The decision to make an extra payment was formerly made annually by the Board, based on long-term projections for the retirement fund's income and the funds needed to pay benefits for members and retirees. In the current economic enviromnent, the interest rates do not support the extra payments. Please remember that these payments were never guaranteed and were based solely on the annual income of the TMRS fund. It is unlikely that extra payments will be made in the near future, but if this benefit is reinstated, we will notify you by letter.

Yes. The money for your TMRS benefit is secure, and your monthly benefit is not endangered. Even if the investment markets were to stay down for a long time, TMRS’ investment performance will not affect your monthly benefit. The money in your account is 100% secure.

Your TMRS account is part of a very large trust fund, subject to state and federal law. TMRS accounts are backed by the cities that provide them and by the state law that governs the System. Your individual account is not “insured” by the federal government the same way your savings or checking account is, but it is protected by law from being diverted to other purposes.

The federal HELPS provision allows retired or permanently disabled public safety officers to elect an amount to be deducted from their TMRS benefit payment to pay for health care or long-term care insurance premiums. If you qualify, the amount you may exclude from taxable income on your tax return may not exceed $3,000 in one year.

If you wish to make this election, the amount is directly transferred by TMRS to an insurer. To qualify for this program, you have to have separated from service as a “public safety officer,” defined as:

  • An individual involved in crime and juvenile delinquency control or reduction, or enforcement of the criminal laws (including juvenile delinquency), including but not limited to police, corrections, probation, parole, and judicial officers.
  • Professional firefighters.
  • Officially recognized or designated:
    • Public employee members of a rescue squad or ambulance crew
    • Chaplains of fire departments and police departments

If you believe this applies to you, your last employing city will need to certify your status as a public safety officer. Call TMRS if you have questions.

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