Your pension is based on your years of credited service and your final average salary (FAS). For Tier 3, 4 and 5 members, FAS is the average of the wages you earned during any three consecutive years of service when your earnings were highest. For Tier 6 members, FAS is the average of your highest five consecutive years of earnings. This is usually your years of employment immediately before retirement.
The calculation of your FAS can include, but is not limited to, the following types of payments. In some cases, certain restrictions may apply.
- Regular salary.
- Overtime earned in the FAS period.*
- Holiday pay.
- Noncompensatory overtime earned in the FAS period.*
- Longevity payments (maximum of one per year), if earned in the FAS period.
- For Tier 3, 4 and 5 members, payment for up to 30 days of accumulated vacation, if the FAS is based on the 36 months immediately preceding retirement.
The following types of payments are not considered regular compensation and, in most cases, will not be included in your FAS calculation:
- Unused sick leave.
- Payments made as a result of your working during your vacation.
- Any form of termination pay.
- Payments made in anticipation of retirement.
- Lump sum payments for deferred compensation.
- Any payments made for time not worked.
- Overtime which is compensated in whole or in part by payments from private, non-governmental entities.**
*Overtime pay in excess of the annual limit cannot be used in the FAS calculation. For Tier 5 members, the limit increases by 3 percent each calendar year. Please refer to our Overtime Limits for Tier 5 page for more information. For Tier 6 members, the limit increases each calendar year based on the Consumer Price Index on September 30 of the previous year. Please refer to our Overtime Limits for Tier 6 page for more information.
**Your employer reports pensionable overtime earnings to NYSLRS. As of July 1, 2019, public safety overtime that is paid by a public entity and meets other requirements may count toward your retirement benefit calculation. This includes special duty assignments that involve public safety work that is directed and paid for by your employer and reimbursed by a private entity.