Some retired teachers waiting for payment - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Some retired teachers waiting for payment

Melissa Hoffman talks with WLOX about not receiving retirement pay. (Photo source: WLOX News) Melissa Hoffman talks with WLOX about not receiving retirement pay. (Photo source: WLOX News)
PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) -

Even though school has been out for several months and about to start again, some Mississippi teachers who filed for retirement before the end of the last school year are still waiting for their first retirement payment.

Teaching at Pearl River Central Elementary was a passion for Melissa Hoffman.

"Teaching has been my whole life for 40 years," said Hoffman.

Earlier this year Hoffman decided it was time to step away from the classroom.

"I could relax and finally start enjoying what I really wanted to do," said Hoffman.

But she isn't enjoying retirement, she's worrying about paying the bills.

"I had some savings, but I had not planned for this."

Hoffman is waiting on her first retirement check from Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System or PRES. Normally the first payment is received 90 days after filing for retirement. She filed her initial paper work on April 22nd and thought she was in good shape.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," said Hoffman. "PRES hasn't started their retirement pay like they said they would and the 90 day period is over. "

And when she tries contacting PRES, she only gets a voice message.

The message says "If you're calling about the status of your retirement application, we are behind in process for individuals and staff is working to address and eliminate the back log."

On the PRES website, a new software system, replacing the old system that had been around for nearly two decades is blamed for the payment delays. And it says all back payment will be paid out.

But for now Hoffman and others like her are left wondering when they'll start seeing their retirement pay.

"I'm hoping they'll begin working on my paper work next week," said Hoffman. "Which I don't know how long that takes for them to issue me the second packet, which will then be two to eight weeks."

PRES handles retirement for most state run agencies in Mississippi.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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