It took nine months for recent UFT retirees to get back pay for in service work; it might take a much longer time to get correct monthly pension payments. This problem may impact future retirees too.

When the UFT leadership was selling their municipal pattern setting contract of 10% raises over 7 years last year (now extended to 7 years, 1 month), one of their selling points was that when people retired they would have their pension payments calculated as if they had already been receiving an additional two 4% retroactive raises from the 2009-2011 round of bargaining that other city unions obtained long ago. Active UFT members are deferring that money now.

According to what we were told by the UFT, those who retired after November 1, 2009 should be entitled to a recalculation of their monthly benefit based on higher numbers. For those who retire between June 30, 2014 and May 1, 2018, pension payments should reflect a higher salary than what we will actually paid too because the 8% that was the last city pattern is going to be added to active member pay at a rate of 2% a year every May from 2015-18.

Even though we will be receiving the salary increases piecemeal, we were assured by leadership that if we were eligible to retire, our pensions would be based upon higher numbers.

This is important since for Tier IV members (most people retiring now are in Tier IV), the pension is normally based on the salary for the final three years of service (final average salary). It makes a substantial difference in payments if the lower salary numbers we actually make are the ones used to calculate the monthly pension.

For a simple example, if someone is earning around $100,000, $101,000, $102,000 for the final three years, the final average salary is $101,000. Now if the retroactive money is included, then the last three years increases to approximately $108,000, $109,000 and $110,000. The final average salary goes up to $109,000.

If that person is 55, in 25-55, and has worked for 25 years, he/she is entitled to half of the final average salary. Half of $109,000 is $54,500 That is a little better than half of $101,000 which comes to $50,500. To be specific it is $4000 more per year. (This is an incomplete example as there is the ASF but it explains the basics.)

According to a source inside the UFT, pension calculations are being made based on the lower numbers. This was confirmed when I asked two recent retirees. We were informed that the Teachers Retirement System will correct this at some point in the future.

This is more of our money we are letting the city hold for us.

Is it really that difficult to come up with a salary schedule on what we would have made had we received the retroactive salaries from 2009-2011 right up front and then basing pensions on those numbers?

Will arbitrator Martin Sheinman be brought in again to bail the city out because there will be a large sum of money owed to UFT retirees that the city says they can't afford?

*I certainly am no pension expert and would appreciate clarification if there is updated information and/or I am missing something here.

## 26 comments:

Here's what I was told:

I retired in August 2014 because I didn't hit 55 til then, so I missed the lump sum payments. Unavoidable, so I'm not complaining. But, I was told by the UFT that I would be getting a pension based upon the 8% we would have gotten. So I have been waiting for an increase, as well as retro money for the 8 months I have been retired.

What you are saying on this blog--that those who retired after June 2014 will get 2% per year increases--where did that info come from? I am certainly not doubting it, but it directly contradicts what the UFT said to me in my retirement consultation.

It would also appear to mean that there would be no retro money for those who retired after June, which would be a huge financial blow if it happens. As you say, an 8% increase amounts to 4K a year in pension--that would be a lot of money to steal from newer retirees.

It's just blatantly unfair that newer retirees must wait for their money yet again.

At those special UFT retiree clinics back in June- the UFT facilitators were pretty clear on how things would go for June 30 or before retirees-involving the retro or restructured payments with the 4%, 4% 1% and 1% increases- It did come-- about 4 months later than the promised date of'sometime during the fall' and that pensions would be recalculated during the spring. Now the TRS says probably in the fall-at the earliest.

But the info pertaining to post June 30 retirees-- the UFT info seemed a little fuzzy and more complicated when it came to explaining retro pay as they claimed it would take several recalculations relating to pensions.

I think the UFT should have special clinics or up to date announcements for the post June 30 retirees and offer clear explanations and expectations with a precise timeline on when retro will be paid-and the ramifications of pension recalculations.

Mr Talk- Retro for retirees after June 2014 is coming just like for active people in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. The 2% a year is for active people.

James, thanks for the response. Do you know whether those who retired after June 2014 will be getting adjusted monthly checks? I was told yes, but then the UFT hasn't exactly been forthcoming with info.

I was told by TRS some months ago that they would recalculate checks when they got the "final" numbers on the contract. That was some time ago, and nothing yet.

I voted "NO" for this piece of sh*t contract, but I was assuaged just a tiny bit, on a personal level, when I called the UFT and was assured that the 4%+4% would be included in my FAS calculation. I'm 58 years old, in 55/25 and this is my 25th year (though I'd like to stick around for a few more years if I can stand it.)

My worry isn't so much the FAS calculation, which is very straightforward (and which even UFT/TRS should figure out by 2018). Rather, it's the calculations determining the retro payments from 2015-2020 that worry me.

The way I figure it, this is a sliding scale, and may be well over the heads of the UFT/TRS apparatchiks to figure out. Ever.

This is why:

If you plan on retiring after May 2018, the payment we're supposed to get in 2015 should be calculated as 12.5% of our 4%+4%retro from 2009-5/2015, PLUS a 6% calculation from 5/2015-10/2015.

Then, there's a recalculation for the 2017 payment that amounts to 12.5% of our 4%+4%retro from 2009-5/2015, PLUS a 6% calculation from 5/2015-5/2016, PLUS a 4% calculation from 5/2016-10/2016, PLUS the increased amount of the 4%+4% retro we'll be owed due to our piddling 10%-over-7 years salary increases.

Then, there's a recalculation for the 2018 payment that amounts to 25% of our 4%+4%retro from 2009-5/2015, PLUS a 6% calculation from 5/2015-5/2016, PLUS a 4% calculation from 5/2016-10/2016, PLUS a 4% calculation from 5/2016-5/2017, PLUS a 2% calculatin from 5/2017-10/2018, PLUS the increased amount of the 4%+4% retro we'll be owed due to our piddling 10%-over-7 years salary increases.

Then, there are the 25% payments in 2019 and 2020, which should include all of the above PLUS the increase in the 4%+4% retro we'll be owed due to our piddling 10%-over-7 years salary increases.

Okay, my head just exploded!

I'm an art teacher, not a math teacher, but somebody, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Cheers.

The really important question is whether TRS will pay interest on the delayed calculations and payments.

TRS establishes periodically an interest rate that it pays to people between the period they get their estimated pension payment and their "final" pension payment--at least in the case or a "regular" retirement. The interest rate is usually more than you could get if you invested the money in a CD or bank account.

If TRS will pay interest on the delayed payments, retirees (and anyone else) should be made whole when they get the money.

I recognize that 1.) I make a large assumption that these delayed payments qualify for interest payable and 2.) TRS, or anyone else, is able to make the correct calculations to begin with.

Mr. Fischer- If the calculations are corrected so that the retro would have been in your salary, then the payouts in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 should not be included in pension calculations. Maybe I am missing something?

Harris- On the interest, why wouldn't it be included? Also, I ask again how difficult is it to make salary schedules saying what teachers would have made if the 4% +4% was added in? A computer could figure that out easily. Give someone a few hours and they could do it with a calculator. It's been almost a year.

James - I understand that the retro payouts are not included in FAS calculations. What I'm trying to wrap my head around are the calculations for the retro payments themselves.

Does this sound correct?:

For employees who remain in-service, the amount that makes up 100% of the retro payment due to you will keep increasing, up to the point that you are "made whole" with the final 2% retro increase in 5/18. The actual amount of money that makes up 100% of what you're owed cannot be known until 5/18, or until you retire (up until 5/18).

Since TRS cannot predict when you will retire, I guess the 12.5% payment in 2015 is going to be 12.5% of all the money they owe you

only up to that point.Then, the 12.5% payment they make to you in 2017 should be a larger sum than the 2015 payment, because they'll have to recalculate the sum that equals 100% of the amount of retro you're owed

up to the 2017 payment date. They should also owe you an adjustment - a retro on the retro, if you will - for the now underpaid 2015 payment.And that pattern of recalculations and adjustments should repeat with the 25% payment in 2018 (at which point the entire 4%+4% will be back in your paycheck, and the amount that you get in 2019 & 2020 should remain the same as your 2018 payment).

I'm just worried that - if I'm correct - TRS will royally screw up those payment calculations (and not in a good way).

I understand but it is the city, not TRS, that needs to make the calculations. In 2015, this should not be that difficult. I did with a calculator in 2013, when this was first discussed around Jamaica HS, for a senior teacher. With technology available, this should not take years.

From reading everyone's comments and James' post, it seems to me that it is easier to solve Fermat Theorem than to figure out the pension re-calculations that TRS will make for the retirees from 2009 to June 2014 and the retro/pension calculation for the post June 2014 retirees. I can safely say that everyone will have to wait and see if TRS will send letters to retirees how they re-calculated their pension. The question I asked is the following: once the re-calculation is done, doesn't that mean that TRS will have to send a pension retro for those retirees who retired from 2009 - June 2014? I mean will I and others be entitled to a pension retro after re-calculation? OMG, I just got a headache, too!

You should get another retro and this time it should have interest.

James, if everyone is going to get paid interest on the screwed up benefit calculations then what's the big deal? Yes, these things do not require Newtonian physics to figure out and so they should have been paid, correctly, to retirees in the first place. But the adjusted calculations, however annoying and unnecessary, are probably not materially affecting many retirees and they will be paid interest on the screwed up calculations at a rate that isn't too bad compared to what any retiree would be able to get by investing that money on his or her own.

The original delay was a big deal--it was a breach of faith and people who retired had every right to get the lump sum at the time the UFT indicated they would. People who counted on that cash flow were adversely affected.

Let's just have the city hold 10or 15% of all of our money. They can give us 6% interest and we should all be happy. After all it takes a long time to figure out how much to pay us.

Is the amount you've elected to your TDA contributed as well from retro?

Good question UFT Orphan. And if you've changed your TDA contribution rate after 2009, just how long do you think will it take them to figure that out?

by the year 2525 if man is still alive....

The member's final pension amount will be based upon the whole 8% increase plus any other increases incurred while employed. It's how long it will take for TRS to figure it out and give everyone what they are entitled to is the issue.

I retired with ordinary disability in February. Noone at the UFT can give me an answer regarding when I will see the retro increases etc calculated in my pension nor how much my retro payments will be in 2015, 2017 ... My final was 102000. Based on the contract what should it really be? and then again, when?

The contract is almost two years old and the TRS and DOE still can't figure out how to include the raises in our pensions. Each one blames it on the other and then the union says "it's very complicated and at least you will be getting it some time." It is as if they hadn't even thought of this when they signed the new contract.

The UFT lied to people that retired on 7/1/14 or later. The UFT claimed that the two 4% retro increases from 2009 to 2011 would be included in a person's FAS - as if they already received the salary increases. That is BS. When you call the UFT now and ask. they say the FAS is based on whatever increases you received up to the point of retirement. If I retire in the summer of 2016 what years of salary will be used to calculate my FAS? The UFT told me that the 2% retro (for 09-11) which we received in May of 2015 and the 2% (for 09-11) that we received in May of 2016 will be included in the calculation of my FAS, but when I asked the pension consultant about the 2% retro from May 2017 and the 2% from May 2018 - his answer to me was "You're not retiring in 2018." I guess every time the retro 2% kicks in hopefully my pension will be recalculated. I really doubt it.

I am considering retiring at the end of this school year, probably August 1st because I will become 62 in the middle of July. Will I get a pension check - once calculated for the month of August even though I received checks from my school for August?

Thanks for any info you can post.

I am considering retiring in August because of my severe osteo and I have been trying to get some answers concerning the calculation of my FAS. I will be 62 in July so I'm not worried about the age too much. I only have 24 years 2 months and 8 days as of 6/30/16. According to the UFT website the two 4% retro increases for 2009 to 2011 will be calculated into the FAS as if you already received them back in 2009 to 2011, but that's not the case. The UFT should post the truth about this contract. New retirees and the people that retired on 7/1/14 are getting their pensions recalculated a little at a time. Supposedly every time the retro 2% increase for 2009 to 2011 kicks in a person's pension is supposed to be recalculated, but according to TRS they do that when they get salary info from the DOE. MY question is. why would the DOE give salary info to the TRS if a person is retired. I guess the City set it up this way and the UFT went along with it thinking that by the time a pension has to be recalculated the retiree might not be around any more.

I called the UFT and spoke to a pension consultant and asked a question about the 2% retro which kicks in on May 1, 2017 and the 2% retro which kicks in on May 1. 2018. I told him that according to the UFT website that it would be included in my FAS and he said "You're not retiring in 2018 so how can it be included?" I would have to work until 2018 to have it included in my FAS? Am I going to lose out on those two 2% retro increases if I retire now? Am I going to have to call TRS on May 1, 2017 to make sure that they recalculate my pension to include that 2% which I am entitled too sine I worked back in 2009 to 2011? I also called TRS and I was told the same thing. My FAS is calculated according to salary info given to TRS by the DOE. Only increases that you already received are included when they calculate the FAS.

The only people that benefited from this contract were the ones that were able to retire before 6/30/14. I also sent an email to Mulgrew about this and I still haven't received a response.

I don't know of anyone that retired on 7/1/14 or later to get some answers. I was scheduled for a final consultation at the UFT and I ended up cancelling it because I feel that they don't know what they are talking about.

I've gone on the TRS website and I think that the estimate that they give of my FAS is wrong. I'm a secretary and in 2014 my salary was 60,640. In 2015 my salary was 62,461.00. In 2016 my salary as of May 1st is 68,805. Will my salary from 2016 be included when they calculate my FAS if I retire as of 8/1/16? According to TRS my FAS as of March 2016 is 59,775.00. How did they come up with that as an estimate? Are they using the salary from 2013, 2014 and 2015?

Thanks for any info you can give me.

I am considering retiring in August because of my severe osteo and I have been trying to get some answers concerning the calculation of my FAS. I will be 62 in July so I'm not worried about the age too much. I only have 24 years 2 months and 8 days as of 6/30/16. According to the UFT website the two 4% retro increases for 2009 to 2011 will be calculated into the FAS as if you already received them back in 2009 to 2011, but that's not the case. The UFT should post the truth about this contract. New retirees and the people that retired on 7/1/14 are getting their pensions recalculated a little at a time. Supposedly every time the retro 2% increase for 2009 to 2011 kicks in a person's pension is supposed to be recalculated, but according to TRS they do that when they get salary info from the DOE. MY question is. why would the DOE give salary info to the TRS if a person is retired. I guess the City set it up this way and the UFT went along with it thinking that by the time a pension has to be recalculated the retiree might not be around any more.

I called the UFT and spoke to a pension consultant and asked a question about the 2% retro which kicks in on May 1, 2017 and the 2% retro which kicks in on May 1. 2018. I told him that according to the UFT website that it would be included in my FAS and he said "You're not retiring in 2018 so how can it be included?" I would have to work until 2018 to have it included in my FAS? Am I going to lose out on those two 2% retro increases if I retire now? Am I going to have to call TRS on May 1, 2017 to make sure that they recalculate my pension to include that 2% which I am entitled too sine I worked back in 2009 to 2011? I also called TRS and I was told the same thing. My FAS is calculated according to salary info given to TRS by the DOE. Only increases that you already received are included when they calculate the FAS.

The only people that benefited from this contract were the ones that were able to retire before 6/30/14. I also sent an email to Mulgrew about this and I still haven't received a response.

I don't know of anyone that retired on 7/1/14 or later to get some answers. I was scheduled for a final consultation at the UFT and I ended up cancelling it because I feel that they don't know what they are talking about.

I've gone on the TRS website and I think that the estimate that they give of my FAS is wrong. I'm a secretary and in 2014 my salary was 60,640. In 2015 my salary was 62,461.00. In 2016 my salary as of May 1st is 68,805. Will my salary from 2016 be included when they calculate my FAS if I retire as of 8/1/16? According to TRS my FAS as of March 2016 is 59,775.00. How did they come up with that as an estimate? Are they using the salary from 2013, 2014 and 2015?

Thanks for any info you can give me.

I am considering retiring in August because of my severe osteo and I have been trying to get some answers concerning the calculation of my FAS. I will be 62 in July so I'm not worried about the age too much. I only have 24 years 2 months and 8 days as of 6/30/16. According to the UFT website the two 4% retro increases for 2009 to 2011 will be calculated into the FAS as if you already received them back in 2009 to 2011, but that's not the case. The UFT should post the truth about this contract. New retirees and the people that retired on 7/1/14 are getting their pensions recalculated a little at a time. Supposedly every time the retro 2% increase for 2009 to 2011 kicks in a person's pension is supposed to be recalculated, but according to TRS they do that when they get salary info from the DOE. MY question is. why would the DOE give salary info to the TRS if a person is retired. I guess the City set it up this way and the UFT went along with it thinking that by the time a pension has to be recalculated the retiree might not be around any more.

I called the UFT and spoke to a pension consultant and asked a question about the 2% retro which kicks in on May 1, 2017 and the 2% retro which kicks in on May 1. 2018. I told him that according to the UFT website that it would be included in my FAS and he said "You're not retiring in 2018 so how can it be included?" I would have to work until 2018 to have it included in my FAS? Am I going to lose out on those two 2% retro increases if I retire now? Am I going to have to call TRS on May 1, 2017 to make sure that they recalculate my pension to include that 2% which I am entitled too sine I worked back in 2009 to 2011? I also called TRS and I was told the same thing. My FAS is calculated according to salary info given to TRS by the DOE. Only increases that you already received are included when they calculate the FAS.

The only people that benefited from this contract were the ones that were able to retire before 6/30/14. I also sent an email to Mulgrew about this and I still haven't received a response.

I don't know of anyone that retired on 7/1/14 or later to get some answers. I was scheduled for a final consultation at the UFT and I ended up cancelling it because I feel that they don't know what they are talking about.

I've gone on the TRS website and I think that the estimate that they give of my FAS is wrong. I'm a secretary and in 2014 my salary was 60,640. In 2015 my salary was 62,461.00. In 2016 my salary as of May 1st is 68,805. Will my salary from 2016 be included when they calculate my FAS if I retire as of 8/1/16? According to TRS my FAS as of March 2016 is 59,775.00. How did they come up with that as an estimate? Are they using the salary from 2013, 2014 and 2015?

Thanks for any info you can give me.

Thanks for any info you can give me.

There is new information on the topic of pension adjustment for retirees who left the system after June 30, 2014.

Awaiting details from TRS sometime by the end of the year, we hope.

There is new information on the topic of pension adjustment for retirees who left the system after June 30, 2014.

Awaiting details from TRS sometime by the end of the year, we hope.

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