Look before you leap

Thinking about retiring or moving out of state to teach? Read this first. By Sandy Denesen, MEA-MFT Retired member


Anyone thinking of retiring or moving out of state to teach should plan ahead to take full advantage of what Teachers Retirement System (TRS) benefits are due to them.


To learn about your options, call TRS today at 406-444-3134. Make an appointment and go to Helena to visit with the TRS officers. Find out your options and your estimated benefits. Go on-line at www.trs.doa.state.mt.us to see the information and forms available. Read your latest TRS handbook. Check out this web site: www.nctr.org and see the section called NCTR's LifePlan.


Take stock of your career. Were there any times you worked at a school as an aide, secretary, or substitute? Are you a veteran? There may be credit you could transfer to your TRS account. There may be credit you could buy to enhance your retirement. Check it out early.


If you plan to retire in 2003, talk to TRS about a tax deferral on your severance and termination pay should you wish to include it in your final average compensation for TRS.


The Irrevocable Election Form has to be signed and to your employer at least 90 days prior to your date of termination. TRS will send you a retirement package of information outlining the paperwork you need to consider.

Attend one of the MEA-MFT Retirement Workshops (see schedule below) for a wealth of information. Plan ahead and make the most of your retirement!

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