Office of the New York State Comptroller’s Seal

NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Retirement Online

Online Availability:

Mon, Wed & Fri: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm EST/EDT

Tue & Thu: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm EST/EDT

Sat & Sun: 6:00 am to 11:00 pm EST/EDT

Retirement Online will be unavailable today, May 23, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm for maintenance.

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Tips & Tricks

tips & tricks

Knowing these insights into Retirement Online will save you time and trouble.

Member Talking Point icon

What’s a Member Talking Point?

Your employees are our members. They may come to you with NYSLRS questions, especially payroll record questions. Member talking points contains information that can help you answer their NYSLRS questions.

File Upload Time

File uploads may take up to 3 minutes per thousand rows of data. Taking a file from ‘Success’ to ‘Posted’ takes less than a minute per thousand rows.

Important Steps to Complete Your Report Submission

In order to submit your report for final processing, your report must be certified as accurate. Be sure to check the box next to ‘I agree to the submission of this Employer Report,’ before you click the ‘Submit’ button to finish. Your report is not considered complete until it is Uploaded, Submitted and its status is listed as ‘Posted’.

Dealing with Social Security number, Registration Number, or Control Initial Mismatches

You may encounter errors when a Social Security number, Registration Number, or Control Initial mismatch is found. Go to the Reporting Dashboard and select the Member Contribution Rates page to reconcile the information. If you are unable to resolve an issue, call the Retirement Online Employer Help Desk at 844-619-9614, select 1 as an employer, and then select 5 to be routed to Employer Reporting.

Download Your Errors and Warnings

If you have errors or warnings, you must download the messages as Excel files. Errors will not be viewable once the report is submitted. The Excel file creates a reference you can work from to address and close out issues after your report has been submitted. To download, look for the spreadsheet icon on the top right hand corner of the table on the Errors and Warnings tab.

Contributions that Exceed the Amount Owed

NYSLRS will only collect contributions that are owed. Contributions that exceed the expected amount will no longer be accepted — this will appear in a warning. To view these contributions, start at the Reporting Dashboard and select the Improper Withholdings page. Employers will need to refund the amount listed in the Excess Amount field back to their employees. An excess amount may also result from loan or service credit payments that exceed the outstanding account balance due.

Identifying Reports and Adjustments You Didn’t Post

NYSLRS staff may post a report, on your behalf, to update data that couldn’t be posted from a previous report you submitted, or as a means of posting information submitted on an Adjustment Report (RS2050) form. Be sure not to modify these reports if they are in Initiated status, as NYSLRS staff are still working on them. If you’re an Employer Reporting security role holder, you may see report posting notices for these NYSLRS reports. Here’s how to identify the posting: Access the report in the Employer Reporting Dashboard and look at the Comments section. If it reads Processed by NYSLRS, then the report has been posted by NYSLRS on your behalf.

New Reports vs. Adjustment Reports — How to Decide Which to Use

In Retirement Online, adjustments are changes to previously reported data for a specific member. If you need to update information for a member for a payroll that you’ve already reported, please submit an adjustment report. If you haven’t reported a member in a specific report yet, use a regular report. To determine what information was reported for a member in a specific report, please use the Search Employee feature on either the Retirement Online Account Homepage, or the Employer Reporting Dashboard. You will need either the Payroll or Employer Reporting Uploader/Submitter security roles to perform this search.

Reporting Optional Employees Who Join NYSLRS Mid-Reporting Cycle

When an optional employee joins NYSLRS partway through a reporting period, report all days and earnings the employee earned for the entire reporting period. Retirement Online will automatically split the salary and service based on the employee’s membership date and will calculate expected contributions. You should also report if you have already taken deductions for this employee. The system will inform you if you have over- or under-deducted.

010/020 Report Codes for New ERS/PFRS Members

To prepare for the shift to enhanced reporting, we’ve changed the way report codes are issued for new members. If you are a non-state employer enrolling a new member using Retirement Online, their enrollment will now follow these rules:

If the employee is being enrolled into an ERS position for the first time at your location, then their report code will be “010.”

If the employee is being enrolled into a PFRS position for the first time at your location, then their report code will be “020.”

All of your existing members who were previously reported using RIR may be reported using their old report code. If you are re-hiring an employee at your location into a position within the same retirement system (ERS or PFRS), then you will continue to report them using their old report code.

Service Credit Purchases and Deficiencies

How are deficiencies handled?

When you receive a report warning stating, “Reported contributions are less than required amount,” this means that a member has been reported and their reported contributions did not meet the expected amount. Two actions need to take place; first, please verify that the proper contribution rate is recorded in your payroll system for that employee. Second, because all member accounts must be made whole, NYSLRS will create a deficiency Service Credit Purchase account for that member that will need to be collected in a later report. You will receive a deficiency notification on your Account Homepage in the Notification section for each impacted member.

Member Talking Point icon

Member Talking Point

  • If a member owes contributions, they will see the deficiency reflected in their personal Retirement Online account as a service credit purchase.
  • Once the required contributions have been collected, the service credit purchase will be complete.
  • Possible reasons for owing contributions: member was not initially assigned the correct contribution rate or contributions were underreported by the employer.

Completing Service Credit Purchase Requests

You will receive notifications to validate salary and service information for members purchasing service credit. This notification will specify the employee’s information, as well as the start and stop dates for the service the employee is attempting to purchase. If the service an employee is attempting to purchase has not been reported in Retirement Online, fill out and return the Monthly Salary and Service Certification form (RS5120) Adobe pdf to NYSLRS. Remember, you may use the Search Employee button to determine what exactly has been reported for this employee at your location.

Loan Deduction Changes

You will receive notifications for when to start, stop and increase an employee’s loan deductions.

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Member Talking Point

  • An employee’s NYSLRS loan must be repaid within five years. Periodically, NYSLRS will look at an employee’s loan deductions to determine if they are on track to repay the loan on time.
  • In most cases, the deduction increase will be small. Employees may see a larger increase if, for instance, they went on leave without pay and did not make any loan payments.

Notifications & Forms Triggered by Employee Retirements

When an employee at your location applies for retirement, all Personnel security role holders will receive a notification requesting that a Statement of Accrued Payments and Leave Credits form (RS6221) Adobe pdf be completed. The Personnel security holder may either upload this form through the Retirement notification or upload the form through the Upload Member Document link on the Employer Retirement Online Account Homepage. We are working to provide further information on these Retirement notifications such as member name and date of retirement.

Make Sure You Confirm Employee’s Personal & Job Info

Prior to clicking the “Submit” button on the Member Enrollment Dashboard, it is imperative you take a moment to confirm the Personal and Job Information for the employee being enrolled. If you identify an error, click the “Edit” button to fix the error prior to clicking “Submit.” Submission of errors in these fields can result in incorrect reporting information, inaccurate records being created and incorrect dates of membership being established, among other problems.

Incorrect data may result in the failed submission of a monthly report, and if not caught before they are submitted, these errors will likely result in significant member reporting delays. These errors could also result in you having to manually modify your employer report, as well as manually adjust interest and arrears for the member.

Retirement Online Availability

To see today’s Retirement Online hours of operation, hover your mouse over the sign in box on the Retirement Online employer homepage.

Where to Sign In to Retirement Online

Bookmark the Retirement Online employer homepage for quick and easy access for signing in. Bookmarking other pages won’t work — so make sure you only sign in from this page.

Be Careful with Your Back Button

When using Retirement Online, don’t use the ‘back’ button at the top of your browser. This may cause you to lose your work. Always use the navigation controls within Retirement Online for the best results.

Preferred Browsers

Retirement Online works best when viewed with Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. You may experience problems if you work in Retirement Online using other browsers.

Sign In Issues

Having trouble signing in? Try clearing your cache Adobe pdf.

Fixing Conflicts When Working with Other Programs

State employers: Retirement Online may not work properly when you’re using programs like PayServ or the Statewide Learning Management System (SLMS). For more on using these programs while working in Retirement Online, read our guide on using multiple PeopleSoft applications Adobe pdf.

Don’t Lose Your Work to a Log Out

Retirement Online times-out (logs you out) after 20 minutes of inactivity. Make sure to navigate in the system or you will be signed out.

Download Data to Your Computer

Reading a long table in Retirement Online? You can download the table data as an Excel file for easy reading and sorting.

Instructions Are a Click Away

Retirement Online help is built right into the system. Click the ‘Help’ link at the top right corner of the screen your working in to get instructions on completing your task.

One User ID/Password Per Customer

Don’t share your user ID or password with another employer contact. If you need additional access to Retirement Online, speak with your employer’s security administrator to adjust your security access.

Go Easy on the Submit Button

In Retirement Online, do not click ‘submit’ more than once. Some procedures take time to process, and clicking ‘submit’ repeatedly may cause problems with your work.

Avoid Multiple Sessions

Do not have multiple sessions of Retirement Online open simultaneously. This cause conflicts in the system that may affect your work.

Confused About Notifications In Retirement Online?

We have several helpful resources on our website to help. See our Retirement Online notifications tool for a complete guide to the notifications you may see — and guidance on what to do if you get a notification. Also, watch our video on managing notifications which will help you understand the different types of Retirement Online notifications.

Reporting Days and Earnings for New Optional Members

You must report all days and earnings for an optional member in the month the member joins NYSLRS. This includes days and earnings for both before and after the date of membership.

Many optional members may not have a date of membership that matches their hire date.

In the past, you only reported the days and earnings after the date of membership for an optional member’s first month. Going forward, days and earnings for both before and after the date of membership must be reported. This change will help all employers transition to enhanced reporting and result in more accurate records of service credit.

Retirement Online will automatically split the days, earnings, and contributions based on what is reported by the employer.

If you’d like to know more about how NYSLRS calculates the proper days, contributions, and earnings of optional members in that first month, please see this quick guide Adobe pdf.

Reporting Elected and Appointed Officials

  • When reporting Elected and Appointed officials (non-timekeeping) titles that fall under the 02900E and 00900E Job Codes, use EAR to report their earnings. Hours are not required.
  • When reporting Appointed Officials (timekeeping) titles that fall under the 00950E Job Code, use REG to report their earnings. Hours and earnings are required.

Enrolling Optional Members

  • When you are enrolling an optional member who wants to join NYSLRS, make sure you do so on the same day the employee decides to enroll. Also, be sure to upload their application on the same day.

Hiring Optional Members

  • When hiring an employee, make sure they do not already belong to NYSLRS through a different employer, this can be checked by using the Member Enrollment Dashboard.
  • When you are hiring an optional employee who does not want to join NYSLRS, it is always best to use the “real” hire date in which this person was hired to your location. If you do not have that date, use the first day of the month in which the employer is reporting.
  • When you are hiring an optional employee and Retirement Online finds that this person already has a membership with NYSLRS through another employer, use the actual hire date for your location.

Hiring a Retiree

  • In enhanced reporting, a returning retiree needs to have a new employment instance. The retiree needs to be newly hired — not re-hired. The hire transaction creates a new employment instance.
  • Employers can use the File Upload process to hire retirees.
  • After an employee retires, it takes time for NYSLRS to process the paperwork. Retirement Online won’t allow employers to hire retirees if the Retirement Case has not been completed. Make sure you put that on your records to follow up.
  • A retiree needs to be hired after the date of retirement; an employee cannot be on payroll on their retirement date.

Post-Retirement Reporting for Enhanced Reporters

For employers using enhanced reporting, retirees that are returning to work are to be reported. The information for these employees must be reported using a new employment instance number (EMPL record). This is required in order to separate post-retirement earnings from membership-related earnings information.

If you attempt to use their old EMPL record, you’ll receive an error message in Retirement Online.

To report a retiree returning to work, you will need to use the Enrollment Dashboard or ERET tool to create a new EMPL record for the retiree.

Where to find the employee’s new EMPL record number:

  • Enrollment Dashboard Confirmation page or New Hire Summary page
  • On the member’s contribution rates page
  • Within the manual report

It’s important to remember, you will not be able to create an EMPL record or report on a retiree returning to work until that employee’s retirement case has been closed by NYSLRS. This restriction also applies if they have a pending withdrawal, tier reinstatement, transfer, or membership date case that has not closed.

For more information about post-retirement reporting, see our Post-Retirement Reporting — Overview page.

Managing Reports on the Employer Reporting Dashboard

Anytime the “Create Manual Report” button in Retirement Online is clicked, a new report or adjustment report will be created with the “Initiated” status. When a report containing member data is in Initiated status, the data contained in the report will only be posted to member accounts when it is brought to “Posted” status. Please visit the Reporting Dashboard to check for reports with the Initiated status that you need to submit.

Sometimes, manual reports may be created unintentionally, and you will see them listed among the reports you will be submitting. To help avoid confusion and improve your experience using Retirement Online, always delete reports that you do not intend to submit.

See our Initiated Report Instructions Adobe pdf for information that will help you manage your reports in Retirement Online.

For additional help, please see the How to Report Manually section on our How To page.

Based on your feedback, we’ve upgraded Retirement Online to improve the way you can search through the notifications you receive.

Watch this video for a brief introduction to searching notifications. Also, see this guide Adobe pdf to learn how to access and search notifications in Retirement Online using the Notification Search link. You’ll see how to view active (current) or past notifications, how to sort the notifications chronologically, to view them by due date or date completed, to easily mark notifications as complete, and more.

As always, you will only be able to view the notifications associated to your security role(s), but the improved search function will make managing notifications easier and more convenient.

Some employers who submit payments to NYSLRS using Automated Clearing House (ACH) have found that the amount debited from their account does not match what they calculated as being withheld from their employee’s paychecks.

There are two reasons this could occur:

  1. When your report was submitted for posting, NYSLRS did not accept a contribution, loan or service credit payment on behalf of a member because it was not owed; this is considered an “improper withholding”. To learn more, view the improper withholdings quick guide Adobe pdf; it will show you how to view any deductions that were identified as improperly withheld, as well as understand how to prevent them in the future.
  2. When an employer submits an adjustment to remove incorrectly reported wages from a member’s reported data and requests a refund of the associated contributions, NYSLRS will create a credit to your employer reporting account. This is a change from our past practice of mailing you a refund check and letter with details so you could return the money to the member. The payroll contact at your organization will receive a letter with the member’s information along with the amount of the contributions you must refund to them. The credit will be applied to the first report you submit 15 days after the refund is processed.

Please note that the amount debited from your account is equal to the amount owed (which is the value displayed on the report summary page) minus any credits.

If you have questions about your monthly report or the amount that was debited from your account, please contact our Employer Reporting unit by calling 866-805-0990. Have your location code ready when you call.

How to Handle Deficiencies

Deficiencies are created as a result of under-contributing on a previous monthly report. In general, if you see a warning regarding too few contributions for a member on a monthly report, you should expect a future deficiency. You will be notified of the deficiency amount through a deficiency notification. You should report the deficiency to NYSLRS as a one-time payment service credit purchase on your employer report as soon as possible to minimize any interest owed. Always wait for the deficiency notification prior to sending the money to NYSLRS to prevent the funds being labeled as improper withholdings.

If you receive a deficiency notification about a particular member that member will be notified of the deficiency in a letter from NYSLRS.

Sometimes, members work for more than one NYSLRS employer. If you are a member’s primary employer, and the member’s other employer has under-withheld, you will receive a notification to take a one-time SCP/deficiency payment. The member’s other employer will receive a warning and is responsible to begin taking the contributions at the correct rate.

Learn How to View and Prevent Improper Withholdings

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If you deduct too much in retirement contributions, or overpay the member’s loan or service credit purchase account, you will receive a warning when submitting your file. This is known as an improper withholding. NYSLRS can only accept money that’s owed, so any deductions that were not accepted by NYSLRS will need to be returned to your employee.

You’ll know if there’s an improper withholding because you’ll receive a warning when posting your report. Since these are payroll deductions, refunds of improper amounts must be issued by the employer, not by NYSLRS. Local employers are responsible for refunding the money themselves. For State employers, the money is refunded through State payroll.

To view the details of any improper withholdings, click the Access Reporting Dashboard button on your Account Homepage, and click the Improper Withholdings link found near the top right of the page. This page is accessible to the Employer Reporting (uploader and submitter) and Payroll security holders.

Read our quick guide Adobe pdf to learn more about viewing improper withholdings.