Deciding when to retire takes a lot of thought. One part of the process that is easy: Filing online!
The easiest way to file your application, provided you are at least age 55, is online through your MyNYSTRS account. The online application is designed to ensure you don’t inadvertently miss a step or make a mistake that would cause the application to be rejected. Simply log in to your account and select My Retirement > Application for Retirement.
You can save and store data as you go, so you don’t need to complete the application in one sitting. When you return to the application, you’ll see which sections are complete and which you still need to finish. You’ll also have the ability to modify previously completed sections.
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.
If you prefer to complete a paper application, use the Application for Retirement (RET-54), available on the Retirement-Related Forms page of this website.
Key Consideration: Be Sure You Reach a Service Milestone Before Filing
If you are retiring close to a key service milestone, such as 30 years of service for a Tier 4 member, working beyond the date you believe you will reach that milestone is advised. If you miscalculated or included in your calculations work that was not actually creditable, your benefit could be negatively impacted – for life. Always discuss your unique situation with a NYSTRS representative before filing for retirement.
Have a Change in Thought?
If you change your mind about retiring or the benefit payment option you selected, you can make changes but you have to act quickly.
If you decide to withdraw your service retirement application, you have 14 days from your date of retirement to do so. Send us a request to withdraw your application either by a secure message via your online MyNYSTRS account or a signed letter mailed to NYSTRS within the 14-day window.
If you have second thoughts about the payment choice you made, you have 30 days from your retirement date to make a change on the Election of Retirement Benefit page in your MyNYSTRS account or by filing a notarized Election of Retirement Benefit (RET-54.6) paper form. After the 30-day deadline, your benefit payment selection is irrevocable.
Documents mailed to NYSTRS, including those to withdraw your retirement application or change your payment choice, will be considered filed on the day they are mailed if they are mailed by registered or certified mail via the U.S. Postal Service, or by an equivalent delivery service that provides mail tracking and is approved for use by the System. Please see the list of delivery services approved by the System. Documents sent by regular mail are considered filed on the date of delivery to NYSTRS.
What to Expect After You File
In most cases, you will receive your first benefit payment by direct deposit on the last business day of the month of your official retirement date or the next month, depending on when we received your retirement application.
Your initial monthly payments will be based on information on file with NYSTRS at the time of retirement. Generally, the payment amount will remain unchanged until your application is fully processed, which typically takes 9-12 months, but can take longer in more complicated cases.
You will be notified in writing when we complete the processing of your application. If your final benefit is higher than our initial estimate, you will receive a lump sum retroactive payment with your first new monthly benefit payment.
For more information about the retirement process and the calculation of your benefit, see the publication The Path to Retirement: What Happens After You File Your Retirement Application. To see step-by-step how your application is proceeding through the process, select the Track Progress of Retirement tab in MyNYSTRS.
Lastly, explore the Retirees section of our website for helpful information, including the Benefit Payment Dates calendar.