NYSTRS is the second-largest public retirement system in the state and one of the 10-largest systems in the nation. We serve more than 280,000 active members and nearly 147,000 retirees and beneficiaries. Eligible retirees are guaranteed a monthly benefit payment for life. NYSTRS administers a defined benefit plan that provides retirement, disability and death benefits to eligible New York State public school teachers and administrators. Eligibility for these benefits depends on factors such as a member’s tier of membership, age, earnings and service credit. The Retirement System was established in 1921 by the New York State Legislature, and our benefits are paid in accordance with the laws enacted by the Legislature. To learn more about NYSTRS, see the pages in this section, read our publication Learning About NYSTRS, and refer to our organizational chart. Our Mission: To provide our members with a secure pension. Our Vision: To be the model for pension fund excellence and exceptional customer service.