Glitch stops CPS pension checks

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Retired Chicago Public School teachers are waiting for their pension checks after  computer glitch delayed the delivery of that money.

They packed into the hallways, conference rooms and break areas of the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund office.

“You've got people up there on canes and walkers and some of everything,” retired CPS teacher Leroy Lang said.

Hundreds of retired CPS workers waited to get a paper check cut after “human error” prevented their August 1 direct deposits.

The glitch amounts to an estimated $100 million and affects about 26,000 people.

The problem was discovered Friday morning when retirees started calling.

“I called the bank,” retired CPS teacher Lynn Lanfair said. “You know, I always check. There was nothing there but what I had before.”

CTPF president Jay Rehak said a file containing retirees’ information and account numbers did not get transferred to the bank. He said fund leaders are working to figure out why that happened.

Initially, retirees who could not wait were directed to come to the office to pick up a paper check, which hundreds did. The process took so long that only about 12 checks per hour could be cut.

“I am very disappointed,” said Lang, who waited about two and a half hours without receiving a check. “You work for 38 years like I did, you expect your retirement money like I do.”

“I don't encourage people to come down here and wait around for hours to get a check,” Rehak said. Instead, he suggested people wait, and call if they have still not received a check by Monday at 1 p.m.

“I didn't expect it,” Doris Powell, another retired CPS teacher, said. “When you go ahead and pay your bills in advance, trusting the system of Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund, I trusted them.”

The CTPF office will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who need a paper check. The office is also providing parking vouchers for those who make the trip.

However, getting a paper check is not necessary to receive the money. CTPF said it expects the direct deposits to clear no later than the end of Tuesday and could clear over the weekend.

CTPF leaders are also handing out letters for retirees to give to their banks in an effort to have retirees’ overdraft fees excused.



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