Graduate Assistants on the New York State payroll are eligible for
membership in the NYS Employees’ Retirement System. The New York State
Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) is a defined benefit plan. With a defined
benefit plan, your retirement income is guaranteed by New York State law and
comes in the form of a monthly annuity payment which is determined by your final
average salary (the average of your highest five consecutive years of salary),
years of service and your age at retirement. You can estimate this pension and
get more information by visiting the
ERS website. Benefits under this plan vary by tier with your date of
membership determining the tier you belong to. Those joining ERS on or after
April 1, 2012, belong to Tier 6.
Membership in the NYS Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) is
optional, and is effective the
date your application is received by the retirement system. Once you have
joined, you may not withdraw your membership as long as you remain on the
payroll of an employer who participates in ERS.
If you are already a member of ERS, we must have your membership number so that
your service at Buffalo State can be properly reported.
VESTING: WHAT IS IT AND WHEN AM I VESTED?
Employees are vested (entitled to a pension at retirement) upon completing
10 years of full-time service. Employees who do not vest, as well as those with
less than 10 years of service, may withdraw their contributions, plus interest,
at the time they leave service.
WHAT ARE THE EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS?
If you elect to join the retirement system, you will be required to contribute a
percentage of your gross salary (through payroll deduction) throughout your
active membership. Currently, 3% of salary is required. Beginning April 1, 2013,
the contribution rate is based on your annual salary. Contributions are deducted
on a pre-tax basis. Subject to certain restrictions, members may borrow up to
75% of their contributions, plus interest.
The employer contribution rate is based on actuarial recommendations, New York
State contributes an amount necessary to satisfy present and future pension
HOW DO I ENROLL IN THE RETIREMENT PLAN?
You will need to complete an enrollment application. Applications are available
in the Employee Benefits Office, Cleveland Hall 410, or you may download it at
NYS Employees’ Retirement System Application (ERS).