The New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) was established in 1921 by an act of the state legislature and is the second largest of eight public retirement systems in New York State. NYSTRS administers the fund from which public school teachers and administrators employed outside New York City receive retirement and ancillary benefits.
NYSTRS directs a defined benefit plan. In addition to a service retirement pension, this includes disability and death benefits; the ability to borrow from member contributions; and, in some cases, coverage for beneficiaries. Eligibility for benefits generally is based on factors such as age, years of service, final average salary and tier of membership.
Payments to eligible members and beneficiaries are guaranteed by law and cannot be diminished or impaired under New York’s current constitution. Benefit improvements, such as early retirement incentives, must be enacted into law by the state legislature and governor. NYSTRS provides the legislature with statistical and cost information on bills affecting members.