TRS MESS 

By Clarion Staff

CLARION

MAY 2001

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TRS Mess

 

 

If you belong to the Teachers’ Retirement System but have not yet retired, there is a good chance that there were errors in your last annual statement.  Every year, TRS sends a Comprehensive Annual Statement to participants who have not yet retired to inform them of the status of their future benefits.  Of the 225,000 statements mailed out to TRS members for last year, 27,000 contained mistakes.  These ranged from incomplete information about years of employment to incorrect dates of birth. Some members received statements in which contributions were credited months after they were actually deposited.

Approximately 20% of PSC members belong to TRS. Whole categories of PSC members received incorrect statements, such as  those who at some point transferred to TRS from other retirement systems (including most community college employees) and those who took leaves of absence during employment.

“TRS has been doubly incompetent,” said PSC Executive Director Deborah Bell.  “First they made the mistakes; then they did not take the initiative to notify the membership that they made them, or promise to correct them.”  A new computer system at TRS may be the source of many of the problems.  However, TRS did not do enough to inform their members of the mistakes, nor did they guarantee that the 2001 statements would be corrected, or post corrected information on their Web site. 

The PSC is currently pressing for a resolution of the problems at TRS.  “TRS must have the staff and equipment to correctly credit our members’ contributions and years of service,” said Clarissa Gilbert Weiss, PSC Pension and Welfare Benefit Director.  “Members need timely and accurate information about their pensions, and we are going to make sure that TRS provides it.”