A year-end message from our Executive Director

Posted by Tom Mellish, Executive Director, IRTA on Dec 20, 2017 11:14:55 AM

As we celebrate the holiday season, we have many reasons to be thankful and feel blessed.

I continue to travel around the state to our many local chapters and have truly enjoyed each stop. Indiana has been blessed to have had such caring and passionate teachers.

Tom Mellish.jpgOur fall workshops went well and we were very pleased with the attendance. We missed you if you were unable to attend. We truly appreciate the local leaders who continue to organize and feed your chapters with information and programs.

There are just a handful of local chapters where I have not been able to attend a meeting. If I have not been to your local chapter, please send me your meeting dates, times and locations. One of my early goals as your executive director was to visit each local chapter.

I also want to thank those who have worked to gain new members and bring back former members to IRTA. As we publish this newsletter, we are ahead of last year’s total in regular and associate members. Let’s not stop and let’s try to make this a record-breaking year in membership. Please share all the benefits of being an IRTA member!

Please visit the IRTA website at and check out all the new discounts that AMBA offers through their Passport Program on our Benefits Page. If you have not friended us on Facebook, please do. It is another great way to stay informed on IRTA happenings.

We have received many calls and questions about the changes the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) being implemented on January 1. INPRS has used an outside record collector and payment provider since 2010. They chose State Street as their future payment provider after going through an RFP process for their selection.

As the change is made I would recommend checking your deposits to make sure your tax withholding remains the same. If you discover a mistake, you may contact State Street at 1-844-464-6777 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding stock market holidays. You may also log into your account at

The other major change will be a fee increase to $36 annually (or $3 per month) for any Teacher Retirement Fund Annuity Savings Account (ASA) with INPRS.  A retired member without a defined contribution account (ASA) will have no fee. When you retired, you may have rolled your ASA into your pension or withdrew it and invested it into a private savings plan. In those two scenarios, you would not have a fee.

This new management fee comes from IRS regulations that do not permit paying fees from the Defined Benefit (pension) for related expenses from INPRS to manage the defined contributions (ASA’s). More information on this change and reasons may be found at

We will be hosting Jeff Hudson from INPRS in December on a podcast to help explain the why and how changes are being made at INPRS. Topics will include payment providers and MetLife Insurance’s involvement with the ASA.  

Our weekly podcasts, Indiana EdCast, will resume in January with updates on the General Assembly from our lobbyist Steve Beebe. We will be paying close attention to outcomes from the Pension Oversight Committee Meetings (PMOC) this summer and the Pension Supplemental Allowance Reserve Accounts (PSARA). This concept may become the focus for our future COLAs and 13th Checks. (See related article in this issue of the Bulletin Board).  We welcome ideas for topics and interviews for Indiana EdCast. If you have suggestions, please email me.

We are excited to announce a Third Luncheon Meeting date in Florida in January. We are going to Heritage Oaks Golf and Country Club in Sarasota, Florida on Saturday, January 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We appreciate Dan Howe stepping up to host this event.

Our host in Ft. Myers on January 12 is Phyllis Waco and in the Leesburg area Jim and Barb MacGregor. Letters and notices should be arriving soon to make your reservations. We would love to visit our East Coast friends and members if we can find someone to host an event in that area next year.

Our Legislative Brunch scheduled this year for Wednesday, February 21 at the Statehouse and we will provide bus transportation to the Statehouse from the IRTA parking lot. More details will be sent in late January, but save the date.

We hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Christmas and Holiday Season.

Topics: Insider

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