BERS is committed to providing
our members with professional and personal quality service. To this end the management
and staff are always available to provide members with information and assistance
on all retirement system related matters. The most frequently used services are
In the event of your death, anyone
can notify BERS. Upon receiving notification and proof of death, we will contact your beneficiaries
and advise them of the procedures to follow and what necessary documentation must
be provided. If you have no beneficiary on file, we will obtain the necessary documentation
from the administrator of your estate and the benefit will be paid to your estate.
Counseling and Appointments
Representatives are available to
speak with active and prospective members as well as our retirees. We are available
to answer any questions you may have. You can contact our counselors to discuss
enrollment into the pension plan and tax-deferred annuity programs, retirement,
vesting, transferring, withdrawal of your contributions and its consequenses, and
any other retirement related concerns.
When you begin to contemplate retirement, our counselors are available to approximate
your benefit, provide you with the information and options that will make your transition
from active service to retirement an enjoyable experience, as well as explaining
how you may provide for your beneficiaries after your death.
To speak to a counselor, please contact our office at 718-935-5400. You can meet
with a counselor at any time at our office. However, we encourage you to make an
appointment, especially if you are planning to retire. To make your appointment,
please call 718-935-3965. At that time you will be advised of the procedures to
follow and what documentation, if any, you should bring with you.
If you are calling from outside New York, you may also contact us at 1-800-843-5575.
If you are an employee of the Department
of Education, the School Construction Authority, a participating Charter School,
or you are a School Crossing Guard working for the Police Department, you may be
eligible to join BERS. However, membership in BERS is not open to regularly appointed
teachers and other employees eligible to participate in the Teachers' Retirement
System (TRS) or the Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS).
Membership is established on the date of your permanent appointment, or for elective
members, on the date an enrollment application is received by the Retirement System.
Upon receipt of a completed application, the Members Accounts department is responsible
for verifying eligibility, payroll status, the calculation of pension deductions
and arrears, if any, and the assignment of membership numbers.
The enrollment Kit, including Application forms, is available on this website. You
can also request the kit by phone, mail or visiting our office. When requesting
the application by mail or phone, please indicate your name, address, title, date
of hire, employment status, and telephone number.
Please note that membership in the system is irrevocable.
If you are a BERS member, have
at least one year of membership service and not in default of a previous loan, you
may be eligible to take a loan. The Loan department is responsible for calculating
and issuing loans, loan estimates, loan liquidations, loan inquiries, and questions
concerning loans from the Qualified Pension Plan, Tax Deferred Annuity Program,
and the Tier Enhancement Programs. Applications are available on this website and
can also be obtained by phone, mail or by visiting our office. When requesting the
application by mail or by phone, please indicate your name, address, membership
number, tier, telephone number and the type of loan.
If you are a BERS retiree, the
Pension Payroll department is responsible for answering questions concerning pension
checks, direct deposit, retiree address change, and tax withholding. To protect
our retirees, we request that any changes to their accounts be submitted on notarized
forms. Most forms are available on this website and can also be obtained by phone,
mail or visiting our office. When requesting the forms by mail or by phone, please
indicate your name, address, pension number and telephone number.
If you had New York State or City
public service prior to joining BERS, you may be eligible to purchase pension credit
for that time. A completed prior-service application must be submitted. Upon receipt
of the application, the Prior Service department will verify service information
and calculate the cost of prior service to be purchased. This application is available
on this website and can also be obtained by phone, mail or visiting our office.
When requesting the application by mail or by phone, please indicate your name,
address, membership number and telephone number.
Note: Your prior service purchased will not be credited to you until you have earned
2 years of membership service.
Refunds / Transfers
If you are a member who resigns
or is terminated, you may be eligible to request a refund of your pension and TDA
contributions. Upon receipt of a completed withdrawal application, the Refund department
is responsible for determining your eligibility to withdraw and the issuing of refunds.
If you withdraw, you will relinquish all rights to the pension benefits of BERS.
If you accept another position that entitles you to membership in another New York
public retirement system, you may be eligible to remain an active member of BERS
as a transfer contributor or to transfer your BERS membership to another New York
State or City Retirement System. To transfer your membership, you must be a member
of the System you wish to transfer to and you must complete and submit a Transfer
Application. Upon receipt of a completed transfer application, the Transfer department
will verify your eligibility and calculate the amount of credited service and funds
to be transferred. Transfer forms are available on this website and can be obtained
by phone, mail or visiting our office. When requesting the forms by mail or by phone
please indicate your name, address, membership number and telephone number
and specify Pension and/or TDA.