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RTC Service

Enroll in the RTC to access membership benefits

New York Teacher
Enroll in the RTC
Erica Berger

Retirees from Brooklyn pause to take a group photo on the High Line during a Si Beagle tour of the West Village in April 2023.

From Si Beagle courses and social services to legal advice and supplemental health care, membership in the Retired Teachers Chapter offers many benefits.

But membership is not automatic: You must enroll in the UFT’s Retired Teachers Chapter after you retire to remain a UFT member.

The founders of the UFT created the RTC more than 60 years ago to continue supporting members into retirement. It is considered the nation’s best retiree program for public school educators and health care providers.

“The RTC is the go-to place for the next phase of your lives,” Chapter Leader Tom Murphy says to new retirees.

The union and the UFT Welfare Fund’s Department of Retiree Programs offer an array of programs, services and resources to assist retirees who enroll in the RTC.

Supplemental health insurance: Since 1977, the Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) has provided low-cost insurance coverage to supplement what New York City health plans provide. The program, which has 15 unique benefits, helps defray out-of-pocket expenses for such things as ambulances, hearing aids, customized orthotic shoes, dental work, surgical stockings and private-duty nursing. Nearly 90,000 retirees, including spouses and domestic partners, are enrolled in SHIP. To take advantage of the program, UFT retirees must enroll during their first year of retirement. For more information, call the SHIP office at 212-228-9060.

Cultural and educational programs: Thousands of retirees sign up each year for in-person and virtual continuing education classes and workshops through the Si Beagle Learning Centers at borough offices and in Florida. The sections in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties and New Jersey offer Si Beagle classes and events, too. Retirees also can go on day trips and walking tours in New York City and beyond, participate in “dine arounds” and take part in special events like Day at the University.

Si Beagle catalogs are mailed to RTC members in January and July. If you have not received your catalog, call 212-510-6310 in New York or 561-994-4929 in Florida.

Social service support: The Retiree Social Services Department has geriatric social workers and caseworkers who can check in weekly through the National Telephone Reassurance Program and help members and their families during and after hospitalization and rehab. They can also assist with nursing home planning and admission, short-term counseling, and referrals for additional counseling, as well as bereavement and support groups. For more information, call 212-598-6880.

Legal help: For retirees who are UFT members, the Legal Services Plan includes an elder law supplement to help with legal issues and estate planning. It provides free or discounted legal services. Among the free services are telephone and office consultations, document reviews, and drafting wills, health care proxies and powers of attorney. For more information, call 212-598-6880.

Member discounts: RTC members can also take part in money-saving group insurance plans and get special member-only discounts on travel, services and more from the UFT, its state affiliate NYSUT and the AFT.

Information: The RTC keeps its approximately 80,000 members well-informed through regular chapter meetings (in-person and virtual), the UFT website, emails and newsletters, and the New York Teacher newspaper, which includes a Retired Teachers Chapter News section.

The UFT and its activist members, in partnership with NYSUT, the AFT, the AFL-CIO and the Alliance for Retired Americans, lobby all levels of government to protect benefits such as Social Security and the city’s Medicare Part B reimbursement.

To take advantage of all that RTC membership offers, sign up today.

Related Topics: Retired Teachers