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Optional rider

Guide to Optional Rider (Retiree)

  • Partial reimbursement of premium for Rider/Health Insurance

Who is covered?

All eligible retirees as defined may be covered for the City Optional Rider Reimbursement Benefit.

What is the Optional Rider Reimbursement benefit?

This rider benefit is available to retirees who have a pension check deduction for the purchase of a City Optional Rider or health insurance. Members who have purchased a separate health plan that covers prescription drugs may also be eligible for the benefit. They must complete a Non-NYC Rider Claim Form and attach the appropriate documentation. This form is also available by calling the Fund Hotline at 212-539-0500.

Retirees who are covered under a Health Benefit Plan through their spouse or domestic partner may also be eligible for the optional rider reimbursement benefit. These retirees must submit to the Welfare Fund, every year, a completed Rider Claim Form. This form is also available by calling the Fund Hotline at 212-539-0500.

When do I get my reimbursement and what period does the check cover? 

The benefit is generally paid every spring for the preceding calendar year.

How is the benefit calculated?

The current benefit reimburses up to $840.00 annually, per eligible retired member and is payable at the rate of $70.00 per eligible month. If the monthly deduction is less than $70.00, reimbursement will be the amount deducted per month from your pension check. Any late fees, administrative fees, or other charges associated with a health plan cost will not be reimbursed.  

Retirees who returned to work in positions that provide in-service prescription drug benefits and use this benefit will have their optional rider reimbursement reduced by the cost of the prescription drugs paid by the Fund, calculated on a month-by-month basis.

Please Note: This benefit is not related to the Medicare Part B premium that is reimbursed by the NYC Employee Benefit Program. Their phone is 212-513-0470.

How are benefits obtained?

The benefit is issued automatically to most retired members based on the city’s health insurance deduction record furnished to the Welfare Fund. In most cases, it will not be necessary to contact the Welfare Fund to obtain this benefit.

Why was my rider benefit check less than the maximum of $840? 

It could be due to one or more of these situations: 

  1. You retired during a calendar year, as you are only eligible for payments covering the months following your retirement.
  2. Your health plan deduction was less than $70.00 per month (for part of the year or the full year). 
  3. You had a change of health plans during the year to (or from) a lower deduction or a no-deduction plan. 
  4. You may have paid part of your health coverage premium directly to your health carrier in which case that information was not provided to us. To obtain reimbursement for those premiums paid directly, you must submit an NYC Rider Claim Form with proof of payment. 
  5. You were in active status (e.g., NT, PDF, Hourly/Sub.) during certain months of a calendar year and used the UFT Welfare Fund/Express Scripts prescription benefit.

Is the rider benefit payment taxable? 

This benefit payment represents a reimbursement for a health insurance expense. There is no W2, 1099 or any other tax form mailed to you for this benefit. We suggest that you contact your tax or financial advisor if you are not sure whether this payment is taxable for you. 

What do I do if I’m not a member of the Teachers Retirement System (TRS)?

The eligible retiree should contact the UFT Welfare Fund in March and request a Rider Claim Form.

I believe my rider benefit was not paid correctly. 

If your check does not reflect all the months you had a deduction, or your actual health plan or health plan deductions are different from what you have on record, you can request a rider benefit payment adjustment. 

All requests for an adjustment must be substantiated with copies of the deductions shown on your pension stub, quarterly statement of electronic disbursement, or other acceptable proof that health insurance premiums were paid. Members should complete the proper Rider Claim Form and include copies of all their yearly deductions/premium payments to substantiate their claim. 

Completed claim forms should be mailed to
UFT Welfare Fund 
52 Broadway, 7th Floor 
New York, NY 10004 
Attn: COR

What if I have not received my reimbursement?

If you believe that you were eligible to receive this benefit but did not, it is your responsibility to notify the Fund in writing within two (2) years from the date the benefit should have been paid.

Please do not contact the Fund in connection with this benefit before May 1, in order to allow time for processing.

Forms hotline: 212-539-0539