Retirement Online Makes Applying for Retirement Fast, Easy

During this challenging time, NYSLRS staff continues to work hard to serve you, which includes processing retirement applications. If you are eligible and planning to retire, you don’t need to delay filing. And, if you become ill with COVID-19, you may want to file for retirement to protect your loved ones.

Regardless of your reason for retiring, you can now file for a service retirement benefit using Retirement Online. This new feature makes applying for retirement faster and easier than ever before. If you don’t already have an account, register today.

filing a retirement application

File for a Service Retirement Online

After signing in to your Retirement Online account, scroll down to the ‘My Account Summary.’ On the right, under the heading ‘I want to…,’ click the green “Apply for Retirement” button.

From there, you’ll go through a series of screens where you’ll be able to:

A big advantage of filing for retirement online is that you do not have to get anything notarized.

After you click the “Submit” button, it is important that you do not close your browser until you receive a confirmation message that your retirement application has been successfully submitted.

This help guide offers step-by-step instructions.

Notarized Signatures

If you decide to file your application by mail, you will have to have your signature notarized on the application and on the payment option election form.

You can have forms notarized using audio-video technology, which allows a notary to witness a signature remotely. You can find more information about the virtual notary process on the New York Secretary of State website.

If you are in quarantine and unable to use a virtual notary, you can submit a signed form that is not notarized. You’ll need to include a letter to NYSLRS to explain that you were under quarantine when the form was signed, and submit notarized forms once the quarantine is lifted.

Filing for Service Retirement by Mail

You can still print an Application for Service Retirement and pension payment option election form and mail them to NYSLRS. If you mail the application, we recommend “certified mail, return receipt requested.” When we receive the form, the postmark date will serve as the filing date.

If you use regular mail, the filing date will be the date we receive it. If you die between the time you mail it and the time we receive it, a legible postmark will serve as the date of filing. (If you mail it from a post office, you can ask for a hand cancellation, which may help ensure the postmark is legible.)

If you plan to mail your application, you may want to read our blog post, Your Checklist to Apply for Retirement.

Disability Retirement Benefit

If you become seriously ill, you may wish to file for a disability retirement benefit. That way, if you were to die before your retirement date, your beneficiary may still be eligible for a continuing pension, rather than a one-time, in-service death benefit. You may apply for a disability retirement at the same time you apply for a service retirement — there is no 15 day waiting period when filing for disability retirement.

For information about applying for a disability retirement benefit as a result of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, please read the Filing for Retirement Benefits During the COVID-19 Emergency blog post or visit our Disability Retirement Benefits page.

For More Details, Read Your Retirement Plan Booklet

Your service and disability retirement benefits and death benefits are based on your tier, plan, service credit, and other factors. For details about your available benefits, please read your retirement plan booklet, available on our Publications page, or you can call our Contact Center at 866-805-0990 if you have questions.

15 thoughts on “Retirement Online Makes Applying for Retirement Fast, Easy

    1. NYSLRS

      You can sign in to Retirement Online any time to see the latest information about your account. You can also create an estimate of your pension based on the salary and service credit we have on file for you. Once you sign in to your Retirement Online account, go to the “My Account Summary” section of your Account Homepage and click “Estimate my Pension Benefit.” For more ways to get a pension estimate, visit our Preparing for Retirement Checklist page.


    Are there any discussions being had about an early retirement incentive package being offered due to the dire state of NY’s economy?

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      At this time, we’re not aware of any discussions about statewide retirement incentives. The New York State Legislature (not NYSLRS) occasionally enacts these retirement incentive programs, which are approved by both houses and signed into law by the Governor. The Retirement System administers programs that are signed into law. We’ll notify your employer if the Legislature makes a State incentive program available.

  2. Raymond Lawrence

    Please consider updating your online application system to allow people receiving payments as beneficiary to a deceased person’s pension, and who also have their own NYS pension combined under the same NYSLRS ID as we apparently can’t apply online. I was informed of this when I called NYSLRS recently after I was unable to apply online at age 64 with 37+ years of continuous NYS service, but an error message popped up saying I don’t have the age or years to apply online. I was told to send my application by mail, which I haven’t done yet. Thanks.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Thank you for your comment. As Retirement Online evolves over time, its functionality and accessibility will be expanded. We will keep your suggestion in mind.

  3. Eddie

    A member becomes ill with COVID -19 and recover after four weeks. Not knowing the long term affect of the virus. Can He or She still file for COVID disability if in retirement process or considering retirement?

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Generally, NYSLRS disability benefits may be available for members who become permanently disabled and are unable to perform the duties of their position. NYSLRS members who become seriously ill from COVID-19 may wish to file for a disability retirement benefit so their beneficiary may be eligible for a continuing pension, rather than a one-time in-service death benefit, if the member dies. If the member recovers, he or she would be allowed to withdraw the disability retirement application, prior to approval. If in the future, a member has long term affects that are permanently disabling, the member can file for disability retirement as long as the filing requirements are met at that time. Please read our Filing for Disability Retirement Benefits During the COVID-19 Emergency blog post for more information.

  4. Bernice Rouge

    Although I receive annual statements from NYSRS, the online retirement site ,” does not recognize me.” I am interested retiring in the next few weeks. Any suggestions? Can I speak with someone or get application Via email?

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      You can find an Application for Service Retirement (RS6037) on our website. The application must be on file with the Office of the State Comptroller 15 to 90 days before your retirement date.

      You may wish to read our publication How Do I Prepare to Retire? This booklet takes you step by step through the retirement process.

      For answers to your retirement questions, or to get assistance with Retirement Online, please contact our Call Center at 1-866-805-0990. The Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am – 5:00 pm.

  5. David L Harris

    When will it be the best time for me to come down and sit with someone To discuss my Retirement I would like to retire sometime this year. And past employer with Albany County urban renewal. Well Abby credit for that

    1. NYSLRS

      To protect the health of our members and employees, our Retirement System consultation offices are closed until further notice. Our Call Center is open (1-866-805-0990; 518-474-7736 in the Albany Area) and you can request a one-on-one consultation by phone.

      You may also be interested in our publication How Do I Prepare to Retire? This booklet describes some of the resources available to you as you plan for retirement, presents factors to consider as you plan, and takes you step by step through the retirement process.

  6. Cynthia

    I think the penalty should be waived for someone 60 or 61 years old so they can retire earlier than 62 and not have any penalty if less than 30 years. Hopefully this will be addressed ASAP before older employees with underlying conditions need to risk themselves.

  7. Mark Sampson

    I guess I answered an ID question in ” error “.
    I called 800 number –
    Auto Voicemail told me to call back later
    because of high volume……and HUNG UP !
    I’m glad this was a ” Practice Run Thru ”
    and NOT the actual day I’d like to send in my
    Retirement paperwork !

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      We apologize for the trouble you’re having reaching our Call Center. Your message is important to us and we have sent you an email in response.


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