Teamsters Local 237

Retirees: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What to do if you are moving.

  2. What to do when a retiree dies.

  3. What to do when a retiree or spouse becomes eligible for Medicare.

  4. I plan to retire next year, what should I do?

  5. JACOB JAVITS EMPLOYEES: I plan to retire next year, what should I do?

  6. LONG ISLAND DIVISION EMPLOYEES: I plan to retire next year, what should I do?

1. What to do if you are moving.

To ensure that your pension and health and welfare benefits continue uninterrupted each time you move, you must notify all of the following offices (preferably in writing) as soon as possible. it is important to include identifying information in any and all correspondence (example: last 4 digits only of your Social Security Number; pension number; old & new address).

Contact check list:
  • Social Security Administration -- 1-800-772-1213
  • Local 237 Retirees' Benefit Fund -- (212) 924-7220
    216 West 14th Street, 3rd Floor
    New York, NY 100 11
  • NYC Employees Retirement System -- (347)-643-3000
    335 Adams Street, Suite 2300
    Brooklyn, NY 11201
Or
  • NYC Board of Education Retirement System -- (718) 935-2317
    65 Court Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • NYC Employee Benefits Program* -- (212)-513-0470
    40 Rector Street, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10006
*In addition, please inquire about whether or not your current health plan is available at your new address. If you need to change health plans, ask the NYC Employee Benefits Representative about your health insurance options. A Health Benefits Application (ERB 97) may need to be completed to make the necessary changes.

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2. What to do when a retiree dies.

The offices listed below must be notified as soon as possible.

Contact check list:

Social Security Administration -- 1-800-772-1213

* Local 237 Retirees' Benefit Fund* -- 1-212-924-7220
216 West 14th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 100 11

* NYC Employee Benefits Program* -- 1-212-513-0470
40 Rector Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10006
(To notify health insurance plan of retired member's death and to inquire about COBRA)
 
NYC Employees Retirement System (NYCERS) -- 1-347-643-3000
("Death Benefits Office")
335 Adams Street, Suite 2300
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Or

NYC Board of Education -- 1-718-935-2317
Retirement System (BERS)
65 Court Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

*When calling these offices, inquire about continuation of health insurance and retirees' benefit fund benefits under "COBRA." COBRA coverage allows up to 36 months of continuing coverage for eligible dependents. Premiums for coverage are paid directly to the health plan.

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3. What to do when a retiree or spouse becomes eligible for Medicare.

When you become Medicare eligible, you are entitled to Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (medical) insurance. Several months before that date, you will receive a red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail. (For most individuals, Medicare eligibility begins the first day of the month of their 65th birthday; for those who receive Social Security Disability benefits, Medicare begins 24 months after they become eligible for benefits.)

When you receive your Medicare card, you will be given the option to reject "Part B" coverage by returning the card. However, to retain your NYC health benefits, you must accept Part B. Therefore, do nothing. You are automatically enrolled in both parts of Medicare unless you take steps to reject them.

If you have questions about your Medicare eligibility, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213, or visit your local Social Security office.

(Please note: For retirees residing in Puerto Rico, enrollment in Medicare Part B is not automatic. Permanent residents of Puerto Rico must go to a Social Security office to sign up for the Part B benefit.)

Medicare Check List:
    Make Several Photocopies Of Your/Your Spouse's Medicare Card.

  • Mail One Copy Of Your Medicare Card(s) to:
    NYC Employee Benefits Program
    40 Rector Street, 3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10006

    1. To inform them of your Medicare eligibility.

    2. To receive you Medicare Part B premium reimbursement from the City of New York. (Retirees and their Medicare-eligible spouses are eligible for this.)
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4. I plan to retire next year, what should I do?

Setting your target date for retirement is a good start. It helps to set priorities.
  1. Financial Security is always the number one concern for pre-retirees. Once the pension date has been set, the next step is getting pension counseling. Pension counseling is available through the union as well as many of the city agencies.

    Call the Social Security Administration (800-772-1213) or visit a local Social Security office to ensure that your records are up to date and to determine the amount of your Social Security benefit at retirement.

    Now is also a good time to review your overall financial situation with your spouse and/or other close family members.

    Review your monthly expenses -- not only rent/mortgages and other monthly bills (food, clothing, utilities, outstanding loans, etc.) but also monthly expenditures for "fun" (movies, restaurants, trips). A good way to "check" on your figures is to carry a notebook with you for a month and note every expenditure for that time period. You may be surprised by the results of this project!

    Review your assets (savings, investments, etc.), your estimated pension and social security benefits and project your retirement income. Start developing a retirement budget. Keep in mind that retirement is not only for a day or week. Many Local 237 retirees have been enjoying retirement for 20 years or more. Be realistic about whether or not you can afford to retire at this time or if it would be wise to defer your plans. Do you have a will? Is a durable power of attorney appropriate?

    Review your health insurance coverage -- will you be old enough to qualify for Medicare? Learn about health insurance coverage available to you in retirement, under the terms of your contract. Do you have a health care proxy?
  2. Think about how you plan to spend your retirement years -- immediate plans might include a trip or giving your apartment that long overdue paint job. How will you fill your time? Will you pursue a hobby, a deferred dream, volunteer, get a part-time job? Continue to be active with the union? If you are married or have a significant other -- how will you spend your time together -- and apart? Discuss these plans with your family.
  3. Planning for retirement is a complex, but ultimately rewarding task. The good news is that Local 237's Retiree Division staff are available to assist you with this process. There are many retirement planning resources available to members.

    Individual pension counseling is available on an appointment basis for Citywide and Housing. A six-week retirement planning series is offered twice a year at Local 237 headquarters. Topics such as pension, Social Security, health insurance coverage in retirement, and lifestyle adjustments are discussed in different sessions. Citywide and Housing members may call the Retiree Division at 212-807-0555 to make a pension counseling appointment or for more information regarding retirement planning.

5. JACOB JAVITS EMPLOYEES: I plan to retire next year, what should I do?

Setting your target date for retirement is a good start. It helps to set priorities.

  1. Financial security is always the number one concern for pre-retirees. However, before setting your retirement date, consider these questions: Do you know whether or not you will be eligible for a pension on that date? Do you have enough years in the pension system? Have you reached the minimum age for pension eligibility? Once the pension date can be set, the next step is getting pension counseling. For Javits Center members, pension counseling is available at the New York City office of the NYS and Local Retirement Systems (270 Broadway, 4th floor 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays of the first four weeks of each month). Another site for pension counselling is the Long Island Regional Retirement Information Center (330 Motor Parkway, Suite 107, Hauppauge, N.Y., Monday - Friday, 9:00 -4:00 pm) or you may call the NYS and Local Retirement Systems at 518-474-7736.

    In addition, call the Social Security Administration (800-772-1213) or visit a local Social Security office to ensure that your records are up to date and to determine the amount of your social security benefit at retirement.

    Now is also a good time to review your overall financial situation with your spouse and/or other close family members.

    * Review your monthly expenses -- not only rent/mortgages and other monthly bills (food, clothing, utilities, outstanding loans, etc.) but also monthly expenditures for fun (movies, restaurants, trips). A good way to "check" on your figures is to carry a notebook with you for a month and note every expenditure for that time period. You may be surprised by the results of this project!

    * Review your assets (savings, investments, etc.), your estimated pension and social security benefits and project your retirement income. Start developing a retirement budget . Keep in mind that retirement is not for a day or week only. Be realistic about whether or not you can afford to retire at this time or if it would be wise to defer your plans. Do you have a will? Is a durable power of attorney appropriate? * Review your health insurance coverage -- will you be old enough to qualify for Medicare? Learn about health insurance coverage available to you in retirement, under the terms of your contract. Do you have a health care proxy?
  2. Think about how you plan to spend your retirement years. Immediate plans might include a trip or giving your apartment that long overdue paint job. How will you fill your time? Will you pursue a hobby, volunteer, or get a part-time job? If you are married or have a significant other -- how will you spend your time together -- and apart! Discuss these plans with your family.

    Members working at the Javits Center belong to the NYS and Local Retirement Systems

    Tel # in Albany: 518-474-7736

    NYC Location: first 4 weeks of each month: Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 270 Broadway, 4th fl. NYC between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. In general, Wednesdays are the less busy day. No telephone number at this location.
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6. LONG ISLAND DIVISION EMPLOYEES: I plan to retire next year, what should I do?

Setting your target date for retirement is a good start. It helps to set priorities.

1. Financial security is always the number one concern for pre-retirees. However, before setting your retirement date, consider these questions: Do you know whether or not you will be eligible for a pension on that date? Do you have enough years in the pension system? Have you reached the minimum age for pension eligibility? Once the pension date can be set, the next step is getting pension counseling. For Long Island Division members, pension counseling is available through the Long Island Regional Retirement Information Center (330 Motor Parkway, Suite 107, Hauppauge, N.Y., Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, no appointment necessary) or you may call the NYS and Local Retirement Systems at 518-474-7736.

In addition, call the Social Security Administration (800-772-1213) or visit a local Social Security office to ensure that your records are up to date and to determine the amount of your social security benefit at retirement.

Now is also a good time to review your overall financial situation with your spouse and/or other close family members.

  • Review your monthly expenses -- not only rent/mortgages and other monthly bills (food, clothing, utilities, outstanding loans, etc.) but also monthly expenditures for fun (movies, restaurants, trips). A good way to "check" on your figures is to carry a notebook with you for a month and note every expenditure for that time period. You may be surprised by the results of this project!

  • Review your assets (savings, investments, etc.), your estimated pension and social security benefits and project your retirement income. Start developing a retirement budget. Keep in mind that retirement is not for a day or week only. Be realistic about whether or not you can afford to retire at this time or if it would be wise to defer your plans. Do you have a will? Is a durable power of attorney appropriate? * Review your health insurance coverage -- will you be old enough to qualify for Medicare? Learn about health insurance coverage available to you in retirement, under the terms of your contract. Do you have a health care proxy?

2. Think about how you plan to spend your retirement years. Immediate plans might include a trip or giving your apartment that long overdue paint job. How will you fill your time? Will you pursue a hobby, volunteer, or get a part-time job? If you are married or have a significant other -- how will you spend your time together -- and apart! Discuss these plans with your family.

Members working in Long Island belong to the NYS and Local Retirement Systems

Tel # in Albany: 518-474-7736

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Oral History Project

Hercules Cornish: Caretaker J Stores Man

Herclules CornishHercules Cornish went to work for the Housing Authority as a caretaker J in 1952 and retired 24 years later as a stores worker. He died the year following this interview, which was conducted in June 1999.

Originally I was from Harlem, but when I came out of the service in 1945 my wife had moved to the Bronx, so I moved there, too. I went to work for the New York City Housing Authority in 1952.

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