Keep current with TRS
Electronic voting option added for trustee elections
TRS is adding the option of electronic voting beginning with this year’s elections for the Board of Trustees.
The goal of this new aspect for trustee elections is to provide a secure method for people who prefer to vote by personal device to be able to do so securely and to increase participation in the races.
This electronic voting will be conducted in April followed by voting by paper ballot in May, which is unchanged. Once the period for electronic voting is closed, paper ballots will be printed and mailed to anyone who hasn’t already voted.
Members will be notified through a variety of means – including the newsletter, the website and emails – about the period when electronic voting will be open through the Pathway member self-service site (mss.trs.ky.gov). On-screen ballots will be very similar, including candidate biographies, to the paper ballots TRS has used for years.
The election will be overseen, as required by law, by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), and votes will be tallied at KDE, which forwards the results to TRS. The votes on electronic ballots will not be seen by anyone at TRS; the paper ballots will continue to be mailed to KDE.
While the votes on every ballot are protected to be anonymous, the only information TRS will have is who cast an electronic ballot – so that those people do not receive a paper ballot – much in the same way that voters sign in at traditional polling locations before voting.
Results will be announced in June, and the new trustees’ four-year terms begin July 1.
The 11-member TRS board includes seven trustees elected by active members and retirees. The other four consist of two, the education commissioner and the state treasurer, who serve by reason of their office and two who are appointed by the governor with investment experience.
Two seats will be up for election this year.
Recent Laws May Mean Retirees Will Want to Change Federal Tax Withholding of Pension Benefits
Recent changes in federal tax laws have prompted some retirees to call TRS because they resulted in smaller refunds or, in some cases, no refund.
The 2018 U.S. tax code changes resulted in lower standard withholding for federal taxes. TRS uses the tax tables issued by the Internal Revenue Service, unless directed by individual retirees to withhold more.
In a number of cases, retirees now have more taxable income because of the changes – primarily because of the removal of the personal exemptions – while the federal tax withholding tables called for lower amounts to be taken out of checks as a result of lower tax rates.
Retirees who wish to have additional amounts withheld from future TRS pension payments may complete and submit a new W-4P, which is available on the TRS website (see link at the end of this article). The entire form must be completed, but Line 3 is where additional withholding is noted.
Retirees also may want to confer with a tax preparer.
Withholding Form: https://trs.ky.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2019-W-4P_TRS.pdf
Now there’s an app for … TRS
The app for any mobile device can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for “TRS Pathway.” First, members must set up their Pathway account on the desktop site (mss.trs.ky.gov) to be able to use the app.
Members are encouraged to try it, from near or far at any hour. Use the appropriate link below to download the app for your mobile device.
Keep TRS current with you
As the Teachers’ Retirement System provides increasingly more information to members by electronic means, it is crucial that members keep their email address, as well as their snail mail (home) address and telephone number, current.
Even if you change your address with the school district where you work (or worked), the school district doesn’t report that change to TRS. So, TRS needs to be notified of the change independently by members.
Several ways exist to update your information. First, your contact information can be changed in the Pathway self-service portal. Forms that can be printed and filled out are available in Pathway (with current information already filled in) and on the TRS website (see link immediately below).Otherwise, mail or fax a signed letter to TRS with your name and identification number and the new information. The mailing address is: 479 Versailles Rd., Frankfort, KY 40601. The fax is 502-848-8599.
Did you know: TRS reports to federal securities regulators
This report, which is linked from the Financials, Reports & Quarterly Investments page of the TRS website, is required for most institutional investment managers, including pension funds, investment advisers, banks, insurance companies, broker-dealers and corporations.
The report covers investments in publicly listed companies.
Other useful information
Annual reports, investment returns, financials and plan information
Salaries and expenses
State laws for TRS (KRS 161.220-716)
Administrative regulations for TRS
Publications and newsletters
Funding Work Group information and materials