Board of Education Retirement System
of the City of New York
Variable Unit Value:
Current Unit Value

Member Services

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 outlined below.

  Death Benefits        

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.

  Enrollment        

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.

  Loans        

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.

  Pension Payroll        

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.

  Prior Service        

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.