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UFT.org Home > News > New York Teacher > Secure your future > TRS benefits that protect you and your family
The UFT's popular pension clinics — a mini-course in pensions and related retirement matters — have been scheduled for the fall and winter.
The UFT's pension clinics are for those members thinking about retiring within five years. If that's your plan, check this page for the dates and times of upcoming pension clinics. (Even if you're not planning to retire soon, please attend if you'd like.)
The clinics are only one part of the UFT's many services devoted to helping members prepare for a financially secure retirement.
All sessions will take place from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. at UFT headquarters (52 Broadway).
Part 1: Thursday, Jan. 25
Part 2: Thursday, Feb. 1
Friday, Jan. 26
Besides the Qualified Pension Plan and the Tax-Deferred Annuity program, the Teachers’ Retirement System provides benefits if you become disabled, die or leave service before retirement age. Some of the benefits depend on choices you make so it’s important to understand your options.
TRS offers disability benefits that are fine-tuned for a variety of circumstances. Please note: The TRS medical board must approve an application for any disability retirement benefit.
Bond fund becomes Balanced Fund
TRS is changing one of its Passport Funds. The Bond Fund will become the Balanced Fund as of Jan. 1, 2018.
This new fund will provide TRS members with a moderately conservative balanced investment option that includes exposure to both stocks and bonds.
TRS has six investment choices known as the Passport Funds. (See Variable Annuity information.)
- If you become physically or mentally incapable of working, you may qualify for ordinary disability retirement benefits. To qualify, you must have at least 10 years of total service credit with the retirement system and be approved.
- If you are disabled as a result of an accident sustained in the performance of your duties, TRS waives the total service credit requirement to let you apply.
- Special disability is available for those members diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Leaving the DOE
If you separate from service, your TRS membership rights vary depending on whether you have vested in the pension system. The number of years it takes to vest depends on when you became a TRS member; some members vest at five years and others at 10.
Vesting means you’re entitled to collect a pension when you’re age-eligible.
In general, if you vest in the system, you maintain your membership rights until you are eligible for retirement.
If you leave before you vest, you are ineligible to receive a retirement allowance from TRS.
If you do not vest, by law your TRS membership expires seven school years after you separate from service. In that case, you must withdraw your pension funds as well as your Tax-Deferred Annuity funds before your membership expires.
Options at retirement
TRS retirees receive a monthly payment for life. You have a choice of payment options.
- The maximum payment option pays the highest monthly retirement allowance, but does not provide for beneficiaries.
- The other payment options offer reduced monthly allowances and provide payments to beneficiaries in the event of the member’s death. Some options provide a lifetime allowance to a beneficiary; others provide a limited number of payments.
Working after you retire
New York State restricts postretirement earnings if you return to public employment in the state. The current limit of $30,000 applies to retirees under age 65. There are no limits for earnings in private employment or public employment in other states or employment in the federal government.
Health coverage in retirement
Once you retire, you may be eligible to receive health coverage through the city’s Health Benefits Program depending on your years of service. The UFT Welfare Fund provides a wealth of benefits to retirees as well. You also may be eligible to purchase supplemental health benefits through the Supplemental Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), which is sponsored by the UFT Welfare Fund.
These benefits are designed to work in tandem with Medicare once you are eligible for it.
|2017||Variable A||Variable B||Variable C||Variable D||Variable E|
|2017||Diversified Equity||Bond||International Equity||Inflation Protection||Socially Responsive Equity|
|For more pension information, call you UFT borough office or the Teachers' Retirement System at 1-888-8NYC-TRS (1-888-869-2877); or visit the UFT pension or TRS.|
This column is compiled by Tom Brown, David Kazansky and Debra Penny, teacher-members of the NYC Teachers’ Retirement Board.
What is your favorite winter-themed children's story?
The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats
The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg
The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen
Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen
The Mitten, by Jan Brett
Total votes: 110