The New York State Department of Civil Service; Employee Benefits Division

Meet with your agency Health Benefits Administrator (HBA) to discuss:
  • Eligibility requirements for continuing health insurance coverage as a retiree and whether you meet them
  • How sick leave credit may reduce the cost of your health insurance coverage
  • Dual annuitant sick leave credit
  • Option to defer your health insurance coverage as a retiree
  • Your dental, vision, and life insurance benefits after you retire
Before your last day on the payroll, meet with your HBA to:
  • Recalculate the value of your sick leave credit
  • Tell your HBA if you want dual annuitant sick leave credit. You must decide no later than your last day on the payroll and if you choose it, you may not discontinue it later
  • Tell your HBA if you want to defer your coverage as a retiree. You must decide no later than your last day on the payroll, and must have other health insurance coverage, for example through your spouse’s/domestic partner’s employer or through post-retirement employment
After you retire:
  • Watch your mail for your Dear Retiree Letter
  • Watch your mail for your bill for health insurance
  • Keep your payments up-to-date until your pension deductions begin. Once pension deductions begin, you will no longer be billed
  • New York State Office of the State Comptroller (OSC); NYSLRS
Preparing for retirement:
  • Request a general estimate 12-18 months before you retire to determine the approximate amount of pension you can expect to receive monthly. Use form RS6030
  • Locate proof of your birth date. No benefits can be paid without this proof
Filing for retirement:
  • Submit your retirement application, along with your proof of date of birth, at least 30 but not more than 90 days prior to your date of retirement. Use form RS6037
  • Submit a W-4P Form (form available from Guide, OSC web site, or Call Center). Use the OSC tax calculator to help you determine how much you should have withheld from your retirement benefit
Selecting your retirement option:
  • Review your general estimate and select the option that best fits your specific needs.
  • File your Retirement Option Election form no later than the last day of the month in which you retire.
Beneficiary Information
  • Before and after retirement periodically check to make sure your beneficiary information is up-to-date.
The New York State Deferred Compensation Plan
Schedule an account check-up to:
  • Review your asset allocation strategy in retirement.
Choose a payout option that fits your needs:
  • The earliest you can begin making withdrawals is 45 days following separation of service.
Decide when you want to take distributions:
  • The Plan does not require you to begin benefit payments until you are age 70 ½, and separated from State service. After April 1 of the calendar year in which you reach age 70 ½, the IRS requires you to take a minimum distribution or pay a penalty of 50% of the amount that was not withdrawn as required.
To begin receiving distributions:

Call the HELPLINE at (800) 422-8463 and request a Benefit Distribution Packet. Confirm that your beneficiary information is up-to-date.

Social Security and Medicare
Apply for Social Security:
  • Contact Social Security if you are 62 and plan to retire or if you are within three months of 65, even if you don’t plan to retire.
  • If you are receiving social security benefits you will be sent Medicare information.
  • If you are not receiving benefits, apply 3 months before your 65th birthday. Call Social Security to apply.
  • As a retired New York State employee, you MUST enroll in both Parts A & B when you become eligible for Medicare. NYS will reimburse you for the cost of Part B.

This checklist was compiled by GOER in conjunction with the Office of the State Comptroller, the NYS Department of Civil Service, the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan, and the Social Security Administration. Funding is provided by the negotiated agreements between the State of New York and CSEA, PEF, UUP, GSEU, and DC37; and by the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations for employees designated M/C.

At Least 18 Months Before You Retire

Become Informed. This is the most important step to take in planning for your retirement. Here are some things you can do:

Read your Plan Booklet found on our Publications page

Make an appointment with an Information Representative at one of our Consultation Sites

Commit to Paying Off Your Retirement System Loan and/or Outstanding Balance for the Purchase of Credit for Previous Service. If you retire with an outstanding loan balance, you will receive a permanently reduced annuity or retirement benefit. If you have an outstanding balance to purchase credit for previous service, you may only receive credit for a prorated portion of your service. In most instances, with less service credit at retirement, you will receive a smaller retirement benefit.

18 – 12 Months Before You Retire

Complete a Request for Estimate (RS6030) form to learn the approximate amount you can expect to receive monthly. Most members* can also visit our benefit projection calculator to get an idea of the amount of your annual benefit. It will be based entirely on the data you input.

Locate Proof of Your Birth Date. We must have proof of your birth date before any benefits can be paid. In most cases, a photocopy is acceptable — but if you send us the original, we will return it to you. Please send us a copy of one of the following:

  1. Birth certificate
  2. New York State driver's license issued on or after January 1, 2005
  3. Passport or passport card
  4. A Marriage Certificate, if it shows the age on a given date or the date of birth
  5. Baptismal certificate
  6. Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214)
  7. State or provincial enhanced driver's license (A special driver license that can be used as an identity and citizenship document at land and sea border crossings between the U.S., Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries instead of a passport.)
  8. Naturalization papers

The National Center for Health Statistics' website contains information for each state on where to write for your vital records.

* The benefit projection calculator currently cannot project benefits for:

  • ERS Tier 5 & 6 members in the Article 15 retirement plan;
  • ERS members in special 20- or 25-year retirement plans;
  • PFRS members who joined on or after July 1, 2009.
12 – 3 Months Before You Retire

Review Your Health Insurance Coverage. Check with your health benefits administrator to determine your eligibility for post-retirement coverage. You may have to investigate private health insurance plans.

8 Months Before You Retire

Review Other Income Sources. Experts say you will need at least 80 percent of your pre-retirement income to maintain your current standard of living

Prepare a Retirement Budget. Having a budget allows you to decide how you want to spend your money and aids you in keeping your long-term goals in focus.

3 Months – 15 Days Before You Retire

Submit Your Application for Service Retirement (RS6037)

Submit Your Direct Deposit Form (RS6370)

Submit a W-4P Form. Use our tax calculator to determine approximately how much you should have withheld from your retirement benefit. Review more tax services information.

By the Last Day of the Month You Retire

Choose a Retirement Payment Option. Base your selection on your most recent estimate.

Enjoy Your Retirement!