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Early Career

Congratulations on taking the first step to securing your financial future!  Now that you’ve enrolled it’s important to take a moment to review the details of your retirement plan.

What you Need to Know

Contributing to the Pension

The BERS Qualified Pension Plan (QPP) is the primary program administered by BERS. Every BERS member is a participant in the BERS QPP, which is a defined-benefit pension plan qualified under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Members who join on or after April 1, 2012, are enrolled into the Tier 6 plan. Tier 6 members are required to make contributions to BERS. All contributions made through payroll deductions are made before federal taxes are taken out of your paycheck. This means that your employee contributions are currently not included as part of your gross income for federal tax purposes, but instead will be subject to federal taxes when your benefits are paid out in retirement, or if and when you receive a refund of these contributions.

Changing Jobs

It's important to check in with a BERS representative if you choose to change job titles to ensure that you can maintain your plan rights and keep your account in good standing. You are automatically vested in the Tier 6 Plan if you have a minimum of 5 years of credited service. Depending on your new title you may be eligible to remain a BERS member or you may need to transfer your membership to another retirement system. Make sure to get in touch with a BERS representative to discuss your specific situation.

Keeping your Account up to Date

When you completed your enrollment application you provided important contact and beneficiary information to BERS. Make sure to keep this information up to date with BERS. To make updates to your contact information you will need to complete an Update Contact Form. To make updates to your Beneficiary you will need to complete a Designation of Beneficiary Form (TIER 6 | TIER 4TIER 2 | TIER 1TDA ). Once the forms have been completed and notarized you can submit them here.

Maximizing Your Savings

The BERS Tax Deferred Annuity (TDA) Program is a secondary program administered by BERS. It is a defined-contribution plan established under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. The BERS TDA Program allows eligible BERS members to increase their savings in a tax-deferred plan, allowing them to save more money for retirement.

Participation in the BERS TDA Program is voluntary. Eligible members can request that BERS deduct a certain contribution rate from their payroll as contributions to the BERS TDA Program and can place these contributions either in the fixed fund (which features a guaranteed rate of interest) or the variable fund (whose value changes based on investment earnings).

The BERS TDA Program is limited to employees in "education service", which is generally restricted to DOE employees, as opposed to employees in "city service", which covers other types of New York City employment.

Plan Ahead

Online Access To Your Accounts

With a Member Self Service (MSS) account, you can monitor your Pension and Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) account balances online, make updates to your TDA account in real-time, view your loan eligibility, and more.

To register an MSS account, stop by the BERS Walk-in Center at 65 Court Street. Our wonderful representatives will provide you with an MSS Registration Application. Once you complete the form, our representatives will make a copy of your Photo ID and submit it for processing. In approximately 10 business days, you will receive a welcome registration email and a temporary password. Once you receive this, you will be able to access the MSS portal.

How to Contact BERS

Get in touch with BERS. Details are here.

Helpful Resources

BERS Glossary

BERS Contact Card with Form Processing Timeline

Designation of Beneficiary Instruction Sheet

Notarizing your Documents Instruction Sheet