15-Day Notice for Retirement Waived During COVID-19 Emergency

The 15-day waiting period for a NYSLRS member’s retirement to take effect has been temporarily waived by a governor’s executive order. The waiver, which was requested by Comptroller DiNapoli, is designed to protect families who may lose a loved one to COVID-19 before a member’s retirement is official.

Under the waiver, if you file for retirement between April 16, 2020 and November 3, 2020, you can choose a date of retirement less than 15 days away.

15-day notice waived

Members seeking to service retire should also choose a pension payment option. This is especially important if you wish to name a beneficiary to receive a pension benefit in the event of your death.

Eligible members can file for retirement, choose a date of retirement as early as the next day, and upload retirement-related documents using Retirement Online.

If you choose to file a paper retirement application, you can choose a specific retirement date, or enter “ASAP” and your date of retirement will be the day after your filing date. Find more information about filing for retirement (online or by mail) in our recent blog post, Retirement Online Makes Applying for Retirement Fast, Easy.

A member may withdraw their service retirement application up until the day before they retire.

The waiver will also be effective for members who filed after March 7, 2020 and died due to COVID-19. If these members selected a pension payment option that provides a continuing pension benefit for a beneficiary after their death, and they died of COVID-19, their beneficiary will receive the monthly benefit under the pension payment option that the member chose.

“Many government workers are battling the coronavirus in their communities every day,” New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. “God forbid something should happen to them before their retirement becomes effective. Waiving the waiting period after filing for service retirement benefits ensures their families will get the benefits that were intended for them. My thanks to Governor Cuomo for acting on our request and taking steps to protect our heroic state and local workers and their families in these tough times.”

The executive order waives the legal requirement that a NYSLRS member’s retirement application be received by the Office of the State Comptroller at least 15 days before their retirement date.

To be eligible for a service retirement benefit, a vested NYSLRS member must be at least 55 years old, unless they are in a special plan that allows retirement after 20 or 25 years regardless of age. For details about NYSLRS service retirement benefits and death benefits, please check your retirement plan booklet, which you can find on our Publications page.

Members who are not yet eligible for a service retirement benefit may want to read our recent blog about applying for a disability retirement benefit.

32 thoughts on “15-Day Notice for Retirement Waived During COVID-19 Emergency

  1. Cheryl Clark

    I am hoping the 15 day waiting period will be extended again (after September 4th) any idea if that will happen. I’m waiting for the closing on my house to be able to retire.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      At this time, we are not aware of an extension of the executive order temporarily waiving the 15-day waiting period. If there are any future developments concerning the waiting period, we will post that information on social media and on our website.

      Reply
    2. B

      Why can’t you retire if the closing doesn’t happen first? And why can’t you give 15 days notice instead of one? Are you about to die in less then 15 days from now? Then wouldn’t a closing be the least of your problems if your dead and can’t have a beneficiary in less then 15 days?

      Reply
  2. Stephen Hedworth

    I am looking to retire within the next 2-3 days.
    Has the 15 day waiver been extended until September 4th and also can the application be submitted via fax as opposed to online or by mail

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      The 15-day waiting period for filing a retirement application has been waived through September 4.

      The fastest way to file for retirement is through Retirement Online. With Retirement Online, you can upload all your retirement-related documents, and you do not need to have your application notarized.

      You can also fax your retirement application and related documents to our Benefit Calculation and Disbursements Bureau at 518-474-3510. Please include your name, retirement registration number or NYSLRS ID, phone number and the bureau name on the fax cover sheet. Although we will consider the form as filed on the date the fax is received, you must still mail us the original document to continue the process and properly complete the filing requirement.

      If you have account-specific questions or need help with Retirement Online, please call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990.

      Reply
  3. dennis

    as a tier 1 retiree I opted out with a pop up .my wife also retired as a tier 1 teacher and now is in a nursing home when can I access my pop up I need the funds to help offset the tremendous cost of nursing home she was my beneficiary and when its my turn there will be no beneficiary .can I do anything with my pop up now or can I at least request the state to stop withholding on my pension fundi am in a real struggle

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      We sympathize with your situation, but unfortunately, pension payment options can’t be changed after 30 days after your benefit becomes payable.

      Under the pop-up option, if your beneficiary were to die before you do, your benefit will be increased to the amount you would have received if you had selected the Single Life Allowance at retirement.

      If you need more information, you can email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com). Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information. Or you can call our representatives at 1-866-805-0990.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      The NYSLRS Special Durable Power of Attorney (POA) document allows someone else to act on behalf of a member regarding retirement benefit transactions, including filing for retirement benefits. If we have a POA document on file, the POA can sign the service retirement form.

      Our COVID-19 Help Center provides information about filing for retirement during the pandemic, expanded death benefits for COVID-19 victims and other relevant topics.

      If you still have questions or need help, please call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area).

      Reply
  4. Mary Rogers

    People should be aware that if the are receiving a monthly benefit as an alternate payee on another member’s pension, they still have to mail in a paper application for their own retirment – can’t use Retirement Online to file it.

    Reply
    1. Hunter J.

      Thank you for posting this info, which I also posted elsewhere and contacted NYSLRS about previously.
      I had the same problem trying to apply for my service retirement while at the same time being the beneficiary of a deceased pensioner. After not trying for a couple of months, I thought I’d check on 8/7/20 and to my pleasant surprise, the online retirement option now allows me to proceed instead of blocking me at the outset. However, I’m not it will work 100% because I haven’t finalized and submitted the application yet. Thought you’d like to know my experience today. Hope it works for you.

      Reply
  5. Robert

    I am trying to retire right now – your website is supposed to be up until 11pm but it says it is currently unavailable. It’s 8:43pm. The June 7th waiver ends today. Because of the state’s technical issue can I still qualify if I file tomorrow? Thanks.

    Reply
      1. Grace

        Dear NYSLRS
        Has the 15-day waiting period been extended again past July 7, or is that option no longer available? I couldn’t find anything on the NYSLRS website to indicate it had been extended. Thank you .

        Reply
        1. NYSLRS Post author

          We are not aware of an extension of the executive order temporarily waiving the 15-day waiting period for retirement applications. If there are any future developments concerning the waiver of the 15-day waiting period, we will post that information on social media and on our website.

          Reply
          1. NYSLRS Post author

            The executive order temporarily waiving the 15-day waiting period for retirement applications has been extended through August 6, 2020.

  6. W. W

    Has this now changed to June 7th? If the pause is still in effect after June 7th will this waiver be extended again?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      The 15-day waiting period for retirement is waived through June 7. If the waiver period is extended, we will post that information on our website and on social media.

      Reply
  7. Carol T

    if the member qualifies for a service retirement and is not ill due to COVID-19 can they file with less than the 15 day notice? Thank you

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      The waiver applies to all NYSLRS members, not just those who have contracted COVID-19. If you file for retirement before May 16, 2020, you can choose a date of retirement less than 15 days away.

      Reply
  8. Michael Hoard

    This is such a fantastic gesture! I am currently waiting for the bill to pass which will allow the benefits to pass on to the spouse if the state worker can not make it the fifteen days. Good work, this is certainly a step in the right direction!

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Under the executive order, members can choose a date of retirement as early as the next day and name their spouse as a beneficiary — they don’t have to wait the 15 days.

      Reply

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