Is it true that I will get a check from TRS and the school district for June, July, and August?

Yes!! The checks from the district come from money withheld from your pay so that you can be paid in the summer months. You have already earned the money.  TRS checks do not start until 31 days after your last district paycheck, and the district sends in TRS Form 7.  If you are paid through August, the first time you see a TRS check should be toward the end of September, and then all checks in arrears will be paid at once.

When do I need to resign from the district?

Resign when the district asks which is unless you have a reason not to . The only rule you must follow is you must resign prior to your retirement date.

Can I retire at the semester and get credit for the year?

Under the new law, if it is your retirement year, you may retire either after 90 days, or at the end of the semester even if it is not 90 days. For any year other than your retirement year, you must work 90 days. If you retire at the semester, that year will not be counted as one of the years in computing your best three or five year average.

How does TRS determine how much I will earn?

(Years in TRS)(.023)(best three or five year average) Look at your statement from this October and it will tell you if your average is based on three or five years.

When can I retire?

As of September 1, 2014, if you do NOT have 5 years of TRS service credit, in order to retire you (a) must be 62 years of age; and (b) meet the Rule of 80.

As of September 1, 2014, if you DO have 5 years of TRS service credit, in order to retire you must meet the Rule of 80.

How do I become eligible for TRS Care insurance?

Note: * A service retiree is not subject to the new age requirements if the sum of the person’s age and years of service credit is 70 or greater on or before Aug. 31, 2014; or if the person has at least 25 years of service credit on or before Aug. 31, 2014.  In other words, if the retiree meets the Rule of 80, they may select ANY TRS Care plan available.

For individuals who take a service retirement on or after Sept. 1, 2014, the bill sets the minimum age of 62 to be eligible for TRS-Care 2 and 3*.  All service retirees affected by this limitation will be able to choose TRS-Care 2 or 3 when they turn 62 years of age. Eligibility requirements for participating in TRS-Care 1 were not changed by the bill.

What is the cost of TRS Care insurance?

Coverage for the employee only is between $190 to $310 per month based on which plan you choose and your years of experience. Coverage for employee and spouse ranges from $450 to $665 per year. If the employee is 65 and eligible for Medicare, the cost drops to between $80 to $110. At 65 Medicare becomes your primary insurance and TRS Care becomes secondary.

When should TRS Care go into effect?

The school district should pay for your insurance through August, so TRS Care will go into effect September 1, however, you may start it anywhere from June 1st to September 1st.  If you are not retiring at the end of the year, TRS Care should go into effect the month after your school insurance ends.

How do I use the WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision) Calculator to see how much of your own social security you will lose because of TRS?

If you are eligible for Social Security benefits and want to know how much TRS will cause your Social Security benefit to be reduced, follow the steps below. (For your information, WEP stands for Windfall Elimination Provision.)

  1. Click here to go to the WEP Calculator on the SSA Website. You not need to download anything!
  2. Scroll half way down the page until you get to Date of Birth.
  3. Fill in the Date of Birth blank.
  4. Fill in the Age at Retirement blank. Estimate it if you are not sure.  Your statement from Social Security will tell you the earliest date you can draw Social Security.
  5. Select Today’s Dollars.
  6. Non-Covered Pension Amount: For now leave this at zero.
  7. Annual Earnings Covered by Social Security: Use the statement Social Security mailed to you this year and fill in each blank beside the year.   If you don’t have the statement, call Social Security and ask for one.
  8. Now it will ask you to estimate you next two years earnings covered by social security.  You can estimate this or leave it at zero.
  9. Hit the calculate button.  This will give you what would draw if you did not have a TRS pension.

Now let’s see how much you lose because of the TRS pension.

Go back to the blank that said:  Non-covered Pension Amount.  Put an estimate of the gross amount you will draw from TRS per month.  Go to the bottom and hit calculate again.  This is what you will actually get from Social Security.

Compare this to the first number and you can see how much you will lose.

If I retire at the end of the year, what will be my retirement date?

With TRS, you always retire the last day of the month. If you retire at the end of the year, your retirement date will be the last day of May. As long as you don’t work past June 15, you may declare the last day of May as your retirement date, and get a June retirement check.

Can I work after I retire?

Those who retired prior to Jan. 1, 2011 may work with no restrictions. Those who retire after Jan. 1, 2011 may work with no restrictions if they have a break in service of 12 full calendar months. Otherwise, they may only work 4 hours per day. Exception: after a month separation a teacher may substitute unlimited time, but must be substituting in a position where there is a full time teacher hired for the position. If you work for an entity that does not contribute to TRS for its employees, you may work unlimited.

Can I buy years in TRS?

You can buy years for withdrawn service, developmental leave, unreported service or compensation credit ( if you taught or substituted 90 days in one year), military service, and you can pay for one year if you have 50 state sick leave days. To find out the cost of buying the years you can go to the TRS Calculators page, however, if you need information about out of state credit, you will need to call TRS at 1-800-223-8778.

If I plan to retire this year, how do I get started?

The fastest way to make your request is to complete and submit your information on the TRS website, by clicking this link , register if you have not already, log in, and look for a link that says “Request for Estimate of Retirement Benefits.  You can also call 1-800-223-8778 to speak to a counselor.

IF YOU ARE A UEA MEMBER, you may come most any Wednesday at 1 PM for help filling out the forms. Just visit our events calendar and book for the date you wish to come in.