Tuesday, June 07, 2016

PENSION RECALCULATION EMAIL

Recent retirees are contacting me asking about the email they received from President Michael Mulgrew about pension recalculations.

All I can say is that the pension having to be recalculated based on the bonuses was not what we were told how it would be calculated when the UFT was selling us the contract in 2014. UFT leadership told us our pensions would be based on a calculation that would include what we would have made had we received the two 4% raises in 2009 and 2010. That appears not to be how the pensions are being calculated.

If anyone can explain Mulgrew's email, we would really appreciate it.

Dear _______,

I am writing with good news about your pension benefit: You will not have to wait until 2020 to get your full pension and you will not have to deal with multiple recalculations. The UFT and the city reached an agreement that allows for a one-time recalculation of your pension. This agreement affects thousands of UFT members who like you retired on or after July 1, 2014.

In October 2015, you received the first of five lump-sum payments with the remaining payments to be distributed through 2020. Instead of the Teachers’ Retirement System recalculating your pension each time you receive one of these payments, TRS will recalculate your pension only once and include the full increase that you are entitled to. Those revisions should be underway before the end of 2016.

This one-time recalculation has no effect on the size of the lump-sum payments you will be receiving from the Department of Education or the schedule of those payments.

TRS will be providing you with a letter explaining this one-time recalculation. This document will be your acknowledgement that you are aware of the one-time recalculation and understand that there will be no future recalculations related to the current UFT contract. You must sign and return this letter to TRS.

Your first revised pension check will include both your new monthly retirement benefit as well as the retroactive monies associated with not receiving your full pension benefit from your retirement date. On your check stub or EFT statement, the retroactive amount will appear as a separate line item. Your subsequent monthly check will be the first one reflecting just your new retirement benefit.

TRS will send you a new benefits letter about a week before your first revised pension payment.

If you have questions about your pension recalculation, please wait until after you have received this benefits letter from TRS. Once you have received your benefits letter, feel free to call TRS at 1-888-869-2877 or the UFT Retiree Pension Department at 1-212-598-9536.

I am happy that the UFT has been able to negotiate this advantageous process. It will help you enjoy your full, well-deserved pension sooner rather than later.
Sincerely,
Michael Mulgrew
Michael Mulgrew

27 comments:

JR said...

Remember, to get the retirees paid their retro, current staff had money lost, not delayed, lost.

Anonymous said...

Too good to be true. When did Mulgrew make this agreement with the City of New York? There hasn't been anything on the TV news shows or in the newspapers. Mulgrew likes to have himself in the news so it is really hard to believe that this was recently agreed to. I really wish it was because I am considering retiring this summer because of health issues. I just went to a workshop at TRS on 6/4 "Getting Ready for Retirement" and nothing about this agreement was mentioned.

Anonymous said...

I hope this email isn't a hoax. It sounds like it is. If Michael Mulgrew really negotiated this with the City of New York don't you think that Mulgrew would take advantage of a photo op. He was just voted back in as president and then he negotiates this to help retirees. Him and DiBlasio would be on the front of the news.

Anonymous said...

This has to be a cruel joke. I just checked with a recent retiree and they didn't receive this email. The person that claims they received it is just trying to make Mulgrew look bad. He should because all retirees should have their pensions calculated as if they got the two 4% increases from 2009 to 2011 already. That should have been part of the contract. The City would never agree to something like what is stated in the email. They would be spending more money on pensions. If Mulgrew negotiated with the City recently for that it would be on the UFT website. He would be bragging about it. He would make sure that every teacher knew what he did for them.

Anonymous said...

On the "frequently asked questions" site of the UFT it states: "I plan to retire in 2 tears. How will that affect my retro? (Your retro will be paid through 2020)

It also states: "Will the 2 4% retroactive raises be used to calculate the three highest income years for those who retire in the next few years?" (Yes. The pensions of members who retire between July 1, 2014 and May 2018 will be calculated based on the full 8% rate being factored into their final salary.)

Anonymous said...

Someone posted on another website that the UFT & City decided that pensions would be recalculated down the road. Pensions are not being based on the two 4% raises from 09 to 11 included in the FAS. I was also told by a UFT consultant when I asked about the 2017 (2% retro increase) and the 2018 (2% increase) because I am considering retiring in 2016. he said to me "You're not retiring in 2018 so how can it be included?

The UFT screwed everyone who plans on retiring before 2018 because the 10% rule will effect how everyone's FAS is calculated. TRS uses 5 years to calculate a person's FAS. I was just at a workshop at TRS and they showed us an example.

Anonymous said...

The UFT website statement is true if you retire in 2018. If you retire before 2018 you only have your FAS based on the retro raises from 2009 to 2011 that you already received.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is claiming this email is a hoax, they don't know James very well.

Anonymous said...

I posted the comment about the email being a hoax. What I was trying to say is that the person that sent it to James Eterno got the email from someone that was trying to play a cruel joke. Why wasn't this info posted on the UFT website? Wouldn't the UFT want all future retirees to know this info? Since I'm considering retiring this summer, I really wish it was true. I checked with a recent retiree and they didn't get this email.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone that received this email call TRS even though it tells them to call after they get the benefit letter? Hearing it from the mouth of someone at TRS will let everyone know if this is true or not or even better call the UFT and speak to Mulgrew himself.

Anonymous said...

I just sent an email to Michael Mulgrew with a copy of his email pasted to it. I would like to see what his response to it is.

Anonymous said...

The last RTC Chapter meeting of this year was last tuesday, 6/7. In that meeting Sandra March referred to both this email from Mulgrew and a letter to be received from TRS in the future, and that we are to "follow the instructions" of that letter. As soon as I returned from the meeting (about 4pm) I received the email from Mulgrew. Of course this was sent after the meeting -- next meeting will be in October. When I retired in 2016 and received my final pension letter, a letter preceding it stated that final FAS was calculated only using $1000 from 2014 but none of raises in new contract (including those I already received.) Letter stated that future calculation/calculations that would include raises were unknown as to date of letter. I am now awaiting letter from TRS described in Mulgrew's email.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the person who attended the RTC Chapter meeting and posting the info you received. This is good news for people considering retiring this year or next year, even though it sounds like it might be a year or more before anything is straightened out with TRS and the City. It really sounds like this will get done and I really think it will be about October 2017. That will be the next time we get a lump sum payment of 12.5% of the retro raises from 2009 to 2011.

It really stinks that TRS only used the $1000 bonus from 2014 in calculating a person's FAS who retired in 2016. That's BS. Why isn't the UFT fighting for people that retired after 7/1/14.

I just spoke to a person who took terminal leave and retired effective January. They are receiving advanced payments and as of today they still haven't been told their final pension amount. The City of New York is really saving a lot of money with the way they are doing this.

I guess the City of New York figures that by the time they recalculate pension figures, some retirees might not be around to collect. That is a lousy way to think about it, but the City will find any way not to pay back retro money.

Anonymous said...

A QUESTION/COMMENT FOR THE PERSON THAT ATTENDED THE RTC CHAPTER MEETING: DID YOU COMPLAIN TO SANDRA MARCH ABOUT THE PROBLEM WITH YOUR FAS/PENSION AMOUNT? MICHAEL MULGREW SHOULD BE ADDRESSING ISSUES LIKE THIS WITH TRS. IF TRS/CITY OF NEW YORK CAN GET AWAY WITH CALCULATING A PERSON'S PENSION WITHOUT INCLUDING RAISES ALREADY RECEIVED, THEN THE CITY CAN GET AWAY WITH ANYTHING.

IT WOULD APPEAR THAT YOUR PENSION WILL PROBABLY BE RECALCULATED TO INCLUDE THE RAISES BY THE TIME WE GET THE NEXT LUMP SUM PAYMENT - OCTOBER 2017. IN HIS EMAIL HE SAID THAT THE REVISIONS WILL BE UNDERWAY BEFORE THE END OF 2016.

"In October 2015, you received the first of five lump-sum payments with the remaining payments to be distributed through 2020. Instead of the Teachers’ Retirement System recalculating your pension each time you receive one of these payments, TRS will recalculate your pension only once and include the full increase that you are entitled to."

I THOUGHT A RETIREE'S PENSION WOULD BE RECALCULATED EVERY TIME THERE WAS A RETRO RAISE. EXAMPLE: MAY 1, 2016 - UFT MEMBERS RECEIVED 2% OF THE RETRO FROM 09-11. SHOULDN'T RETIREES GET A RECALCULATION OF PENSION DUE TO THAT INCREASE? BUT ACCORDING TO THE STATEMENT IN MULGREW'S EMAIL THE RECALCULATION WOULD HAVE BEEN IN A YEAR THAT A LUMP SUM WOULD BE RECEIVED. SO THE NEXT LUMP SUM IS OCT. 2017.

HOPEFULLY RETIREES WILL GET A RECALCULATION BEFORE THAT TIME.





Anonymous said...

Sandra March was aware of this I believe, as at the March RTC meeting she said the UFT did not want multiple recalculations of our pensions and was working on a solution with TRS. She handled many pension inquiries on my behalf, and was able to push for advance payment increases for members attending the March meeting, as well as myself. If anyone is dissatisfied with their advance payments I suggest you go through the UFT/Pension inquiry to request an increase. I believe I was able to get my pension finalized in 4 1/2 months because of her efforts. She is retiring and Deborah Penny is taking her place. However, she will still be around, supporting us.

The exact language of the letter I received 4/16 prior to my benefits letter read: "Your retirement allowance was calculated using the salary information available to TRS before the new UFT contract was ratified in June 2014. If you received the $1,000 signing bonus in June, it will be incorporated in the initial retirement allowance that you will begin receiving this month. However, any retroactive payments made to date under the contract are not reflected. At this time, TRS is unable to determine when a retirement allowance revision based on the new contract will be possible. Your retirement allowance my be revised more than once, but in each case applicable interest will be paid." Now it seems there will be only 1 recalculation, and we will have to sign off in writing as to our understanding this fact before the pensions are recalculated.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anonymous for posting what your 4/16 letter from TRS stated. It is ridiculous that the contract was ratified 2 years ago and TRS still doesn't have the salary schedules. From what I was told by TRS they base the FAS on the salaries reported to them by the DOE. TRS is supposed to use the highest 3 consecutive years' salaries which would normally be the most current, except when it comes to the 10% rule. The 10% rule will cause a lot of people to have an FAS based on lower salaries. If one of the 3 most consecutive years' salary is 10% higher than the 4 or 5th year, they use 5 years worth of salaries and make 10% adjustments to the current year's salary. TRS showed an example at their "Getting Ready To Retire" workshop.

By the time TRS or should I say the City of New York straightens this out it will probably be time for another lump sum or all the retro 2% raises from 2009-2011 will be in everyone's salary who is still on the job.







Anonymous said...

I retired june 30, 2014 and continue to wait for my pension recalculation and adjustment. good luck with the TRS.

Anonymous said...

A QUESTION/COMMENT FOR ANONYMOUS WHO RETIRED 6/30/14 -- Was 6/30/14 your effective retirement date or did you hand in your papers on 6/30/14 with the effective date of 7/1/14. DID YOU RECEIVE YOUR LUMP SUM PAYMENTS ALL AT ONCE?

According to the UFT and there have BEEN postings on this site and other sites, that if a person retired no later than 6/30/14 that they would have their FAS calculated as if they received the two 4% increases back in 2009 to 2011 and they were going to receive their lump sum payment all at once. They didn't have to wait for the 5 lump sum payments.

If you retired no later than 6/30/14 and you are still waiting for your money (LUMP SUM) and recalculation of your pension, then something is terribly wrong. The UFT should be doing something to right this wrong. CALL THE UFT. KEEP CALLING UNTIL THEY DO SOMETHING FOR YOU.

Anonymous said...

effective retirement date was 6/30/14 and received the lump sum payment. i was a 55/25 person and decided that my time was more important than a few dollars. was told city would recalculate pension numbers by december 31, 2015. i think my calls to trs have put me to the back of the line, if there is a line at this point. uft is now working on my behalf. hope it will be satisfied this month. will keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

On 6/8/16 when I saw the email from M. Mulgrew I sent him an email to verify that he really did send the email. He had one of his sidekicks respond to my email. He did verify that the email was sent to retirees by Mulgrew. He also stated that the agreement that the UFT and city came to will ensure that anyone who has retired since 7/1/2014 and anyone who will be retiring in the future will have pension FAS calculated as if the 4% and 4% were added in 2009 and 2010.

He also said that because this agreement was reached recently and TRS and the DOE finally agreed on how the salary information would be transmitted and calculated, it may take longer than is usual to readjust members' pensions to include everything, but rest assured it will happen.

M. Mulgrew said in his email posted above, that the revisions will start before the end of this year. If TRS still hasn't recalculated the pensions of people that retired on 6/30/14, how can they recalculate the pensions of anyone who retired 7/1/14 or later? There is also a statement in the email from Mulgrew to retirees that says that pensions were supposed to be recalculated every time a lump sum distribution was going to be made. That fact wasn't put out to members when they voted on this contract. I think if members knew this, a lot more "No" votes would have been cast. The 2009-2018 contract was presented and voted for under false pretenses.

By the time TRS starts recalculating the pensions of people who retired 7/1/2014 (Mulgrew said the revisions will start before the end of 2016) it will be October of 2017 and it will be time for another lump sump payment.

The UFT still has on their website that anyone that retired 7/1/14 or later, would have their FAS calculated as if they received the two 4% retro raises from 2009 to 2011 back in those years. They never corrected or retracted that statement. It's in the FAQ's.


Anonymous said...

FYI - I JUST COPIED THIS FROM THE TRS BENEFITS REPORT SPRING - 2016. FOR ANYONE THAT WANTS TO READ THE BENEFITS REPORT, IT IS ON THE TRS WEBSITE.

"Good news is on the way for recent retirees who are represented by the
United Federation of Teachers (UFT). During the summer months, members who retired
July 1, 2014 or later will receive information by mail about their upcoming retirement
allowance revisions. And, pending receipt of updated salary data from the Department of
Education, TRS plans to finalize retirement allowance revisions for these members over a
period of time beginning in late 2016 and extending through 2017.
Details and next steps will be included in the correspondence sent this summer. However,
please note that TRS cannot estimate when individual members will see their retirement
allowance increase.
As a reminder, the contract between the UFT and the City of New York was signed in June 2014.
The agreement provided retroactive pay increases, resulting in retirement allowance revisions for several thousand retirees. Different revision schedules were established for members who retired before July 1, 2014 and for those who retired on or after that date. Following the terms of the contract, TRS was able to revise retirement allowances for just about all of the earlier retirees during 2015. This summer, we will receive the data
needed to start recalculations for the later group.

I GUESS TRS WASN'T PART OF THE NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE UFT AND THE CITY OF N.Y. WHEN THEY NEGOTIATED WHAT MULGREW PUT IN HIS EMAIL TO RETIREES. THERE IS NO MENTION OF THAT IN THE TRS NEWSLETTER. TRS IS PLANNING TO REVISE PENSIONS OF PEOPLE THAT RETIRED AFTER 7/1/14 STARTING LATE 2016 THROUGH 2017. BY THE TIME THEY START MAKING THE REVISIONS THAT MULGREW MENTIONED, IT WILL BE 2018 AND THE CONTRACT EXPIRED. THEN THE CITY WILL CLAIM THEY ARE BROKE.

Anonymous said...

I posted on June 8th that I sent Mulgrew an email to see if he really did send the email above to some retirees and this is the answer I received from a pension consultant that Mulgrew gave my email to. His answer was:

"The short answer to your question is: yes. Michael Mulgrew really did send that email. The agreement that the UFT and city came to will ensure that anyone who has retired since July 1, 2014 and anyone who will be retiring in the future will have the pension FAS calculated as if the 4% and 4% were added in 2009 and 2010.

Because this agreement was reached recently and TRS and the DOE finally agreed on how the salary information would be transmitted and calculated, it may take longer than is usual to readjust members' pensions to include everything.

But rest assured it will happen."

It appears that Mulgrew copied what TRS said in their Spring 2016 Benefits Report, except that TRS isn't mentioning the two 4% retro increases from 2009-2011 that are supposed to be included in a retirees' FAS as if they got the two 4% increases back on 09 to 11. Mulgrew mentioned the revisions are supposed to start before the end of 2016 and TRS said at the end of 2016 and through 2017.

The contract was ratified 2 years ago this month and TRS and the DOE just recently came to an agreement on how salary data from the DOE is going to be sent to TRS. The salary data that the DOE sends TRS won't have the correct salaries because UFT members didn't fully receive and won't receive all of the two 4% retro increases until 2018.

In order for anyone to really retire and benefit from this contract without aggravation a person needs to continue working until 2021. Maybe TRS will have accurate salary data to really calculate a person's FAS/pension. By 2021 every UFT member that worked back in 2009 through 2011 should have received their final 12 1/2% retro lump sum payment in Oct. of 2020.

TRS is going to start calculating & revising pensions of people that retired on or after 7/1/14 at the end of 2016. By the time they start revising pensions of people who retired in 2015 or this year, the contract will have expired and the City will claim poverty.

I don't know how TRS or Mulgrew can say this is good news. Pensions of retirees from 2015 or 2016 will still be based on the lower salaries. I don't see the UFT/Mulgrew creating a salary chart that includes the two 4% retro increases as if the increases were received back in 2009-2011.

I know some people that want to retire like myself, but they are holding out for another 2 years. I need to retire for health reasons, but with my pension being calculated on the old salaries and the 10% rule, I couldn't even survive on my pension allowance. I understand that eventually my pension will be recalculated, but I would rather wait and have my pension calculated correctly from the first day I retire.

The UFT, City & TRS are hand-in-hand on how the City can save money. They know that by the time 2020 comes around there might be some retirees that won't be around to have their pensions recalculated or even to receive the lump sum payments.

If Mulgrew-UFT really cared about its members, they would have negotiated this contract based on anyone that retires between 7/1/14 and 2018 when the contract expires that the person retiring would receive ALL THEIR RETRO IN ONE LUMP SUM and a person's FAS would be calculated with the retro 09/2011 raises included.

Anyone who retired 7/1/2014 or later should protest loud and clear.

Unknown said...

I am so confused by all of this. When I go this week to TRS to hand in my papers, dare I ask?

Anonymous said...

I really need to retire this year because of health issues, but I'm really upset that I can't hold out any longer. I wanted to retire at a time when TRS would calculate my pension correctly, but at this point I don't think that will ever happen.

It does appear that Mulgrew copied what TRS said in their Spring 2016 Benefits Report, except that TRS isn't mentioning the two 4% retro increases from 2009-2011 that are supposed to be included in a retirees' FAS as if they got the two 4% increases back on 09 to 11. Mulgrew mentioned the revisions are supposed to start before the end of 2016 and TRS said at the end of 2016 and through 2017.

I just listened to a TRS meeting online (MAY 26, 2016) and TRS is still working on pension revisions for people that RETIRED BY 6/30/2014. They didn't even mention the revisions of pensions of people that retired 7/1/2014 and later.

UFT MEMBERS THAT RETIRED 7/1/2014 AND LATER SHOULD REALLY GET UP AND PROTEST. THEY SHOULD PROTEST UNTIL MULGREW AND TRS TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT PENSION REVISIONS. I'M A PAYROLL SECRETARY AND I KNOW OF A TEACHER THAT TOOK TERMINAL LEAVE AND THE OFFICIAL RETIREMENT DATE WAS JANUARY 2016. THIS PERSON IS STILL RECEIVING ADVANCE PAYMENTS AND WE'RE IN JUNE.

I WAS TOLD BY TRS AT THE GETTING READY TO RETIRE WORKSHOP THAT IT COULD TAKE ANYWHERE FROM 2 TO 4 MONTHS TO GET AN ADVANCE PAYMENT - THIS IS REALLY A JOKE. IF A PERSON DOESN'T HAVE A NEST EGG HOW CAN YOU RETIRE. BY THE TIME THE TRS GETS AROUND TO REVISING A PERSON'S PENSION, THE CONTRACT WILL HAVE EXPIRED AND IT WILL BE TIME TO GET A LUMP SUM PAYMENT FOR THE RETRO RAISES.

PLEASE KEEP THIS POSTING ALIVE THIS WAY UFT MEMBERS CONSIDERING RETIRING WILL KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON.

Anonymous said...

THIS INFORMATION CAME FROM THE TRS BENEFITS REPORT - SPRING 2016. EVERY TRS MEMBER SHOULD BE GETTING THIS SOMETIME THIS MONTH OR YOU CAN GO ON THE TRS WEBSITE TO VIEW IT. DOES MULGREW REALLY WANT A PAT ON THE BACK AND A BIG THANK YOU? HOW MANY WHAT TO PUNCH THE MAN IN THE FACE?

"Good news is on the way for recent
retirees who are represented by the
United Federation of Teachers (UFT). During
the summer months, members who retired
July 1, 2014 or later will receive information
by mail about their upcoming retirement
allowance revisions. And, pending receipt of
updated salary data from the Department of
Education, TRS plans to finalize retirement
allowance revisions for these members over a
period of time beginning in late 2016 and
extending through 2017.
Details and next steps will be included in the
correspondence sent this summer. However,
please note that TRS cannot estimate when
individual members will see their retirement
allowance increase.
As a reminder, the contract between the UFT
and the City of New York was signed in June 2014.
The agreement provided retroactive pay increases,
resulting in retirement allowance revisions for
several thousand retirees. Different revision
schedules were established for members who
retired before July 1, 2014 and for those who
retired on or after that date. Following the terms
of the contract, TRS was able to revise retirement
allowances for just about all of the earlier retirees
during 2015. This summer, we will receive the data
needed to start recalculations for the later group."

WHY IS MULGREW SENDING EMAILS TO RETIREES WITH INFORMATION THAT CAME FROM TRS?

Anonymous said...

I'm planning on putting in my retirement papers some time this summer, but I'm looking for some answers first. Has anyone that recently retired know when pensions will be based on their higher salaries that they have been receiving? From everything I've heard TRS is still calculating pensions on the old salary schedules.

Does anyone have current info?

Anonymous said...

New information posted on TRS website. Anyone that is submitting their retirement paper has to submit a new form with their retirement papers to TRS. It is a DOE acknowledgement form. The DOE states in the letter that a person's pension will be calculated with the two 4% retro raises from 2009 to 2011 included and also the two 1% raises that were already given. It also states that TRS will be mailing this letter to people that retired after 7/1/14. The letter has to be signed and sent back to TRS. The letter also states that the retiree acknowledges that the lump sum retro money won't be pensionable when we receive the lump sum on the dates originally scheduled. The part that really concerns me is that the DOE didn't mention the other increases (raises) such as the 1% in 2015 and the 1 1/2% increase in 2016.

Has anyone received the letter in the mail yet from TRS?