Retirement Plans

Required Plans

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

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, their individual pension is calculated based on a specified percentage of their 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 their own individual account. The individual contributes a specified percentage of their salary to their own account and SUNY contributes a specified percentage of each individual's salary into each individual's own account as well. Each individual invests their 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.

Two plans are available:

SUNY Voluntary 403(b) Savings Plan Vendor representatives are the same as above for ORP. Enroll online.

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.

Read the Universal Availability Notice 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!

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 nyship online 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.

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