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Secure your future
A financial checkup for the holidays
TRS building update
The Teachers’ Retirement System building is still closed, but the TRS is serving members through its call center at 1-888-869-2877, through its website at www.trsnyc.org, and with a walk-in center operating at 65 Court St. in Brooklyn, on the 16th floor in the Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) headquarters.
The teacher members of the TRS praise the staff of the TRS, the BERS, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the Actuary and the Bureau of Asset Management in the Comptroller’s Office for helping the TRS deal with the challenges of Hurricane Sandy. They also thank UFT members for their patience.
The UFT’s popular pension clinics — a mini-course in pensions and related retirement matters — have been scheduled for the 2012–2013 school year in all the boroughs.
We urge all members to participate in these clinics two or three years before retirement. The clinics are only one part of the UFT’s many services devoted to helping members prepare for a financially secure retirement.
This year the Pension Department held clinics in Brooklyn and Staten Island in the fall, and will hold them in Manhattan in the winter and in the Bronx and Queens in the spring.
To be fully informed, members should attend both parts of each series.
What kind of financial shape are you in? Just as it’s a good idea to see your physician for a thorough checkup each year to determine your physical fitness, it’s a good idea to take stock annually when it comes to your finances.
Find some time over the holidays to give yourself a financial checkup. It will help you ascertain whether you are on the way to a secure financial future and guide you to make adjustments as necessary. The more questions you can answer “yes” to, the closer you are to a financially secure future.
- Have you identified your short- and long-term financial goals?
- Do you have an emergency fund (enough money set aside to cover at least three to six months of expenses) and add to it as expenses grow?
- Do you have a budget and are you sticking to it?
- Do you have enough money to comfortably pay all your bills each month?
- Do you know your current net worth (what you own minus what you owe)?
- Do you have appropriate amounts of life, disability, catastrophic health and liability insurance (covering your car and residence)?
- Do you have an umbrella insurance policy that protects your assets and future income in addition to your primary liability insurance policies?
- Do you participate in the Tax-Deferred Annuity program?
- Do you increase the amount you save as your income increases?
- Can you easily locate your important financial papers, including insurance policies, investment and savings account records, estate planning documents, tax returns and bills?
- Do you avoid buying on impulse and purchasing items you do not need with your credit card?
TRS Annual Benefits Statement
Members should have received their 2012 Annual Benefit Statement. The TRS mailed out more than 112,000 statements.
The Annual Benefits Statement provides comprehensive information as of June 2012, including:
- service credit totals;
- account balance summaries;
- benefit eligibility information;
- beneficiary designations; and
- benefit estimates and projections for members nearing retirement.
Members who are registered with the TRS website can make specific inquiries online after logging in.
Enrollment forms for new members
Through October, nearly 5,000 new members have joined the TRS during the 2012–2013 school year. The TRS began mailing welcome kits to these new members in October and is continuing to do so.
The kits contain enrollment forms as well as designation of beneficiary forms for both the basic defined benefit pension plan (Qualified Pension Plan, or QPP) and the Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) program.
It is to the advantage of new members to get these forms back to the TRS, along with proof of date of birth, as soon as possible.
|The unit value is computed during the latter part of each month. Recent values are:|
“Secure your future” is compiled and written by Mel Aaronson, Sandra March and Mona Romain, teacher-members of the NYC Teachers’ Retirement Board. For further information on items discussed, call your UFT borough office or the TRS. BRONX: 1-718-379-6200; BROOKLYN: 1-718-852-4900; MANHATTAN: 1-212-598-6800; QUEENS: 1-718-275-4400; STATEN ISLAND: 1-718-605-1400; TEACHERS’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM: 1-888-8NYC-TRS (1-888-869-2877), www.trsnyc.org.