Monday, April 26, 2021


While the New York City Teachers Retirement System and the UFT have been a bit tight-lipped about the possible early retirement incentive, the NYC Employees Retirement System has provided specific details.

This is what TRS is saying on its website:

News on Possible Retirement Incentive posted [4/21/2021]

A New York State law enacted April 19 (Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2021) authorizes but does not require the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to offer an Early Retirement Incentive to its employees, some of whom are TRS members. The DOE must decide by May 31, 2021 whether to offer any incentive, which provisions to offer, and which titles will qualify for certain provisions. Until the DOE’s decision is announced, TRS cannot provide information on eligibility or benefits under the potential ERI. We will post updates when available on our website and social media.

Now from the NYCERS website:

About the ERI

On April 19, 2021 Governor Cuomo signed into law Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2021, which provides the City of New York and the NY Board of Education, also known as the NYC Department of Education (DOE), the option to elect an Early Retirement Incentive (ERI).

Eligible members may not file for the ERI until the City of New York and/or the NYC Department of Education have elected to participate and established an Open Enrollment Period, and the Open Enrollment Period starts.

Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2021 contains two separate and distinct retirement options, Part A and Part B.  If the City of New York and/or NYC Department of Education elects to participate in the ERI, they may elect to participate in Part A, Part B, or both. If Part A is elected, the Mayor and/or Chancellor will then define what titles are eligible to apply for the ERI.

Please note that an eligible member can only file for Part A OR Part B. You cannot file for both.

What is the Benefit?

Part A: Eligible members are given additional qualifying service credit for up to three years.

Part B: Eligible members may retire without early retirement reduction factors and are not given additional service credit.

Members must be in continuous active service (being paid on the payroll, on leave with pay, or a leave without pay for less than 12 weeks) preceding the Open Enrollment Period AND:

Part A:

Eligible members must either be:

Eligible for service retirement

50+ years old with 10+ years of service if not otherwise eligible to retire, OR

In a plan that allows for retirement at 25 years of service, regardless of age. In this case, the additional service credit provided by Part A of the ERI may be used to reach the required 25 years.

Part B:

Eligible members must be:

55+ years old and have 25+ years of creditable service.

Part A

1/12 year additional service credit per year of pension service

Maximum additional service credit is three years

Early retirement age reduction factors will apply under the following conditions:

Tier 1

5% per year prior to age 55

Tier 2

Members who are age 55 or older with 30 or more years of service have no reduction

55/25: 5% per year prior to age 55. For members with more than 25 years of service in a physically taxing title, there is no reduction

Basic Tier 2 62/5, 6% reduction for each year of the two years prior to age 62; additional 3% each year prior to age 60. For members with 30 or more years of service, there is a 5% reduction for each year prior to age 55

Tier 4

62/5: 6% reduction for each year of the two years prior to age 62; additional 3% each year prior to age 60. For members with 30 or more years of service, there is a 5% reduction for each year prior to age 55

57/5: 1/30 for first two years prior to age 57; additional 1/20 per year prior to age 55. For members with more than 25 years of service in a physically taxing title, there is no reduction

55/25: 5% per year prior to age 55. For members with more than 25 years of service in a physically taxing title, there is no reduction

Age reductions are prorated for partial years.

Part B

Eligible members can retire with an unreduced benefit

Part B does not provide additional service credit

Next Steps

For City of New York employees, a Local Law must be passed by City Council and signed by the Mayor stating that the city is electing to participate in the ERI by June 30, 2021.

For NYC Department of Education (DOE) employees, a resolution must be passed by the Board of Education and signed by the Chancellor electing to participate in the ERI by May 31, 2021.

If the City of New York and/or the NYC Department of Education elect to participate in the ERI, they must establish an Open Enrollment Period.

If the City of New York and/or the NYC Department of Education elect to participate in Part A of the ERI, they must identify which titles are eligible to participate.


Anonymous said...

It is still confusing. Does this mean that say a teacher who has 22 years of service and are aged 50 that they can retire this summer? Even if that teacher is in 25/55? Nobody has any answers. I guess we will wait and see?

James Eterno said...

I print the information when people send it to me but that's all we can do here. We're not going to provide irresponsible pension advice and you shouldn't take it from comments on a blog, particularly if they are anonymous.

Anonymous said...

That's my point. For those who are in the 55/25 but 51 for example, is there an option not take the extra service credit but avail of the no penalty instead. Just like those who are in the 62/5 but haven't reached 62 years yet. The no penalty will work out better than the extra service credit. I guess we will just have to wait for Hizoner and Council to bless till we see the details.

Dave of Sunnyside said...

So what is the story for an employee is in the 62/5 plan is 60 years old with 32 years of the service. Does the additional 32 months get them the the age of 62 hence no reduction? Or are the locked into part B?

Anonymous said...

If you have 32 years and you are 60, you can leave tomorrow with 63% of your final average salary plus part of your ASF annuities. No penalty nor ERI needed.

Unknown said...

supposing you qualified with the pre-exsisting 25 years of service and are already 60 years of age. Would part -A of the ERI also be kicked in with up to 36 additional months of service let's for 30 years of completed service?

Anonymous said...

Suppose you already bought in and qualified and paid off the past 25/55 ERI under Governor Spitzer.Would Part A of this ERI qualify for an employee who is 60 years of age with 30 years of service without any penalty?

Anonymous said...

So hypothetically of course, if you are 54 with 28 years (under the tier 4 55/30) would that mean that the ERI 1 month for every year up to 36 months would bring someone up to their 55/30 pension and could retire w out reduction or would there still be a 5% reduction?

Anonymous said...

Will you be able to collect your pension before 55 (say 53) if as a result of the ERI (time given) exceeds 30 years. (tier 4)

TJL said...

Given James's caveat/disclaimer re: advice from strangers on a blog...

"Option A" is rather explicit that you are being given solely 1/12 year per year you worked for service credit. That's not age. So you're still subject to whatever penalty (in this case 5% per year, pro rated for how many months until you turn 55) applies to being under 55.

Again I'm just a math teacher. Assuming you hit the average male life expectancy of 80, you need to do that math: how much do you get working as long as you planned and taking the unreduced benefit vs. how much do you get taking the slightly penalized benefit (for the next 25+ years) but calculated with more pension credit. Then you need to factor in how much it's worth it to you, which is subjective, to be done with the DOE now, and enjoy retirement immediately vs. waiting several months or a couple/few years. If it was me I would do the math myself, not trust anyone on a blog nor the pension consultants at the UFT.

On a side note I'm unfamiliar with 55/30. I think many of us here took the 55/25 when it was offered, as mentioned by 9:05.

David Suker said...

I love this job! Why retire guys?

TJL said...

An example of the math you need to do.

First of all this assumes your retirement date will give you exactly x years on the nose, and this happens to be on your birthday. In reality it doesn't work that way of course.

So our hypothetical Teacher Man has the chance to retire on August 31 his birthday with exactly 24 years in and at the exact age of 54. Otherwise he would've waited until the following year when he would have 25 years in and be exactly 55 years old. (He opted in to 55/25 when it was offered).

We'll also assume he usually does 100 hours per session spread pretty evenly over the year, but only got 50 last year before school closed, none this year, and would get 100 next year if he stays. Lastly note that this math is "back of the napkin" so particularly when considering salary I considered the salary increases as if they took effect for the entire month. You will be checking your actual salary (including per session etc.) anyway.

With that said his salaries (all L22) with per session were/would be:
2018-2019 125879
2019-2020 125434
2020-2021 126158
2021-2022 134055

Option A gives Mr. Man 2 years of credit, bumping him to 26. However he gets a 5% haircut for life on his calculation. He gets 95% of 52% of his $125824 FAS for an annual benefit of $62157 till he drops dead on his 80th birthday. So for 26 years $1616083. (Note I did not factor in COLA). He also gets to live his 55th year of his life free of the DOE.

If he decides to forgo the ERI and just work the extra year, he works until 55, so no penalty, and works 25 years. He gets 100% of 50% of his $128549 (note the difference in '21-22 due mostly to the 3%) for $64275 annually. For 25 years till he drops dead on his 80th birthday is $1606875. (Again, no COLA figured). Depending on his commute and if he has reasonable admin he has a decent year working next year or not.

In this case taking the ERI nets him 10 grand and 1 year of life to himself. An easy decision my opinion.

My assumption is that at an earlier age the more severe penalty costs you money and then you have to decide whether your time is worth it.

Just for a quick example: If Mr. Man was 53 instead of 54, he could take the ERI and get only 90% instead of 95% of 52% of his FAS - $58886/year - which over 27 years will net him $1589922. Or, he could work 2 more years, benefit from any raises (I figured 2% for Sep '22) and end up collecting 52% of a $132316 FAS for 25 years which nets $1720100. So the question becomes is it worth $130K to be done with working (at least for the DOE) 2 years sooner i.e. is 2 years of your life worth $130K?

When it comes down to it you should do the pension consultation then do your own math using your own FAS and per session situation. Plus the usual disclaimer that this is a blog and I'm just a math teaching stranger. However it looks like as far as just cash is concerned there is only a limited situation where the ERI option A makes sense to those under 55. (As for Option B it appears to only offer 55/25, which many already have anyway.) I didn't address it here but if you're already eligible to retire without penalty and were considering it anyway you may as well take it and you probably realized that already.

TJL said...

A reread after west coast baseball was done on the old boob tube made me realize that I solely calculated retirement benefits.

If you include the salary the 54 year old would earn, he comes out over 100K ahead (but he had to work for it).

The 53 year old leaves quite a hefty sum when you include 2 years' salary.

Some pick up a different, easier job to mitigate that. Also no commuting expenses or other money you spend.

Finally keep in mind that working until you meet your maker will always* make you more money, but you will never enjoy "the golden years" and your heirs will enjoy your TDA.

*this was quite the Regents week argument in the math dept. once. You can exceed 100% FAS in tier IV by working 57 years. However you would forgo subsequent salary increases.

The Veteran NY Teacher said...

From what I read from the post, those age 55+ who are at 28 years or more and were thinking of retiring in one or two years might opt for ‘A’ and retire. In a sense, ‘early’. Hence the ‘E’ in ERI.

Outside of that 55+ group, I can’t see ‘A’ as a realistic option (of course there are exceptions in life).

Anonymous said...

So I am curious. I am in my 26th year and I am 49. How does this help me? Its very confusing. I signed up for the 25/55 years ago as an insurance policy in case I had to miss a couple of years due to any emergencies.

Michael Gatton said...

Thank you TJL, that was very helpful.

Anonymous said...

7:55....It doesn't help you. I did the same (55/25 for ins.), unless you turn 50 before the end of the enrollment period and don't mind taking the reduction. You'll retire in six years, hope for a good contract, and get 63% of FAS.

AAA said...

Guys, I am 60 with 18 years. Advice?

Unknown said...

Another aspect to consider is the fact that you no longer pay SS, state, or city tax on a pension. So, despite a 40-50% reduction in gross salary, your net take home is closer to the original!!

Anonymous said...

work another 2 years and retire with 40% of FAS....enjoy

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. This is interesting. As of now, I am 57 years old, 24 years 1 month of service. I was planning on retiring next March 2022. Early retirement with the 18% reduction hit. This was before this ERI benefit. I did NOT do 55/25!! Yikes. Why can’t they let us pay up and make up for that now. Lol.

Under part a I can add the time benefit to give me over 25 years. But still the REDUCTION.

Under part b I can avoid the reduction but I cannot get additional credited time to get to 25 years. I won’t get to 25 years until next March. So I don’t think anything here works except for Part B and then it won’t really help me avoid the penalty for not retiring at 62. ��

Unknown said...

Same for me 57 in July and 24 years in. It would be interesting if we can retire with less reductions. 79 percent but the pay off is only federal tax and if your tda is healthy.

Anonymous said...

Ok. I just realized I made a MISTAKE. I can take part b. Retire at the end of October 2021 and even without 25 years get an unreduced pension because of my age. 25 is NOT a magic number for tier 4 non 55/25 folk.

Unknown said...

So you are saying if I have 24 years in and age 57 I can opt for B without penalty? But don’t you have to opt in for 55/25?

Prehistoric pedagogue said...

11:25 AM. I think if you retire at the end of October you will be past the point where you can opt for the ERI

Anon2323 said...

No need for a tier 6 breakdown because nobody will be able to reach 30-40 years 😂😂😂.

I feel stuck in a terrible place being 40 19 years. 15 years is an eternity. Need 25/50 buyout with 15% penalty.

This next uft contract will be the precipice of outrage especially if we do not get more raises and improving quality for teachers.

Tired whiny babies asking for few days spring break PAY BEEN WAITING 12 GOD DAMN YEARS FOR RETRO WITH NO INTEREST! 🤬🤬🤬🤬

Anonymous said...

I am not a math person and I need help on which would be the best option for me: 62 yrs with 28 yrs. Thanks!

Anonymous said...


I'm in the same boat, 40 years old finishing 19th year. I'm doing one more year and resigning.

Anonymous said...

Your best option: RETIRE......if they offer both take the one with extra time and go out with 31.5 years....otherwise just retire and enjoy..

Anonymous said...

12:08....that's why it's called an incentive. The bigger question is for those of us that paid into it, will be get 55/25 $ back?

Jc said...

Will be 55 end of Oct with 34 years not in 55/25. Would either benefit?

Michelle - said...

from what I understand if you have both the age and the years ex: 55 yrs old with 25 yrs service you will not have any reductions and can retire. if the city picks to participate in PLAN B 22/55 no reductions and no extra service credit.

if the city elects to participate in PLAN A and you are between age 50-54 or you have less than 25 yrs service. this is the plan you will fit into.
if you are not 55 or older you will get a reduction no matter how many years you have unless you are in a physically taxing position with 25 yrs or more. people who are in the 25/55 or 57/5 pay an extra 1.98% on top of the 1.85% in a physically taxing position. if you have less than the years required to reach 25 yrs service ex only 24 yrs the extra service credit will give you 24 months or 2 yrs to push you to 26 yrs.

again Part A comes with a reduction depending on with retirement plan you are in if you fit in Part A or if the city only elects part A you need to read it and understand it completely

DD1969 said...

What is considered a “physically taxing position “ ?

Anonymous said...

I think physically taxing is not UFT. This comes from ERS, not TRS.

Anonymous said...

pension system of NYCERS

for those curious about physically taxing

Anonymous said...

if you accept this plan and retire between the ages of 50-55 with more than 10 years of in service credit, will you be able to collect a full pension eventhough you are not 55.

TJL said...

No math needed. Option A is the only one that benefits you. Option B only benefits those between 55-61 who didn't opt into 55/25 and would be penalized without the ERI.

TJL said...

Anon assuming you opted into 55/25 you can work 6 more years and then resign (and maintain your TRS rights), work another job for 9 years, and then collect 55/25 retirement.

Not will to die yet said...

Physically taxing are labor type jobs.

Anonymous said...

Work 2 more years n retire @62 with a coveted 20 YR full pension.

meesalikeu said...

Could someone please help my sitch? I am 58 w/22yrs in as of this year. I did not 55/25. I was going to retire next year regardless of age/time deductions. Which plan would be best for me, A or B? Thank you all —

Anonymous said...

Hi -- Could folks help my sitch? I am 58 w/22yrs as of this school year. I did not 55/25. I was planning to retire next school year regardless, even with age/time deductions. Which plan would be best for me, A or B? Thank you all.

Ms. Crabapple said...

This is my 25th year teaching. I will be 51 on June 27th 2021. How does this affect me? I did not take the 55/25. Can someone explain. I am confused.

Anonymous said...

Can someone help me. I will be 51 this year, June 27th and will have completed 25 years of teaching in the DOE. Can I retire? I am Tier 4. Someone help me understand this?

Anonymous said...

Why aren't teachers on the Physically taxing list? Anyone who has ever taught 27 to 32 kids in a classroom knows how physically taxing this job is!!!!! Who do I complain to?

Anonymous said...

Scary that some people on here actually teach children. They said up front they do not know becaaue the details have not come out. They also said there were two different options the city can choose. not both. So you can not "OPT" for one or the other. Whichever one the city chooses is the one. If you have 30 years and over 55 you can retire with no penalty. If you are 62 you can retire without penalty.

Not will to die yet said...

Let’s hold off on our reads of this ERI until it is passed by the mayor and city counsel and presented by Mulgrew.

They have until May 31 to make up their minds.
Town hall meeting tomorrow 4 pm to 6.
Will ERI be mentioned?

Anonymous said...

Lets hope both options are offered given the projected 21/22 and 22/23 budget deficits. lay offs are not off the table therefore veteran staff will again pick up more responsibilities as we did in 2009.

James Eterno said...

Layoffs are not on the table. The City has federal stimulus money and lots of new state aid. Biden's election, Warnock and Ossoff winning in GA resulting in Schumer becoming Senate Majority Leader basically solved the budget crisis.

Unknown said...

Will the Board of ED acknowledgr and approve of this Bill by MAY? What say YOU?

Unknown said...

Will it be approved by MAY 31 by the higher ups?

Anonymous said...

I have read the documents and it is not as simple as some have made it here. There are clauses in paragraph 5 section C that refer to a "25 year plan regardless of age." Those plans are for other city employees, not doe employees. I have yet to find any part of part A that allows anyone who is in the 25/55 plan to retire without the age penalties for being under 62. Even if you are 55 +, this could potentially be a 9% reduction, pro-rated. Part A did not state that 55/25 could retire without the age reduction, it addressed 25 no age plans. This needs to be clarified. Potentially anyone 55+ with 23+ years may be eligible if it applies with no penalties. The penalties are steep if this group is excluded. You may add up to the years, and have the age but still be penalized if not 62. Did anyone see that 25 years with an age requirement included?

Part B is basic - Otherwise eligible (you are already eligible) but not yet 62.
Another writer posted it is for people in that category between the ages of 55 and 61.11.

I also read that the city either goes with it or not - they don't select which option. Both or none.

Anonymous said...

I am 51 1/2 with 29 years of service. If this is approved, is this worth it to take the early retirement? The penalty is throwing me offer. Can someone please explain. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for it to come out. I paid into the 25/55 plans, and I have been eligible for retirement for more than 3 years now. The ERI is the extra push that I need to get out. Plan A will add to more years to my retirement services.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a lot of mystery with the ERI. With the clock ticking it seems to be very quiet with lots of speculation. I am hoping that at this week’s Delegate meeting we get some concrete information.

Anonymous said...

It is so confusing...i am 55 with 21 years in. I am tier 4 and bought into 55/25, what does this all mean for me?

Anonymous said...

You'll be hit with % penalty since you are in the 62/5. I know someone who's in the same boat.If you really want to leave, I understand. Feel the same here and I'm sure we aren't alone. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Psalms 91 - ERI