Articles about Politics that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.
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.
MARCH 2014 VOICE: Former Association President Ralph White was elected to a new three-year term on the State Retirement Board effective this January. This will be his sixth three-year term.
Unlike his 2001 election when he was unopposed, White had three opponents in this latest election. They were Thomas Mullage, a contract manager at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital; Christine Turner, A UMass Amherst Librarian and executive board member of the MTA Society of Professors; and Randy Azzato, a former director with the Department of Correction.
New York Times
April 16, 2014
Detroit’s pension boards and a retirees’ group say they have reached tentative agreements with the city that could serve as a breakthrough in its quest to settle with its major creditors and propel itself out of bankruptcy before the end of the year.
By Kathy McCabe
Globe Staff April 10, 2014
Winchester selectmen have scaled back a plan to make retirees pay half the cost of their health insurance premiums, a plan that ignited a backlash from retired town workers.
The Board of Selectmen now proposes increasing premiums to 30 percent for people who retired before 2004, and phasing in the plan over an 18-month period, starting July 1. Later retirees would still pay 50 percent of their premiums, but it would be phased in over two years, according to the proposal.
Social Security & Medicare Central Issues
FEBRUARY 1, 2014: This past week Association President Frank Valeri and Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel met with members of the Massachusetts’ Congressional Delegation in Washington, DC.
Valeri and Duhamel were in the nation’s capital to attend the annual legislative conference of the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), to which the Association belongs. They met with the offices of all nine members of Congress, as well as Senior Senator Elizabeth Warren.
JANUARY 2014 VOICE: Active employees turned out in droves for a public hearing on retiree healthcare reform held at the State House on Halloween.
The marathon hearing, before the Joint Committee on Public Service, lasted more than 6 hours. More than five hundred people filled the meeting room, bearing witness to a host of government, retiree and labor officials who testified on the proposal known as H59.
Long History With Walsh
JANUARY 2014 VOICE: Boston Mayor-Elect Marty Walsh is no stranger to Association officials or our members. Dating back to his start in the House in 1997, Walsh showed an interest in the issues important to public retirees.
Over his 16 years in the House, Walsh took a lead role in many key debates involving public pension and healthcare issues. Far from a rubber stamp or an easy “yes” vote, Walsh became known as the broker of compromise between opposing groups.
New 3-Year Term On State Retirement Board
DECEMBER 10, 2013: The Association’s Ralph White has been reelected to a new 3-year term on the State Retirement Board. White topped the ticket in a landslide, winning by more than 11,000 votes.
He received 79% of the total votes cast by the members of the State Retirement System. White has served on the Board since 1996.
Situation In Mass. Vastly Different
DECEMBER 4, 2013: A federal bankruptcy judge has granted approval for the City of Detroit to move forward with its bankruptcy protection plan – a plan that will include cuts to the pensions of existing city retirees and future benefits of active employees.
OCTOBER 1, 2013: Today marks the nationwide kickoff of the new health insurance exchanges, the main component of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called Obamacare. Between now and December 15, individuals can sign up for one of the health insurance plans being offered through their state’s exchange, with insurance coverage