Differences Between Retirement Plans

Defined Benefit Plan:
New York State Teachers Retirement

Vesting: ten years

Contribution: 3.5% of pay until employee separates from the college

Investment Decision: made by New York State Teachers Retirement System

Risk: Employee assumes no risk. Retirement benefit based on a guaranteed formula. Years of service, benefit factor and the three years of highest salary determine benefit.

Age: 62, reduction in benefit if under age 62

Retiree receives guaranteed lifetime pension payments.

Defined Contribution Plan
SUNY Optional Retirement Program

Members default to TIAA and after vesting period may elect a SUNY approved alternate carrier:

  • TIAA
  • Fidelity
  • AIG Retirement Services formerly known as VALIC
  • VOYA

Vesting: 366 days

Contribution: Employee requirement - 3% of salary for ten years. Employer pays 8% for first seven years and 10% thereafter. After the 10 years of employee mandated contribution ceases the college will also pick that amount up.

Investment Decision: employee makes all investment allocation decision with the assistance of financial advisors from the carrier they select

Employee sets up the account; therefore, they assume the risk.

Age: Anytime after age 55 without penalty.

Retiree has the risk that they may outlive their retirement account.