To be vested (eligible to receive a benefit) in the Plan, you must have five years of credited service, including at least one year of future service after your employer joins the Plan.
- You'll obtain a full year of credited service if you work 851 hours or more within a calendar year,
- From 651 to 850 hours, you'll receive two-thirds of a year of credited service,
- From 500 to 650 hours, you'll receive one-third of a year of credited service,
- Less than 500 hours, you'll receive no credited service.
The Pension Plan uses the same mathematical formula to calculate your pension benefit, regardless of whether you choose early or normal retirement.
The Plan generally bases the calculation on the highest final average earnings for any five calendar years during the last 10 years immediately before your termination date while in covered employment. Please refer to the Summary Plan Description for complete details.
Earnings for the last year you work in covered employment are included in your final average earnings calculation only if your term date is December 31 of that year. The Plan's formula uses your base salary plus experience differential to calculate average earnings. It does not include overtime or other differentials, such as shift, specialty, or education.
Yes. The NYSNA Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan that provides guaranteed lifetime benefits to vested RNs when they retire. Benefits under the Plan are also insured to a limited degree by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a federal insurance agency. For further information about the PBGC and the benefits it guarantees, visit its Web site at www.pbgc.gov or call them at (202) 326-4000.
Your employer makes all contributions to the Plan on your behalf in accordance with the terms of dozens of NYSNA-negotiated contracts with participating medical facilities. You make no direct contributions of your own. The contributions made by your employer ensure that vested participants will receive a defined benefit pension when they retire. Upon retirement, vested participants are guaranteed to receive a specific, monthly pension benefit for the rest of their lives.
No, you can't take a withdrawal or loan from your Pension Plan, because it is a defined benefit plan to which only your employer makes specific dollar contributions. This type of plan guarantees a set benefit when you retire. Defined benefit plans don't allow additions or withdrawals because they must provide a predetermined benefit at retirement.
No. 401(k)s, 403(b)s, thrift plans, etc. are defined contribution plans, to which an employee and/or employer makes specific dollar contributions.
Your Pension Plan is a defined benefit plan, to which only your employer makes contributions so that you are guaranteed a defined (or set) benefit when you retire.
A break in service occurs when you work less than 500 hours in covered employment in any year. If your break in service occurs after you're vested, you are still eligible to receive a benefit at retirement age. If your break in service occurs before you're vested, you won't earn credit for that year.
You then have five years to return to work in a covered position that allows you to work at least 500 hours in a Plan year. Otherwise, you'll lose credit for all previous years of service. Whether or not you're vested, you'll retain credit for all previous years of service if your break in service is an allowed break (taken for military, maternity or paternity leave; or an approved leave of absence due to disability, strike or lockout, layoff, or furlough).
Once you begin working in covered employment for one of the more than 30 facilities that has a NYSNA-negotiated contract to participate in the Plan, you'll be covered from your date of hire or the date your employer becomes obligated to make contributions to the Plan on your behalf, whichever is later. There is no waiting or eligibility period. Full-time and part-time employees are automatically enrolled in the Pension Plan.
Contact the Plan office whenever you:
- Change your name, address, or phone number. Active (working) participants can call our toll-free (877) RN BENEFITS [762-3633] number to report changes. Participants who already are retired must send any changes of address to the Plan office in writing.
- Get married, divorced, separated, or become widowed. Your martial status determines your benefit payment form options at retirement. It also affects what happens to your pension benefit if you're vested and die before you retire, so be sure to notify the Plan of any changes. It's best to send certified or notarized documents to the Plan office whenever your circumstances change.
Pension portability means your service credit can be transferred from one contributing employer to another without losing credited service. Portability offers you the opportunity to continue earning credit toward your pension benefit if you change employers but stay within the Plan. There are more than 30 employers that contribute to the NYSNA Pension Plan.
The NYSNA Pension Plan is administered by a 14-member Board of Trustees, which equally represents management and labor at more than 30 participating facilities of the Plan.
The Trustees meet quarterly to evaluate strategic concerns and resolve Plan issues. They have full authority to determine eligibility requirements for benefits, formulate rules and regulations, and interpret the terms and provisions of the Plan. The Trustees also are responsible for managing the assets held under the trust agreement, and assuring that the Plan is administered in accordance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
You may contact the Board of Trustees by writing to them at the NYSNA Pension Plan, PO Box 12430, Albany, NY 12212-2430.
A disability pension benefit is available for participants who:
- Become totally and permanently disabled any time before their normal retirement date while they're in covered employment,
- Are at least 50 years old,
- Have completed at least 15 years of credited service,
- Are continuously receiving Social Security disability benefits, and
- Apply to the Plan office for a disability benefit within 30 months of the date they became disabled.
Contact the Plan office at (877) RN BENEFITS [762-3633] for more information.
If you don't qualify for a disability pension benefit, you still may be eligible for a deferred benefit if you are vested and leave the Plan before you're eligible to receive a retirement benefit.
Those nurses who are working for an employer when the employer first entered the NYSNA Pension Plan may be entitled to past service credit. This past service is for the years worked in a covered position with an employer before the employer joined the Plan. You can earn past service credit if you were already employed when the employer joined the Plan, provided the employer made contributions to cover past service credit.
Any credited service earned after your employer joins the Plan is called future service credit. You need five years of credited service to be vested in the NYSNA Pension Plan, and at least one of those years must be future service.