Retirement Plans

Required Plans

Beginning November 03, 2017, retirement enrollment, including making changes to voluntary plans, is completed online at

Most full-time employees are required to join a retirement system. Employees represented by CSEA, NYSCOPBA, PEF, and GSEU and M/C classified employees are only eligible to join the New York State Employees' Retirement System (ERS).

Employees represented by PBANYS are only eligible to join the New York State Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS).

Employees represented by UUP are eligible to join the New York State Employees' Retirement System or the New York State Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) or the Optional Retirement System (ORP), depending upon their title or appointment type.

Unclassified M/C employees are eligible to join the New York State Employees' Retirement System or the Optional Retirement System. Unclassified M/C employees in police titles are also eligible to join the New York State Police and Fire Retirement System.

ERS, TRS, and PFRS have defined benefit plans. Those who join any of these plans contribute a specified percentage of their salary. All employees' contributions are pooled with contributions made by the state. All these monies together are invested and safeguarded by the state. When an employee retires, his/her individual pension is calculated based on a specified percentage of his/her years of service and final average salary and is funded by this pool of money.

The ORP is a defined contribution plan. Those who join this plan each open his/her own individual account. The individual contributes a specified percentage of his/her salary to his/her own account and SUNY contributes a specified percentage of each individual's salary into each individual's own account as well. Each individual invests his/her money in a combination of funds made available by four vendors. Upon retirement, each individual has a sum of money to draw upon.

Below are the links/phone numbers for each of these plans:

New York State and Local Retirement System (ERS and PFRS) 1.866.805.0990

New York State Teachers Retirement System (TRS) 1.800.348.7298

SUNY Optional Retirement Program (ORP)


Participate in tax-deferred voluntary savings plan to simultaneously build your retirement savings and reduce your current income tax liability! All employees who receive a W-2 from SUNY are eligible to participate. 

The State University of New York (“SUNY”) provides employees with the opportunity to save for their retirement through the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan (the “Plan”). Participation in the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan is a great way to build your retirement savings and reduce current taxes.

Whether you want to enroll in the plan for the first time, or you are already enrolled but wish to change the amount of your deferral, you can accomplish your goal through the SUNY online enrollment and management system at*. For more information, contact your state-operated or community college Employee Benefits Office, visit the SUNY Benefits Web Site, or call the University-Wide Benefits Office at: 518-320-1194.


All employees of SUNY who receive compensation reportable on an IRS Form W-2 are eligible to participate in the plan. Please take a moment to review the plan materials before enrolling, which are available at Once you are enrolled, you can review and change the amount of your contributions as often as once per pay period through the SUNY online enrollment and management system at*. The exact date your investment allocations will take effect may vary depending upon the policies of the Investment Provider managing the investment options you chose for Plan contributions.

The Tax-Deferred Plans listed below provide a way for you to contribute to a retirement account on a pre-tax basis through payroll deduction. Your contributions, plus earnings are not taxed until you withdraw the funds. Usually this will be during your retirement, when your income may fall within a lower tax bracket.


There are several different Plan options and Investment Providers to choose from through the SUNY Voluntary Savings Plan. The Authorized Investment Providers offer a wide choice of investment options, including stock, bond and guaranteed funds. The following Plans and Investment Providers are available to you:
Fidelity Investments (403(b)(7) Mutual Funds)
1-844-FOR-SUNY (844-367-7869),
Teachers Insurance Annuity Associate (TIAA)
VALIC Retirement
1-800-448-2542 or 1-888-569-7055,
Voya Financial
NYS Deferred Compensation Plan (457)


For 2018 you can contribute up to $18,500 per year.

If you are age 50 or older anytime in 2018, you can contribute an additional $6,000, for a maximum of $24,500.

If you have worked for SUNY for more than 15 years you may be eligible to contribute up to an additional $3,000. To do this you must obtain a calculation from your Investment Provider indicating that you are eligible to defer the additional amount. Please send the calculation indicating the amount to be contributed to your campus Office of Human Resources. Each participant is limited to these maximum contribution amounts for all 403(b) and 457 plans, so if you are also a participant in a 403(b) or 457 plan with another employer, your combined contributions to that plan and to the SUNY Tax-Deferred Annuity Plan and NYS Deferred Compensation Plan in 2018 are generally limited to $18,500. If you do participate in a 403(b) plan and/or 457 with other employers, you are responsible for tracking and reporting the amount of all of your contributions to the plans so that the total amount of all your contributions to all plans in which you participate do not exceed the limit. Note also that the sum of all of your contributions, and those of your employers, to all 403(b) and 457 plans that you participate in are generally limited to the lesser of $55,000 or 100% of your compensation in 2018.

SUNY employees are able to maximize contributions to both the SUNY Tax-Deferred Savings Plans 403(b) and the NYS Deferred Compensation 457 Plan concurrently.


If you wish to enroll or change your enrollment in the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP), you will need to contact NYSDCP directly.

If you are enrolling* in SUNY’s 403(b) plan for the first time, you can do so by using the SUNY online enrollment and management system at For assistance with the enrollment process, please contact your state-operated or community college campus Employee Benefits Office for more information.

If you are currently enrolled and wish to contribute the same BI-WEEKLY amount in 2018, no action on your part is necessary unless you are currently contributing additional monies under the Age 50 or “15 year catch-up rule outlined above. Please check your pay stub to be sure your current bi-weekly contribution (for 403(b) deductions with any investment providers with whom you are investing) multiplied by the number of remaining pay periods in the year does not exceed the allowable limit. Please be mindful that if you made a change mid year, you will need to make sure that your current biweekly amount will result in the correct annual amount you want deferred for 2018.

To change* the amount you are now contributing, please do so by using the SUNY online enrollment and management system at For assistance with this process, please contact your state-operated or community college campus Employee Benefits Office for more information.

For further details, or if you have questions, please contact the Benefits Administrator at your campus or the University-Wide Benefits Office at 518-320-1194, or via email at

Two plans are available:

SUNY Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan Vendor representatives are the same as above for ORP. To enroll, go to

NYS Deferred Compensation Plan 457(b) both tax-deferred and non-tax-deferred contributions can be made.

View a side-by-side comparison of these 2 plans here.

Other Savings Plans

Whether you're a parent, grandparent, or someone with a special child in your life, New York's 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan can make saving for your child's future easier! Find out all about it here.

Retiree Health Insurance

Generally, employees who have accumulated 10 years of benefits-eligible service with one or more employers that participate in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP), are 55 or older and are enrolled in a health insurance plan offered by NYSHIP are eligible to continue their health insurance coverage when they retire.

The cost for retirees is the same as it is for employees except it is a monthly rate instead of a bi-weekly rate. Additionally, the cost may be reduced by a "sick leave credit". At the time of retirement, the employee's unused sick days are converted to a monthly amount which is applied toward the cost of the insurance. Go to nyshiponline for more information. 

Preparing for Retirement

Retirement planning begins on your first day of employment! And should occur regularly thereafter! Depending upon your age when you are hired, you should review your short and long term plans every 3 - 5 years. Contribute as much as possible as early as possible into a Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan. Consider other types of retirement savings such as IRAs and Roth IRAs. In addition to discussing retirement benefit options with your Benefits Administrator at the College, ALWAYS consult a tax expert and an investment expert.

As you get closer to actually retiring, review your plans every 1 - 3 years.