The Teacher Retirement System mailed out annual statements in October, and some members may have questions about the salary information in their statement. The issue at hand affects a minority of members: those who are in districts that used to report their employees’ salaries based on the month in which they were earned rather than the month in which they were paid. TRS put a stop to that practice last year and the resulting shift in policy for those districts led to a situation where the reports include only 11 months of salary for that year.

TRS wants affected members to know that if the year in question would be one of the members’ top salary years that should be included in benefit calculations, TRS will make the adjustment to ensure that all 12 months of salary for that year are included. The annual statement will not reflect that adjustment, but the actual calculation of benefits will.

Note that this is a different situation from one that we covered earlier in this article, where members in districts who pay their first paycheck for the year in August, rather than September, have found that only 11 months of salary would count for their final month before retirement. TRS adopted a rule change at its November meeting to address this situation for future retirees. 

Deadlines announced for submitting unreported credit/compensation

If any service or pay that you performed in the 2014-15 school year for the district in which you are currently working is not reflected on your statement (aside from the situation described above), you have until May 31, 2016, to provide TRS with the appropriate documentation. You can still correct the problem after that date, but there will be a fee, which in some cases could be significant.

More details on both of these issues are available here.