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Not Ready to Retire


Some Retirement Basics

What are your retirement goals?

My goal is to retire early.

You can retire and commence your pension benefits as early as age 55 (age 62 for participants in the 32BJ/Broadway League Pension Fund) if you have the required Service Credit under your plan. However, your pension may be reduced for each month you retire prior to age 65. Check your plan for details.

You can receive your Social Security benefits as early as age 62; however, your benefits will be reduced for early commencement. Your full benefit is payable at your Social Security Normal Retirement Age determined as follows:

Year of birth

Normal Retirement Age

1937 and prior



65 and 2 months


65 and 4 months


65 and 6 months


65 and 8 months


65 and 10 months




66 and 2 months


66 and 4 months


66 and 6 months


66 and 8 months


66 and 10 months

1960 and later


1. Persons born on January 1 of any year should refer to the normal retirement age for the previous year.
2. For the purpose of determining benefit reductions for early retirement, widows and widowers whose entitlement is based on having attained age 60 should add 2 years to the year of birth shown in the table.

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Visit for detailed information on how your Social Security early retirement benefits are determined.

When you retire and withdraw funds from your Supplemental Retirement Savings Plan (SRSP) account, you must pay ordinary income tax on the amount of your withdrawal. You can withdraw your funds from the SRSP as early as age 59½ without additional tax penalties; however, prior to age 59½, you will pay an additional 10% early withdrawal penalty on the amount of your withdrawal unless you roll over the amount withdrawn to another qualified plan or IRA.

You should also consider health care coverage since you are generally not Medicare eligible until age 65. See below for more information on health care.

You should consider all these factors when deciding when to leave covered employment.

My goal is to get the biggest pension possible.

Continuing to work is the best way to maximize your pension benefit. You will accrue more service credits up to the maximum allowed by your plan and avoid a reduction by retiring before age 65. In addition, Social Security increases each year that you delay retirement.

Note that for Program A, which covers most employees in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, there are additional rules which affect the amount of your pension. To receive the maximum pension payable under the plan, you must be eligible for a Regular Pension (as defined by the Plan) and must generally work 25 or more years in covered employment. You will not accrue additional years of service after 25 years, but you will have higher accruals for the additional years worked after 2008. The amount of the accrual (the benefit amount multiplied by your years of service) increases after 20 years of service credit and at 25 years increases to the highest amount.

Please refer to the appropriate FAQ or SPD for more information to see if your pension plan has a benefit maximum or other rules which impact the amount of your pension.

My goal is to save as much as I can while I’m working.

You may want to review how much you are contributing to the SRSP and consider contributing up to the maximum amount allowable by the IRS. For 2020, the maximum contribution amount is $19,000. If you will be age 50 by the end of the year or if you are age 50 or older now, you can contribute an additional catch-up amount of $6,500 for a total of $25,500. These amounts may be adjusted each year by the IRS.

When to apply for your 32BJ retirement benefits

When you're ready to retire, call Member Service at 800-551-3225 at least 4 months before your last day of work to request an appointment with a Retirement Counselor. Your Retirement Counselor will send you a pension estimate and an application for pension benefits, and will review all the paperwork with you during your counseling appointment. Your pension benefit will be paid monthly, effective the first day of the month following your retirement, provided all the paperwork is submitted properly and on time.

Retirement planning tips

Consider your income needs at retirement

Will you have enough money to retire when you are ready? To answer this question, you will need to estimate what your expenses will be at retirement. Below are the typical expenses you may incur:

  • Food and clothing.
  • Housing & utilities.
  • Health care insurance and health-care costs not covered by insurance (deductibles & co-payments).
  • Life insurance.
  • Transportation.
  • Taxes.
  • Debts - loans and credit card payments.
  • Miscellaneous.

If you start planning and saving early, your income will be enough to cover your retirement expenses. Keep accurate records of your 32BJ pension, SRSP account, Social Security and personal savings - these will be your primary sources of income at retirement. It’s a good idea to request an estimate of your pension and Social Security benefits every few years as you approach retirement. In conjunction with the quarterly SRSP statements you receive, these documents will help you stay on course for income security at retirement. Here are some tips if you are concerned that your income will not cover your expenses:

  • Try to cut current expenses so you'll have more money to save for retirement.
  • Increase your SRSP contributions as frequently as your budget permits.
  • Consider delaying your retirement for a few years.

Save, save, save!

It’s never too late to start saving, and the sooner you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. The easiest way to save is by participating in the SRSP, a 401(k) plan. If you are not already contributing to the Plan, you should consider enrolling as soon as possible. Contributing is easy; your contributions are made through payroll deductions and deposited automatically into your account. You will receive a quarterly statement showing your contributions and your account balance. If you are already enrolled in the Plan, consider increasing your contributions each year. A slight increase each year will help you reach your retirement goals faster! Over time, your contributions, compound interest and tax deferrals make a big difference in the amount you will accumulate. Your money will be invested as you choose and will be subject to the investment markets gains and losses. Refer to the section on John Hancock below.

Consider when your 32BJ healthcare coverage will end and your eligibility for Medicare


An important issue to consider when planning your retirement is avoiding a lapse in healthcare coverage between the time you retire and are eligible for Medicare at age 65. If you retire with a pension from the Building Service 32BJ Pension Fund and you are covered by the Metropolitan or Suburban Health Plans, you and your eligible dependents may be eligible for healthcare benefits under the Plan through age 65 (the age you become eligible for Medicare) if you meet all of the requirements, including:

  • You retire before age 65 and after age 62.
  • You have 15 years of pension service credits under the Building Service 32BJ pension plan.
  • You worked in covered employment both 90 days immediately before your retirement and at least 36 months of the 60 months before your retirement.

You will be eligible until you become eligible for Medicare, until you reach age 65, you die or until your pension is suspended, whichever occurs first. If one of your dependents becomes eligible for Medicare, Medicare becomes primary and 32BJ coverage becomes secondary for each dependent eligible for Medicare.

If you qualify for Social Security Disability, you may qualify for Medicare before 65. Until you qualify for Medicare you may be eligible for health extension from the 32BJ Health Fund (Metropolitan and Suburban plans only).

If you are not eligible for continuation of healthcare benefits at the time you commence your pension, you will want to consider alternative coverage. The Marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act provide the most affordable coverage with subsidies based on your income. Go to for more information. You may also enroll in COBRA benefits through the Building Service 32BJ Health Plan to bridge some or all the years between retirement and Medicare eligibility. You will be required to pay for the full cost of your healthcare benefit while enrolled in the Plan. Please refer to the Health Plan SPD for additional information.

If you have an SRSP account, you can access important tools for retirement planning through the website provided by John Hancock, the SRSP’s recordkeeper, at Through this website, you can view your account balance, review the Plan’s investment options and their historical rates of return, or request to transfer your money between investment funds. The website also offers important information and tools to help you plan for retirement. Here are some of the tools that can help you plan for retirement:

Retirement Income Calculator

This tool helps you to:

  • View your projected account balance in retirement
  • Keep track of your progress towards your goal
  • Personalize your goal with retirement modeling

Morningstar Retirement Manager

Morningstar Retirement Manager allows you to determine what investment strategy is right for your specific scenario.

  • Personalized investment advice
  • Retirement drawdown strategies for those aged 50 or over
  • Personalized savings strategies to help maximize your SRSP benefits

My Learning Center

My Learning Center can help you with understanding the importance of various financial wellness topics including:

  • Creating a budget
  • Getting out of debt
  • Debt management
  • Preparing for retirement
  • Managing financial stress

Stay informed about your Social Security benefits

Whether you are planning to retire in the near or distant future, it’s a good idea to visit the Social Security website to learn about the benefits you may be entitled to and to confirm that the Social Security Administration office has the correct data on file for you. Through the website, you are able to:

  • Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year.
  • Get an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working.
  • Find your retirement age.
  • Estimate your life expectancy.
  • Access benefit calculators to test different retirement ages or future earnings amounts.

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For more information visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).



Use The What Are My Benefits* tool to find the most up-to-date information about your 32BJ benefits. Once you have answered the questions in What Are My Benefits a Benefits Summary Page will display a listing of your current benefits.

*Answer all of the questions as accurately as possible for best results. For additional information or questions about your benefits, call Member Services at 800-551-3225.

Learn About Your Benefits