Retirement Benefits

FIT offers a number of retirement plan options.  Enrollment in either the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (enrollment limited to certain titles described below) or the SUNY Optional Retirement Plan is mandatory for full-time employees. 

FIT also offer two supplemental retirement plan options in which you may voluntarily enroll.  Please refer to the information below which includes information on how to enroll.

If you are an FIT Foundation employee your plan details and enrollment processes differ from the information provided below.  Please consult with a FIT Benefits representative, (212) 217-3670, or at [email protected] for more information.

Mandatory Retirement Plan Enrollment

Enrollment in either the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (if eligible) or the SUNY Optional Retirement Program is required within the first 30 days of your appointment/date of hire. Once you have enrolled in a mandatory Retirement Plan, your decision is irrevocable during your employment with FIT.  Please review the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System and SUNY Optional Retirement Program comparison (.pdf) for a side-by-side plan comparison of the two plan options.

New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS)

Available only to Instructional Staff and a select group of other titles determined by the New York State Teachers' Retirement System

NYSTRS is a defined benefit plan (traditional pension plan). Retirement (pension) benefits will depend on the results of a calculation at the time of retirement that takes into account your Final Average Salary, number of years of credited service, and your age at the time of retirement. There is a 10-year vesting period which, once met, means you have a non-forfeitable right to the benefit upon reaching retirement as defined under the terms of the Plan. For membership, benefits, and other plan-related information, please visit www.nystrs.org or call (800) 348-7298.

Required contributions (Membership Tier 6)

If you enroll in NYSTRS, you are required to make contributions. The current required employee contribution rate is based on regular compensation, as follows:

Wages of $45,000 or less.................................................3%
Wages of $45,000.01 to $55,000.....................................3.5%
Wages of $55,000.01 to $75,000.................…................4.5%
Wages of $75,000.01 to $100,000...................................5.75%
Wages of more than $100,000...........................................6%

Employee contributions are taken from each semi-monthly paycheck and are not subject to Federal Income Tax, but are subject to New York State Income Tax and local income taxes, FICA and Medicare taxes.

Enrollment

To enroll in NYSTRS you are required to complete an Application for Membership (.pdf) which must be notarized and the original document must be submitted to the Payroll Department. If elected, your participation begins on your date of full-time appointment/date of hire.

Previous New York State Public Retirement System Membership or Eligibility

If you were previously a member of NYSTRS or another New York State public retirement system (excluding the SUNY Optional Retirement Plan), you may be eligible to reinstate to an earlier membership tier.  To apply for reinstatement, you must file an Election to Reinstate (RIS-1) form with NYSTRS.  Please consult with NYSTRS to determine if there are any disadvantages in reinstating to a prior membership tier.

If you were previously eligible for membership in a New York State public retirement system but did not join, it may be possible for you to purchase and receive prior service credit. Please review NYSTRS’ “You Deserve the Credit (.pdf)” information. To apply for prior service credit you must complete the Prior Service Claim (PRS-2) Form (.pdf) and the Verification of NYS Teaching (PRS-3) Form (.pdf) and submit the forms to the Payroll Department. Receiving prior service credit does not change your date of membership (membership tier) unless it is the result of a membership reinstatement or membership transfer.

Once you are an enrolled member you should register for a NYSTRS online account.

SUNY Optional Retirement Program (SUNY ORP)

Available to all Full-Time employees

This is a defined contribution plan. Your benefit upon retirement depends on the amount contributed, the performance of your investments, and the balance in your account at that time. If elected, your participation begins on your date of full-time appointment/date of hire. Please refer to the SUNY ORP Summary Plan Description document for detailed information.

Required Contributions (Tier 6)

If you enroll in the SUNY ORP, contributions to this plan are made by you and by the College. The current required employee contribution is based on regular compensation, as follows:

Wages of $45,000 or less.................................................3%
Wages of $45,000.01 to $55,000.....................................3.5%
Wages of $55,000.01 to $75,000.....................................4.5%
Wages of $75,000.01 to $100,000...................................5.75%
Wages of more than $100,000...........................................6%

Employee contributions are taken from each semi-monthly paycheck and are not subject to Federal Income Tax, but are subject to New York State Income Tax and local income taxes, FICA and Medicare taxes.

Once you meet the vesting period requirements described below, the College will begin making contributions which are applied to your retirement account at the time you are paid. The College’s contribution through your seventh year of service is 8% of your salary and 10% of your salary for all years thereafter.

Vesting Period

There is a 366-day vesting period before you may receive College contributions.  Once you complete the vesting period, you will have a non-forfeitable right to FIT’s contributions and the earnings on those contributions.

NOTE: The 366-day vesting period may be waived if you have an existing vested employer-funded retirement contract through any prior employer with TIAA, Fidelity Investments, AIG Retirement Services (formerly VALIC), or Voya Financial.

Investment Providers

You have the option of directing your contributions to a variety of SUNY approved investment funds offered by one or more of the following SUNY approved investment providers:

Investment Providers

You have the option of directing your contributions to a variety of SUNY approved investment funds offered by one or more of the following SUNY approved investment providers:

  • TIAA
  • Fidelity Investments
  • AIG Retirement Services (formerly VALIC)
  • VOYA Financial

If you do not wish to select specific investment funds, contributions can be invested in a Lifecycle Fund (also known as a Target Date Fund) that most closely matches the year in which you expect to retire. This investment fund option provides a diversified portfolio by investing in a selection of investment funds which are professionally managed and automatically adjusted over time to become more conservative as the year in which you expect to retire approaches.

Representatives from each investment provider are on campus throughout the year for individual employee meetings. Please view the current schedule for more information.

How to Enroll

You must register and enroll through [email protected] online within the first 30 days of your full-time appointment /date of hire.  Please refer to the Enrollment Guide for The SUNY Optional Retirement Program (.pdf).  For enrollment assistance, please contact a [email protected] consultant at (866) 271-0960.

Making Changes to Your SUNY ORP Investment Provider(s) and/or Investment Fund Selections

You may change your SUNY ORP investment provider(s) at any time by logging into [email protected].  If you are not registered at [email protected] you will need to register in order to make a change (please see the "First Time Users" section of the Making Retirement Account Changes Guide (.pdf)). 

You can change your investment fund choice(s) at any time online by logging into your account via your investment provider’s website.

Voluntary Retirement Programs

FIT offers two voluntary retirement plans:  the SUNY 403(b) Voluntary Savings Plan and the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP)*.  These are defined contribution plans consisting of employee contributions only (FIT does not contribute to these plans). You may choose to enroll in one or both of these plans at any time and contribution changes may be made at any time. Your elected contribution(s) is taken from each paycheck you receive.  For information on the differences between the two plans please view the comparison information

SUNY 403(b) Voluntary Savings Plan

SUNY’s 403(b) Voluntary Savings Plan (formerly called the SUNY Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) Plan) is a retirement plan which allows you to set aside a portion of your salary to save for retirement. You may begin participation in this plan at any time and contribution changes may be made at any time.  Your benefit upon retirement depends on the amount contributed, the performance of your investments, and the balance in your account at that time.

There are two plan options available: the Traditional Pre-Tax Plan Option and the Roth After-Tax Plan Option. You may contribute to one or both plan options.

  • You may contribute a flat-dollar amount or a whole percentage amount from each paycheck to either plan option.
  • You may contribute up to the current IRS annual contribution limits of $19,500 for employees under age 50, and $26,000 for employees age 50 and over in the current calendar year.  If you contribute to both the pre-tax and after-tax plan options, the combined annual contribution to both plan options may not exceed these annual limits.
  • The allowable contribution is over-and-above any amount you contribute to the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan described below. 
  • You select where to invest your contributions from the various investment providers and investment fund options approved by SUNY.

You have the option of directing your contributions to a variety of SUNY approved investment funds offered by one or more of the following SUNY approved investment providers:

  • TIAA
  • Fidelity Investments
  • AIG Retirement Services (formerly VALIC)
  • VOYA Financial

Representatives from each investment provider are on campus throughout the year for individual employee meetings. Please view the current schedule for more information. 

Traditional Pre-Tax Plan Option
  • Contributions are deducted from each paycheck that you receive and are not subject to Federal Income Tax, New York State Income Tax and local income taxes, but are subject to FICA and Medicare taxes.
  • Distributions may be taken with no early withdrawal penalty on or after reaching age 59 ? while you are still employed, due to a disability, or if you are separated from service and at least age 55.
  • Distributions are generally taxed as ordinary income.
Roth After-Tax Plan Option
  • Contributions are deducted from each paycheck that you receive on an after-tax basis. That means the contributions are subject to Federal Income Tax, New York State Income Tax, local income taxes, FICA and Medicare taxes at that time. (Your taxable income is not reduced.)
  • Distributions may be taken with no early withdrawal penalty on or after reaching age 59 ? while you are still employed, due to a disability, or if you are separated from service and at least age 55.
  • Distributions are not subject to taxation if:
  • You are age 59 ? or if you are disabled, and
  • At least five years have passed since your first Roth contribution was made to the plan. (Counted from January 1 of the year you made your first contribution.)
How to Enroll

You must register and enroll online through [email protected].  Please refer to the Enroll in the SUNY 403(b) Voluntary Savings Plan brochure (.pdf).

Making Changes to Your Contribution Amount, Investment Provider(s), and/or Investment Fund Selections

You may change the amount you are contributing to either plan option or change your investment provider(s) at any time by logging into [email protected].  Follow the instructions in the "Making 403(b) Deferral Changes" section of the Making Retirement Account Changes Guide (.pdf).  If you are yet not registered at [email protected] please refer to the “First Time Users” information in the guide in order to register and make changes.  

For additional assistance, please contact a [email protected] representative at (866) 271-0960 or a FIT Benefits Representative at (212) 217-3670 or via email at [email protected].

You can change your investment fund choice(s) at any time online by logging into your account via your investment provider’s website.

New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP)*

In addition to the SUNY 403(b) Voluntary Savings Plan described above, the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP) may also be a retirement plan option available to you.  The NYSDCP is a 457(b) retirement plan available to New York State public employees only which allows you to set aside a portion of your salary to save for retirement.  You may begin participation in this plan at any time and contribution changes may be made at any time.  Your benefit upon retirement depends on the amount contributed, the performance of your investments, and the balance in your account at that time.   To consult with an NYSDCP account executive please call 1 (844) 867-8197.

There are two plan options available: the Traditional Pre-Tax Plan Option and the Roth After-Tax Plan Option. You may contribute to one or both plan options.

  • You may contribute a flat-dollar amount (minimum $10 per paycheck) or a whole percentage from each paycheck to either plan option.
  • You may contribute up to the current IRS annual contribution limits of $19,500 for employees under age 50, and $26,000 for employees age 50 and over in the current calendar year.  If you contribute to both the pre-tax and after-tax plan options, the combined annual contribution to both plan options may not exceed these annual limits.
  • The allowable contribution is over-and-above any amount you contribute to the SUNY 403(b) Voluntary Savings Plan described previously. 
  • You select where to invest your contributions from the various investment providers and investment fund options approved by the New York State Deferred Compensation Board.  
Traditional Pre-Tax Plan Option
  • Contributions are deducted from each paycheck that you receive and are not subject to Federal Income Tax, New York State Income Tax, and local income taxes, but are subject to FICA and Medicare taxes.
  • Upon separation from service, distributions may be taken with no early withdrawal penalty, however, funds rolled into or out of the plan may be subject to an early withdrawal penalty.
  • Distributions are generally taxed as ordinary income.
Roth After-Tax Plan Option
  • Contributions are deducted from each paycheck you receive on an after-tax basis. That means the contributions are subject to Federal Income Tax, New York State Income Tax, local income taxes, FICA and Medicare taxes at that time. (Your taxable income is not reduced.)
  • Early withdrawal penalties do not apply to this plan option.
  • Distributions are not subject to taxation if:
  • You have separated from service, and
  • At least five years have passed since your first Roth contribution was made to the plan. (Counted from the January 1 of the year you made your first contribution.)
How to Enroll and Make Future Contribution and Investment Changes

Your initial enrollment may be completed online. Once you are enrolled you may change your New York State Deferred Compensation Plan contributions and/or your investment selections at any time by logging into your account at www.nysdcp.com.  

For additional information on this plan, please refer to the NYSDCP website, www.nysdcp.com, or call the NYSDCP HELPLINE at (800) 422-8463.

* The New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP) is not available to FIT Student Housing employees.