Membership and Enrollment


Membership and Enrollment


The New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) is one of the largest retirement systems in the United States with more than 1.2 million members, retirees and beneficiaries. NYSLRS has long been recognized as one of the best-managed and best-funded public retirement systems in the nation. 

NYSLRS administers two distinct systems:

  • The Employees’ Retirement System (ERS); and
  • The Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS).


Benefits of NYSLRS Membership

NYSLRS membership provides many benefits — most importantly, vested members receive a lifetime defined pension benefit

New members will lock in the benefits of Tier 6. Other advantages of membership include:

  • Death benefits;
  • Service retirement;
  • Disability retirement for both on-the-job and non-job-related disabilities;
  • Transfer of membership from other public retirement systems in New York State; and
  • Crediting of service from other public retirement systems in New York State.

Members are vested with five years of service (they’ve earned enough service to qualify for a pension benefit). If Tier 6 members leave public service with less than ten years of service, they can withdraw their NYSLRS membership. They can receive a refund of all contributions made to the Retirement System plus interest (the current interest rate is 5 percent), or they can roll over this money into another retirement savings plan.


Types of NYSLRS Membership

As a participating employer of NYSLRS, your employees fall into one of two categories:

  • Those for whom membership in NYSLRS is mandatory and who, therefore, must join; or
  • Those for whom membership in NYSLRS is optional and who, therefore, may elect to decline membership, or may join by filing a membership application with NYSLRS.

Once an employee joins, membership must continue even if the member changes to another participating employer, or changes from full- to part-time employment.

Public officers are eligible for membership; however, contractors or consultants are not permitted to join NYSLRS.

For important information about retirees returning to public employment, visit our Hiring Public Retirees page.


Offering NYSLRS Membership

One of your most important responsibilities is to ensure that each new optional employee is provided the opportunity to join NYSLRS at the time of their initial employment. Learn more about your employees’ right to membership.


Rev. 12/23