Top 5 Retirement Myths

retirement myths versus facts

Retirement law can be confusing. Sometimes a small misunderstanding can have a big impact on your benefit. That’s why it’s important to correct some common retirement myths. Here are the top five:

Retirement Myth #1

mythMy NYSLRS loan has gone into default, but I’ve already paid taxes on it. That means I no longer need to repay it.

factYou still need to repay your loan. In fact, it continues to accrue interest until you do. And, if you haven’t paid back your loan by the time you retire, your pension amount will be reduced.

Retirement Myth #2

mythI am required to contribute toward my retirement. When I do retire, my benefit will be based on what I contributed.

fact Your required member contributions aren’t a factor in the calculation of your pension. Your pension is based primarily on your service credit and the salary you earn while working for public employers. Your retirement plan and, in most cases, your age at retirement are also factors.

Retirement Myth #3

mythI can’t collect my pension until I start receiving Social Security.

fact You can collect your pension as soon as you meet the eligibility requirements of your retirement plan. Most members can retire as early as age 55, though there may be a permanent reduction in your benefit if you retire before full retirement age (62 or 63 depending on your tier). You should check the eligibility requirements for your plan and tier when you’re planning for retirement.

Retirement Myth #4

mythIf I am vested (have enough service to be eligible for a pension benefit) and no longer working for a public employer, NYSLRS will automatically start paying my pension as soon as I’m eligible.

fact Only you can decide when it’s time to retire. You must file an Application for Service Retirement (RS6037) to begin collecting your pension benefits.

Retirement Myth #5

mythI recently applied for retirement by giving my employer the paperwork.

factGiving your employer your NYSLRS forms does not mean that you have filed for retirement. To receive your NYSLRS pension, you must file your retirement application with the Office of the State Comptroller. Your application, or any form, is “filed with the Comptroller,” when it’s received by our Albany office or one of our consultation sites.

Have a concern that wasn’t covered? Visit our Contact Us page for more answers. If you have account-specific questions, you can also send us a message through our secure email form.

6 thoughts on “Top 5 Retirement Myths

  1. Wendy Richardson

    I have still not received my payment stub for 8/31.
    I have direct deposit and expect to receive a statement detailing payments and deductions.
    Please advise.
    Thank you.
    Wendy Richardson

    1. NYSLRS

      NYSLRS doesn’t send out payment statements for every deposit. You’ll only receive one if something about your payment changes.

      You can see a breakdown of your most recent payment through Retirement Online. Retirement Online is a convenient and secure way to review your benefits and conduct transactions. Click here to learn more and register for Retirement Online.

      For questions about your direct deposits, you can email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. One of our representatives will review your account and respond to your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information.

  2. Darrin

    Perhaps a general article related to : How is un-used leave (sick, personal, Vac, Holiday) treated in retirement. Sick leave is the one with the most confusion I think. Some say use it up before you retire, some say that if you retire with 1000 hours on the books your health insurance is covered for life…and everything in-between.


    1. NYSLRS

      Thank you for the suggestion. To your point, some NYSLRS employers do choose to offer a sick leave credit benefit, which allows some members to convert unused, unpaid sick leave into extra service credit. Last year, we covered how that works.

      However, to be clear, NYSLRS doesn’t administer health insurance programs for its members or retirees. Whether you work for New York State or another public employer, your employer’s health benefits administrator (HBA) should be able to answer your questions about health care in retirement.


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