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CARES Act allows easier access to retirement funds

New York Teacher

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress in early April allows easier access to retirement funds for those U.S. residents still working but in financial need. The Teachers’ Retirement System is doing its part by quickly implementing those provisions of the CARES Act.

The following options will soon be available to members who log in to the TRS website:

  • A new TDA distribution option — one that has no early withdrawal penalty and spreads the tax burden across three years.
  • The dollar limits on new loans increase for both pension loans and TDA loans.
  • A 12-month deferral of loan payments on both new and existing pension loans (though interest will continue to accrue).

These changes are temporary. They will only be available to members who:

  1. Have been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  2. Have a spouse or dependent who was diagnosed with the virus; or
  3. Were financially harmed by the pandemic due to quarantine, furlough, layoff, reduction in work hours, inability to work due to lack of child care or closure/reduction of hours of their own business.

BERS members affected by the pandemic will also have more flexibility in accessing their retirement funds.

The TRS will be posting more information on its website. BERS members should check the announcement page of the BERS website for updates.

Also see: Pandemic and your pension