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Glossary

ABS - See Annual Benefits Statement.

Accident Disability Retirement - A retirement plan available to certain eligible members, who are disabled as a natural and proximate result of an accident that was sustained in the performance of their duties in active service and that was not caused by their own willful negligence.

Additional Member Contributions (AMCs) - Tier II, III, and VI members who are participating in the Age 55 Retirement Program make these contributions to the QPP, equaling 1.85% of their gross compensation. These contributions are in addition to any other QPP contributions a member may be making (e.g., 3% "base" contributions for Tier III and IV members). In general, these contributions are required until the member has attained either 25 or 27 years of Total Service Credit, or for the entirety of their service.

Advance Payments - Monthly payments that are issued to retirees in order to provide members with retirement income as quickly as possible. TRS issues advance payments beginning with the payroll approximately one to two months following a retiree's effective retirement date. Advance payments are based on conservative calculations, which consider the member's retirement plan, payment election, and salary. They do not take into account a number of factors that help determine a retirement allowance, which include the member's specific service credit and any additional contributions made beyond the minimum service requirement. When the retirement allowance has been completely processed, the member will receive any funds due retroactively with 5% annual interest.

Age 55 Retirement Program - A retirement plan that provides eligible Tier II, III, and IV members with the option to retire with unreduced benefits as early as age 55, provided they have at least 25 (or 27) years of Total Service Credit as of their retirement date. Participants in this program are required to make Additional Member Contributions (AMCs) to the QPP, in addition to any other QPP contributions they may be making. (See Additional Member Contributions.) This program was available to eligible employees of the Department of Education (DOE) and participating Charter Schools from February 27, 2008 through March 31, 2012.

Alternate Payee - The status accorded a member's former spouse if a court-issued domestic relations order requires that the former spouse receive a designated portion of the member's retirement benefits.

AMCs - See Additional Member Contributions.

Amman Service - Regular substitute teaching and/or per diem service rendered during a leave of absence or after separating from service. Tier I and II members may receive credit for this service when they return to active service in a membership-eligible position. Tier III and IV members who return to active service in a membership-eligible position have the option of purchasing credit for this service.

Annual Benefits Statement (ABS) - An individualized report that TRS issues each fall to in-service members and members on a leave of absence for up to seven school years. The statement summarizes Total Service Credit, lists designated beneficiaries, and provides benefit estimates and projections (if eligible). This information is reported as of the previous June 30.

Annuity - A monthly payment members may receive from their Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) Program funds that is separate from, and in addition to, their Qualified Pension Plan (QPP) retirement allowance. Members must elect a payment option for these funds.

Annuity Reserve Accumulation Fund (ARAF) - One of the two components that may make up a Tier III, IV, and VI member's retirement allowance. At retirement, a member's Annuity Savings Accumulation Fund (ASAF) balance is transferred into an ARAF.

Annuity Savings Accumulation Fund (ASAF) - An account containing the monthly supplemental contributions that the Department of Education provides to certain Tier III, IV, and VI members who reach the maximum of their salary schedule. College employees, Charter School employees, and paraprofessionals do not receive this supplemental contribution.

Annuity Savings Fund (ASF) - An account containing a Tier I or II member's QPP contributions, and reflecting investment results and/or interest and any withdrawals.

ARAF - See Annuity Reserve Accumulation Fund.

ASAF - See Annuity Savings Accumulation Fund.

ASF - See Annuity Savings Fund.

Benefit Package - A package of information sent to beneficiaries after a TRS member's death. The Benefit Package includes a benefits letter indicating the amount of money payable to the beneficiaries and any relevant forms that must be filed with TRS.

Benefits Letter - A comprehensive statement that TRS sends to recent retirees, which shows their monthly and annual retirement allowance amounts. It details the calculations used to compute their retirement allowance and includes other important information about their payment option, beneficiary designation(s), investment elections, and taxes.

Bond Fund - One of the Passport Funds (TRS' investment choices). This fund invests primarily in a portfolio or portfolios of high-quality bonds that provide for participant transactions at market value. The objective is primarily to seek current income from a diversified portfolio of high-quality bonds.

Certified Rate - The percentage of salary that Tier I and II members would need to contribute to the QPP to meet the minimum accumulation required for full benefits under Plan A (for Tier I) or Plan C (for Tier II). This rate varies based on factors such as age and credited prior service.

Chapter 683 - The portion of the Retirement and Social Security Law that enables Department of Education employees to earn pensionable credit for summer employment under the Special Education Program.

COLA - See Cost-of-Living Adjustment.

Compounding - A method of crediting interest by which interest accumulates on the principal amount invested, as well as on any accumulated interest.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) - A permanent adjustment to the QPP retirement allowance of eligible retirees, surviving spouse beneficiaries, and recipients of accidental death benefits.

Defined-Benefit Plan - A retirement plan, such as TRS' QPP, that guarantees a retirement allowance to participants and is typically based on the participants' service and salary before retirement.

Defined-Contribution Plan - A retirement plan, such as TRS' TDA Program, in which the benefit to participants is based on the amount that is contributed to the plan. The contribution rate is generally defined as a percentage of the participants' salary.

Demand Retirement - A retirement plan (also known as the 30-Year Demand Plan), which allows Tier I members who have completed at least 30 years of total service credit to apply for retirement before age 55.

Direct Rollover - A distribution in which the payment of QPP funds is made directly to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) or another Section 401(a) plan, or in which the payment of TDA funds is made directly to an IRA or another Section 401(b) Plan. Unlike direct withdrawals, direct rollovers are not subject to current taxes and penalties.

Direct Transfer - A distribution in which payment of TDA funds is made directly to a Section 403(b) plan. On the advice of outside tax counsel, TRS has suspended all processing of Direct Transfers (except to the New York City Board of Education Retirement System) pending further clarification from the IRS.

Direct Withdrawal - A distribution of QPP or TDA funds in which a withdrawal is made payable directly to a member. Funds received through a direct withdrawal are generally taxable. Any funds that are received through a Direct Withdrawal are taxable, and the IRS requires TRS to withhold 20% of the withdrawn amount, except for TDA hardship withdrawals. This 20% would be forwarded to the IRS and credited toward your taxes for the year of distribution. In addition, an IRS-imposed 10% tax may also apply in some cases.

Disability Retirement - A general term for a retirement plan that applies to members who are deemed to have become physically and/or mentally incapable of performing their work duties. Members may be eligible for either an Accident Disability Retirement or an Ordinary Disability Retirement.

Distribution - A payment from TRS, which may have certain tax implications and penalties.

Diversified Equity Fund - One of the Passport Funds (TRS' investment choices). This fund invests primarily in the stocks of U.S. companies, and also invests a portion of its assets in stocks of non-U.S. companies and other types of investments that may exhibit fixed-income characteristics. The objective is to achieve a rate of return comparable to the return of the broad equity market.

Domestic Relations Order (DRO) - A judgment, order or decree of a court made pursuant to the Domestic Relations Law setting forth how a member's benefits are to be equitably distributed between the member and the member's former spouse.

EAR - See Earnings After Retirement.

Earnings After Retirement (EAR) - A general term for the rules governing the amount that certain TRS service retirees are permitted to earn while they are also receiving retirement allowances. Restrictions on earnings after retirement impact individuals under the age of 65 who work in public employment in New York State or any of its political subdivisions (e.g., New York City).

EFT - See Electronic Fund Transfer.

Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) - This service enables TRS retirees to have their monthly benefit payments (and other distributions) electronically forwarded to their checking or savings account. In addition, in-service members who are paid on the City of New York payroll through direct deposit may choose to receive loans and withdrawals by EFT. EFT allows members' accounts to be credited on the payment date and safeguards against delayed, lost, or stolen checks.

Excess - Any QPP contributions that Tier I and II members have accumulated above their required minimum accumulation. Eligible members may withdraw all or part of their excess contributions before retirement.

Extract of Balances - An account statement provided to members on request, which reports QPP and TDA contribution amounts, overall account balances, and outstanding loan amounts, as of a specific date.

FAS - See Final Average Salary.

FICA - Social Security payroll taxes that are collected under the authority of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) are sometimes called "FICA taxes."

FICA Offset - A method whereby Tier I or II members may change the rate of their QPP contributions. By electing FICA Class C, pension contributions are reduced by the amount of the Social Security tax paid.

Final Average Salary (FAS) - A calculation used to compute the retirement allowances of TRS members. For Tier I members, the FAS is generally defined as the annual salary earnable during the last year of the most recent position they held for at least three years. For Tier II, III, IV, and VI members, the FAS is generally defined as the highest average of wages earned by a member during any continuous period of employment for which the member was credited with three (Tier II, III, and IV) or five (Tier VI) years of service—subject to certain exclusions. Wages earned during any year used in a FAS calculation cannot exceed the average of the previous two (Tier II, III, and IV) or four (Tier VI) years' wages by more than 10%.

Fixed Return Fund - One of the Passport Funds (TRS' investment choices). This fund offers a guaranteed rate of return set by the New York State Legislature in accordance with applicable laws. The current annual rate is 7% for TDA investments of members who are serving in (or resigned/retired from) titles represented by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and 8.25% for other investments.

Form 1099 - A statement(s) that TRS sends in January to members who have received a taxable distribution from TRS during the previous calendar year. Interest associated with retroactive retirement allowance payments would be reported on a separate 1099-INT Form, which is also sent in January.

Full-Year, Full-Contribution Rate - The rate of contribution to TRS' TDA Program that allows members to contribute the highest allowable amount—the "full contribution"—from year to year, by contributing at a steady rate during each pay period of a calendar year—the "full year." This election is designed to produce the full contribution over 12 months; so, if you elect the Full-Year, Full-Contribution Rate after January, you may not reach your contribution limit for that year.

Hardship Withdrawal - A method by which TDA participants may withdraw all or part of their post-1988 contributions. To be eligible, members must have had a sudden and heavy financial emergency leaving them unable to reasonably meet certain expenses, and must have exhausted all other available TRS resources and non-TRS resources. Hardship conditions include the payment of certain medical expenses, payment of funeral expenses, payment of post-secondary school tuition, the purchase of a principal residence, certain expenses for the repair of damage to your principal residence, or payment to prevent eviction or foreclosure.

Health Care Proxy - A document in which individuals appoint an agent to act in their behalf, if they are unable to convey their wishes concerning medical treatment.

Increased-Take-Home Pay (ITHP) - An amount contributed by the City of New York toward the retirement allowance of Tier I and II members. This amount (2.5% of the members' gross salary) reduces the contributions that the members would have to make and thereby increases their take-home pay. Members may waive their ITHP, which would reduce their take-home pay, but provide them with a higher annuity benefit upon retirement. In any case, the City will make the same contribution to their ITHP account.

Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) - A savings vehicle designed to provide post-retirement income. Depending on the type of IRA, taxes may be deferred on contributions or on the earnings that the contributions generate. Members may have their QPP or TDA funds directly rolled over to an IRA, subject to certain restrictions.

Inflation Protection Fund - One of the Passport Funds (TRS' investment choices). This fund seeks exposure to multiple asset classes and markets, which may include the following: floating debt rate, commodities, inflation-protected debt (including U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) and real estate debt and equity securities. The objective is to provide, over a full market cycle, a real rate of return that exceeds inflation.

International Equity Fund - One of the Passport Funds (TRS' investment choices). This fund invests primarily in the stocks of non-U.S. companies located in developed markets, traded on a variety of stock exchanges, and denominated in a variety of currencies around the world. The objectives are to provide long-term capital growth and to achieve a rate of return comparable to the return of the non-U.S. equity markets over a full market cycle.

Investment-in-Contract - This represents the contributions that members made towards their retirement allowance, which accumulated in either the ASF (Tier I and II members) or MCAF (Tier III, IV, and VI members). Interest and investment returns are not reflected in the investment-in-contract.

ITHP - See Increased-Take-Home Pay.

Letter of Prospective Retirement - A letter that TRS sends to members within three weeks of TRS' receipt of their QPP retirement application. The Letter of Prospective Retirement acknowledges that TRS has received and reviewed their retirement application. It also confirms which forms were filed in conjunction with their application, the payment option they chose, any TDA Program elections, and their prospective date of retirement.

Loan Insurance - For all TDA loans and for QPP loans issued to Tier III, IV, and VI members, full insurance coverage begins 30 days after a loan check is issued, and insurance premiums are included in regular loan payment amounts. For QPP loans issued to Tier I and II members, partial insurance coverage begins 30 days after a loan check is issued; this coverage gradually increases and reaches full coverage 90 days after the loan check is issued, up to a $10,000 limit. Tier I and II members are not charged for the insurance on a QPP loan. Insurance on a loan would be terminated if the borrower defaults on a loan payment.

Maximum Contribution Rate - See Full-Year, Full-Contribution Rate.

Maximum Payment Option - The maximum retirement benefit to which a member is entitled. By choosing this option, members elect not to provide for a beneficiary after they die. This option is available for QPP payments and TDA annuity payments.

MCAF - See Member Contributions Accumulation Fund.

Medical Board - The Board that reviews, and then approves or denies, all disability retirement applications. By law, until they reach age 65, disability retirees are required to be re-examined at the discretion of the TRS Medical Board.

Member Contributions Accumulation Fund (MCAF) - An account containing a Tier III, IV, and VI member's QPP contributions with interest, including any contributions that the member paid to obtain optional service credit.

Member Services Center - The main source of information when members need to contact TRS. Members may call the Member Services Center at 1 (888) 8-NYC-TRS. They may also visit the Center's walk-in facility on the 2nd floor of 55 Water Street in lower Manhattan to file forms, request information, or meet with a Member Services Representative.

Membership Service - Service credit earned while a TRS member, including any credit granted for military service rendered during a leave of absence, and any credit granted for Amman service.

Membership Service Deficit - The amount of QPP contributions that Tier III and IV members must pay for the period between their membership date and the date that pension deductions were first taken out of their pay, or for other periods during which payroll deductions are interrupted.

Minimum Accumulation - Your minimum accumulation is based on factors such as your prior service, your membership date, and actual salary history from your membership date to your 20 year date. The calculation of your minimum accumulation includes the amount of your required QPP contributions that were expected up to your 20-year date.

Multiple Employment - A membership status automatically assigned to in-service members who render employment in two or more TRS-eligible positions during the same school year.

Ordinary Disability Retirement - A retirement plan available to certain eligible members, who have become physically and/or mentally incapable of performing their work duties.

Outside Teaching Service - The sum of credited teaching or pedagogical supervisory service that Tier I members rendered on a regular per-annum basis in a school or college not maintained by the City of New York. Tier I members may apply to purchase this service within four years of joining TRS or attaining Tier I status.

Passport Funds - The family of six investment choices available to TRS members who participate in our TDA Program. The Passport Funds are also available to Tier I and II members to invest their QPP accumulations. The six Passport Funds are the Fixed Return Fund, the Diversified Equity Fund, the Bond Fund, the International Equity Fund, the Inflation Protection Fund, and the Socially Responsive Equity Fund.

Password - A sequence of 8-50 case-sensitive characters that allows members to log into the secure section of our website. A password must include at least one letter and at least one number; it can contain one or more special characters. It cannot be similar to a member's username or contain any spaces; it should not contain a member's name, date of birth, TRS number, or Social Security number. A password must be entered in conjunction with a username.

Pension Fund - Consists of U.S. and international equities and fixed-income instruments, with smaller allocations made to private equity and real estate investments. It contains the City's contributions toward TRS members' retirement allowances (pension reserves) and members' contributions to the Qualified Pension Plan (QPP). It also includes the assets of the Fixed Return Fund, an investment option for members that provides a fixed rate of return, determined by the New York State Legislature in accordance with applicable laws.

Post-1986 Funds - The amount of contributions and investment return accumulated after December 31, 1986. In the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the IRS made a distinction between "post-1986" and "pre-1987" funds. For QPP funds, post-1986 funds are taxable. For QPP and TDA funds, distribution of post-1986 funds must begin by April 1 of the year following a) the year in which the member reaches age 70½, or b) the year in which the member separates from service, whichever is later.

Power of Attorney (PoA) - A legal instrument that allows one or more persons to act on another person's behalf. TRS members may have a power of attorney effected at TRS by submitting an original power of attorney document or a notarized photocopy to TRS.

Pre-1987 Funds - The amount of contributions and investment return accumulated as of December 31, 1986. In the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the IRS made a distinction between "post-1986" and "pre-1987" funds. For QPP funds, pre-1987 contributions are considered tax-free. For TDA funds, distribution of funds must begin by the year in which members reach age 75.

Prior Service - Any nontransferable creditable service that a member rendered with a New York City or New York State public employer before joining TRS.

QAS - See Quarterly Account Statement.

QPP - See Qualified Pension Plan.

Qualified Pension Plan (QPP) - The defined-benefit plan, administered under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, which enables TRS members to receive a monthly retirement allowance upon meeting certain eligibility requirements.

Qualifying Service - Generally, the sum of a member's TRS membership service, transferred service, credited prior service, and Chapter 126 service credit (for eligible Tier I and II members). For Tier I members, outside teaching service would count as qualifying service when determining eligibility for vesting and 30-Year Demand retirement, and calculating the amount of a Plan A service retirement; however, it would not count toward eligibility for a Plan A or Plan B service retirement benefit.

Quarterly Account Statement (QAS) - A report issued approximately two months after the end of each quarter of the calendar year to in-service members, members on a leave of absence for up to seven school years, and retirees with TDA Deferral status. The statement summarizes a member's account balances, contributions, investment elections, loan status, and account activity for the reporting period. Members with Qualified Pension Plan (QPP) and Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) Program accounts receive one statement that includes information about both accounts.

Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) - The amount that certain participants in TRS' TDA Program must receive from their TDA funds in a given year to meet the Internal Revenue Service's distribution regulations. RMDs apply only to TDA participants who have separated from service, are at least age 70½, and have TDA Deferral status. RMDs also apply to the QPP funds of inactive members age 70½ and older who are not receiving a retirement allowance.

Retirement Allowance - The monthly QPP payment that a member receives after retiring from a TRS-eligible position.

RMD - See Required Minimum Distribution.

Section 211 - The section of the Retirement and Social Security Law that generally enables service retirees under the age of 65 to earn more in public employment with New York State or any of its political subdivisions (e.g., New York City) than the annual limit allowed under Section 212 (i.e., currently $30,000). To be eligible, retirees must file a Section 211 Waiver with their employer, and their employer must obtain approval for the employment from the appropriate source. Retirees who return to work for the same public employer would have their earnings limit calculated based on a formula. Retirees who return to work for a different public employer would have no earnings limit, but they would still need an approved Section 211 Waiver from their employer.

Section 212 - The section of the Retirement and Social Security Law that limits the amount that service retirees under the age of 65 may earn per year in public employment with New York State or any of its political subdivisions (e.g., New York City). The current annual limit is $30,000. (This limit will remain the same unless the New York State Legislature changes it.)

Section 401(a) Plan - TRS' QPP is a retirement plan administered under this section of the IRC. The QPP combines features of a defined-benefit plan with those of a defined-contribution plan. Benefits are provided through employer contributions, member contributions, and investment income.

Section 414(h) - The section of the Internal Revenue Code that changed the taxability of member contributions to the QPP. Before Section 414(h) took effect, contributions were federally taxed before being collected. Under Section 414(h), contributions made after February 1993 for Tier I and II members and after July 1989 for Tier III and IV members are not federally taxed until distribution.

Section 403(b) Plan - TRS' TDA Program is a tax-deferred plan administered under this section of the IRC. These plans, which are administered by a hospital, educational institution, public or nonprofit employer, allow employees to contribute pretax dollars to a company-sponsored investment plan.

Section 415 - The section of the Internal Revenue Code that established dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans. This law, which took effect on October 14, 1987, also requires that these limits be adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases. However, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) reset many of the dollar limitations previously adjusted annually under Section 415. Chapter 623 established an excess benefit plan to offset the benefits limitations of Section 415.

Service Purchase - The process that enables Tier III and IV members to purchase creditable service that they rendered for a New York City or New York State agency before becoming a TRS member. A service purchase increases a member's service credit and generally increases a member's retirement allowance.

Service Retirement - The retirement plan available to members who meet certain service credit and age requirements.

Social Security Offset - A federally required reduction to the retirement allowance of Tier III members by 50% of the Social Security benefit they accrued while they were in public employment with New York State or its political subdivisions (e.g., New York City). The reduction takes effect on the date their payments commence or upon their reaching age 62, whichever is later.

Socially Responsive Equity Fund - One of the Passport Funds (TRS' investment choices). This fund invests in stocks of large and mid-cap U.S. and non-U.S. companies that meet certain financial and social criteria. It seeks companies that show leadership in areas such as environmental concerns, diversity in the workforce, progressive employment, and workplace practices. The fund attempts to avoid companies that derive substantial revenue from alcohol, tobacco, nuclear power, or weapons. The objectives are to achieve, over a full market cycle, positive long-term capital growth and to earn a rate of return comparable to the return of the broader equity market while reflecting social priorities.

Special Medical Committee - The committee to which a member may apply for a review of a decision by the TRS Medical Board.

Stable-Value Fund - Formerly one of the Passport Funds (TRS' investment choices); this fund became the Bond Fund as of January 1, 2012. The Stable-Value Fund invested in Guaranteed Investment Contracts (GICs), wrapped fixed-income securities, and other stable-value investment vehicles. The objectives were to preserve principal and to provide a steady rate of return. The Stable-Value Fund utilized "wrapper agreements" from banks or insurance companies to provide for participant transactions at book value; the Bond Fund provides for participant transactions at market value.

Tax-Deferred Annuity (TDA) - The defined-contribution program, established under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, which provides TRS members with the opportunity to save additional funds for retirement on a tax-deferred basis. Contributions and the investment return they earn can grow quickly because taxes are deferred until the member receives the funds.

TDA - See Tax-Deferred Annuity.

TDA Beneficiary Participant - A beneficiary of a deceased member who defers distribution of TDA death benefits by establishing a TDA account with TRS within six months of the member's date of death. For a beneficiary to be eligible to establish a TRS TDA account, the deceased member must have been a TRS TDA Program participant in active or deferred status who died on or after October 15, 2003; the value of the funds available to each beneficiary for establishing an account must be $5,000 or greater; and the deceased member must not have elected to annuitize his/her TDA funds upon retirement.

TDA Deferral Status - An option that enables retirees to delay the distribution of their TDA Program funds past the payability date of their QPP retirement allowance. This status, also available to members with vested status who leave service before they are eligible to retire, enables TDA participants to maintain an existing TDA loan, take out a new TDA loan (if they are otherwise eligible), and change their TDA investment elections on a quarterly basis.

TDA Post-1988 Balance - TDA contributions and earnings a member has accumulated after December 31, 1988. In-service members who have not yet reached age 59½ may only withdraw their post-1988 contributions in cases of hardship; they may not withdraw their post-1988 earnings.

TDA Pre-1989 Balance - TDA contributions and earnings accumulated as of December 31, 1989. Pre-1989 Funds may be withdrawn at any time, but may be subject to taxes, penalties, and withholding.

Tier - A classification that determines the types of benefits for which a particular member may be eligible. There are five tiers (i.e., I, II, III, IV, and VI), and tier membership generally depends on when a person last became a TRS member. Members who last joined TRS after March 31, 2012 belong to Tier VI.

Total Service Credit - Generally, the sum of a member's TRS membership service, transferred service, and credited prior service. Total service credit is one of the factors used in a member's retirement allowance calculation.

Transferred Contributor - The status of members who obtain a position within 60 days of their separation from service that enables them to gain membership in another New York City public retirement system, but who instead choose to retain their current TRS membership rights.

Transferred Service - Any credited service that a TRS member transferred to TRS from another qualified New York City or New York State retirement system.

Trust - A legal arrangement created to hold money or other assets for the benefit of a beneficiary. Trusts generally fall into the broad categories of living or testamentary trusts. A living trust (also known as an inter vivos trust) is a trust established during a person's lifetime. A testamentary trust is a trust that is established within a will to take effect upon a person's death.

Unit Value - A monthly value attributed to each of the variable-return Passport Funds based on each portfolio's closing market value as of the end of the preceding month. Members can determine the current value of their variable accounts by multiplying the number of units they have by the monthly unit value in effect.

Username - A sequence of characters that allows members to log into the secure section of our website. A username must be between 6-50 characters. It can contain the dollar sign, dash, period, or underscore characters. It cannot contain any spaces; it should not contain a TRS membership number or Social Security number. A username must be entered in conjunction with a password.

Vested - The status of members who have completed enough credited service to receive a reduced retirement allowance upon reaching age 55. Members in all tiers must have five years of service credit in order to be vested. In the case of members who separated from service prior to July 14, 1993, Tier I and II members required 15 years of service to be considered vested; Tier III and IV members required 10 years.

Note: Some of the information above has changed, based on a law enacted in December 2009.

Vested Deferred Status - The status that applies to members who are vested when they separate from service, but who are not yet eligible to receive a retirement allowance.

W-4P Form - An IRS form that retirees may file with TRS to change their federal tax withholding election for their retirement allowance payments.

Zero Rate - The QPP contribution rate for which eligible Tier I and II members may apply once they have met their minimum accumulation and have at least 20 years of qualifying service.