Countdown To Retirement — 12 Months Out

Once you decide to retire and begin preparing, the final months leading up to your retirement date go by quickly. Previously, we discussed the steps to take when you’re 18 months away from retirement. As we continue our Countdown to Retirement series, let’s take a look at what you should be doing 12 months out.

12 Months Out

Domestic Relations Order

Pensions earned during a marriage are considered marital property. So, if you divorce, you may need to split your retirement benefit with your ex-spouse. If you agreed to such a division, or if a court ordered you to share a portion of your pension benefits with your ex-spouse, now is the time to make sure NYSLRS has a valid domestic relations order (DRO) on file:

If you have a DRO, send it to our Matrimonial Bureau, which will review it for consistency with New York State law. If your DRO isn’t complete, visit our website for a NYSLRS-developed DRO template and tips to help the review process move more quickly. We’ll need certified photocopies of the final DRO and your judgement of divorce, before we can distribute any pension benefits to an ex-spouse.

This process can take some time, which is why you want to begin 12 months before you retire.

If you have questions about DROs, you can review our Guide to Domestic Relations Orders.

Review your health insurance coverage

NYSLRS doesn’t administer health insurance benefits, but they’re an important part of a financially secure retirement. Check with your health benefits administrator to determine what coverage you’re eligible for once you retire. Now is the time to investigate private health insurance plans if you’re not eligible for post-retirement coverage or if you need to supplement it. If you are a New York State employee, you may want to review the Planning for Retirement guide from the Department of Civil Service.

countdown to retirement - 12 months out

Counting Down

Your planned retirement date is just a year away. As it gets closer, check out the rest of our Countdown to Retirement series for steps to take eight months, four to six months and one to three months before your retirement date. If you have any questions, please contact us.

20 thoughts on “Countdown To Retirement — 12 Months Out

  1. Christfried Arfsten

    your 12 months to retirement bulliten said we shouild send in proof of our date of birth, who should this be sent to?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Thanks for your question, Chris. If you are about to retire, you can mail your proof of date of birth to:

      New York State and Local Retirement System
      110 State Street
      Albany, NY 12244-0001

      If you are not getting ready to retire, and just want to have your proof of date of birth on file with us, please mail it to:

      New York State and Local Retirement System
      Attention: Member and Employer Services Bureau
      110 State Street
      Albany, NY 12244-0001

      Please be sure to include your retirement registration number with your proof of date of birth.

      We will also be contacting you directly with the same information.

      If you have any other questions, we encourage you to email us using the “Contact Us” page on our website, at http://www.osc.state.ny.us/retire/contact_us/index.php.

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Chris, thanks for your question. There are a few ways you can go about getting the information you’re looking for:

      • You can visit our website and use our Benefit Projector Calculator to help you estimate your pension based on the information you enter. You can use your latest Member Annual Statement to help you fill out the calculator.
      • You can contact our call center toll-free at 1-866-805-0990 to request a Benefit Projection through our automated phone line. Your projection can be mailed to your home as soon as the next business day.
      • You can also schedule an appointment to speak to an Information Representative by phone or meet with an Information Representative at one of our consultation sites. Our staff can help you project your pension.

      Hope you find this helpful.

      Thanks!

      Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Thanks for your comment

      While we naturally want to help you, we feel your concerns would be better answered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) itself. You can contact the agency directly by calling its toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 . Alternatively, you may contact SSA online to find out when you may want to start receiving retirement benefits by visiting http://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners.

      You might also want to read the SSA’s own publication, When To Start Receiving Retirement Benefits, or couple of our recent social media posts, Are You Social Security Saavy? and Three Ways to Maximize your SSA Benefits.

      We hope this information proves useful to you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us again whenever you require assistance with any other retirement-related question you might have.

      Reply
  2. Witte

    For the proof of date of birth I plan on using a passport or driver’s license. Can I mail in photocopies of these documents? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      Witte,

      Thanks for your question. You can provide us with a photocopy of your passport and driver license to prove your date of birth. Make sure you provide your member registration number too. You can mail the copies to:

      New York State and Local Retirement System
      Attn: Benefit Calculations & Disbursement Services Bureau
      110 State Street
      Albany, NY 12244-0001

      If we need to see the original documents, we’ll contact you.

      We hope this helps,

      NYSLRS

      Reply
  3. Kathy

    I have an appointment in March in White Plains, NY. I know I have to show my drivers license at that time, should I bring additional papers – passport, baptismal certificate?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Your driver’s license is all you need for photo identification.

      If you intend to file for retirement at your appointment, you may wish to bring proof of your date of birth, such as your passport. It’s also a good idea to bring any recent NYSLRS correspondence, your last retirement estimate and/or your most recent Member Annual Statement if you have them, and a list of your questions.

      Reply
  4. Kelly Hughes

    What if I’m unsure if I’m retiring in one year or three years. Who do I send my proof of birth in to, in that instance? (Retirement or Member and Employee Services Bureau)

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      You can send a copy of your proof of date of birth to our Member and Employer Services Bureau:

      NYSLRS
      Member and Employer Services
      110 State Street
      Albany, NY 12244-0001

      Reply
  5. Thomas K.

    I mailed documentation to NYSLRS to provide proof of date of birth last summer but do not know if it was received. How do I know if NYSLRS received it? Is that something that NYSLRS could put under our account information that we could access through Retirement NYS Online?

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      We appreciate your input about Retirement Online.

      Please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form (see link below). One of our representatives will review your account to address your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

      http://www.emailNYSLRS.com

      Reply
  6. Sandra Hayes

    Good morning,
    I send in a service breakdown request on December 16, 2016. I still have not received anything back. I plan on retiring in 2018 and I need this information to plan.
    Thank you for your help
    Sandra Hayes

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS Post author

      To get the account-specific information you need, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form (see link below). One of our representatives will review your account to address your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

      http://www.emailNYSLRS.com

      Reply
  7. Tricia Pray

    My daughter signed up for the nys retirement system when she was 16 years old and working for our local municipality as a lifeguard. She is now 23 & a teacher in NYS & signed up for that retirement system. How can she link these 2 retirement systems so she gets the appropriate credit for her previous employment & put back into the proper tier (I believe she should be in tier 5)

    Reply
    1. NYSLRS

      To transfer her NYSLRS service to another New York State public retirement system such as the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, your daughter would need to complete an Application for Transfer of Membership (RS5223).

      A transfer is effective as soon as we receive the application. And, with very few exceptions, it’s irrevocable.

      If your daughter has any questions about her transfer, she should contact both NYSLRS and her current retirement system before submitting the application. She can reach our Contact Center at 1-866-805-0990 (518-474-7736 in the Albany, New York area).

      Reply

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