Uh oh! For some unknown reason, Bank of New York Mellon, which had electronically deposited $185 million in pension funds into retired NYC teachers' and staffers' accounts a few days ago, decided to withdraw the money yesterday, causing—besides overdrafts— worries, chaos, and outrage. A 70-year-old retired social studies teacher told the NY Times, "Right now I am very annoyed because I was told by the bank not to make any checks today or use my debit card." And a retired teacher's assistant fretted to the Daily News, "I was very, very upset because my husband and I depend on this money."
Apparently, the city Comptroller's office made the deposit for New York City Teachers Retirement Fund accounts into Bank of New York Mellon and BNY Mellon made the deposits as usual—but then reverted the money back to the Comptroller's account! The bank admitted it was responsible for the issue and said, "BNY Mellon is taking a number of actions today to remedy a processing incident that occurred regarding the bank accounts of the participants in the New York City Teachers Retirement Fund," including paying for overdraft fees. But what about the retirees who don't have access to money this weekend?
Council of School Supervisors and Administrators president Ernie Logan pointed out many retirees' pensions still put them at or below the poverty level and told the Post, "People don't need this extra burden of angst in their life. You would think that after years of public service, you would be able to retire peacefully without having the aggravation of worrying whether you will eat today or not." And United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew said, "We are calling on the city and state to begin an immediate investigation into how this could have happened."