Lawrence Teachers' Association
260 Doughty Boulevard, Inwood, NY 11096 (516) 239-7810


If you are thinking of retiring it is recommended that you meet with a retirement planner, such as Hank Sessa. Please note that Hank no longer works for NYSTRS, but he still provides retirement counseling for a fee. If interested, click on the image below to visit his website.

Thinking of retiring? Make sure to read our guide, "Retirement for Dummies"

Excess Major Medical Coverage for Retirees

403(b) Information - If you are retiring and  DO NOT have a district approved vendor for your 403(b), you MUST set one up with Renee Montilli in the Payroll Office.

New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS)
The NYSTRS website offers everything any prospective or current retiree needs to know, including the following:
   * Videos
   * Forms
   * Booklets
   * Calculate your pension
   * Track pending legislation
   * Contact your state legislators

   * Watch the NYSTRS series, Retirement Countdown, which consists of five short videos.

   * View the NYSTRS brochure,Countdown to Retirement

Register for MyNystrs where you can:
   * Change your address
   * Schedule a benefits consultation through a one to one video conference
   * Register for retirement seminar (all day workshop)
   * Track retirement processing
   * Access service history
   * Speak with experts on topics such as Social Security and the emotional changes that come with retirement
   * Contact lawyers to assist with the creation of wills, estate planning, and long-term health care
   * Calculate
and apply for loans online

Voya Financial Services

* If you plan on retiring with sick days in your bank, you MUST create a Voya account PRIOR to retiring. Make sure to contact Stephen J. Coles at Voya to get your account set up!

Click to Replace


   *Online Retirement/Medicare Application

   * Retirees under the age of 65 pay 50% of the full cost of Empire for individual and 65% for family coverage. Pre-existing conditions is not a factor.
   * If you decline the district's health insurance because you are covered by your spouse's insurance (not Empire), be sure to enroll in Empire two months before retirement. You can pay as a retiree for one month and then cancel.
   * If you decline insurance, you need to contact United Healthcare one to two months prior to retirement.
   * If you are over 65 at retirement, go to Medicare three months prior to your retirement date and sign up for part B, effective your first day of retirement. Medicare then becomes your primary insurance and covers 80% of the costs. Empire becomes your secondary insurance and covers the other 20% plus prescriptions.
   * Retirees and spouses 65 and over pay for Medicare. If you are still working, you must send your Medicare card to the personnel office to get reimbursed. It will cost approximately $96 per month and will come out of your Social Security check.
   * Health insurance comes out of your pension. Medicare comes out of your Social Security. Spouses of retirees over 65 get the same reimbursement check.


Your Medicare benefits do not change under the Affordable Health Care Act. Medicare beneficiaries don't have to do anything  differently and will continue to go to to sign up for plans. 

Those who carry insurance through their employer, and are under not be fooled! Even though you may receive solicitation calls to sign up with an exchange, you are insured through the district and don't have to do anything!

NYSTRS will come to Lawrence for a group presentation if twenty or more people are interested.
Presentations include:

   * Day long retirement seminars
   * New teacher seminars
   * Mid-career seminars
   * It is very important that you check your retirement options mid-career. NYSTRS used to have an age requirement of 45 for consultations. However, they have done away with the age requirement because they now realize how important it is to begin planning for retirement early in your career.

Prior Service
   * You may be eligible to receive prior service credit if you worked for any New York City or New York State
government agency. If you do not know the name of the agency you worked for, contact the Social Security Administration and they will forward you the information for a $15 fee. You should then contact the agency directly for proof of employment. Proof of employment, along with the appropriate
form, must then be forwarded to the NYSTRS. Visit the prior service section of the NYSTRS website
or contact them at (800) 348-7298 ext.6030.

The following is taken directly from the
NYSTRS website.
"Also of particular interest to existing NYSTRS members, Chapter 504:
   * Makes permanent a provision against diminishing the health insurance benefits of retired school district employees unless a corresponding decrease in active member benefits is also made; and,
   * Includes the legislative intent to offer public educators a 55/25 retirement incentive in 2010. This would allow certain individuals age 55 and older with at least 25 years of service to retire with no reductions if retirement occurs within an established window. PLEASE NOTE: NYSTRS cannot provide 55/25 benefit estimates until a retirement incentive is enacted into law and the legislature establishes a window. Also, there is no provision that would allow retirement prior to age 55.
   * Caps the amount of overtime that can be considered in the calculation of pension benefits at $15,000 per year.
   * Contact the NYSTRS for more information.

Durable Power of Attorney
   * It may be in your best interest to give a trusted individual the ability to serve as a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney can make decisions for you if you cannot, such as if you are unconscious. If you are in a accident or become ill and are not expected to live, your durable power of attorney should immediately file for your pension. The appropriate papers can be obtained from the NYSTRS website. The papers need to be completed and notarized before your death. The amount of money a beneficiary could receive over a lifetime versus the lump sum they would receive if you died while on the job could be substantial. Check with your attorney to see if this option is in your best interests.

Tier V
Under Chapter 504 of the Laws of 2009, anyone entering New York State service on or after Jan. 1, 2010, will belong to Tier 5. However, the rules of Tier 5 membership differ for NYSTRS members as compared to other public employees. Click here for more information.