and beneficiaries. Seventy-nine percent of retirees and beneficiaries stay in New York and generate billions of dollars in economic activity across the state. Their spending supports local businesses, contributes to local taxes and creates jobs in our communities.

    Welcome City Of New York Employees And Retirees

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    As a City of New York employee, non-Medicare-eligible retiree or Medicare-eligible retiree, the plans listed below are available to you and your family. Sign in to get information related directly to your plan and to get plan-related updates including checking claim status and requesting ID cards.

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    Types Of Retirement Systems In New York

    While pensions and money for retirement are the main reasons that certain individuals become public employees, there are many other benefits to belonging to one of New Yorks retirement systems. Youll receive varying levels of death benefits, loans, accidental disability benefits for injuries and vesting long-term benefits. Your tier determines where you fall within the hierarchy of these plans.

    Nyslrs Retirees In The United States

    NYSLRS retirees can also be found in every state. Florida, not surprisingly, is the number two choice after New York, with nearly 39,885 calling the Sunshine State home. North Carolina is third, with 10,011 retirees, followed by New Jersey, with 8,302. North Dakota has the fewest, with only 20 retirees and beneficiaries. Another 646 live outside the United States.

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    Learn About Defined Benefit Plans

    Your NYSLRS pension is a defined benefit plan. This means that, once you are eligible and apply for retirement, you are guaranteed a monthly pension payment for the rest of your life. The amount of your payments will be calculated using a formula set by State law.

    Defined benefit plans should not be confused with 401-style retirement savings plans, which are known as defined contribution plans. The value of these plans is limited to the contributions made to an individuals account and the investment returns on those contributions. And, unlike your NYSLRS pension, these plans do not guarantee a lifetime benefit.

    While a 401-style retirement savings plan can supplement a pension and Social Security benefits, it does not provide the same level of financial security as a defined benefit plan.

    Court Rules Retirees Can Keep Current Insurance Free Of Charge As Alternative To A Planned Cost

    Do New York City Teachers Have Adequate Retirement Benefits ...

    Retired municipal workers workers celebrate outside City Hall a legal victory protecting their healthcare benefits.

    Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

    A years-long fight over a planned cost-cutting change to retired city employees health coverage reached a critical juncture Thursday with a judges decision that allowsretirees to choose to keep their current plan.

    The ruling from Judge Lyle Frank in Manhattan state Supreme Court allows a joint city-union effort to shift retired municipal workers health coverage from traditional Medicare to a privatized Medicare Advantage program by April 1 to proceed. But the city must now let current and future retirees opt out of the shift and maintain their current health care free of charge.

    The ruling was a partial win for the city, which under former Mayor Bill de Blasio reached agreement with municipal unions to pursue the Medicare switch and other cost savings as existing workers sought raises.

    But its also a victory for the group of retirees who sued to stop the switch, citing fears of higher costs, smaller networks, and greater administrative obstacles to accessing health care and preferred doctors under the new plan.

    Especially for retirees at the lower end of the citys pension scale, which bottoms out around $15,000 a year, that cost threatened a significant financial burden.

    A spokesperson for City Hall said We are reviewing the courts decision and evaluating our options.

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    Dc 37 Health & Security Plan Benefits

    Health and Pension Services Unit

    Health and Pension Services Unit assists and responds to members questions and inquiries pertaining to the various health insurance plans under the Citys Health Benefits Program the various pension tiers under the New York City Employees Retirement System and DC 37 Med Team health insurance benefits.


    The Unit assists members in resolving health insurance related matters resulting from the rejection of claims problems with balance billing and reimbursement issues with providers incorrect payroll deductions termination of health insurance coverage submitting claim forms enrollment and eligibility and interpreting explanation of benefit statements.

    In addition, the Unit explains the various health insurance benefits and any benefit modifications/adjustments under the Citys Health Benefits Program optional rider coverage coverage upon retirement and the process to retire Medicare continuation of coverage under COBRA or SLOAC .

    If you have a health insurance question or need assistance with a health insurance related matter, please visit, write, or call the Unit at 815-1200.


    The Unit assists members with questions and inquiries pertaining to the various pension tiers and pension options under NYCERS.

    If you have a pension question or need assistance with a pension related matter, please visit, write or call the Unit at 815-1200.

    DC 37 Med Team


    Trusted Partner Of Nyc Employees For 100 Years

    The New York City Employees Retirement System was founded by the New York State Legislature in 1920 with 13,331 members. Today, NYCERS has grown into the largest municipal public employee retirement system in the United States with more than 350,000 active members and retirees including civilian employees such as clerical workers, accountants and social workers, and uniformed employees such as New York City Correction Officers and Sanitation Workers.

    Defined Benefit Plan NYCERS is a defined benefit retirement plan. Defined benefit retirement plans for public sector employees offer benefits which are defined in law. Generally, retirement allowances payable from such plans are based on a members years of service, age and compensation base. Other types of benefits such as loans, disability and death benefits are also offered and specified in law. All benefits payable are funded by employee and employer contributions and from earnings on the invested assets of the system.

    Multiple-Employer System NYCERS is a cost-sharing, multiple employer public employee retirement system. In addition to the City of New York , members are employed by public benefit corporations such as the NYC Transit Authority and the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation.

    NYCERS Mission Statement

    The prime function of the New York City Employees Retirement System is to administer the statutory pension benefits of its members, retirees, and beneficiaries.

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    Data Notes: Nyc Employees Retirement System

    The New York City Employees Retirement System data, as provided by the New York City Employees Retirement System , includes names, benefit rates, retirement dates and last known employers when available for every individual who collected benefits.

    NYCERS Pension data reflects information that is current as of December 31 for the years 2009, and 2016.

    Other LINKS

    The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.


    Use this site to share, analyze and compare data from governmental entities throughout New York. The information on this website comes from official government sources, but the Empire Center cannot guarantee data accuracy or completeness.

    New York City Employees Retirement System

    100 Years of NYCERS

    Local 30 members who work in the public sector may be eligible to participate in the New York City Employees Retirement System .

    What is NYCERS?

    NYCERS provides a source of income for your retirement. As a defined benefit plan, the NYCERS pays monthly benefits to you or your dependents once you retire.

    The money you receive from the NYCERS fund comes from Employer Contributions made while you are actively at work. Your benefits from NYCERS are guaranteed and will only grow with time. The longer you work and the longer you are a member of NYCERS, the more benefits you receive.

    Visit the NYCSERS Website

    NYCERS was founded by the New York State Legislature and is not administered by Local 30. To learn more about NYCERS, such as how the plan works, visit the NYCERS website.

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    Overview Of New Yorks Retirement Systems

    New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System: These plans come in 20- and 25-year variations, with benefits increasing the longer youre part of the system. However, in both plans, you will be covered for death and injuries from the day you start. No matter which you choose, though, a maximum of 32 years can be credited toward your pension.

    New York State and Local Employees Retirement System: ERS plans come with similar benefits to its counterparts, albeit they can take longer to vest. If you become eligible for a different retirement plan within New Yorks system, you can transfer your service time from this to the other.

    New York State Teachers Retirement System: This system and its benefits are dedicated to most of the teachers in New York, aside from those working in New York City. However, those in the Big Apple have their own retirement system called the New York City Teachers Retirement System.

    This benefit tier list applies to the three retirement systems above: the PFRS, ERS and NYSTRS. These dates apply to when you became a member to your respective program:

    • Tier 1: Before 7/1/1973
    • Tier 2: Between 7/1/1973 and 7/26/1976
    • Tier 3: Between 7/27/1976 and 8/31/1983
    • Tier 4: Between 9/1/1983 and 12/31/2009
    • Tier 5: Between 1/1/2010 and 3/31/2012
    • Tier 6: On or after 4/1/2012

    V Consolidating Fund Management

    New York City runs five parallel pension funds: the New York City Board of Education Retirement System , New York City Fire Department Pension Fund , New York City Police Pension Fund , the New York City Teachers Retirement System , and the New York City Employees Retirement System for everyone else. Maintaining so many parallel systems is woefully inefficient. In 2011, the Bloomberg administration moved to consolidate these funds into a single system. Unfortunately, this proposal was vetoed by unions. They feared having less influence in the new system because a consolidated pension board would dilute their power relative to a system where each union can dominate the pension board specific to their members.

    However, a less radical consolidation could still find savings, while reassuring each union that it still had significant influence over the pension board specific to its members. The Manhattan Institute agrees with IBOs proposal to consolidate these five funds into a new system with only three funds, the same number as the state maintains. First, NYCPPF and FDPF would be combined. The smallest fund, BERS, would be absorbed by TRS and NYCERS. The teaching professionals who are part of BERS would go to TRS, and the schools support staff would go to NYCERS.

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    How Much Will Your Pension Be

    Fortunately, it is now easier than ever to find out. Most NYSLRS members can create their own pension estimate in minutes using Retirement Online.

    A Retirement Online estimate is based on the most up-to-date account information we have on file for you. You can enter different retirement dates to see how those choices would affect your benefit. When youre done, you can print your pension estimate or save it for future reference.

    Why Public Pensions Give An Economic Boost

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    Because of their smaller economies, less-populated counties benefit more from pension dollars than larger, urban counties, according to Fortifying Main Street: The Economic Benefit Of Public Pension Dollars In Rural America.

    In many small towns and rural communities, the report notes, school districts and local governments are the largest employers. Those public employees typically remain in their communities after retirement, and the authors attribute the economic boosts they found to pension dollars spent locally on goods and services.

    Across New York State, public pensions were responsible for 1.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2018. However, during the same period:

    • Wyoming County in western New York, where a handful of villages dot a rural landscape, saw public pensions generate 4.6 percent of GDP.
    • Hamilton County, with fewer than 5,000 people, received an economic boost from public pensions that accounted for 6.3 percent of GDP.

    The studys findings are in line with data showing the impact NYSLRS retirees have on local economies and other studies about the economic benefits of pensions.

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