Retirement Benefits

Articles about Retirement Benefits that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Debate Over Alternative Retirement Plan Continues

SEPTEMBER 2000 - With
state and local officials claiming they are having difficulty filling
key jobs because of the current pension contribution rate and lack of
portability, a defined contribution (DC) plan such as that offered to
faculty members of the Commonwealth's higher education system,
continues to be a front-burner issue within the Massachusetts public
pension community.

Property Tax Abatement For Community Service

JULY 2000 -
Time To Take Another Look
- Members, age 60 or over, may want to explore whether their town may be
willing to establish a property tax abatement program that allows them
to perform volunteer service in exchange for a break in their property
taxes. While the concept is not new, there may be renewed interest
among local officials in the subject because of a provision contained
in the state budget passed at the end of last year.

State Taxes: A National Overview

MAY 2000 -
When we reported on taxes in other states, we’ve generally looked at
whether they taxed our public pensions. But what about the added cost
of buying merchandise and goods – in other words, sales taxes – which
also impacts on a retiree’s standard of living.

Apply For Fuel Assistance By April 28

MARCH 2000 - Needless
to say, this winter has not been kind when it comes to heating our
homes. Relief - other than with warmer temperatures - may be available
to you from the Commonwealthís Fuel Assistance Program.

More About Federal Taxes And Pensions

JANUARY 2000 - Most Commonly Asked Questions - Not
unexpectedly, our office has received numerous phone calls from members
about federal taxes on their pensions since our article on that subject
in the March Voice. We hope our answers, to some of the most commonly
asked questions, help you not only to complete your '99 tax return but
also to better plan for this year.

Direct Deposit: Be Alert With Bank Mergers

NOVEMBER 1999 - If
the State and Teacher’s Retirement Systems are any indication as to the
number of retirees utilizing direct deposit (approximately 66% and 80%
respectively), then we expect that a large majority of our members may
use this method to receive their pensions. While most retirees never
experience a problem, unfortunately there are times - however
infrequent - when an electronic transfer of one’s pension may not be