Late last week, a "processing error" by the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon), custodian for the New York City Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and the Council of Supervisors and Administrators, issued and then withdrew the November direct deposit retirement checks for 66,000 New York City retired teachers, supervisors and administrators. The amount - some $189 million in all - was returned to New York City's financial accounts by mistake.
Many retirees, who only found out about the problem late Thursday, were rather upset that they had bounced many of their personal checks and automatic electronic payments because of the problem.
BNY Mellon initially said all the checks and deposits would be reinstated and made good by Monday, the 9th of November, at the latest, and that it will reimburse any late fees or other charges.The TRS, the Office of the Comptroller of New York City, and the Mayor’s Office, however, were demanding that the correction be made by the end of Friday.
BNY Mellon found a way to partially satisfy the demands. It said that funds would be available to approximately 70 percent of the affected accounts by 9 a.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 7, and the remaining deposits would be completed by 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 9.
BNY Mellon, per usual in cases such as these, "expressed sincere regret" for the incident and is taking steps "to make sure it does not happen again."
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.