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Frequently Asked Questions

Retired Members and Beneficiaries

  1. How do I change my address?
  2. My monthly benefit is directly deposited to my checking account and I am changing banks. How do I make this change?
  3. Can I change my beneficiary after I retire?
  4. When do you mail the retirement checks?
  5. Since my monthly retirement benefit is directly deposited to the bank, how will I know the net amount of my first retirement benefit?
  6. My teaching income was reported to me each year on a W-2 form. How will my retirement benefits be reported?
  7. I retired several months ago and plan to continue my health insurance coverage with my employer for eighteen months. When the COBRA continuation coverage expires may I join the state health plan through Public Employees Retirement System?
  8. I have been drawing TFFR benefits for several years and have recently been asked to return to teach part-time. Can I accept this teaching position?
  9. Why was my July retirement check $76 less than I expected?
  10. I have appointed my daughter as my Power of Attorney regarding financial matters. Should this information be provided to TFFR?
  11. I retired under the Level Income Option with a Social Security estimate of $800. I will actually receive $850 per month from Social Security. How does this increase affect my TFFR benefit?
  12. How do I obtain information on the TFFR plan investments?
  13. When I retired in 1975 under the Single Life Annuity plan, I was informed that my beneficiary would receive one final payment on my account. Is this still the case?
  14. When a retiree dies, what is needed to close the account?
  15. I am receiving a continuing lifetime benefit on my spouse's account. At my death, will my beneficiaries receive any benefits?
  16. Why doesn't TFFR have an automatic cost-of-living adjustment like many other states?
  17. How did the dramatic decline in the financial markets in 2008-2009 impact TFFR funding?
  18. Will a couple years of excellent investment performance close TFFR's funding gap?

  1. How do I change my address?

    Requests for address changes must be made by the member in writing and can be mailed or faxed to the administrative office. A TFFR address change form can be used OR a signed note or letter from the retiree is also acceptable.

  2. My monthly benefit is directly deposited to my checking account and I am changing banks. How do I make this change?

    Contact the Administrative Office for a new direct deposit form. Part of the form must be completed by you and a section needs to be completed by the new financial institution. The completed direct deposit form must be received by the 15th of the month preceding the date of the change.

  3. Can I change my beneficiary after I retire?

    Members drawing benefits under the single life, 5 year, 10 year, or 20 year term certain and life annuity plans may change their beneficiary at any time. Members who retire under the 100% or 50% joint and survivor annuity plans may not change their beneficiary. (There are exceptions such as divorce and remarriage that may allow a beneficiary change.)

  4. When do you mail the retirement checks?

    Retirement checks are mailed to retirees on the last working day of the month. If you wish to receive your payment by direct deposit rather than relying on the U.S. Postal Service, it will be transferred to your bank account on the first working day of each month.

  5. Since my monthly retirement benefit is directly deposited to the bank, how will I know the net amount of my first retirement benefit?

    New retirees are informed of their payment amount through a new account notice that is sent a week before the first payment is directly deposited. In addition, you will receive notice if your benefit or payroll deductions change.

  6. My teaching income was reported to me each year on a W-2 form. How will my retirement benefits be reported?

    Each January, our office will issue a 1099R tax form which will show the taxable and nontaxable benefits you received from TFFR, as well as any federal and North Dakota state tax withholding.

  7. I retired several months ago and plan to continue my health insurance coverage with my employer for eighteen months. When the COBRA continuation coverage expires may I join the state health plan through Public Employees Retirement System?

    Yes. To join the state health plan you must make application within 31 days of a qualifying event. Loss of coverage from your employer is a qualifying event. You may also have TFFR deduct the monthly premium from your retirement check. See NDPERS Health Insurance - eligibility and premium information.

  8. I have been drawing TFFR benefits for several years and have recently been asked to return to teach part-time. Can I accept this teaching position?

    Under the general rule, you may return to TFFR covered employment after 30 calendar days have elapsed from your TFFR retirement date. You then can be employed for a maximum annual hour limit and continue to receive your monthly benefit. The annual hour limit is based on length of employment.
     9 month contract =  700 hours
    10 month contract =  800 hours
    11 month contract =  900 hours
    12 month contract = 1000 hours

    Exceptions to the general rule allow retirees to return to TFFR covered employment and exceed the annual hour limitation. See the Return to Work brochure.

  9. Why was my July retirement check $76 less than I expected?

    You have authorized TFFR to deduct your annual membership dues for the North Dakota Retired Teachers' Association (NDRTA) ($24) and the North Dakota United - Retired (NDU - Retired) ($52).

  10. I have appointed my daughter as my Power of Attorney regarding financial matters. Should this information be provided to TFFR?

    Yes. You may wish to file a copy of the Power of Attorney document with TFFR. The document is kept in your file and utilized only if necessary. Due to strict confidentiality laws, TFFR can not make any change to a member's account unless the request is signed by the member or the member's power of attorney and the document is on file with TFFR.

  11. I retired under the Level Income Option with a Social Security estimate of $800. I will actually receive $850 per month from Social Security. How does this increase affect my TFFR benefit?

    Your TFFR benefit will be reduced by the Social Security estimate ($800) used at retirement, not the actual amount of Social Security benefits you receive ($850). See the Level Income Option fact sheet.

  12. How do I obtain information on the TFFR plan investments?

    RIO issues a newsletter to all members twice a year called the YOUR VESTED INTEREST which includes TFFR investment information. A comprehensive annual report of the system's financial condition and TFFR investment performance reports can also be accessed on this web site or requested from the administrative office.

  13. When I retired in 1975 under the Single Life Annuity plan, I was informed that my beneficiary would receive one final payment on my account. Is this still the case?

    No. In May of 1984, the TFFR Board authorized the change of payment for benefit checks to the first day of each month rather than the end of the month. Due to this change, the member receives the final payment on their account on the first of the month in which they pass away.

  14. When a retiree dies, what is needed to close the account?

    If the member retired under a single life annuity, the beneficiary would be asked to send a copy of the death certificate. If a plan option (joint and survivor or term certain) was selected, the beneficiary will need to complete several payroll forms in addition to providing the death certificate.

  15. I am receiving a continuing lifetime benefit on my spouse's account. At my death, will my beneficiaries receive any benefits?

    No. Unless any account value remains, then a lump sum payment is paid to the beneficiaries which would close the account.

  16. Why doesn't TFFR have an automatic cost-of-living adjustment like many other states?

    Because of concerns about the ongoing long-term liability to the fund, the Legislature has not approved such a provision in TFFR statutes. In the past, ad hoc benefit increases were granted by the Legislature when it was determined that funding levels could support such improvements.

  17. How did the dramatic decline in the financial markets in 2008-2009 impact TFFR funding?

    While TFFR can make promised retirement benefit payments for many years into the future, TFFR's funding level was expected to decrease to unacceptable levels without legislative action. The financial well being of the TFFR trust fund is our #1 priority and legislation approved in 2011 was a huge step in addressing our funding challenge. See legislative link for details.

  18. Will a couple years of excellent investment performance close TFFR's funding gap?

    No, a funding deficit will likely still exist. One or two good investment years will not undo the damage from the huge investment losses that occurred in 2008-2009. Because of the 2011 legislative changes and recent strong investment performance, TFFR funding levels are expected to improve. Investment returns above or below the 8% expected return will impact the timing and look of TFFR's long term funding picture.

 

 
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