The majority of UFT members participate in a defined-benefit pension, the gold standard of retirement plans.
A defined-benefit pension guarantees a lifetime annuity — regular payments based on a formula. This formula takes into account your years of service, your salary and your age. With a defined-benefit pension, you don’t have to worry about the vagaries of the stock market. The amount of the pension benefit remains the same each month throughout your retirement.
Although many of you are a long way from retirement, understanding your pension benefits will give you some insight as to why the UFT will always stand strong against enemies of the union who would like to diminish or eliminate the defined-benefit pension.
The defined-benefit pension is worth tens of thousands of dollars to the average member after retirement. It can mean the difference between retiring with financial security at a reasonable age or having to work well into old age.
When you retire, you must make some choices about beneficiaries and other matters. The UFT offers members free individual consultations to help with those decisions.
If you are considering a career change, resignation or retirement, the union recommends that you make an appointment for a preliminary consultation at one of the borough offices.
The union also offers members in-depth pension workshops scheduled throughout the school year in the five boroughs, arranges for pension experts to speak at school chapter and district meetings, and offers boroughwide meetings on the Tax-Deferred Annuity and on ways to maintain your financial health.
Call your UFT borough office to find out more about the free services the union provides members.
- Bronx: 718-379-6200
- Brooklyn: 718-852-4900
- Manhattan: 212-598-6800
- Queens: 718-275-4400
- Staten Island: 718-605-1400
UFT members who are eligible for the defined-benefit plan enroll in either the Teachers’ Retirement System or the Board of Education Retirement System. These well-established systems handle the management of your funds and have an enviable track record of investments.
Contributions to your pension plan are based on your date of membership in TRS or BERS. All members are assigned to a “tier” based on their TRS or BERS enrollment date, which determines at what age you may retire and receive a benefit.
Today’s members generally are in Tier 4 and Tier 6. However, if you were a member of an eligible New York City or New York State public retirement system, your membership date and tier status may be affected if you transfer your membership from another system to TRS or if you are reinstated to a previous membership/tier.
Understanding your retirement benefits, including the years of service you need before you can retire, is important.
Both the TRS and the BERS websites provide that information and more. You can check your individual account balance or you can learn general information about your benefits. Take some time and visit either www.trsnyc.org or www.nycbers.org. You can also easily download enrollment, beneficiary or other forms as well as brochures.
We want you to understand your defined-benefit pension so you realize its value and know why the union fights so hard to protect it.
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|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.|