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Office of the New York State Comptroller’s Seal

NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Beneficiary Changes

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To protect the health of our members and employees, our Retirement System consultation offices are closed until further notice. Our Call Center is open (1-866-805-0990; 518-474-7736 in the Albany Area) and NYSLRS staff continue to conduct business. However, we strongly encourage you to use Retirement Online to do business with NYSLRS at this time. For info about filing for retirement during the COVID-19 emergency, read more. The 15-day retirement waiting period is waived during the emergency. Read more. If you become seriously ill as a result of the COVID-19 virus, read more for important filing information.

Life circumstances sometimes change, and the beneficiary you may have designated before may not be the one you would designate today. It is important to periodically review the beneficiary designation for your member death benefits. (If you are a retiree, please visit the Death Benefits — Retirees page.)

Your beneficiary information is listed in your Retirement Online account and on your Member Annual Statement.

How do I change my beneficiary?

  • Register for or Sign In to Retirement Online and then click “View and Update My Beneficiaries.” You can add beneficiaries, update beneficiary information, or remove beneficiaries; or
  • Complete the Designation of Beneficiary form (RS5127) Adobe pdf and mail it to NYSLRS. (This form is for active members only. Retirees should contact us for the appropriate form.) Be sure to include all of your beneficiaries on the form. Your new beneficiary designations will replace all of your previously named beneficiaries. Though your designations will need to be reviewed and approved, your updated beneficiary information becomes effective when we receive your properly completed, signed and notarized form.

For more information about designating a beneficiary, see our publication, Life Changes — Why Should I Designate a Beneficiary? (VO1706).

(Rev. 5/20)