Managing Life Events

Marriage and family, home and career – life is constantly changing. When life happens, TCDRS is here to help.

Encourage your employees to keep their information up to date so they don’t miss out on communications. Changing address and contact information is easy when they sign into their online account. For name changes, please have them contact TCDRS Member Services.

With bigger life changes, they may need to take additional steps to ensure their account stays current.

 

Beneficiaries

Encourage your employees to review their TCDRS beneficiaries every year or after a life-changing event, such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child or death in the family. Your employees can designate and update their beneficiaries when they sign in online. This is a fast and secure way to keep beneficiaries up to date. 

Every year, TCDRS also reaches out to employees who have not designated a beneficiary. And we remind employees to keep their beneficiary updated through newsletters and one-on-one counseling sessions.

 

Divorce

There are many financial issues for your employees to consider during a divorce, including how it affects their TCDRS benefit. The law does not require the employee to split their TCDRS benefit. Their former spouse may waive claim to the retirement benefit in the division of assets. However, if they decide to split the benefit, there are specific legal requirements to follow. Please encourage the employee to call TCDRS Member Services and we can help.

 

Changing Jobs

When employees leave your organization, they don’t have to withdraw their TCDRS account. They can leave their money in their account and it will continue to earn 7% annual compound interest. Even if they are not vested, they might go to work for another participating employer and eventually earn enough service time to retire.

Employees also have the option of rolling over their account balance into another tax-deferred retirement account or withdrawing their entire account balance. In both cases, they forfeit a possible lifetime benefit and employer matching. For withdrawals, employees also have to pay taxes and may face tax penalties.  

Encourage exiting employees to explore their account options before making a decision.

For employees who are vested, TCDRS will reach out to make sure the employee understands what they may be giving up. If employees decide to withdraw their account, they can apply for withdrawal online.

It important for you to enter the last date of employment of each exiting employee. This will avoid delays if that employee requests a benefit or a withdrawal down the road.

When you sign into your employer portal, the Pending Withdrawal Report can help you see which of your exiting employees have applied for a withdrawal.

 

Active Reserves & National Guard

As a member of the Reserves or National Guard, your employees may be called away from their job to serve on active duty. When they return to work, the USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act) provides the opportunity to fully restore their retirement account so their military service doesn’t cause a set back on the road to retirement.

To qualify under USERRA, the employee should be:

  • Employed with a participating county or district employer before being called away to active duty and provided their employer proper notice.

  • Applied for re-employment with the same employer within 90 days of their service release.

  • Discharged from active duty under honorable conditions.

There is no charge for service time. However, the employee can opt to deposit money into their account to make up some or all of their missed deposits (up to maximum amount). Any deposits made will also get employer matching when the employee retires from that account.

Have your employee complete the Application for Military Service Time Under USERRA (TCDRS-90). They can upload it to us through their member portal or fax it to us.

Also be sure to have your employee update their address through the member portal so they don’t miss out on any important information about their account while they are away.

 

Disability

Disability retirement allows your employees to retire early with a lifetime monthly benefit if there were to become disabled.

If your employee is vested, they are eligible for a disability retirement if they are permanently disabled and unable to work at any gainful occupation.

If the employee is not vested, the disability must be due to a job-related injury to qualify for early retirement.

To apply, the employee will need to fill out the Disability Retirement Application (TCDRS-31) along with other required documents and medical records, which can be uploaded to the member portal or faxed to us.

 

Death

If an employee were to die, please notify TCDRS as soon as possible. This allows us to begin any benefit payments to that person’s beneficiaries as quickly as possible.

Please call TCDRS Member Services with the name and Social Security number of the deceased, as well as any additional information you may have – such as date of death, contact information or funeral home information — that could help us contact the deceased’s beneficiaries.

 

Plan Administration