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Frequently Asked Questions

A list of the most commonly asked questions.

What are the rules for borrowing/taking out a loan from my retirement/pension funds?

As a UFT member, you have two sources from which to borrow money. If you are in pension tiers 3, 4 or 6, you can borrow from your Qualified Pension Plan (QPP) against your Member Contribution Accumulation Fund and against part of your additional member contributions. You may also borrow from your Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) account.

The maximum amount you can borrow from your pension and your TDA is $50,000, provided you have sufficient funds in those accounts.

Loans from those account are typically available within two weeks after you apply and, under normal circumstances, are not taxable.

Both have convenient repayment plans. The interest rate for TDA loans is 7% per year and the interest rate for QPP loans is 6% per year.

For more information, see the Teachers' Retirement System (TDA) FAQ page*

I am a paraprofessional and I received a termination notice from the DOE because I have not completed all of my certification requirements. What can I do to meet these requirements before I am let go?

First, log on to your New York State Education Department TEACH account to find out what requirements you are missing.

If you received a notice of termination for lack of college credits, you can apply between 2/1/20 and 3/31/20 to the DOE's Career Training Program for the summer semester. The program will pay tuition from 3-6 credits per semester for undergraduate study at participating colleges and universities. Two & 1/2 hours per week of release time and/or a summer stipend are also provided.

If you have more specific questions, contact the UFT's certification specialists: Monica Christie, Jeremiah Bornemann or Stephanie Forbes at (212) 331-6311.

What is the SHIP health insurance program for retired teachers?

The Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a unique package of benefits developed by the Retired Teachers Chapter of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT-RTC) exclusively for its members. It provides a supplement to coverage available through city's regular health insurance providers and is activated only after those providers have paid their benefits.

SHIP is a low-cost program to coordinate with most health plans available to retirees of New York City systems. For a modest yearly fee, SHIP will supplement certain payments provided by your New York City health coverage up to a maximum lifetime benefit of $100,000/$10,000 for pre-existing conditions.

SHIP does not require a medical examination for enrollment.

SHIP is separate from your health plan and welfare fund and therefore must be notified of any changes (i.e., death, divorce, marriage). 

Helpful links

What is the address and what are the hours of the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS)?

The offices of the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) are located at:
55 Water Street
New York, NY 10041
(888) 869-2877
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30am - 5pm

Directions: 2/3 to Wall Street, 4/5 to Bowling Green Station, J to Broad Street or R/W to Whitehall Street Buses: BM1, BM2, BM3, BM4, M15, M15+, X27, X28, SIM1C, SIM4C, M20, M55

How can I get discounted tickets to Broadway shows and theater tickets?

All full-time teachers are eligible to join the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), and once you are a member, you can purchase deeply discounted tickets. The Theatre Development Fund is a not-for-profit organization for the performing arts that works to make theater affordable and accessible to all.

UFT members are eligible to become members of TDF for $40 per year, which gives them access to Broadway, off-Broadway and other ticket offers at prices between $11-$45 a ticket. Members must submit a copy of their current UFT ID card to qualify. For more information and to apply for membership, visit the TDF website at: https://www.tdf.org/nyc/10/TDF-Membership.

In my recent paycheck, salary step adjustments were made and it seems like my pay has been frozen. Why is this?

UFT instructional employees who are rated via the Advance system may have their pay frozen if they received an "ineffective"/I rating for the previous school year. Employees paid below Step 8B and who received an ineffective rating for the 2018-2019 school year will have their pay frozen on their 12/16/19 paycheck. You should have received prior notification from the DOE to your school email. If there have been overpayments, payroll will notify you and those will be recovered in January 2020.

However, if you were previously frozen due to an ineffective rating in a prior school year, but received a 2018-2019 rating of highly effective, effective, or developing, your pay will be unfrozen and restored on the 12/16/19 paycheck. The check will include any arrears due since 9/5/19.

Does the UFT have a program for members suffering from the Hepatitis C virus?

The UFT Welfare Fund has negotiated a new program with EmblemHealth to help UFT-represented employees suffering from the Hepatitis C virus. The program gives access to best-in-class care, while eliminating the hundreds of dollars in drug copays normally associated with Hep C treatment. This benefit is available to all UFT-represented in-service employees and their dependents who receive prescription drug coverage through the UFT Welfare Fund.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, members who choose to be treated for Hepatitis C at NYU Langone Hospital's Hepatitis C Clinic will have access to world-class treatment by a renowned care team that develops treatment plans tailored to each individual patient's needs. Patients will have no drug copay with free at-home delivery of the associated treatment drugs and the NYU specialty pharmacy team will be available to answer calls 24/7.

You can call NYU Langone Hospital's Hepatitis C Clinic now at 212-263-3643 to schedule an appointment for after Jan. 1, 2020, when this benefit goes into effect. If you have any questions, please contact the UFT Welfare Fund at 212-539-0500.

I am an occupational therapist/physical therapist. What are my retention rights for taking a leave? Do I have the right to return to my school after my leave is over?

As a result of the 2018 DOE-UFT contract, occupational therapists/physical therapists on a leave have the right to return to their school if the leave is for one year or less. A therapist on a leave should reach out to their supervisor at some point during their leave to confirm their approved return date or whether they will be changing the date of their return (in that case, they will also need to modify their leave). The supervisor then must enter the member’s name and employee ID as a transaction in Sharepoint (Cybershift timekeeping) in order to get re-staffed and back on payroll in a timely fashion.

Where can I find more information about the new New York State Next Generation standards?

NYSED has published a series of informative briefs in preparation for schools to use the Next Generation standards, which can be found on the NYSED website here: http://www.nysed.gov/bilingual-ed/linguistically-diverse-learners-and-nys-next-generation-p-12-learning-standards.

Is it possible to request a pension consultation with a specific person or consultant of my choosing?

Yes, you may request an appointment with a specific pension consultant by name, but you must first contact a UFT borough office to make those appointments. Contact numbers for borough offices are listed below:

Manhattan: 52 Broadway
(212) 598-6800

Brooklyn: 335 Adams Street
(718) 852-4900

The Bronx: 2500 Halsey Street
(718) 379-6200

Queens: 97-77 Queens Blvd
(718) 275-4400

Staten Island: 4456 Amboy Road
(718) 605-1400