Every year, on average, more than 1,000 employees retire
from NYC Transit/MABSTOA. For some, the prospect is exciting,
while for others it feels more like a beginning of the end.
Fears of the unknown, of shutting down a career and concerns
of how to make ends meet can lead to many a sleepless night.
Fortunately, there are ways to ease those fears and get yourself
ready. After 25 or 30 years of working for someone else, it
should be possible to sit back and enjoy what you have worked
so hard for.
Gene Brackett, a former senior
director in Human Resources (HR) who retired two years ago,
is one of the lucky ones. "No transition for me, I loved
it from the moment it began," he says, though he admits to slight
worries before he left about filling his time. Fortunately for
him, he has many interests he is now focused on, led by photography.
"Make sure you are not stagnant after you retire," he stresses.
"The wonderful thing about retirement is, you are more
in control than at any other time in your life. Future retirees
need to have something other than their jobs to define who they
"Retirees are nervous. They are entering a new phase in their
lives so this is natural," says HR Pension Manager Maxicene
Young-Fisher. "We can help ease the pressure, starting
with figuring out their retirement income. The steps of retirement
are relatively painless. Their biggest concern is, ‘Am I going
to be able to maintain my lifestyle?’ Once that concern is put
to rest, it is pretty much smooth sailing."
Young-Fisher urges employees to consult one or more of these
helpful sources, anywhere from 90 days to a year or more before
- Annual Employee Benefits’ pension seminars for each Tier
of employees, at 130 Livingston Plaza or NYCERS headquarters
at 335 Adams Street. Notices are sent to eligible employees.
- Estimated Benefits Statement, mailed yearly to employees
who meet retirement eligibility.
- Retirement specialists at NYCERS’ new office, 340 Jay Street
mezzanine level, 347-643-3000; or visit Employee Benefits
at 370 Jay Street, Room 623.
- The Civil Service Retired Employees Association. 267 Broadway,
5th floor, 212-233-7541; offers pension counseling,
tax assistance and insurance for active and retired state/city
employees for $20 membership.
- The unions.
Most unions are geared to help. For example, OSA (Organization
of Staff Analysts) has an active Retirees Club that offers programs
for recent and not so recent retirees. Annual seminars and monthly
meetings are just two of the ways that OSA helps members make
the transition into retirement. The club requires an $18 membership
Says OSA Executive Director Sheila Gorsky: "Our seminars cover
financial, social and other aspects of retirement, getting members
in the mode for what’s ahead and how to plan. We help them look
at all their options. Many think they won’t have enough money,
and usually they find it isn’t that different from when they
were working," she advises. "I haven’t found anyone
yet who regretted it."
"Anxiety about retirement is more a fear of the unknown
than anything else," concludes Young-Fisher. "I’ve
had retired clerical employees, who were not looking at big
pension pay-out, who later told me they’re managing fine and
they’re loving every minute of it. Some even say, ‘I should
have retired earlier'."