Frequently Asked Questions
Who do we contact to start the Retirement process?
First contact C-Biz (formerly Savitz). C-Biz /MMA Retirement Service Center: 866-672-9597 or MMARSC@CBIZ.com to get an estimate of monthly payment based on proposed date of retirement and other factors. Once you have these numbers in hand and know when you want to retire, contact the Met benefits office.
What does vested mean? After 5 years of service or 10 years of service a member is vested.
A member is vested after 5 years. This means they would receive both the money they contributed AND the money the Met contributed when they separate from the Met. Before 5 years, they receive only their own contribution.
From the full plan document, 4.04 Vesting
(a) A Member shall have, at all times, a one hundred percent (I00%) vested nonforfeitable right to his Accrued Benefit Derived from Member Contributions.
(b) A Member shall have a one hundred percent (100%) vested nonforfeitable right to his Accrued Benefit Derived from Museum Contributions upon completion of five Years of Vesting Service
The Museum at any time can decide to end the pension plan without consulting the union, is that right?
No. Our pension plan is part of our contract and therefore subject to collective bargaining. The non-union staff saw their defined benefit pension switched to a 403B in the late 1980s and we would be in the same boat if not for our contract. Here is some useful info about 3 scenarios where a pension can be terminated, however, they do not take into consideration the contractual nature of our pension.
Will the hours not worked during the pandemic shutdown be counted towards our pension or will we have to make those hours up in the future?
The pandemic shutdown did not count as a break in service, so time would be counted towards pension.
From the 5/2/20 MOU Summary: “Benefits. Health insurance, welfare fund benefits and pension plans will continue under previous terms and conditions.”
From the 7/14/20 MOU Summary: “Benefits. Health insurance, welfare fund mbenefits and pension plans will continue under previous terms and conditions.”
Who is the current board of trustees who are in charge of the Pension Plan?
The Finance Committee, stated in the 2019 plan description (p. 7). They are listed as Hamilton E. James, Chair, Richard L. Chilton, Jr., Blair Effron, Mark Fisch, Jeffrey W. Greenberg, Philip F. Maritz, Howard Marks, Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, Jeffrey M. Peek, Merryl H. Tisch
Summary of the Defined Benefit Pension Plan
One of the greatest assets to members of Local 1503 is the defined benefit pension plan. This is a top-of-the-line retirement plan featuring a defined monthly retirement payment for the rest of your life, and the life of your partner. This single-employer plan is endowed with over $185 million dollars (as of 6/30/19). We contribute roughly $1 million per year with our 3% salary deduction. This collectively-bargained trust is managed by the trustees of the Met Finance Committee.
We are eligible for 3 retirement plans:
- The Union Defined Benefit Plan (automatic with union positions)
- The Voluntary Contribution Plan (403 B, defined contribution, voluntary)
- The Union Matching Retirement Plan (403 B, defined contribution, voluntary)
The focus here will be on our primary plan, “The Metropolitan Museum of Art Retirement Plan for Covered Union Employees (the “Union Defined Benefit Plan)” The employer identification number is 13-1624086, plan 001
How does the defined benefit plan differ from other retirement plans?
Most employees, including non-union staff at the Met, have access to defined contribution plans only. This means they contribute a certain amount of their salaries to a retirement fund. An employer may contribute too, often based on the percentage the employee sets aside. In those plans, only the contribution is defined, not the payout. The payout depends on how the investment performs, subject to market fluctuation. If the market tanks in advance of the retirement target date, it could mean a significant loss to the retiree. In addition to higher exposure to risk, employees with these plans may also pay considerable ongoing fees to investment managers. We have a defined benefit plan, meaning the employer absorbs the risk and we collect a defined amount upon retirement.
This is a brief summary of the “Metropolitan Museum of Art Retirement Plan for Covered Union Employees”, part of an ongoing effort by your local to increase awareness of our benefits and demystify these essential aspects of our compensation package.
Eligibility: A participant’s normal monthly pension benefit generally becomes payable at age 62. The monthly basic pension is based on the four highest paid consecutive years’ average salary and the participant’s number of years of benefit accrual service. A year of benefit accrual service is credited for each plan year in which a participant works 1,820 hours and a fractional year is credited if the participant works at least 1,000 hours.
- A participant may continue employment after the normal retirement date upon reaching age 62.
- A participant who has attained age 52 and has 10 years of vesting service shall be eligible for early retirement benefits payable immediately, equal to the normal retirement benefit, reduced by a rate actuarially determined.
- A participant who becomes disabled within 10 years of the normal retirement date and has completed at least 10 years of vesting service shall be eligible for pension benefits with no rate reduction, subject to the participant’s continuing disability.
Effective July 1, 2001, a participant would be entitled to retire with an unreduced benefit provided that his or her age plus his or her years of service add up to 85 and the employee is at least 55 years of age (also known as “Golden 85”).
There are several different forms of benefit payments that a participant can choose under the Plan. All of the forms are “actuarially equivalent” to a pension in the form of a pension for life, payable monthly to a participant.
Pension benefits, under any option, will not commence until the participant’s employment at the Museum has terminated or the participant has reached the age of 70 ½.
To begin the process of retirement or to gather facts when planning your future:
First contact C-Biz (formerly Savitz).
Call C-Biz /MMA Retirement Service Center: 866-672-9597 or e-mail MMARSC@CBIZ.com to get an estimate of monthly payment based on proposed date of retirement and other factors. Once you have these numbers in hand and know when you want to retire, contact the Met benefits office.
Estimating Your Defined Benefit Pension (Click Here)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Retirement Plan for Covered Union Employees
Financial Statements and Supplemental Schedules June 30, 2019
DC37 Retiree Benefits
Retirees Association of DC 37
After retirement you can continue to pay dues at a different cost, and may be covered under the Retirement and Health & Security Plan Benefits, eg. Dental, Optical, and Prescriptions.
See last Paragraph on: https://www.dc37.net/benefits/health/eligibility
for more details
DC37 reimbursement of Medicare deductible.
The premium cost of Medicare Part B will be taken out of your Social Security check. When you retire, you and your eligible dependents will be reimbursed for the cost of Medicare Part B once a year.
A – Social Security Benefits for Working Members 65 Years of Age or Over
If you continue to work beyond your 65th birthday, you are eligible to receive Social Security without a reduction in your Social Security benefit, regardless of income.
If you choose to receive your Social Security benefit at your 65th birthday and continue to work, you do not have to apply for Medicare Part B.
To waive your Medicare Part B benefit, advise your Social Security Office that you are working and covered under an employer health insurance plan.
For additional information pertaining to this benefit, contact your Social Security Office three to six months prior to your 65th birthday. Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.
B – Social Security Disability Benefits
If you are under age 65, receive a City pension check in addition to a Social Security benefit, and are notified by the Social Security Administration that you are eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, do the following:
In order to continue your coverage under the City Health Benefits Program, you must accept your Medicare benefit and notify the Office of Labor Relations.
Make a copy of your pension stub, a copy of your Medicare card, and write a note requesting that your information be updated and send them to:
City of New York
Office of Labor Relations
40 Rector Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10006
The Office of Labor Relations will notify your health plan.
Once you have vested in your respective Retirement Plan (i.e., NYCERS/BERS/TRS/ NYSERS/CIRS), you may retire. You may contact the District Council 37 Health and Pension Services Unit not more than 6 months prior to retirement.
DC 37 Health and Security Plan Benefits
Send a copy of the stub from your first pension check and a copy of the Health Benefits Application form (ERB2000) to District Council 37, This will ensure that you receive the DC 37 Health & Security Plan benefits available to retirees.
The Annuity Fund
The Annuity Fund is a tax-deferred savings plan. Most members covered by the 1995 Municipal Coalition Economic Agreement, who were on active payroll from June 1, 1996 through May 31, 1997 and who were on active pay status on June 1, 1999, are eligible for an Annuity Fund benefit.
When you retire, you have three options: 1) you may receive a cash distribution, 2) you may request a direct rollover to another tax- qualified plan, or 3) you may leave your money in the Annuity Fund for later withdrawal.
Deferred Compensation Plan
If you participate in the City’s Deferred Compensation Plan, you must contact the City of New York Health Benefits Program, 40 Rector Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10006, or call the Deferred Compensation Plan at (212) 306-7760 to obtain a distribution packet. The distribution packet MUST be returned to the Deferred Compensation Plan within 60 days after you retire.
For more details please see here: https://www.dc37.net/benefits/health/abouttoretire
Medicare vs. Medicaid
What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
The difference between Medicaid and Medicare is that Medicaid is managed by states and is based on income. Medicare is managed by the federal government and is mainly based on age. But there are special circumstances, like certain disabilities, that may allow younger people to get Medicare
Can I have both Medicare and Medicaid?
Some people qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid and are called “dual eligibles.” If you have Medicare and full Medicaid coverage, most of your health care costs are likely covered. You can get your Medicare coverage through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Who is eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits?
Medicare provides medical coverage for many people age 65 and older and those with a disability. Eligibility for Medicare has nothing to do with income level. Medicaid is designed for people with limited income and is often a program of last resort for those without access to other resources.
Is Medicare free at age 65?
Most people age 65 or older are eligible for free Medical hospital insurance (Part A) if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can enroll in Medicare medical insurance (Part B) by paying a monthly premium. … To learn more, read Medicare Premiums: Rules For Higher-Income Beneficiaries.
Your Health Insurance Coverage
Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare too, including those with disabilities and those who have permanent kidney failure.
The program helps with the cost of health care, but it does not cover all medical expenses or the cost of most long-term care. You have choices for how you get Medicare coverage. If you choose to have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage, you can buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy from a private insurance company.
Parts of Medicare
Social Security enrolls you in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).
Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or limited time at a skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay). Part A also pays for some home health care and hospice care.
Medicare Part B (medical insurance) helps pay for services from doctors and other health care providers, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services.
Other parts of Medicare are run by private insurance companies that follow rules set by Medicare.
Supplemental (Medigap) policies help pay Medicare out-of-pocket copayments, coinsurance, and deductible expenses.
Medicare Advantage Plan (previously known as Part C) includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B — prescription drugs and additional benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental — bundled together in one plan.
Medicare Part D (Medicare prescription drug coverage) helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.
Most people age 65 or older are eligible for free Medical hospital insurance (Part A) if they have worked and paid Medicare taxes long enough. You can enroll in Medicare medical insurance (Part B) by paying a monthly premium. Some beneficiaries with higher incomes will pay a higher monthly Part B premium. To learn more, read Medicare Premiums: Rules For Higher-Income Beneficiaries.
Should I Sign Up For Medical Insurance (Part B)?
With our online application, you can sign up for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down.
If you’re eligible at age 65, your initial enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month you turn age 65, and ends three months after that birthday.
If you choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B and then decide to do so later, your coverage could be delayed and you may have to pay a higher monthly premium for as long as you have Part B. Your monthly premium will go up 10 percent for each 12-month period you were eligible for Part B, but didn’t sign up for it, unless you qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period” (SEP).
If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B during your initial enrollment period, you have another chance each year to sign up during a “general enrollment period” from January 1 through March 31. Your coverage begins on July 1 of the year you enroll. Read our Medicare publication for more information.
If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or health insurance based on current employment, you may want to ask your personnel office or insurance company how signing up for Medicare will affect you.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
If you have medical insurance coverage under a group health plan based on your or your spouse’s current employment, you may not need to apply for Medicare Part B at age 65. You may qualify for a “Special Enrollment Period” (SEP) that will let you sign up for Part B during:
Any month you remain covered under the group health plan and you or your spouse’s employment continues.
The 8-month period that begins with the month after your group health plan coverage or the employment it is based on ends, whichever comes first.
How To Apply Online For Just Medicare
If you are within three months of turning 65 or older and not ready to start your monthly Social Security benefits yet, you can use our online retirement application to sign up just for Medicare and wait to apply for your retirement or spouse’s benefits later. It takes less than 10 minutes, and there are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required.
Apply for Medicare Only
Return to Saved Application | Check Application Status | Replace Medicare Card
To find out what documents and information you need to apply, go to the Checklist For The Online Medicare, Retirement, and Spouses Application.
To help protect your identity, your Medicare card has a Medicare number that’s unique to you. If you did not receive your red, white, and blue Medicare card, there may be something that needs to be corrected, like your mailing address. You can update your mailing address by signing in to or creating your personal my Social Security account. Learn more about your Medicare card.
Already Enrolled in Medicare
If you have Medicare, you can get information and services online. Find out how to manage your benefits.
If you are enrolled in Medicare Part A and you want to enroll in Part B, please complete form CMS-40B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B (medical insurance). If you are applying for Medicare Part B due to a loss of employment or group health coverage, you will also need to complete form CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information.
You can use one of the following options to submit your enrollment request under the Special Enrollment Period:
Go to “Apply Online for Medicare Part B During a Special Enrollment Period” and complete CMS-40B and CMS-L564. Then upload your evidence of Group Health Plan or Large Group Health Plan.
Fax or mail your CMS-40B, CMS-L564, and secondary evidence to your local Social Security office (see list of secondary evidence below).
Note: When completing the forms CMS-40B and CMS-L564
State “I want Part B coverage to begin (MM/YY)” in the remarks section of the CMS-40B form or online application.
If possible, your employer should complete Section B.
If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion as best as you can on behalf of your employer without your employer’s signature and submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:
Income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid.
W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions.
Pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions.
Health insurance cards with a policy effective date.
Explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP.
Statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums.
You’ll have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) unless you make another choice. You can decide to add a drug plan (Part D) or buy a Medigap policy to help pay for costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. You can choose to join a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and get all your Medicare coverage (including drugs and extra benefits like vision, hearing, dental, and more) bundled together in one plan.
Some people with limited resources and income may also be able to get Extra Help to pay for Part D drug costs.
What Happens After I Apply?
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) manages Medicare. After you are enrolled, they will send you a Welcome to Medicare packet in the mail with your Medicare card. You will also receive the Medicare & You handbook, with important information about your Medicare coverage choices.
Other Medicare Enrollment Options
If you live in Puerto Rico you will not receive Medicare Part B (medical insurance) automatically. You will need to sign up for it during your initial enrollment period, or you will pay a penalty. To sign up, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You also may contact your local Social Security office. You can find your local Social Security office by using our Office Locator.
If you do not live in the U.S. or one of its territories you can also contact the Federal Benefits Unit that provides service to your country of residence.
Who Do I Contact – Social Security or Medicare?Apply Online for Medicare
Even if You Are Not Ready to Retire
Get Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs
More Medicare information
Understanding Medicare Part C & D Enrollment Periods
Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People with Medicare
Understanding Medicare Advantage Plans
Mandatory Medicare Coverage
TTY number: 1-877-486-2048
Log in to (or create) your secure Medicare account
Retiree Fringe Benefits
Healthcare – Medical
If you elected one of the City’s medical insurance plans, your active coverage ends on the last day of the month of your final paycheck.
Union Retiree Benefits Summary
Your regular retiree coverage begins on the first day of the month following your final paycheck. As a retiree your share of the premium cost will continue as when you were an active employee.
Your regular retiree coverage ends on the last day of the month of your 65th birthday. Upon reaching 65, you must enroll in Medicare Part B and transition to Medicare retiree coverage. We recommend you contact the Social Security Administration/Medicare 90 days prior to your 65th birthday. SSA/Medicare 1-800-772-1213 www.ssa.gov
Healthcare – Prescription, Dental and Vision If you elect prescription, dental and/or vision coverage through DC 37, you must contact the union directly for continuation of coverage. www.dc37.net/benefits/health/healthplans
Flexible Spending Accounts (HC-FSA and DC-FSA) If you elected to enroll in one or both FSAs, your payroll deferral(s) ends with your final paycheck.
If you are enrolled in Health Care FSA you will receive COBRA eligibility and election details directly from EBPA.
Reimbursements for qualified services received prior to your separation date can be processed up to 90 days following your separation. Services received after your separation date do not qualify for reimbursement unless you elect FSA COBRA.
Dependent Care FSA is not eligible for COBRA.
Reimbursement for qualified services received prior to your separation date can be processed up to 90 days following your separation. Services received after your separation date do not qualify for reimbursement. EBPA COBRA 1-888-678-3457 www.ebpabenefits.com
Commuter Benefits If you have a balance in a commuter benefits account, your account will remain active until the last day of the month of your final paycheck.
Time Off Benefits Sick Leave Union Balance (Terminal Leave) is paid in a lump sum as part of your final paycheck and overtime.
Accrued, unused vacation balance is paid in a lump sum as part of your final paycheck.
Pension and Retirement Plans Your pension is administered by CBIZ. You must contact CBIZ directly to apply for pension benefits. A preliminary pension calculation may be obtained from CBIZ but the final pension calculation can be made only after your last paycheck has been issued. All pension related documents must be sent directly to CBIZ. CBIZ 1-866-672-9597 MMARSC@cbiz.com
Once approved and processed, your pension will be paid by JP Morgan Chase on the first of the month.
If you enrolled in one or more 403(b) Plans, further contributions to your account(s) are not permitted after your final paycheck. Management of your investment allocations, as well as account disposition (rollover, distribution, etc.), can be made directly with Fidelity Investments. Fidelity Investments 1-800-343-0860 www.netbenefits.com/metmuseum
Retiree Badge A Retiree Badge allows you and up to four guests entrance to the Met, discounts at Met Stores, access to Met libraries, as well as varying levels of entry to other museums.
ESTIMATING YOUR DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION
Here’s a simple formula to figure out what your annual pension income would be if you’ve reached the “Golden 85,” minimum age 55 with 30 years of service, or age 56 with 29 years, 57 with 28 years, and so on, adding up to 85. All formulas used below can be found at page 39 of the 2019 Plan Description (linked below).
The formula is: your average base pay from your last 4 years (or 4 highest consecutive years, whichever is greater) x the number of years of service x our benefit multiplier, 2.25%.
So for someone with 30 years service who averaged $45,000, the equation would be:
$45,000 x 30 x .0225 = $30,375.
It’s safe to say that “normal retirement” is a little more than ⅔ of your highest average 4 years of base pay for the rest of your life and that of your partner, if specified.
Early retirements use an actuarial table to reduce the benefit.
To estimate an early retirement, use the “normal retirement” formula above, then match the years before normal retirement with a percentage. Multiply the normal retirement payment by the percentage to get the reduced amount.
Years Before and Percent of Normal Retirement Date Accrued Pension table:
Years Before 1 – 89.5%
2 – 80.3
3 – 72.1
4 – 64.9
5 – 58.6
6 – 52.9
7 – 47.9
8 – 43.4
9 – 39.3
10 – 35.7
So if a person with $45,000 average base pay is retiring 4 years before “normal retirement,” the equation to figure the reduction is: $30,375 x 64.9% = $19,713.
To work out the addition to pension for those who work past their “normal retirement” date, the formula is ¾ of 1% of Average Compensation x Years of Benefit Accrual Service in excess of 30 years.
So if the average 4 year base salary was $45,000, let’s say the person reached the normal retirement age at 55 with 30 years, but then worked 4 more years and retired. The equation would be: $45,000 x 4 x .0075, adding an additional $1,350 / yr, or $31,725 total.
Again, these formulas are a general guide. There are many additional factors involved to get a more precise estimate. You can get accurate numbers from C-Biz, the company the Met contracts to help employees with pension issues (linked below).