An extra $310 a month in retirement

I got the letter from the retirement system stating I would start receiving a retirement check each month for $310. I thought the best I would get would be around $100.

Let me explain. From 1974 to 1979 I worked for the university. When I quit I had 5 years service and was fully vested. At that time I could have taken my money out, but I figured I was better leaving it in the system. Then return for 3 to 5 years before retiring that way it would be calculated on a higher base pay. But at sixty I did a calculation and realized I would increase my union retirement more by staying where I was at then what the increase in the PERs retirement increase would be. I also got an guestament from PERs of $96. But by leaving my money in the system I was getting a guarantee interest of 6%.

As I have to take the money out of the system by 70.5 years (2.5 years from now) or start receiving a check. I ask for a recalculation of the monthly amount and it came back at a much higher level. I do not know why but it will be nice to have the extra each month. My rate of return on the money in the system will be 11.7% not bad.

$300 may not be much but I will take it gladly.

I’m getting a similar amount for a company I was employed with for several year, and was terminated from. I didn’t know about the pension at all, until some mail caught up with me at my current home. It was a pleasant surprise - it’ll be enough to cover the taxes and insurance on my paid-for home.


Well, your number of years didn’t change. And your salary when you worked can’t have changed. The only other number in the equation, that I know of, is the % of salary that your employment group gets per year of service. That may have changed.

No, that’s not true. There’s also an increase if you take it out later, but that maxes out at age 63 in our system. How long ago was the estimate and when did you tell them you’d probably retire? If you’re retiring later than you estimated, you could have a higher %/yr. It’s hard to imagine such a big difference with only five years of service, though.

Signing up for a Surviving Dependent can also lower the monthly payment. When I took the retirement seminar there was a choice of four types of payout, only one of which is pay me until I die and then split anything left in my account between my beneficiaries. The other three payout types included some sort of continuing payout for the life of a dependent. The more the dependent got after you died, the less you got per month to begin with.

If you had previously chosen a survivor plan, or if the person doing the original estimate just assumed it, that could be the difference. There are big drops in payout for the survivor plans.

Every 3 months I get a huge envelope updating me on my main retirement fund. It goes up or down 20-30 cents. I’ve tried everything to stop the paper delivery and go paperless only, to no avail. I’d rather have the cost of the stamp.

When I retired, I somehow became aware that if I had some SS credit (I had 34 quarters), as a result of a reciprocal agreement between Canada and the US, I could get some SS from the US. At first I got about $200 a month, but then my wife retired and she gets 50% of what I get. What with small increases over the years it is now about $350 for the two of us. It comes in handy, I’ll tell you. Somehow it seems like double-dipping since I get the full amount of Quebec pension, but I’ll take it.