July 25, 2005 | News from the Chancellor
Dear Members of The City University Community:
As part of the University’s ongoing efforts to review and improve retirement benefits, I am pleased to report that the Board of Trustees at its June 27 meeting approved changes in the Optional Retirement Program, effective September 1, 2005, that provide significant enhancements to the Optional Retirement Program (ORP). In brief, these changes:
- Permit an ORP member, upon separation from employment with the University, to make a cash withdrawal directly from the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) Traditional Annuity Account.
- Permit an employee who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness to make a cash withdrawal from the ORP prior to reaching normal retirement age, thereby making cash available to meet financial obligations resulting from the illness.
- Give an employee who is eligible for retiree health benefits greater access to the funds in his/her TIAA Account by limiting to a fixed dollar amount – $50,000 – the reserves required to be maintained in TIAA-CREF to fund retiree health insurance. (Previously, an employee was required to keep 1/3 of his/her holdings in TIAA to fund such benefits.)
- Require that CUNY’s Withdrawal Policy continue in effect for funds accumulated during employment with CUNY in the event of subsequent employment. (This will ensure the availability of funds to continue retiree health insurance benefits.)
The Board of Trustees also approved a resolution to permit members of the New York City Teachers’ Retirement System or other governmental defined benefit plan to use tax-deferred annuity funds to purchase past service credit, thereby allowing employees to enhance their potential retirement benefit. This resolution became effective July 1, 2005.
The University is pleased to offer these changes which significantly improve the benefits provided to our faculty and staff. For more information concerning these improvements, I urge you to contact your college’s Benefits Officer.
Best wishes for a restful and enjoyable summer.