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FAQs for New York State Teachers

FAQs for New York State Teachers

| May 01, 2024

Common questions educators have about filing for retirement

After years of serving students in your community it is time for you to plan a well-earned retirement! It is an important decision with lasting repercussions, so it is normal to have questions. Here are a few of the most common ones we answer with our clients…




 When can I retire?

This depends on your Tier within the New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS). Tiers are based on your initial date of membership and there are variations in age and service credit requirements. Members may generally retire as early as age 55 with five years of NYS service credit. (Vested Tier 6 members with an inactive membership must be at least 63 to retire.)[1]


 What benefit payment options do I have?

You may have choices regarding lump-sum payouts, survivor benefits, and how your pension is calculated. NYSTRS has a brochure about all the payment options you can review. Our financial professionals are available to walk you through how your benefit payment can work along with any other retirement savings you and your spouse have and how each option can impact your future taxes. You can also use the Pension Estimator in your MyNYSTRS account to try out different scenarios and see what your payment options would look like.


 Can I change my benefit payment choice?

You only have a 30-day window after your retirement date to make a change. The form must be received by NYSTRS within 30 days after your retirement date.




 When should I file my retirement application?

NYSTRS recommends filing at least 30 days in advance, but you can file up to 90 days before your desired retirement date. And if you change your mind, you have 14 days from your date of retirement to withdraw your service retirement application.


 How do I file for retirement?

It is recommended that you file your retirement application online through your MyNYSTRS account so you can make sure you filled everything out properly. And by using the online version you don’t need to have your application notarized or worry about when it will be received through the mail.



This is a big step so make sure you gather all the information in advance in order to make an informed decision. 

  • Consultation with a Financial Professional: Get a second, unbiased opinion on your plan for retirement with one of our financial advisors who specialize in teacher retirement. Our professionals have been helping teachers for over 50 years plan for the future they envision with tailored guidance and tax planning. (Set up a complimentary consultation: