Operations During Pandemic

Overview

Operations During Pandemic
Last Updated 7/29/21

Please see the FAQs below about conducting business with NYCERS during the pandemic. Check this page periodically for updates.

In Compliance with Local Law 75 of 2020, please read NYCERS’ Return to Office Checklist HERE.

The NYCERS Board of Trustees will continue to meet as scheduled. Please check HERE for meeting dates. The public session of the Board of Trustees meeting is livestreamed on the meeting day and then archived HERE.

Customer Service

Q: How can I get help with my account?

NYCERS’ Call Center is available to assist you over the phone at (347) 643-3000, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Q: How do I access MyNYCERS? 

If you registered for MyNYCERS prior to April 2020, you will need to re-register your account at www.mynycers.org. This is a one-time re-registration. For information on how to register, visit www.nycers.org/post/how-register.

Q: I want to join NYCERS. How do I submit my membership application?

New York City employees who are eligible for NYCERS membership and have not yet joined may submit a NYCERS Membership Application online.* 

*Alternately, you can a download and complete a Membership Application, found on www.nycers.org.

Pension Payments

Q: Will I still get my pension check?

Yes. NYCERS is committed to ensuring that income continues uninterrupted for retirees and their beneficiaries. Direct Deposit is the fastest and easiest way to receive your pension payment. It is safe and secure – no waiting for a check to arrive, and no trips to the bank in bad weather. If you are still receiving a paper check, NYCERS encourages you to sign up for Direct Deposit through your secure MyNYCERS account (after you register or log in, look for the link labeled “Update Payment Method”).

You may also print out  Form #380 and upload it in your MyNYCERS account (log in and look for the link labeled “Upload a Form or Document”). NYCERS also accepts forms and documents by fax to 347-643-3884, but please note that faxed forms will take longer to process.

Q:  If I am a retiree who is 85 or older and I received a Payroll Verification Affidavit (NYCERS Form #355) in the mail, do I need to fill it out and get it notarized? 

Yes, NYCERS Form #355  is still required and must be notarized. The form may be submitted in one of three ways:

  • Upload in your secure MyNYCERS account (log in and look for the link labeled “Upload a Form or Document”), or
  • Mail it to NYCERS at 30-30 47th Ave., Suite 1010, Long Island City, NY 11101. 
  • NYCERS also accepts forms and documents by fax to 347-643-3884, but please note that faxed documents will take longer to process. If received, the retiree’s benefit will not be suspended. 

Forms, Notary

Q:  How can I submit forms, documents, or other correspondence to NYCERS?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, NYCERS is processing incoming US mail at a slower pace.  

Please use the new, expanded MyNYCERS services to submit the following forms online. Log in or register at  www.mynycers.org  (registration instructions are provided on the site).  Be sure to use a supported browser:  Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari. 

  • Change of Address and other contact information updates
  • Service Retirement and Option Election 
  • Disability Retirement
  • Loan (Tier 3, 4, 6; Direct Deposit available)  
  • Beneficiary and Guardian 
  • Online Payment 
  • Refunds (Direct Deposit available) 
  • Telephone Appointment Scheduling 
  • Federal Tax Withholding (retirees) 
  • Direct Deposit (pension payments, loans, and refunds) 

Loans, Buyback, Change of Address, and Tax Withholding forms continue to be available online.  

See all the new MyNYCERS features at a glance.

Upload documents online. Correspondence and forms that are NOT listed above as available for online submission can be downloaded HERE. Once you have completed the form, you must notarize it (if applicable) and submit it in one of three ways:

  • Upload it in your secure MyNYCERS account (log in and look for the link labeled “Upload a Form or Document”), or
  • Mail it to NYCERS at 30-30 47th Ave., Suite 1010, Long Island City, NY 11101.
  • NYCERS also accepts forms and documents by fax to 347-643-3884, but please note that faxed documents will take longer to process. The App Store and Google Play offer free apps that enable you to fax a completed form from your desktop or mobile device.*

* Please note that NYCERS does not endorse or promote the use of any particular application. In addition, since these are third-party applications, each may have their own privacy policies and may require submission of Personally Identifying Information (PII). Therefore, NYCERS is unable to provide any protections related to the use of those applications. Please proceed with caution and at your own risk.

Q:  How can I get an original birth certificate or other vital record to NYCERS, so I can get my benefit?

NYCERS has suspended the requirement that members, pensioners, and beneficiaries submit original vital records in order to receive a benefit. Instead, a copy of the record can be uploaded to your secure MyNYCERS account (log in and look for the link labeled “Upload a Form or Document”), mailed to NYCERS at 30-30 47th Ave., Suite 1010, Long Island City, NY 11101, or faxed to 347-643-3884 and it will be treated as an original. Note that faxed documents will take longer to process. NYCERS reserves the right to request originals in the future as a validation measure. 

Q:  Do I need to get new Letters Testamentary (LT) or Letters of Administration (LOA) if they are more than six months old, and do they need to be original?  

NYCERS has expanded the time in which an LT or LOA is valid. During the COVID-19 pandemic, an LOA or LT can be up to one year old to be considered valid. An original also does not need to be submitted.  The quickest way to submit a copy of the LT or LOA is to upload it to your secure MyNYCERS account (log in and look for the link labeled “Upload a Form or Document”). It can also be mailed to NYCERS at 30-30 47th Ave., Suite 1010, Long Island City, NY 11101, or faxed to 347-643-3884. Note that faxed documents will take longer to process.  

Loans and Refunds

Q:  Can I still take out a loan?

Yes. NYCERS encourages you to register for, or log in, to your secure MyNYCERS account and apply for a loan online.     

Q:  Can I still apply for a refund?

Yes. If you are eligible for a refund, you can apply for a refund online in your secure MyNYCERS account.

Retirement Applications

Q:  Can I apply for Service Retirement online?

If you have a registered MyNYCERS account, you may log in and submit your Service Retirement application online. If you are not already registered for MyNYCERS, visit www.mynycers.org to register. Once your retirement application is processed, you will receive notification to submit your Final Option Election online as well, and to specify how you would like your benefit to be paid.  Click here for more information about the Service Retirement process.

Q: Will processing times be longer for retirement applications and other forms?

NYCERS is transitioning back to regular operations and NYCERS staff remain committed to providing you with world-class service and processing your applications and requests as quickly as possible. Many forms and supporting documents can be submitted or uploaded online through your secure MyNYCERS account. 

Q:  If I file for Service Retirement online, how will I get the Retirement Receipt to give to my employer? 

You will receive a confirmation page at the end of the online application process which you can download and share with your employer. This confirmation page has replaced the manual retirement receipt. 

Q:  How can I get the paperwork I need for my Retiree Health Insurance?

NYCERS has collaborated with the Office of Labor Relations (OLR) and other agencies not on the City’s Payroll Management System (PMS) to develop a new process. NYCERS will generate a daily report of the new retirees in lieu of the retirement receipt which will be sent to OLR and the agencies who are not in PMS. OLR will no longer require members to include a retirement receipt with their Health Benefit Enrollment Form. If you require further information about how OLR processes health insurance enrollments, please contact OLR.

Q:  Can I assign someone to act on my behalf if I become incapacitated, and contact NYCERS if I’m unable to do so?

Yes, you may assign someone to act on your behalf by submitting a Power of Attorney (POA) to NYCERS so that in the event that you become incapacitated because of COVID, or for any other reason, a trusted agent may transact with NYCERS and execute documents on your behalf. If the member has already been found incapacitated, the POA may not be signed by them. Should that occur, you will need to become the Guardian of the Property to act on the member’s behalf.

If you already have a Power of Attorney, please submit it to NYCERS. You may also use NYCERS’ Special Durable Power of Attorney (Form #204).  How to fill out the Power of Attorney.

Q: If I want my Power of Attorney (POA) to be able to name themselves as beneficiary, what do I need to do? 

Use NYCERS’ Special Durable Power of Attorney (Form #204). In Section G you must state that you want your agent to be able to name themselves as beneficiary. Without this statement, if you use this form, your agent will be able to name beneficiaries, but they will not be able to name themselves.  

Q:  What do I need to do in order to make sure my Power of Attorney (POA) is valid?

Make sure that your agent is not the notary or a witness on the form. However, your notary may act as a witness. Please note that if the member passes away, the POA becomes invalid.

Q: What can be done if a member becomes incapacitated and does not have a Power of Attorney (POA) or Guardianship? 

Guardianships are issued by the New York State Supreme Courts and other states’ lower courts when someone is incapacitated and cannot make decisions for themselves. 

NYCERS has contacted the New York State Supreme Courts and they are open for ordering guardianships for people who are incapacitated. 

If a loved one is seeking a guardianship to assist a member with pension-related issues, the loved one must be named the guardian of the property, and the order must allow them to handle pension benefits. Otherwise, the guardianship will not help the member. 

If a Guardianship Order, Letters of Guardianship, or a Commission and Proof of Bond is mentioned in the Order, they must be submitted to NYCERS via fax at (347) 643-3884.

A member does NOT need a guardianship if they have a valid POA.

Q: Where can I find information about how to retire now that in-person seminars are temporarily suspended? 

Retirement Plan booklets are published on NYCERS’ website at www.nycers.org/plan-booklets

Comprehensive Pre-Retirement Planning Seminar Booklets are also available online at the link above. These tier and plan-specific booklets are useful resources for NYCERS Members enrolled in these tiers and plans. 

The Pension Outreach Programs team conducts pension seminars via Zoom Video Conference. Seminars and registrations are coordinated with authorized agency personnel and not with individual members, so please contact your agency’s HR Representative or Benefits Coordinator (not NYCERS) for additional information about attending a pension seminar.

Disability and Survivor Benefits

Q:  Is the NYCERS Medical Board still reviewing applications and examining applicants?

Yes. The Medical Board is still reviewing cases and making determinations based on the documentary evidence. Some applicants will be scheduled for an interview and examination via video conference.  

Q:  Will the Board of Trustees still hear disability cases?

Yes. Applicants for Disability Retirement who have the right to appeal before the Board of Trustees, and their attorneys, will still be scheduled to appear before the Board of Trustees. That appearance may be done via video conference.  

Q:  Is the World Trade Center (WTC) Review Committee still meeting? Will I get a determination on my Notice of Participation? 

Yes. The WTC Review Committee may convene in person, or via phone or video conference, and will be able to take testimony from applicants. NYCERS will inform you of the Board of Trustees’ determination once you have appeared before the WTC Review Committee remotely and the full Board of Trustees has made a final determination based on the Committee’s recommendation.  

Q:  Is there a disability presumption bill that awards uniformed members disabled by the COVID-19 illness a three-quarters disability pension?

At this time, there is no presumptive bill. If you are a uniformed member disabled due to COVID-19, you bear the burden of showing that the disability was the natural and proximate result of an in-service accident, as defined by law, in order to qualify for a three-quarters disability pension. 

Q:  If a member dies of COVID-19, will their beneficiaries be entitled to an Accidental Death Benefit?

Chapter 78 of the Laws of 2021 awards an Accidental Death Benefit to the Eligible Beneficiary/Beneficiaries of certain deceased Members whose death was caused by, or was related to COVID-19.

If you have any questions regarding applying for this benefit, please contact NYCERS’ Call Center at (347) 643-3000.

Q: How can I obtain a death certificate for a member, pensioner, or beneficiary at this time? 

Information regarding ordering a death certificate online is available at: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/services/death-certificates.page

Income Limitation, Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Offset

Q:  If the Federal tax filing date was changed for income limitations purposes after retirement, is NYCERS requiring retirees to submit their tax returns now? 

In 2020 and 2021, NYCERS extended the deadline for retirees to provide their 1040, but those executive orders have since been revoked.  

Q: Is an Accidental Death Benefit offset by Workers’ Compensation benefits? 

An Accidental Death Benefit for Tiers 1, 2 only is offset by 100% of any Workers’ Compensation benefits collected in conjunction with this accident.

Q: Do I still need to submit my documentation to NYCERS for my Workers’ Compensation? 

Yes, when you start to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits or Workers’ Compensation benefits have changed (increased, decreased or stopped), you need to inform NYCERS immediately by completing Form #354 with all Notice of Decisions for Workers’ Compensation benefits you collect.  

Q:  Do I need to notarize Form #354 before I submit it to NYCERS? 

Yes, you must complete Form #354 entirely with a valid Notary Public.

Q: Do I still need to submit my Social Security documentation if I am receiving an Accidental Death Benefit?

No.

Remit Payment

Q. How can I make a payment to NYCERS? 

NYCERS encourages the use of electronic payments, and accepts credit/debit cards and e-checks. You may make a payment directly from your MyNYCERS account. Payments sent by mail will be delayed in processing.   

 Legal Proceedings

Q:  How can I serve NYCERS with court documents?

NYCERS will accept court documents in person only.

Please note that NYCERS can accept service of process ONLY on behalf of the following persons and entities: (i) NYCERS; (ii) the NYCERS Board of Trustees; (iii) the NYCERS Medical Board; (iv) NYCERS employees in their official capacity; and (v) Melanie Whinnery.  

Q:  How can I submit a Domestic Relations Order to NYCERS?

NYCERS has set up a separate email address, DRO@nycers.org, specifically for Domestic Relations Orders. Visit the Domestic Relations Order page on NYCERS’ website for more information.

Q: Do I still have four months from a NYCERS final determination to bring an Article 78?

The statute of limitations to file an Article 78 proceeding is four months from a NYCERS final determination. However, please note that the Governor had issued a number of executive orders that affected the deadline to file an Article 78 proceeding, which have since been revoked.