Contributions to the New York City Police Pension Fund (the Fund) are mandatory for all members, but are not required after 25 years. The contribution required by law is 3% of annual wages. Member contributions will be deducted from pay before taxes are deducted.
Member contributions and the interest they earn are known as accumulated contributions. The Tier 3 rate of interest is currently 5%. For a member to be eligible for a benefit at retirement, the member must have the “required amount” of accumulated contributions, which is equal to the 3% contribution rate plus the statutory interest.
A member may withdraw any excess funds within six months of appointment or at the time of retirement. Any excess created by errors of the Fund will be returned upon identification.
If a member separates from the Fund for reasons other than retirement (resignation, termination) a request for a refund of accumulated contributions may be made. If contributions are left with the Fund, the money will continue to earn interest for a maximum of five years from the date of separation. After this time, the contributions will no longer accrue interest and may be refunded.
Withdrawal of Contributions
If a member separates from the Fund for reasons other than retirement, accumulated contributions may be withdrawn if a member has less than 10 years of credited service. After 10 years of service, contributions may not be withdrawn and members will receive a vested retirement benefit. In the event of a resignation or dismissal, a member who is not vested or entitled to any other benefit under Tier 3 may withdraw accumulated contributions.
A shortage occurs when a member’s pension account balance falls below the required amount. Members are responsible for any account shortages; there is no actuarial offset if there is a shortage at retirement. If a shortage exists at the time of retirement, a member will be required to make up the shortage before the retirement application can be processed.
Shortages may occur because of delays in contract settlements. Retroactive pay from a contract settlement does not include the interest that would have been earned on these contributions. Interest earned on contributions is part of a member’s required amount; therefore, a shortage may occur.
The Fund will notify any member with a shortage prior to retirement. Members may opt to make a lump sum payment(s) or biweekly payroll deductions may be automatically set up to repay existing shortages prior to retirement.
There is no provision in Tier 3 that allows a member to take pension loans.