Frequently Asked Questions

Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Joining the Retirement System | Rating:
5

That depends on your job. If you are an appointed teacher or other pedagogue in a city public school, you automatically become a member of the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), which provides your pension. Your contributions to your pension plan (formally referred to as a QPP or Qualified Pension Plan) begin as of your appointment date. You should complete a TRS enrollment application as soon as possible. For others, joining a retirement system may be optional. Paraprofessionals may join...

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Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Joining the Retirement System | Rating:
5

Not necessarily. Charter schools each decide what retirement benefits they will offer. They do not automatically provide pension coverage through the New York City Teachers’ Retirement System. However, they may opt to do so.

Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: About Pensions | Rating:
5

If you resign and want to withdraw your pension funds, including the interest earned, you may be able to do so, depending on how long you worked and contributed. However, there may be several other choices available to you. You may be able to continue your membership and receive a pension allowance in the future, or you may transfer to another eligible retirement system, or wait a while to make a final decision. The union strongly recommends that you contact a pension consultant in your UFT...

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Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Beneficiaries | Rating:
5

No. They may designate someone else if they choose.

Posted Aug 17, 2010 | Category: Pension Tiers | Rating:
5

You may qualify for a different tier if you switched tiers during a tier change period, or if you transferred your membership to TRS from another eligible retirement system. In addition, you can apply for reinstatement to your previous status if you are presently a TRS in-service member and lost your tier membership in TRS or another New York City or New York State public retirement system. You may obtain a Membership/Tier Reinstatement Request Form (SD42) in the “Tools” section of the TRS...

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Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Investment Choices | Rating:
5

The TRS Passport Funds provide six investment offerings:

  • The Fixed Return Fund offers a guaranteed rate of return set by the New York State Legislature. The current 7 percent annual rate is guaranteed in accordance with applicable laws.
  • The Diversified Equity Fund invests primarily in U.S. equities. The fund may also invest in international equities and other investments that may dampen the volatility of an investment 100 percent in...
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Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Loans | Rating:
5

You may be eligible for a loan from your pension fund account (Qualified Pension Plan or QPP) if:

  • you are either an in-service member or on a leave of absence,
  • you are not in default on an existing pension loan.
  • as a Tier I or II member, you have at least three years of TRS membership service; OR
  • as a Tier III, IV or VI member, you have at least one year of TRS credited service.

You may learn whether you are currently eligible to take...

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Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: About Pensions | Rating:
4.666665

Yes, if they are earned during the year(s) that are included in calculating your final average salary, although certain caps may apply. The UFT won this important benefit in a landmark lawsuit against the city.

Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Loans | Rating:
4.609755

It is always preferable to take a loan from your pension account (formally referred to as the Qualified Pension Plan or QPP) first because the money is not removed from the individual account and the full account continues to earn interest. If you take the loan from your TDA account, the amount of the loan is subtracted from your TDA account. Even though the interest on the loan is paid back to your account, the size of the account balance that is earning interest is reduced.

Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Joining the Retirement System | Rating:
4.5

Being in the retirement system gives you the security of knowing that if you complete the minimum requirements you will receive a monthly pension allowance for the rest of your life after you retire. If you also enroll in the Tax-Deferred Annuity Program, you can put aside money from your salary and not pay taxes on that income until you draw on the funds; at retirement, these savings could fund a separate annuity. TRS members also can take loans from both the pension plan and the TDA...

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Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Joining the Retirement System | Rating:
4.5

If you are an appointed teacher, the box may be blank because you have not filed an enrollment application or (if you have) because your application is still being processed. If you are not an appointed teacher and have not filed an enrollment application with the Teachers’ Retirement System, the box is blank because you are not yet a TRS member; you must file an enrollment application to join TRS.

Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Beneficiaries | Rating:
4.5

There are forms for designating beneficiaries. New members receive a “Designation of QPP (Qualified Pension Plan) Beneficiary Form” with their enrollment application and should file both forms together. In-service members may change their beneficiary by filing a new form at any time. Participants in the Tax Deferred Annuity Program should designate a beneficiary for their TDA funds by filing a “Designation of TDA Beneficiary Form.” These forms are available on the TRS website at...

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Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Tax-Deferred Annuity | Rating:
4.5

First, your contributions are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are taken out; as a result, your current taxes are lower. (For New York residents, this includes federal, state and local taxes. Please check with your accountant about state taxes if you are not a resident of New York State.) Furthermore, taxes are deferred on both your contributions and your investment return; therefore, more of your money remains invested, and your money grows faster than it would in a comparable...

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Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: About Pensions | Rating:
4.46154

Yes, the type of pension plan that covers UFT members is called a defined benefit plan because the amount of your annual pension payments is defined by law and guaranteed by the state government for as long as you live.

Posted Aug 18, 2010 | Category: Pension Tiers | Rating:
4.375

Tier I — those who joined TRS before July 1, 1973.

Tier II — those who joined TRS after June 30, 1973 and before July 27, 1976

Tier III — those who joined TRS after July 26, 1976 and before September 1, 1983

All Tier III members may retire under Tier IV.

Tier IV (age 62) — those who joined TRS after August 31, 1983 but prior to Feb. 28, 2008.  Many Tier IV members have opted into the 55/25 plan.

Tier IV (55/27) — those who joined after Feb. 28, 2008...

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