Pension Corner

NYC Employees' Retirement System


Your pension plan - What is it? How does it work? And why do I need a pension from NYCERS?

NYCERS - (The New York City Employee Retirement Systems) was established on October 1st, 1920 by the New York State Legislature. Since then, NYCERS has met its benefit and pension obligations to every member of the system.

Membership is available to all New York City employees, except for those who are eligible to join the New York City Police Pension Fund, New York City Fire Department Fund, New York City Teachers Retirement System or the New York Board of Education Retirement System.

NYCERS is a “defined benefit” plan. This means that NYCERS benefits are defined by law. Contributions from the member (you) the City and other employers (CUNY) pay for these benefits. New York State Law established the formulas for the benefits, which take into account.


A. The number of years you have worked where pension service credit is applied to your history file - “multiplied” by:

B. Your earnings, as defined by our plan and tier “multiplied” by:

C. A stated percentage rate for your plan.

Investment decisions about NYCERS retirement assets are made by the NYCERS Board of Trustees. These decisions are executed by a team of asset managers with oversight by the Comptroller of the City of New York. According to the analysis of the Chief Actuary of the City of New York, NYCERS assets currently are greater than the amount required to pay all future obligations to current plan participants.

If you belong to a defined benefit plan, you do not have to make your own investment decisions. These decisions are made by professionals who are guided by “prudent person” principles which limit the risk to your money.

If you belong to a defined benefit plan, you do no have to guess about the money that will be available to you at retirement. The amount is governed by formulas stated in law-not by the condition of the stock market on the day you retire.


Tier 1 - became a member prior to July 1st, 1973

Tier 2 - became a member between July 1st, 1973 - July 26th, 1976.

Tier 3 - became a member between July 27th, 1976 - August 30th, 1983

Tier 4 - became a member between September 1st, 1983 to the present.

*(57-5 & 55-25) *57/5 - June 28th, 1995 to present (new employees after 6/28/95)

55-25 -June 28th, 1995 - September 26th, 1995. This option is now closed.


Your NYCERS membership date determines the tier to which you belong and may differ from your city (CUNY) appointment date. Purchasing or transferring of service does not change your membership date. However, purchased service and/or transferred service will be included in the calculation of your benefits.


  • A separate monthly pension check besides social security when you reach retirement age and eligibility.

  • Participants in NYCERS who receive retirement benefit payments also may be eligible to receive city paid health insurance coverage.

Health benefits for retirees are administered by the New York City Office of Labor Relations (OLR).

Before you retire, visit CUNY’s local campus personnel office to fill out and file all appropriate retirement documents. (Keep copies of all retirement documents). Very important for future reference.