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NYS Comptroller

Thomas P. DiNapoli

Loans: Applying and Repaying

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From April 20 to mid-May, we will be conducting a series of computer system upgrades to improve customer service. You will not be able to sign in to your Retirement Online account during the upgrade. Visit our Contact Us page for more information.

Retirement Online is the fastest and easiest way to apply for a loan with NYSLRS. Register or Sign In, then click “Apply for a Loan.”

You may also print and mail in a loan application: Tiers 3, 4, 5 and 6 Loan Application (RS5025-A) Adobe pdf and Tiers 1 and 2 Loan Application (RS5025) Adobe pdf. Please note that a paper application must be notarized.

Processing time for loan requests is currently three to four weeks. Loan applications submitted through Retirement Online are processed more quickly.

Read the loan requirements below carefully before submitting your application. You may want to consult a tax advisor or accountant before applying for a loan from NYSLRS.

Note to Members

For information about your loan eligibility, account balance or application status:

  • Call our automated phone service (1-866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, New York area). Press “3,” then “1” or “2” depending on whether you are an ERS or PFRS member, and then “1” for Loan Services or
  • Email us using our secure contact form.

If you are a member of the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System or any other public retirement system in New York State, please contact your retirement system for loan information. NYSLRS is not affiliated with any other system.

Before You Borrow

Loan Requirements

You may borrow against your retirement contributions if you:

  • Are a member with the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) or the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS);
  • Have at least one year of service credit; and
  • Actively work for New York State or a participating employer. (If you are on leave without pay, you are not actively employed.)
ERS Tiers 3-6; PFRS Tiers 3 (Article 14), 5 and 6
Borrowing limit

If you joined before January 1, 2018: 75 percent of your contribution balance

If you joined on or after January 1, 2018: 50 percent of your contribution balance or $50,000, whichever is less

Minimum loan amount $1,000
Repayment period 5 years
Service charge per loan $20
Current Interest Rate 6%
Minimum payroll deduction At least 2% of your salary before taxes or deductions and sufficient to repay the loan in full within five years from the date it was issued
Frequency of loan applications 12 months. We reject early applications. However, we will hold applications for processing that come within two weeks of eligibility.
Insurance After 30 days, your loan is insured in case you die before retiring. We include premiums for this coverage in your payments.
ERS Tiers 1 and 2; PFRS Tiers 1, 2 and 3 (Article 11)
Borrowing limit 75 percent of your contribution balance
Minimum loan amount $25
Repayment period 5 years
Service charge per loan None
Current Interest Rate 5%
Minimum payroll deduction $3 if paid weekly, $5 if paid biweekly or semimonthly, $10 if paid monthly
Frequency of loan applications 90 days
Insurance After 30 days, your loan is insured in case you die before retiring. We deduct premiums for this coverage annually from your retirement contributions.

Once you meet the requirements for a NYSLRS loan, you can find out your specific borrowing limit through Retirement Online. Register or Sign In, then click “Apply for a Loan.”

Multiple Loans vs. Refinanced Loans

If you are considering a second loan, you may choose from two options:

  1. Multiple loans. A second, separate loan minimizes your taxes but results in a higher minimum repayment amount. Although separate payments are made to each loan, the amounts are combined into a single payroll deduction.
  2. Refinance your existing loan. A refinanced loan allows you to add the new loan amount to your existing balance and refinance the entire amount as one loan instead of taking a separate loan. (Minimum repayment amounts for refinanced loans are less than multiple loans because we combine your existing balance with the new loan and spread repayment out over another five-year term. However, this increases the taxable portion of the loan, and federal withholding may significantly reduce the loan amount payable to you.)

Taxes and Your Loan

Your loan is always exempt from New York State and local taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however, may consider all or part of a NYSLRS loan taxable as a “deemed distribution from a qualified plan,” if:

  • The total balance of your outstanding loan(s) is more than $50,000;
  • The total balance of your outstanding loan(s) is more than (a) $10,000 or (b) 50 percent of your current retirement contributions, whichever is greater; or
  • Your loan goes into default.

If your loan becomes taxable before you turn 59½, either because the amount you borrow is taxable or your loan goes into default, the IRS may charge an additional 10 percent tax penalty.

Citizenship and Taxes

The federal taxes withheld from a taxable loan distribution can vary with your citizenship status, so our loan application asks you to provide documentation of your status as a U.S. citizen, resident alien or non-resident alien. The loan application is used as a substitute for the W-9 tax form, which all U.S. citizens and resident aliens must complete. All non-resident aliens must complete a W-8BEN form. If we don’t receive a completed form, your application will be rejected.

  U.S. citizens and resident aliens: Non-resident aliens:

Percent of federal income tax to be withheld:

U.S. address — optional 10% or zero.

Non-U.S. address — mandatory 10%.

30% unless there is a tax treaty between the U.S. and your home country which provides an exemption or reduced rate.

The amount that NYSLRS withholds for federal income tax is the minimum that the IRS requires us to withhold. It may not be the total tax that you owe. Please refer to IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, or contact your tax advisor for additional information.

Report Existing Loans from Other Retirement Plans

When applying for a NYSLRS loan, you must report any existing loans with a deferred compensation plan or tax-sheltered annuity through your employer. The IRS requires us to include balances from these loans when calculating the federal limits outlined above. Section 2 of the loan application covers existing loans. You must complete it, or we will reject your application.

Your Benefit and Your Loan

Depending on your tier, any outstanding loan balances will permanently reduce your pension or annuity when you retire. You can’t pay off a loan once you retire. The amount of your pension reduction is based on your age, the loan balance at retirement and the type of retirement (service or disability).

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Repaying Your Loan

Members must repay loans through payroll deductions. When you apply, you choose a payment rate, and we work with your employer to deduct that amount from your checks. Once your loan is paid in full, we tell your employer to stop payroll deductions.

Change Your Payroll Deductions or Make Lump-Sum Payments

You can make additional payments or pay your loan in full at any time with no prepayment penalties. For the payoff balance on your loan, Register or Sign In to Retirement Online. You can also call our automated phone service at 1-866-805-0990 (518-474-7736 in the Albany, New York area).

If you want to: Write to: And include:
Change your payroll deduction NYSLRS Attn: Loan Unit 110 State Street Albany, NY 12244 A letter with your name, retirement registration number (or last four digits of your Social Security number), current payment amount, new payment amount and your signature
Make additional payments NYSLRS Attn: Accounts Receivable 110 State Street Albany, NY 12244 A check or money order payable to the New York State and Local Retirement System, with “loan payment” and your registration number (or last four digits of your Social Security number) written on the payment

What Happens If You Go Off Payroll?

Loan payments are made by payroll deductions, but if you go off payroll, to avoid your loan going into default, you must make minimum payments at least quarterly and repay the loan within five years. To avoid a default, contact us as soon as you leave public employment, so we can tell you the exact amount you need to pay. If you are in danger of defaulting on your loan, we will notify you.

What Happens If You Default On Your Loan?

You must make payments at least quarterly and pay your loan back within five years. If either condition is not met, your loan will default.

What you should know:

  • We’re required by law to report your outstanding loan balance — minus any previously taxed amount — to the IRS as a distribution to you.
  • You must include the loan on your federal income tax return for the year the loan defaults.
  • If you are younger than 59½ in the year the loan defaults, the IRS charges an additional 10 percent penalty on the taxable portion of the loan.
  • You still owe NYSLRS the amount of the outstanding loan. The outstanding loan balance will continue to accrue both interest and insurance charges until it is paid in full or you retire, whichever occurs first.
  • Defaulted loans do not appear on your credit history.
  • We can’t issue a new loan until you repay the defaulted loan.

Deferment for Active Military Personnel

If you’re on active military duty, you may be able to defer your payments.

What you should know:

  • You must resume payments after your active duty ends.
  • Interest continues to accrue on your loan balance while you’re on active duty. The interest rate is 6 percent for Tier 3, 4, 5 or 6 members whose loans were approved prior to active military service.
  • We extend the five-year repayment period by the length of time you are on active duty.

To apply for a deferment, send your request and a copy of your orders to:

New York State and Local Retirement System

110 State Street

Albany, NY 12244.

When you return from active duty, please send a copy of your release papers or DD-214 to the address above.

(Rev. 10/17)

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