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Ralph White Steps Down From State Board
Association President Frank Valeri Is A Candidate For Seat
October 17, 2016: Former Association President Ralph White has decided to step down from serving as one of the elected members for the State Retirement Board. He was first elected to serve on the State Retirement Board in January of 1997 and has served continuously since that time. Twenty years later his successor as Association President, Frank Valeri, has announced his candidacy to run for his open seat.
The 1996 Pension Reform law created this second elected seat on the State Retirement Board. At the time Ralph felt compelled to run because he felt it was very important the State system have “a person who is familiar with the new law, a person who can give retirees and employees the best possible representation.” The members of the system overwhelmingly elected him by 69% of the vote. He has relentlessly represented the retirees and employees, since that time. The State Retirement Board is responsible for administering retirement benefits for employees, now totaling over 149,000 retired and active individuals.“
While there are other candidates, it is vital that the President of our Association, Frank Valeri, be chosen to represent state retirees on the Board. This Board, chaired by current State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, represents all members of the legislature. They (Representatives and Senators) are members of the State Retirement System. Our Association is held in high esteem,” said Ralph White. “The State House is one block from our office. The Retirement Board is on Winter St., 5 minutes from our office,” he also noted.“
By electing Frank, our Association will continue to have the greatest possible legislative representation in the Commonwealth and also provide the best possible personal service to you as a retiree or survivor,” added White.
Ironically, now after serving as his successor as Mass Retirees Association President, for the past three years Frank Valeri has announced his candidacy for very similar reasons. “I lived through 2 major pension reform laws that significantly reduced state employees benefits, required greater accountability and transparency of the Board members and has made our retirement benefits more complex than ever,” explained Mr. Valeri. President Valeri spent his last eight years of his 38-year career in state government as the Deputy Executive Director of PERAC, the oversight agency responsible for the implementation of the Pension Reforms Acts passed in 2009 and 2011.
Accordingly, he further states “…I feel that at this point in my career I can provide the best possible representation to protect the earned retirement benefits of the retirees and employees of the State system. From where I have been and where I now sit, I certainly understand that public pensions remain under scrutiny and feel confident in my ability to fight for the members rights.”
The election will be held this fall with ballots being mailed on October 14th to all state retirees and employees and due back before December 2, 2016.