The TRA Board of Trustees on Wed., Nov. 16, approved a legislative proposal that would lower the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for retired teachers from 2 percent to 1 percent for 10 years and 1.5 percent thereafter.
The proposal also calls for a 2 percent increase in the employer (school district) contribution rate, from 7.5 percent to 9.5 percent, phased in incrementally. The employer contribution rate increase would be offset by a request for state aid to cover school districts’ pension costs. The active-teacher contribution rate would remain unchanged at 7.5 percent. Full story HERE
The new service retirement estimate generator is now available. Click on MyTRA to access your account and look for the Estimates Menu on the Welcome page.
During a special meeting on Mon., Oct. 24, to address funding issues, the Teachers Retirement Association Board of Trustees opted to hold off on any decision regarding the details of retiree cost-of-living reductions and contribution increases until the board’s Nov. 16 meeting. The delay allows time for groups representing retirees, active teachers and school districts to review and weigh in on revised funding options.
The revised funding options under consideration propose to reduce the retiree COLA to 1 percent for five years and 1.5 percent thereafter. The proposal also includes a 2.5 percent employer contribution rate increase phased in incrementally over several years and offset by earmarking state aid for pensions so as to hold E-12 education funding harmless. Also under consideration is an increase in the active-teacher contribution rate of 0.5 percent, phased in over several years incrementally.
Full story HERE
The TRA Board of Trustees is seeking candidates to fill two active-member seats and one retired-member seat on the board. The terms of Mary Supple, a math teacher in Richfield; Rob Gardner, an English teacher in Edina; and retiree representative Martha Lee Zins expire June 30, 2017.
The new four-year terms for these positions begin July 1, 2017. There are no term limits on board positions. Trustees meet about seven times a year to oversee the administration of the pension fund. Special meetings might be held at the call of the board president or any three members. Board members act as fiduciaries of the TRA plan in accordance with Minnesota statute and are subject to state economic interest disclosures.
To request an election application, call TRA at 651-296-2409 or 800-657-3669. The application must be received in our office by 4:30 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 23. Full story here.
To access your online TRA account you must re-register.
Is registering mandatory?
No. You need only register if you want to access your information online. This change does not affect
your monthly benefit payment, your copy of the newsletter, or your access to general information on
Does this change affect when I will get my benefit payment or refund?
No. Processing of retirement, disability, and refund applications by TRA staff is unaffected.
How do I register?
Our enhanced security means that even if you already had an account, you must re-register.
To register, click on MyTRA Login at the top of this page.
If you need help with your TRA number or benefit amount, call TRA at 1-800-657-3669.
This short video explains the process.
Once you register, you can
Please call TRA at 1-800-657-3669 for help or to ask questions.
You can also read our Q & A of frequently asked questions about the upgrade.
Some features will be available later this year:
|mid-Nov||Apply for ELSA and review ELSA account|
|January 2017||Generate income verification letter|
|January 2017||View 1099 reports|
MAY 31 – Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed the 2016 Omnibus Pension Bill, which contained a provision to lower the retiree cost of living adjustment (COLA) from 2 percent to 1 percent for one year for TRA and from 2 percent to 1.75 percent for retirees in the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) plan.
“These measures were part of sustainability plans that called for shared commitments among employers, current employees and retirees in order to secure the financial health and stability of the MSRS and TRA pension plans,” Dayton said in a letter to the legislature explaining the rationale for his veto.
Shared responsibility “remains an important principle in maintaining the soundness of Minnesota’s pension plans,” he added. “Unfortunately, [the pension bill] contains only one piece of the overall sustainability plans, placing sole responsibility for reducing plan liabilities on current retirees. It is not fair, and I cannot agree to it.”
MAY 23 – The Minnesota House of Representatives on Sunday passed the 2016 Omnibus Pension Bill (SF588) on a vote of 129-3. The Senate version of the 2016 Omnibus Pension Bill passed out of that chamber Thursday on a 61-1 vote, with Sen. Eric Pratt the lone no vote. The bill now goes to Gov. Mark Dayton.
Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement (LCPR) chair Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell) summarized the provisions of the bill, whose major changes call for the investment return assumption for Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) to be lowered to 8 percent, and for the cost-of-living adjustment for retirees of TRA to be lowered to 1 percent for one year and for the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) to be lowered to 1.75 percent for one year beginning Jan. 1, 2017. (More HERE.)
Legislation passed in May 2015 resulted in a change to when a medical, family or parental leave payment is due. The deadline to make the payment without interest is Dec. 31 of the year following the fiscal year of the leave, rather than by June 30 of the year of the leave.
If the payment is not made by Dec. 31, 8.5 percent interest will be charged through the end of the month in which payment is made. Any leave payment made after June 30 of the year following the fiscal year of the leave would be based on full actuarial cost.
The change was necessary because one of the determining factors in the cost of the leave is the salary earned. The final salary information for the leave period could not be determined by the June 30 deadline. The Dec. 31 deadline will allow time for all salary to be reported, issues resolved, and leave costs calculated and sent to members on leave. It will also allow time for the members on leave to make arrangements for a rollover or other payment option.
Note that an extended leave still has a deadline of June 30 of each fiscal year of the leave.
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