The unfortunate reality of the current COVID-19 emergency is that some of your employees (NYSLRS members) may become seriously, or even fatally ill. At a time like this, it is vitally important that you and your employees understand how to apply for retirement, should that step become necessary. Here is some guidance:
NYSLRS members who become seriously ill from the COVID-19 virus may wish to file for retirement in order to provide a continuing pension benefit to their beneficiary if they were to die, rather than the one-time in-service death benefit.
These members, or you as their employer on their behalf, need to file the disability retirement application that is appropriate for his or her retirement plan. If the member dies after applying, the disability retirement application would be effective upon death. If the member recovers, the disability retirement application can be withdrawn prior to approval.
Our Disability Benefits page will help you find the right application. The most common ordinary disability retirement applications are Article 15 for ERS Tier 3 – 6 (RS6340), the Application for PFRS and for ERS Tier 1 and 2 (RS6038), The 507-A for Correction titles and Security Hospital Treatment Assistants (RS6409) and the State Police application (PF6090). Employers can submit completed forms using Retirement Online. Click “Submit Disability Application” from your Account Homepage. Forms can also be faxed to 518-474-3510 or 518-473-8190 or emailed directly to NYSLRS’ Disability Processing Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder: if you submit a disability application on a member’s behalf, please remind the member, or the member’s spouse, that they must file a pension payment option election form to identify a beneficiary to receive the continuing benefit. The option election form must be notarized. An option election form cannot be filed by the employer. Please direct them to the Disability Benefits page on our website for more information, and if they have questions, they can call our Contact Center at 866-805-0990.
Eligible members may also file for service retirement. However, a service retirement must be on file with NYSLRS at least 15 days prior to the retirement date, and a service retirement cannot be cancelled if the date of retirement has passed.