Legislation

Articles about Legislation that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Disability Earnings Bill Clears Senate

Option B & C Recalculation Also Before House

August 1, 2014: An Association proposal that would increase the allowable earnings limit of all disability retirees cleared the Massachusetts Senate yesterday, on the final day of formal legislative action for the 2013-2014 session.

Legislature Extends Insurance Moratorium

Teachers and Municipal Retirees Protected

July 2014 Voice: Retired teachers and municipal employees will receive a two-year reprieve from increased health insurance contribution percentage rates due to a provision contained within the FY15 state budget. The law extends the same protection to municipal retirees that has been long afforded to state retirees.

Budget Accord Reached

Healthcare Contribution Moratorium Approved

JUNE 30, 2014: House and Senate budget negotiators reached an agreement on the Commonwealth’s $36.4 billion fiscal 2015 budget over the weekend. The measure will be approved by both the House and Senate, and then sent to Governor Patrick later today.

Budget Conference Underway

Insurance Moratorium Pending

JUNE 6, 2014: Following the passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget in both the House and Senate, legislative conferees are now negotiating a final unified state budget that will likely receive final approval in late June or early July.

Senate Budget Debate Begins Wednesday

Insurance Moratorium Pending

MAY 20, 2014: State Senators will begin debate on the FY15 budget beginning Wednesday morning. The debate, which is expected to last at least three days, will determine the Senate’s version of the state budget for the coming year.

Of utmost importance to our Association is amendment #89, filed by Senator Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington). Senators McGee, Lewis, Moore, Keenan and DiDomenico have signed onto the amendment as cosponsors.

Insurance Moratorium Set To Expire

Association Seeks Two-Year Exentention On Retiree Premium Percentages

MAY 2014 VOICE: For the past three years, retired teachers and municipal workers have been protected from unfair increases in health insurance premium contribution percentages. Alarmingly, the legal protection expires on July 1, 2014!

Association officials are calling on the legislature to extend the retiree protection for two-years, through July 1, 2016.

Spotlight on Basic Life Insurance

Report Brings Focus to Increase For State Retirees & Employees

MAY 2014 Voice: Information recently obtained from the both the National and State Associations of Funeral Directors has brought renewed focus on our Association’s proposal to increase basic life insurance for state retirees and employees to $10,000.

Leadership Agrees To Changes in Funding Schedule

Adopts Conservative Approach & Increased Funding

MARCH 2014 VOICE: Governor Deval Patrick and the state’s Legislative Leadership have agreed to significantly increase  the appropriation toward funding the Commonwealth’s unfunded pension liabilities, along with shortening the pension funding schedule by four years and adopting a more conservative set of assumptions.

Gov. Patrick Files Final Budget Proposal

Includes 3% COLA & Funding Schedule Changes

JANUARY 22, 2014: Within the final budget proposal of his eight-year tenure as governor, Deval Patrick chose to include two provisions of critical long term importance to public retirees and surviving spouses.

As he has consistently done in the past, the governor has recommended a full 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for state and teacher retirees who retired before July 1, 2013. Like 2013, the new COLA will be paid on a base of $13,000.

Growing Concern: Premium Freeze Expiring

JANUARY 2014 VOICE: An issue of great concern to the Association is the end of the legal moratorium on increasing retiree and survivor health insurance contribution rates.

Within the Municipal Insurance Reform law (Chapter 69, Acts of 2011), our Association was able to secure language that has prohibited many cities and towns from increasing contribution rates on retirees and survivors over the past three years. The moratorium applies to any community that fully implements the provisions of Chapter 69.