Frequently Asked Questions - Annuitants

  1. General

  2. What type of pension fund is the MWRDRF?
  3. When do retirees receive their monthly payments?
  4. How do I notify the Fund that my address has changed?
  5. I want to sign up for direct deposit or I need to change my bank information for my direct deposit. What do I do?
  6. If I move seasonally, does the Retirement Fund need to know?
  7. How does a retiree change the deduction for Credit Union?
  8. How does a retiree change his or her federal withholding deduction?
  9. How can I get a verification letter of the pension that I receive?
  10. Can you send a verification of my pension to another person or company such as a bank or mortgage company?
  11. Will I receive a payment stub if my monthly annuity is paid by Direct Deposit?
  12. I need another copy of my 1099R tax form. How can I get one?
  13. When are the 1099s sent out?

  1. Retiree Health Insurance


  2. Are all annuitants eligible for District-sponsored medical insurance?
  3. How do health insurance benefits change after retirement?
  4. Do retirees need to purchase supplemental insurance?
  5. Up to what age can a retiree cover a dependent?
  6. If I drop my District-sponsored retiree medical insurance, when may I re-enroll?
  7. How do I cancel or make changes to my retiree health insurance?
  8. When is Open Enrollment?
  9. What is a qualified change?
  10. How does a retiree request to be notified of the health insurance open enrollment?
  11. What to do when you have a question with how a claim was processed?
  12. Do retirees have a vision plan?
  13. Do retirees have a dental plan?

 

Spouse Benefits

  1. What is my spouse entitled to when I pass away?
  2. How does divorce affect my MWRDRF benefits?

 

For children or caregivers of annuitants

  1. When is POA recommended?
  2. Why does the Retirement Fund require the original Power of Attorney document?
  1. When is guardianship requested?

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    1. Question: What type of pension fund is the MWRDRF?
    2. Answer: The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Retirement Fund (MWRDRF) is a governmental defined benefit plan established under Illinois State law to provide annuity benefits for employees of the MWRD and its Retirement Fund. The Fund is a qualified 401(a) plan under the Internal Revenue Code. Back to the Top

  1. Question
    : How do I notify the Fund that my address has changed?
  2. Answer: You may call our office at 312-751-3222 to advise the Fund of an address change. Alternately, you may choose to send us a letter to that effect. Back to the Top

 

Question: When do retirees receive their monthly payments?

Answer: Payments to annuitants are made on the first of the month. If the first of the month falls on a weekend or holiday, funds will be available on the first business day of the month. Some banks have different deposit agreements. You may want to check with your bank to see when funds will be available when the first falls on a weekend or holiday. Back to the Top

Question
: I want to sign up for direct deposit or I need to change my bank information for my direct deposit. What do I do?
Answer: You can make the change by either clicking here for a direct deposit form. The top portion of the form should be completed by you, the annuitant. The bottom portion should be completed by a representative at your bank. Be sure to sign the form. You may either fax the form to (312) 751-5699 or mail it to the MWRD Retirement Fund, 111 E. Erie St., Ste. 330, Chicago, IL 60611. Back to the Top

Question: If I move seasonally, does the Retirement Fund need to know?
Answer: If you move seasonally, you should call the Retirement Fund to advise us of your address change. Likewise, when you move back to your regular home, you should call the Fund to advise us of your address change. Back to the Top

Question: How does a retiree change the deduction for Credit Union?
Answer: To change Credit Union deductions, call the Credit Union at 312-751-3111. Back to the Top


Question: How does a retiree change his or her federal withholding deduction?
Answer: To change your federal withholding, complete and sign this form. Then either fax it to 312-751-5699, mail it to the Fund at 111 E. Erie St., Chicago, IL 60611, or scan and email it to KozlowskiD@mwrd.org. We will need to see the signed form. Back to the Top


Question: How can I get a verification letter of the pension that I receive?
Answer: Call our office at (312)751-3222 to make a request. Back to the Top


Question: Can you send a verification of my pension to another person or company such as a bank or mortgage company?
Answer: Most lenders and social service agencies have a release form for you to sign. The Fund will fulfill a request for income verification from third party if the request is accompanied by a release signed by the annuitant. Call our office at (312) 751-3222 to make a request. Back to the Top


Question: Will I receive a payment stub if my monthly annuity is paid by Direct Deposit?
Answer: Retirees who are paid by direct deposit receive payment advices (stubs) for their January, July and December payments. Stubs are also sent for the month in which the annuitant receives a COLA, or whenever there is any other change to the gross annuity or deductions from the annuity. Back to the Top


Question: I need another copy of my 1099R tax form. How can I get one?
Answer: You can get duplicates of your 1099R forms for the most recent year and several years prior by calling (312) 751-3222. Back to the Top


Question: When are the 1099s sent out?
Answer: Generally, 1099Rs are sent on January 31st each year. Anyone who has received annuity, disability, or refund distributions throughout the year prior will be sent a 1099R. Back to the Top
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  1. Question: Are all annuitants eligible for District-sponsored medical insurance?
  2. Answer: No, not all annuitants are eligible for District-sponsored medical insurance. Employees hired after 7/1/2005 need 10 years of District service to qualify for District-sponsored retiree medical insurance. Reciprocal annuitants whose final fund is not the MWRDRF need at least 10 years of service to qualify for District-sponsored retiree medical insurance. Back to the Top

 

Question: How do health insurance benefits change after retirement?
Answer: Premiums for retirees are usually much higher than those for active employees. Regarding coverage, health insurance coverage remains relatively the same after retirement. One clear difference is in the vision coverage. After retirement there are discounts available, but the coverage is not as comprehensive as it had been as an active employee. For more information, click here.

There is a coverage difference for recently retired represented employees who had PPO coverage as active employees. Your coverage level will increase from 85% to 90%. Back to the Top

Question
: Do retirees need to purchase supplemental insurance?

  1. Answer: District sponsored retiree health insurance program becomes secondary to Medicare coverage when the retiree becomes Medicare eligible. Between Medicare and Blue Cross, the coverage is fairly comprehensive and a supplement is not necessary for most retirees. Back to the Top

 

Question: Up to what age can a retiree cover a dependent?
Answer: Dependents can be covered up until age 26. Dependents can be covered until age 30 if they are military veterans. If the dependent is disabled and was disabled prior to reaching the maximum dependent age, the dependent can remain on the annuitant parent's insurance coverage. Back to the Top

 

Question: If I drop my District-sponsored retiree medical insurance, when may I re-enroll?
Answer: If an annuitant drops District-sponsored retiree medical coverage, he or she is only allowed to re-enroll one time. That re-enrollment may occur at Open Enrollment, typically held in the month of May annually, or within 30 days of a change in coverage status from another plan. For example, if you have coverage through another employer and that coverage ends, you may re-enroll in the District-sponsored retiree medical insurance within 30 days of termination of the other coverage. The Fund will need written verification that the other coverage ended and when it ended. Back to the Top

Question: How do I cancel or make changes to my retiree health insurance?
Answer
: To cancel health insurance coverage, you must make the request in writing and mail it to the Retirement Fund's office at our mailing address. For all other changes, call (312) 751-3222. Back to the Top

Question: When is Open Enrollment?

Answer: You can make changes to your health benefit during the annual open enrollment period held each May. Changes may also be made at any time during the year, if you experience a qualified change. If you do experience a qualified change, please contact the Fund to request a change to coverage. Back to the Top

Question
: What is a qualified change?
Answer: Generally, a qualified change is a change to your family status or employment status.  You may add new dependents due to birth or adoption. You must make the election within 31 days of the related event or coverage may be lost or delayed until Open Enrollment. If the change is due to a change in either yours or your spouse's employment, proof of the qualifying event must be provided to the Fund and you must make the election within 31 days to enroll in District-sponsored coverage.

Spouses who married the annuitant after retirement are not eligible for District-sponsored health insurance. Back to the Top

 

Question: How does a retiree request to be notified of the health insurance open enrollment?
Answer: Call the Retirement Fund at 312-751-3222 to request open enrollment materials. Back to the Top

 

Question: What to do when you have a question with how a claim was processed?
Answer: First, consult your explanation of benefits (EOB) from Blue Cross Blue Shield. If it is not clear from the EOB, contact the number listed on the EOB. Alternately, for PPO, you may call 1-800-772-6895 and for HMO you may call 1-800-892-2803. Back to the Top

 

Question: Do retirees have a vision plan?
Answer: Active employees have vision coverage; retirees do not. However, there is a vision discount program. For more information, click here. Back to the Top

Question: Do retirees have a dental plan?
Answer
: New retirees have the option to enroll in COBRA for up to 18 months from the date of retirement. After that, there is no employer sponsored dental coverage. Back to the Top

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Question: What is my spouse entitled to when I pass away?
Answer:  If you were married at the time of retirement and remained married to the same person to the time of death, your spouse is eligible for a surviving spouse annuity. To learn the amount of the annuity to which your spouse may be entitled, please call our office at (312) 751-3222, or you may consult our spouse benefit information sheet. Back to the Top

Question
: How does divorce affect my MWRDRF benefits?
Answer: Divorce affects MWRDRF benefits in a different ways, depending on the duration of the marriage, when the marriage took place, and whether or not there is a QILDRO associated with the divorce settlement.

First and foremost, the member should inform the Fund of a divorce as soon as possible. He or she should provide the Fund with copies of the first and last pages of the divorce decree. This will enable the Fund to properly administer medical insurance benefits and ensure proper payment of benefits upon the member's death.

In all cases, if the former spouse was covered on the member's retiree medical insurance, the former spouse is no longer eligible for District-sponsored medical insurance effective the first of the month following the date of the divorce. It is very important to notify the Fund of the divorce in a timely manner. This will enable us to adjust your medical insurance premium as warranted. Also, any medical insurance claims paid for the former spouse after the divorce may be charged to the member.

The former spouse who was covered as a dependent on the member's medical insurance is eligible for COBRA after the divorce. Contact the Compensation and Benefits Section of the Human Resources Department of the District at 312-751-5166 for information relative to COBRA.

Regarding eligibility for a surviving spouse annuity for the former spouse, a divorce that is final after retirement may have different effects depending on how long the member and the former spouse were married at retirement. If the member and former spouse were married at least 10 years prior to retirement, the former spouse is still entitled to monthly surviving spouse annuity upon the member's death. If the marriage was in effect less than 10 years prior to retirement, then the former spouse is not eligible for a surviving spouse annuity upon the member's death.

If the marriage took place after retirement, the spouse was never eligible for a surviving spouse annuity.

Now you know the effect of divorce on medical insurance and surviving spouse annuity benefits, but what about the member's monthly retirement annuity? What happens to it?

The member's monthly retirement annuity will remain intact (not reduced) unless there is a court order called a QILDRO that will provide for a portion or all of the monthly retirement to be paid to the former spouse. For more details, refer to the QILDRO packet. Back to the Top

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Question: When is POA recommended?
Answer: A power of attorney (POA) is a written authorization to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter. The person authorizing the other to act is the principal, and the one authorized to act is the agent.

The person creating a power of attorney, the principal, can only do so when he/she has the requisite mental capacity. However, if the principal loses capacity (from, for example, Alzheimer's disease or a head injury in a car crash) to grant permission at any time after the power of attorney has been created, the document will probably stop being effective and enforceable unless the principal specifically states in that power of attorney that he/she wishes the document to remain in effect even if he/she becomes incapacitated. This type of power of attorney, that stays in effect even after the grantor becomes incapacitated, is commonly referred to as a durable power of attorney.

It is important to note that if someone is already incapacitated, it is not possible for that person to sign and/or execute a valid power of attorney. A person must have capacity in order to validly sign legal documents, including a power of attorney. If a person does not have the capacity to execute a power of attorney (and does not already have a durable power of attorney in place), often the only way for another party to act on their behalf is to have a court impose guardianship. Back to the Top

Question: Why does the Retirement Fund require the original Power of Attorney document?
Answer: A Power of Attorney enables an agent to act on someone else's behalf for financial affairs. Because this is a very serious document, the Fund must be diligent in assuring that the document is unaltered and reflects the wishes of the annuitant. Therefore, we require that the original Power of Attorney be submitted to our office for review. The original will be copied and returned to the agent. Back to the Top

Question: When is guardianship required?
Answer: When an annuitant is incapable of making his or her own decisions and there is no POA in effect that was signed before the annuitant became symptomatic, guardianship is appropriate.


A guardian is a person, institution or agency appointed by the Probate Court to manage the affairs of another, called the ward. A guardian may be appointed to serve as a substitute decision maker if a person is disabled because of (1) mental deterioration, (2) physical incapacity, (3) mental illness, or (4) developmental disability. The disability must prevent the person from making or communicating responsible decisions about his/her personal affairs. Back to the Top

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