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Guest Sierra

Calling The Kettle Black

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Guest Sierra

For the better part of two decades the NYSUT was collecting an endorsement fee from the insurance giant ING in return for endorsing their 403b Variable Annuity called Opportunity Plus. The Attorney General of the State of NY has determined that such commercial endorsement arrangements are illicit. So now that it has been put in its place the union is pointing its finger at other arrangements that it feels are hurtful to teachers. The following is from the union's newspaper. Misery sure does love company.

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New York Teacher ENTER | ADVANCED SEARCH Home New York Teacher

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Your TRS Pension: Beware of commercial 'retirement workshops'

New York Teacher - November 16, 2006

 

We know that the privatization movement is a growing threat to public education, Social Security and Medicare.

 

Now they're targeting future retirees. It has come to our attention that some commercial entities are attempting to privatize retirement workshops for New York State Teachers' Retirement System members. Don't be fooled!

 

Private companies conducting workshops run them as an introduction to sell either insurance or investments.

 

Some of their privately produced manuals contain glaring errors and could destroy your well-earned retirement allowance.

 

We urge you to be wary of any program operated by a person or group other than the New York State Teachers' Retirement System or your teacher-members of the TRS Board of Directors.

 

Throughout the year we conduct pre-retirement planning seminars arranged through your local union and school district. The workshops presented by the teacher-members of the TRS Board are not conducted to sell you anything, nor to compute your retirement.

 

The goal of the seminars is to explain options, supply information about TRS policies and procedures and urge members to arrange individual consultations with TRS staff.

 

We do not address individual situations or provide calculations for your future retirement benefits.

 

We also welcome your questions about retirement anytime. Call us at the phone numbers listed or e-mail ssalenge@nysutmail.org.

 

You can make an appointment with a TRS representative by calling (800) 348-7298, ext. 6100.

 

The TRS Web site, www.nystrs.org, is a treasure trove of information. You'll find frequently asked questions and answers and a benefit calculator to project your future benefits.

 

You'll also find the system's annual consultation schedule for your area.

 

The day-long TRS pre-retirement seminars are conducted throughout the state for members age 45 and older and their spouses. We recommend you attend a seminar five to 10 years before you plan to retire. Seminars fill quickly, so call early to make your reservation.

 

A 'phish' tale

 

The same cautionary note applies to retirement benefit solicitations via the Internet.

 

We've recently heard that some third-party firms not affiliated with TRS have been "phishing" for information about your employment history and retirement plans, with the promise of providing you with projections of your retirement benefit. (Phishing is the latest incarnation of unwanted spam e-mail that directs people to imposter Web sites.)

 

These solicitations are neither coming from, nor are they sanctioned by, TRS. Therefore, we strongly urge you to refrain from providing personal retirement-related information via the Internet. Providing such information in this fashion could lead to identity theft.

 

TRS neither asks for nor sends personal information by way of the Internet or e-mail. However, TRS does offer eligible, registered members the ability to view their personal retirement information in the secure area of its Web site.

 

Printer Friendly | E-Mail to a Friend About 'Your TRS Pension' This column is written by Sheila Salenger, Joseph McLaughlin and Michael Corn, your Teacher-Members on the New York State Teachers' Retirement System Board of Directors.

ContactIn-service TRS members with pension questions may call them at the phone numbers at left or e-mail ssalenge@nysutmail.org.

Sheila Salenger

(800) 342-9810 or (518) 213-6000

Joe McLaughlin

(914) 835-3830

Michael Corn

(315) 735-8421

RetireesRetirees please call David Keefe, the retiree representative on the TRS board, at (516) 741-1241.

 

NYSUT.org | About NYSUT | Terms of Use | Contact

NYSUT: A Union of Professionals. NYSUT represents 575,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO. NYSUT.org. Copyright New York State United Teachers. 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, New York, 12110-2455. 518.213.6000. For questions about this web site, contact the webmaster at webmaster@nysutmail.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Sierra

Is there some part of this that you disagree with? Or do you just reflexively extend your anti-union vitriol to literally anything NYSUT says or does? Just curious.

 

 

FT: It's quite apparent you're kissing up to Steve Schullo who responds to my critique of the Defined Benefit pension system as being anti-union. Why do you guys make this so personal? I am just one person with one opinion. It's unfortunate that you see fit to label me "anti-union" when I simply disagree with the union's official position on a specific issue or topic: Steve Schullo with the DB system and French Teacher with his union's now legally discredited endorsement of a high priced 403b variable annuity.

 

Having said that FT, your loyalty to your union was obviously misplaced. You voluntarily came to these boards to support, in-depth, your union's endorsement agreement with ING. I didn't force Eliot Spitzer to agree with me. He could have defended the union just like you did. The difference is his decision was based on the facts, facts that you did not have but thought you did have. So now that Spitzer has decided against your union he must be just as anti-union as I am. I volunteer to place the anti-label button on his jacket.

 

Now to my paste-up. Based on its former arrangement with ING does anyone take seriously the official position of NYSUT when it comes to retirement financial planning matters? Just like they were hell bent to illicitly corner the 403(b) market in the State of NY outside the City of New York could it be they are badmouthing these commercial enterprises in order to regain some of the trust that was lost because of their illegal and fraudulent entry into the 403b business?

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Guest Sierra

So, again, my question: what part of what NYSUT says here do you disagree with?

 

 

I am completely suspect of the entire piece. I believe they are once again simply being self-serving. French Teacher, as a dues paying member of the NYSUT how do you read the article in light of their nearly 20 year 403b wrongdoing? Do you trust them to the same extent as you did prior to the Spitzer decision?

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I am completely suspect of the entire piece. I believe they are once again simply being self-serving.

 

 

Given that NYSUT doesn't make any money from the Teachers' Retirement System, how is this word of warning to retirees "self-serving"?

 

Which part of this letter would you actively recommend to retirees: that they click on "phishing" e-mails designed to fraudulently obtain their personal information, or that they join the "free steak dinner" circuit in hopes of finding financial advice available to them at no cost from TRS?

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Guest Sierra

 

 

FT: Your cross examination of the witness is over. Mr. Frank, you're excused. Thank you, your Honor.

 

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Oh, it's easy, Joel. Just repeat after me: "While I have disagreed with many of NYSUT's actions in the past, and have found their conduct reprehensible, it certainly appears to me that they are representing their members' best interests here." Really, it's not so painful to not hate EVERYTHING that they do.

 

It's genuinely interesting to see you choose not to answer anything specific about what is said in this article that is so offensive to you. Apparently, the mere fact that NYSUT espouses something is sufficient for you to oppose it. Or do you not oppose it, and you're simply taking the opportunity to take the gratuitous s###### against them for past conduct again?

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Guest Sierra

Mr French Teacher, you're out of order and, moreover, Mr. Frank can no longer hear you because he is no longer in the Court Room.

 

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