Frequently Asked Questions
Will I receive a Cost of Living Adjustment on my pension?
The City of El Paso Employees Retirement Trust does not provide automatic cost of living increases. The Trust commissions an actuarial valuation (review of the funded status of the plan) at least once every two years. As a part of this process the Pension Board of Trustees considers the affordability of granting an ad-hoc (this time only) type of increase.
What does the Board consider in deciding whether to grant an ad-hoc cost of living increase?
The Board’s established Funding and COLA policies outline several factors for consideration. Considerations are subject to change by the Board at any time. Factors include but are not limited to:
- How well funded the Trust is for the last several years.
- How long it takes to amortize any unfunded actuarial liability.
- The inflation rate based on the C.P.I.
- The time since the last cost of living increase was granted.
What happens to my retirement benefits upon divorce?
If retirement benefits are divided, you must submit a copy of your divorce decree including a Qualified Domestic Relations Order once your divorce becomes final.
Who administers the Retirement Trust?
The Board of Trustees is composed of two members of City Council, one of whom may include the mayor, one City retiree appointed by the Mayor, four City employees elected by members of the Fund, and two other mayoral appointees who are not officers or employees of the City. The Board, in turn, appoints committees to oversee the Retirement Trust's investments and actuarial valuations. Each elected member serves a four-year term, and each appointed member serves a two-year term. For board appointments after April 2018, no City Council, citizen, or retiree member appointee may hold a Board position for more than 8 years throughout their lifetime. There shall be no limitation as to the number of years an elected individual may serve on the Board. Trustees receive no compensation for their work on the Board. The Board hires administrative personnel, as needed, including an Executive Director and staff.
Is my pension taxable?
Yes, most of your retirement benefit is taxable except for any contributions made before 6-1-07. Contributions made before 6-1-07 were deducted after taxes and may be readily recovered over the expected life of the benefit. Please consult your tax advisor regarding how much of your retirement benefit is taxable.
How do I change my tax withholding?
You can change your withholding by downloading the IRS Form W4-P and mailing or hand carrying the completed form to the Pension Office. Unless otherwise specified, the Retirement Office must have the original form on file in order for the form to be valid. (Faxed or e-mailed forms will NOT be accepted.)
If I move how do I change my address?
You can change your address by downloading the Change of Address Form and mailing or hand carrying the completed form to the Retirement Office. Unless otherwise specified, the Retirement Office must have the original form on file in order for the form to be valid. (Faxed or e-mailed forms will NOT be accepted.)
How do I change the direct deposit of my retirement benefit?
You can change your direct deposit by downloading and submitting a Direct Deposit Enrollment Request Form. Attach a voided check (temporary checks or deposit slips will not be accepted) or document from your financial institution that contains the name of the financial institution, account holder(s) name, account number and routing number. Forms can be mailed or hand carried to the Retirement Office. Unless otherwise specified, the Retirement Office must have the original form on file in order for the form to be valid. (Faxed or e-mailed forms will NOT be accepted.)
What is a payment advice form?
The advice form contains information regarding your monthly benefit payment. The advice is your payment record.
When will I receive my benefit payment and advice?
Your benefit is paid on the last business day of the month. The payment advice is also mailed out on the last business day of the month.