Weekly Update: Latest Retirement News

Weekly Update: Latest Retirement News

By Shawn Duhamel, Chief Executive Officer

Augusr 13, 2021: It is hard to believe that it’s already mid-August! After a slow start to the legislative calendar here in Massachusetts, things really got busy in late spring right through into August. We anticipate that the coming three weeks heading into Labor Day will be relatively quiet, with both the State Legislature and US Congress in summer recess.
On a personal note, my daughter begins her freshman year of college later this month. Needless to say, it’s going to be a busy few weeks in the Duhamel household as she prepares to move onto campus.
With the remaining weeks of summer in mind, I am going to take a break from my weekly email & video reports until Friday, September 10th – as well as pause our toll-free hotline. Meanwhile, if any unexpected news impacting our members does arise, we will be sure to let you know.
By today, many of you will have received the September edition of our newsletter The Voice. It contains a wealth of information about your retirement system, the COLA benefit, Social Security WEP reform, retiree health insurance benefits and more.
A key theme to the September edition is the continued long-term success of our public retirement systems and the need to share that success with retirees. A major focus of our legislative and local government advocacy here in Massachusetts will be to increase COLA benefits. As President Frank Valeri says in his message on page 1, it is time to share the success of our 104 public retirement systems with the systems' beneficiaries - you the retirees!
The September newsletter also contains an up-to-date status report on Congressman Neal’s WEP reform proposal H.R. 2337, which now has 176 House cosponsors. We view the upcoming fall Congressional session as critical for the progress of this bill. Read the article on page 4 of The Voice for the full details.
A week from today, I am meeting with the leaders of state retiree associationsfrom all across the country to brief them on the status of H.R. 2337 and discuss our combined strategy to pass this bill into law. Together, we are determined to do everything possible to get this done for your members.
Finally, we are very disappointed to have to announce the postponement of our Annual Meeting. Originally scheduled to take place on Friday, September 17th at The Lantana, the resurgence of COVID-19 through the virus’s Delta variant forced us to postpone the meeting. As much as we would love to see all of you in person, holding an indoor meeting with several hundred retirees is not safe. Putting our members or our staff at risk would be irresponsible. This is not a decision that Frank and I took lightly. After much consideration, we opted on the side of caution.
We will hold in-person meetings again once we believe it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we will continue to hold Tele-Town Hall meetings with the next with the next taking place on Friday, September 17th at 1:00 PM EST. Our hope is to be able to hold an in-person Annual Meeting before the end of 2021. If that proves impossible, we will hold a special virtual Annual Meeting in its place. Details on how to participate in our Tele-Town Hall meetings can be found on page 3 in the September Voice.
The coming months are likely to be very busy on several fronts of specific interest to our members. We look forward to keeping you informed and engaged.
Enjoy the coming weeks of summer and please continue to be safe!
Shawn

 

 

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