Fix Tier Six Fix Tier Six

Why help NYSUT
Fix Tier 6?

  • Tier 6 members must pay into the retirement system their entire careers.
  • Tier 6 members must contribute more as their pay increases, starting at 3 percent and growing to 6 percent.
  • Tier 6 members can’t retire before 63 without heavy penalties.
  • Tier 6 doesn’t incentivize professionals to enter, or stay in, education.
  • NYSUT knows how to get this done. In 2000, we helped end career-long contributions and reduced early retirement penalties for Tier 4 members.
Fix Tier Six Fix Tier Six

Why help NYSUT
Fix Tier 6?

  • Tier 6 members must pay into the retirement system their entire careers.
  • Tier 6 members must contribute more as their pay increases, starting at 3 percent and growing to 6 percent.
  • Tier 6 members can’t retire before 63 without heavy penalties.
  • Tier 6 doesn’t incentivize professionals to enter, or stay in, education.
  • NYSUT knows how to get this done. In 2000, we helped end career-long contributions and reduced early retirement penalties for tier 4 members.
Fix Tier 6 with NYSUT

How many members are in Tier 6? What tiers do our members belong to?

It’s been over 10 years since Tier 6 was added to the pension system, 36 percent of New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) members are now Tier 6.
In that time, over 100,000 of our members have entered public service with a pension benefit that is significantly lower than our members in Tier 4.  

  • Tiers 1, 2, 3: Less than 1 percent of NYSTRS members are Tier 1, 2 and 3 members.
  • Tier 4: 59 percent of NYSTRS members belong to Tier 4.
  • Tier 5: 4 percent of NYSTRS members belong to Tier 5.
  • Tier 6: 36 percent of NYSTRS members belong to Tier 6

How bad is it?

Tier 6 will result in significant reductions to employee’s pensions. 
Penalties for early retirement, prior to age 63, are devastating to an employee’s retirement security.

It is a problem for our new members to have such a reduction in their overall retirement security but that is not all; it is a problem for all our members.  

  • The shortages caused by the lack of people entering public service is real; we see it every day in our schools, colleges, universities and public hospitals.   
  • These shortages impact our current members with larger class sizes, fewer classroom assistants, fewer substitutes and higher burnout rates.  
  • Without measures to retain current employees and recruit new hires — such as fixing Tier 6 — the lives of our members and those they serve, including students and patients, will be negatively impacted.  
Fix Tier 6 with NYSUT

How bad is it?

Tier 6 will result in significant reductions to employee’s pensions. 
Penalties for early retirement, prior to age 63, are devastating to an employee’s retirement security.

It is a problem for our new members to have such a reduction in their overall retirement security but that is not all; it is a problem for all our members.  

  • The shortages caused by the lack of people entering public service is real; we see it every day in our schools, colleges, universities and public hospitals.   
  • These shortages impact our current members with larger class sizes, less classroom assistants, fewer substitutes and higher burnout rates.  
  • Without measures to retain current employees and recruit new hires — such as fixing Tier 6 — the lives of our members and those they serve, including students and patients, will be negatively impacted.  

How many members are in Tier 6? What tiers do our members belong to?

It’s been over 10 years since Tier 6 was added to the pension system, 36 percent of New York State Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) members are now Tier 6.
In that time, over 100,000 of our members have entered public service with a pension benefit that is significantly lower than our members in Tier 4.  

  • Tiers 1, 2, 3: Less than 1 percent of NYSTRS members are Tier 1, 2 and 3 members.
  • Tier 4: 59 percent of NYSTRS members belong to Tier 4.
  • Tier 5: 4 percent of NYSTRS members belong to Tier 5.
  • Tier 6: 36 percent of NYSTRS members belong to Tier 6

What are the differences between Tiers 4, 5, and 6?

NYSTRS Comparison Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier 6
Membership 9/1/83 – 12/31/09 1/1/10 – 3/31/12 On or after 4/1/12
Employee Contribution 3% for first 10 yrs,
0% after 10 yrs
3.5% for entire career 3% - $45K or less
3.5% - > $45K-$55K
4.5% - > $55K-$75K
5.75% - > $75K-100K
6% - over $100K
Pension Calculation 1 2/3% per yr < 20 yrs
2% per yr for 20-30 yrs
1 ½% per yr > 30 yrs
1 2/3% per yr < 25 yrs
2% per yr for 25-30 yrs
1 ½% per yr > 30 yrs
1.67% per yr < 20 yrs, or
1.75% per yr at 20 yrs
35% plus 2% per year beyond 20 yrs
Age of First Eligibility Without Penalty Age 55 with 30 years Age 57 with 30 years Age 63
Minimum yrs of srvc (aka “vesting”) 5 years 5 years 10 years, now 5 years thanks to NYSUT advocacy
Final Average Salary Avg of 3 highest consecutive years of salary Avg of 3 highest consecutive years of salary 5-year average with added restriction on includable salaries
ERS Comparison Tier 4 Tier 5 Tier 6
Membership 9/1/83 – 12/31/09 1/1/10 – 3/31/12 On or after 4/1/12
Employee Contribution 3% for first 10 yrs,
0% after 10 yrs
3.0% for entire career 3% - $45K or less
3.5% - > $45K-$55K
4.5% - > $55K-$75K
5.75% - > $75K-100K
6% - over $100K
Pension Calculation 1 2/3% per yr < 20 yrs
2% per yr for 20-30 yrs
1 ½% per yr > 30 yrs
1 2/3% per yr < 25 yrs
2% per yr for 25-30 yrs
1 ½% per yr > 30 yrs
1.67% per yr < 20 yrs, or
1.75% per yr at 20 yrs
35% plus 2% per year beyond 20 yrs
Age of First Eligibility Without Penalty Age 55 with 30 years Age 62 with 30 years Age 63
Minimum yrs of srvc (aka “vesting”) 5 years 5 years 10 years, now 5 years thanks to NYSUT advocacy
Final Average Salary Avg of 3 highest consecutive years of salary Avg of 3 highest consecutive years of salary 5 year average with added restriction on includable salaries