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                                                                                                                                                JULY 2019
NEAL: OPEN LETTER
                                                                                 TO MASS RETIREES NEW WEP RELIEF BILL COMING THIS SUMMER
Mass Retirees is work- ing closely with Mass. Congressman
Richard Neal, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to cre- ate a workable proposal
to provide relief from the
Social Security Windfall
Elimination Provision
(WEP). The aim of this pro-
posal will be to reform the WEP
law to provide relief for current retir- ees, as well as treat future public retir- ees fairly.
Our efforts to reform the Government Pension Offset (GPO) law continue and are the focus of separate legislation. The GPO applies to spousal Social Security benefits, while the WEP
reduces a retiree’s own personal Social Security benefit.
As we get close to a new bill being filed in Congress, Chairman Neal has sent an open letter to our Association, which we have received permission to share with all public retirees and employees harmed by WEP. Once a proposal has been filed, we will immediately share the details with Mass Retirees
members.
Meanwhile, we thank Chairman
Neal for his continued efforts on behalf of public retirees. We remain abso- lutely committed to passing a WEP reform law that provides relief for our members and future retirees.
SEE LETTER ON PAGE 2u
CONGRESSMAN RICHARD NEAL
(D-MA)
Chairman, House Ways & Means Committee
          21ST CONSECUTIVE COLA AWAITS FINAL APPROVAL
Fiscal Year 2020 could (which becomes a permanent mark the 21st con- 3% ADJUSTMENT part of their pension). Local secutive year that retirement systems, through
the state has paid a 3% COLA LIKELY IN JULY CHECK the approval of local legis-
to state and teacher retirees. Since 1998, the cumulative impact has increased the average pension by $8,164. Eligible retirees will likely see this year’s increase begin in their July pension check.
Members, retired from local communities or state authorities, have also seen near universal pay- ment of annual COLAs since 1998.
6/4/19 JULY 2019 Newsletter.indd 1
With very few exceptions, local retirement systems most often grant the full 3% COLA authorized by law on a base ranging from $12,000 to $18,000 – depending upon the retire- ment system.
The state and teacher COLA is based on the first $13,000 of a retir- ee’s pension, capping the COLA at a maximum benefit of $390 per year
lative bodies, establish their own COLA base. A growing num- ber of local retirement systems now have a base in the $16,000 to $18,000 range. No Mass. system has yet to break the $18,000 level.
As is the case with the state and teacher systems, most local retirement boards also include
CONTINUED ON PAGE 4u
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