Employees: Three simple steps to help you plan for retirement

The following message was sent by email to all faculty and staff on May 7.

Dear Colleagues,

Are you considering retirement or wondering about how to plan? The Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion has received several inquiries about planning for retirement, and we thought it would be helpful to remind employees about what to consider when planning for retirement.

Whatever stage you are in your planning, these three simple steps can make the process much more effective:

STEP 1: Get in touch with your retirement system

Retirement experts are available to meet and work with you to determine the pension benefit and guide you in selecting an ideal retirement date. Contact information is as follows:

Members of the NYS Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) should file an Application for Service Retirement between 15 and 90 days before your retirement date. To schedule a one-on-one meeting, call 1-866-805-0990.

Members of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) should file an Application for Retirement up to 90 days before your retirement date. Call TRS at 1-800-348-7298 for a one-on-one consultation or to make a reservation to a NYSTRS PREP group seminar.

Members of the Optional Retirement Program (ORP), including TIAA, should reach out to their ORP investment provider up to the day before their retirement date. There are currently four Investment Providers available under the SUNY ORP. Their web sites, phone numbers, and a listing of the agents assigned to SUNY New Paltz to assist our employees are provided below.

STEP 2: Get familiar with the Planning for Retirement Booklet

New York State’s Planning for Retirement Booklet has just been updated. It provides the forms necessary to begin the retirement process as well as important information regarding retiree healthcare, especially the specifications of how Medicare factors into the retirement process.

STEP 3: Notify our Benefits Office of your plans

Ideally, employees are encouraged to notify Benefits, in writing, three months in advance of retiring.  Retirement processing entails coordination with offices external to the College, and this can be a lengthy process depending on the volume of request and transaction in those offices. Providing sufficient notice allows for scheduling a retirement consultation meeting and processing of post-retirement health insurance paperwork to meet your retirement date goals.

Your signed and dated letter of intention to retire should include your planned final date you expect to be on the payroll.

Sample language: “I plan on retiring as of the close of business on [DATE].”

Once a Retirement Letter is submitted, and you have reviewed and begun to complete the retirement paperwork available in the link above, schedule a retiree health benefits meeting by emailing benefits@newpaltz.edu. At your benefits retirement meeting, you will receive detailed information and answers to questions regarding necessary forms, retiree health insurance, including Medicare, if applicable.

We hope this is useful information for members of our community who are interested in learning more about this process.


Jane Gallucci, Assistant Director of Benefits