Happy New Year Greetings, all! Below are a few updates, helpful resources, and awareness of upcoming events for you. Please take a couple of minutes to review.
TAX SHELTERED ANNUITY 403B: MATCH
In our EPEA and EPPEA contracts, EPS matches a percentage of our yearly salary to be deposited to your personal Tax Sheltered Annuity retirement savings plan that allows employees of tax-exempt organizations to invest pretax dollars to build retirement income.
An EPEA educator can receive a match up to 2.25% of the yearly salary; in addition, an EPPEA member can receive a match up to a 1% of the yearly salary.
For example, an EPEA educator on STEP D-MA (5 years), who has a yearly salary of $58,358, has the potential to have EPS contribute $1,313.06 this year to their personal TSA account, if the educator contributes at least that amount also (58,358 x 2.25% match = 1,313.06). Divided equally across 24 paychecks, this 5th-year teacher would only see a $54.71 pre-taxed deduction per paycheck.
A year 5 EPPEA-MA educator ($44,089 salary) currently has the potential to have EPS contribute $440.89 this year to TSA, if the employee contributes at least that amount also (44,089 x 1% match = 440.89).
From a negotiator and future salary viewpoint, EPS "costs" or assumes everyone will participate in the Tax Sheltered Annuity program and, therefore, calculates/predicts future salary limits based on that assumption.
Therefore, we encourage EVERYONE to participate in the TSA matching opportunity the negotiating teams have fought for on your behalf. Plan A-ers...you know you have your separate benefit.
If you have not yet set up your TSA (403B) to invest in your retirement future and take advantage of EPS matching contributions, do so this NEW YEAR SEASON!
Below are 6 vendors you can choose from to help you get everything set up, get the guidance you need, and start you on your way to future retirement bliss!
AXA - Equitable Life Assurance
Educators Financial Services Inc
Fidelity Retirement Services
Waddell and Reed
TRA: Re-Establish Rule of 90 Campaign
There is a campaign that has emerged to solicit support for the return of "Rule of 90" for all educators. Currently, those hired after July 1, 1989, are not eligible for "Rule of 90," which allows an educator to receive full TRA pension (without deductions) once years of service + age = 90.
To learn a bit more about the campaign to support the return of Rule of 90 and take additional action, if you would like, please access the PDF below.
EPEA Constitution and Bylaws Reviewal/Improvements Goes to Rep. Congress in January
At the December EPEA Rep Congress meeting, proposals for changes to our Constitution and Bylaws were reviewed by Rep. Congress. These proposals came out of several needs: compliance with Education Minnesota protocols, suggestions from Education Minnesota, guidance from the Education Minnesota attorney team, outdated or now-illegal practice, financial considerations to EPEA, the addition of EPPEA to our governing body, clarity of message or structure, redundancies.
You may view the proposed changes and provide any of your feedback to your Site Rep before the Jan. 24th Rep. Congress does their work to accept or reject proposals to the EPEA Constitution and Bylaws. You may access the proposals here.
Green = proposed addition
Pink = proposed deletion
Blue Lettering: Attorney proposed language
School Board Organizational Meeting
At the Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, School Board Meeting, the board members elected their organizational structure. The following elected appointments were made for the next calendar year.
Board Chair: Adam Seidel
Vice Board Chair: Aaron Casper
Board Clerk: Debjyoti "DD" Dwivedy
Board Treasurer: Steven Bartz
Deadline for EPEA Early Retirement Incentive MOU: Friday, Feb 4 @ 5:00pm
For those who have been with EPS for 15 years and who will be the age of 55 or older on/before June 30, 2022, your timeline to decide whether or not to use the EPEA Early Retirement Incentive is beginning to wane.
By 5pm on Friday, February 4th, your official "letter" of intent to retire utilizing the Early Retirement Incentive needs to be received. For those looking for some guidance as to what the official letter/email could include, please see a model below:
Email Option: (Time-stamped by 5pm Feb. 4, 2022)
CC: Thomas May
Subject: Intent to Retire with Early Retirement Incentive MOU
Dear Ms./Mr. (Principal/Supervisor) and Mr. Thomas May:
It is with (great thought, a joyous heart, celebratory proclamation) that I officially announce my intent to retire from Eden Prairie Schools at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 school year, effective June 30, 2022.
Meeting all the eligibility requirements set forth in the Early Retirement Incentive MOU of the EPEA Collective Bargaining Agreement, I understand my intent to retire is irrevocable, a condition of receiving the MOU VEBA benefit.
I thank you in advance for any additional information to guide me through my retirement process in the coming months. Serving as (an educator, a school social worker, a school nurse, a music teacher, a school psychologist) for the past (fifteen, thirty-five, twenty-eight) years has been (the sentiment you feel). Additional sentiments as desired.
Your Full Name
Written Letter Option: (Put in interoffice mail by 6am Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022)
Send two official printed letters:
1) to your building principal/supervisor
2) to Thomas May at ASC Human Resources
Upcoming Elections: End of February
At the end of February, EPEA and EPPEA members will be presented with an opportunity to elect representatives in the following roles: EPEA President, EPEA Vice President, EPEA Treasurer, Site Representatives, and Delegates for the EdMn Rep. Convention. Those who are interested in serving in any of the roles mentioned will send their interest to EPEA VP Nate Gabel for the election slate. Additional information will be sent to all members next week regarding upcoming timelines, descriptions, and procedures.
Thank you, EPEA/EPPEA! Your support for each other and your actions to serve are awe-inspiring. Wishing you good health in January!