NYS Retirement Systems
BOCES employees may join the NYS Teachers or NYS Employees Retirement System, depending on their position.
- Full-time teachers and 12-month employees are required to join.
- Certified employees who are in certified positions are in the Teachers Retirement System (TRS). All other employees are in the Employees Retirement System (ERS).
- January 1, 2010 through March 31, 2012 enrollees are registered in Tier 5. Starting April 1, 2012, new enrollees are registered in Tier 6.
- Membership is transferable between ERS and TRS.
- Membership is also transferable to another school district or government agency within NYS, if there hasn’t been a 7-year gap in service.
- All full-time employees will receive one year of credit for their 10, 11, or 12 month position as long as they worked their full year.
- Employees are vested after 5 years, but are still able to withdraw after 7 years. With 10 full years of service Tier 1–4 employees become fully vested and cannot withdraw.
- Non-certified employees contribute 3% to the Employees’ Retirement System. Certified employees in the Teachers’ Retirement System contribute 3.5%. BOCES also contributes on the employees’ behalf. Employees are vested after 10 full years of service.
- The contribution is based on the employee’s wages. The rate is between 3% and 6%. Employees are vested after 10 full years of service
NYS Retirement System Benefits
- Vested employees are eligible to retire at age 62 (or age 55 with penalties unless in Tier 3 or 4 and have 30 years of service).
- Retirees receive a monthly pension benefit based on a formula using the employee’s age, final average salary, and years of service.
- Membership includes a Death Benefit up to 3 times your annual salary while you are an active employee.
- If you leave your job before becoming vested, you may withdraw and receive your contributions, plus 5% interest.
Medical Benefits at Retirement
Individual contracts differ so please refer to your contract. You may also contact Human Resources for any Retirement information.
- Retirees will be paid $20 per day for unused sick days, based on your bank at retirement
- Employees are encouraged to Join The Retirement System Now to begin the accumulation of time to become vested! Time begins to accrue when the employee joins. If you are not mandated to join, you may join at any time
Members of the NYS Employee’s retirement System may receive additional service credit for their unused, unpaid sick days at retirement effective July 1, 2017.
Retirement System FAQs
I understand BOCES’ has two retirement systems for their full time employees—the Employees’ Retirement System and the Teachers’ Retirement System. What is the difference?
Your position at BOCES will determine which retirement system you join.
The Employees’ Local Retirement System, also known as ERS, is a New York State retirement system for all non-certified staff members in positions such as Clerical, Teacher Aide, Bus Driver and Bus Attendant. It’s optional to join unless you are hired to work full-time, 12-months a year in an ERS accredited position.
The Teachers’ Retirement System is for certified staff only and members can be a Teacher, Associate Teacher, School Counselor and Nurse, etc. It’s optional to join unless you are working full-time, 10-months to the end of the school year.
Each system has different tiers depending on when you joined the retirement system and the benefits vary for each tier. New hires enrolling now will be in Tier 6 for both ERS and TRS and you will need to contribute between 3%–6% based on your annual earnings.
What are the benefits of joining these retirement systems?
There are several benefits for the members of these systems. Once you are “vested”, which means you have been a member the required number of years depending on your tier and retirement system, you are eligible to retire at age 62 (or age 55 with certain penalties).
Upon retirement, members receive a monthly pension based on a formula using the employee’s age, final average salary and years of service.
If you leave public service before becoming vested, you may withdraw all of your contributions, plus 5% interest.
In addition, there is a death benefit where your beneficiary would receive up to 3 times your annual salary while you are an active employee.
I am already an ERS member after joining at my previous place of employment. Do I start in a new tier at BOCES?
No, the good news is that with all public employment (County, State, Town etc.) within New York State, your membership in both ERS and TRS will transfer.
If you are coming from another New York State school district or government agency and as long as there hasn’t been a seven (7) year gap in service, you will remain in the same tier.
After seven (7) years of being inactive in either system, your membership will be automatic withdrawn and your funds will be directly returned to you by the NYS Retirement System.