Human Resources

Retirement Benefits


Retirement Plan Eligibility and Election 
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Full-time employees with appointments of 3 months or longer are required to join a Retirement System within 30 days of their appointment/hire date.

Part-time employees and those with provisional or temporary appointments have the option to join a Retirement System at any time. No Retirement System membership will be established, nor any service credit or contributions reported, however, until the appropriate Retirement System election and membership applications have been received and processed.

The selection of a Retirement System is an important decision, so please review the options very carefully.

Once an employee’s election is made, generally they will not be allowed to change Retirement Systems, unless they have a change in employment title making them eligible for a different Retirement System for the first time and they opt to change to that System within 30 days of their eligible appointment.

It is important to note that membership in a Retirement System may not otherwise be changed or withdrawn during your current or any subsequent employment with any SUNY or community college campus.


Retirement Plan Options  Top

Eligibility for a Retirement System depends on a variety of factors, including your Bargaining Unit, your position classification, and whether you are full or part-time.

All employees in both the Classified (e.g., CSEA, PEF, PBANYS, NYSCOPBA, and MC-06) and the Unclassified (e.g., UUP and MC-13) service are eligible to join:

Employees in the Unclassified service may, depending on title, be eligible to join:

  • The New York State Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) - Defined benefit retirement system

    Membership is open to employees in a select group of titles, including: all faculty titles, librarian or coach titles, or the titles of chancellor, president, vice-president, provost, dean, associate dean, or assistant dean

Employees in the Unclassified service who are full-time, part-time UUP employees with Term appointments, and MC employees who are at least half-time, are also eligible to elect:

  • The SUNY Optional Retirement Program (ORP) Defined contribution retirement system

    Retirement benefits will depend on the value upon distribution of individually owned annuity contracts purchased on behalf of electing employees through employer and required employee contributions from one or more of the currently Authorized Investment Providers for the SUNY ORP.  During the initial vesting period, the employee and employer contributions are kept in an escrow account by the Office of the State Comptroller.  These funds will be moved to the chosen ORP investment prior once the vesting period has been satisfied. 


Additional Retirement Plan Information  Top


Retirement Plan Enrollment  Top

To join a retirement system, employees should register and enroll through Retirement@Work.

Guide - ORP enrollment

Guide - ERS or TRS enrollment - If selecting ERS or TRS, you will be required to complete the general Registration information at Retirement@Work.  After that is done, you will be directed to print the appropriate registration form and submit it to The Benefits Office.  Your enrollment in ERS and TRS cannot be processed until the form is received in the Office of Human Resources Management in UAB-300.   If you do not have access to a printer, complete the Retirement@Work registration process and contact Employee Benefits to request an ERS or TRS application.

If you need assistance with the Retirement@Work System, call 1-866-271-0960 to be connected to a Retirement@Work consultant.   


Voluntary Savings Program  Top

Employees have the option to save additional money for retirement with two types of tax deferred savings plans - 403(b) and 457(b). Employee contributions can be made to either or both types of accounts within IRS limits. 

To open a 403(b) account, employees must:

Register and elect 403(b) participation through Retirement@Work.

Guide - 403(b) Enrollment   

To change or cancel contributions to a 403(b) account:

Visit Retirement@Work to elect these changes.

Guide - 403(b) Changes

If you need assistance with the Retirement@Work System, call 1-866-271-0960 to be connected to a Retirement@Work consultant.

To open a 457(b) account, employees must:

Contact the NYS Deferred Compensation System directly at 1-800-422-8463 or submit a paper enrollment form directly to the NYS Deferred Compensation System.  The current enrollment form can be found at: www.nysdcp.com. To change or cancel contributions to a 457(b) account, contact the Deferred Compensation System.


Additional Resources  Top

 ·       Visit Benefits News and Events for Investment Provider On-Campus Counseling dates.

·        Financial Planning Tools and Calculators

  T   Retirement@Work is the online enrollment and management system for the SUNY Retirement Plans.  If you need assistance with the Retirement@Work System, call 1-866-271-0960 to be connected to a Retirement@Work consultant.


Planning for Retirement  Top

The information in this section is meant to provide tools and resources to assist you with planning for retirement.  The content here should be used in conjunction  with resources provided to you by your Health Benefits Administrator (HBA), your retirement system, the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP) and information from other sources such as Medicare and Social Security.

The Benefits Office holds monthly meetings on the topic of Benefits and Retirement.  Please contact Benefits to schedule your attendance at one of these sessions 3-4 months prior to retiring.

UAlbany Planning for Retirement Guide -
Includes important information on steps to take prior to retirement, retiree health insurance eligibility requirements and more.

NYSHIP Publications:

Retirement and Benefit Informational Presentation - The slide presentation with links to additional information can be found in the description section on the video page.


The Power of SUNY Retirees: Lessons Learned from Over 100 Retirement Stories by Ram L. Chugh

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Working After Retirement  Top

Employees may return to work after retirement. Earnings may affect a pension under certain circumstances.  Review the resources below or speak with your retirement system for additional information.

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