Effective September 15, 2013 the Teachers’ Retirement Board (TRB) implemented new rules, procedures and deadlines regarding members’ incoming payments for the purchase of service credit, and for the purchase of an annuity from the TRB by retiring members. These revisions are driven by both Internal Revenue Service and TRB rules and procedures.
The new procedures require that checks for the purchase of service credit be postmarked or hand delivered no later than the due date on the invoice for the purchase of service, or postmarked or hand delivered no later than the day prior to the effective date of retirement in order to purchase a fixed monthly annuity from the TRB. Members wishing to roll money into TRB from another qualified plan such as a 403b should consult with their 403b agent or representative and begin the process far enough in advance so as to ensure the check is postmarked or received on time. The process may require several signatures before the check can be issued from the custodian of your account, which can be time consuming.
We would like to caution those members who are under age 59 ˝ that it might not be possible to transfer funds into TRB from a 403b arising from your current employment, as the qualifying event that allows a transfer of your 403b funds is separation from duty with your current employer. Some companies will not begin processing the paperwork until you have separated from duty with your current employer, leaving a very narrow window of opportunity to obtain all of the required signatures and have the check postmarked or hand delivered by the required due date. Mailed checks that are postmarked after the due date and hand delivered checks that are delivered after the due date will be returned uncashed to the member and the member’s opportunity to purchase the TRB annuity with these funds will be forever forfeited. No exceptions to the due dates will be made for either mailed or hand delivered checks.
Payments of bills (including invoices and cost statements) for the purchase of service credit will have a due date of the last calendar day of a month. There will be no grace period or extensions with respect to the due date. Payments – including personal checks and rollovers from other qualified plans such as 403bs – that are not received by TRB on or before the due date if hand delivered, or not postmarked on or before the due date if mailed, will be returned uncashed to the member. If the member is not retiring the member can request a new bill; this request will be treated as a new request and will be processed according to the backlog that exists at the time. The cost may increase based on the change in variables used in the calculation of the amount due. If the member is retiring, the request for the new bill MUST be made PRIOR to the effective date of retirement, otherwise, the retiring member forfeits the opportunity to purchase such service.
Members who submit a retirement application within two months prior to their effective date of retirement and/or who are purchasing service credit at the time of retirement may receive their initial benefits up to three months after the effective date of retirement. For example, under these circumstances we would initiate benefits to a July 1 retiree no later than September 30th.
TRB will accept checks that are hand delivered between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm on days of normal operation.
Beginning with retirement dates effective July 1, 2015, both the documentation of service to be purchased and the application for retirement must be received or postmarked prior to the effective date of retirement to protect the potential opportunity to purchase the service. If the completed documentation is not received by TRB or postmarked by the day prior to the effective date of retirement, the member loses their right to purchase such service.