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Office of the New York State Comptroller’s Seal

NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Employer Reporting Basics

Mandatory vs. Optional Membership

Public employees fall into one of two categories:

  • Those who are required to join the System; and
  • Those who may join if they wish.

Membership is mandatory for employees in full-time permanent 12-month positions. The date of membership is the date of full-time, permanent appointment.

An optional member’s date of membership is either:

  • The date you fax the registration to us; or
  • The date we receive the membership application.

The membership date is whichever is earlier.

There is an exception, for both mandatory and optional membership, if your employee’s first day worked is during non-business hours. In that case, you must contact NYSLRS on the following business day.

Although membership is not required for optional members, once they join, they cannot terminate their membership unless they:

  • Are not vested and have not worked in public service for at least seven years;
  • Have less than ten years of service credit, leave public employment for at least 15 days and voluntarily withdraw their membership;
  • Transfer to another retirement system;
  • Retire; or
  • Die.

For additional information, please see Section 5 of the Employer’s Guide Adobe pdf.

Rev. 7/18