Articles about Retirement Benefits that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.
Discards Press Criticism
SEPTEMBER 5, 2012: There were no fireworks as the Special Commission on Disability Pensions held its initial meeting at the State House yesterday.
With periodic press criticism of disability pensions, most recently last month’s series of articles in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette focusing on the “need to look closely at the criteria for allowing public safety personnel to retire with tax-free disability pensions,” there was concern by employee unions of a possible “witch hunt” on Beacon Hill.
Association Holds Seat on Commission
AUGUST 10, 2012: At long last, the Special Commission on Disability will be holding its initial meeting. This coming September 7 has been scheduled for a meeting date of the 12 Commission members at the State House.
By Deirdre Fernandes
July 07, 2012
By seeking and winning salary increases, school superintendents across the state have maneuvered around a new law aimed at closing a loophole that had allowed employees to boost their pensions by counting fringe benefits as part of their salary.
3% State & Teacher COLA On $13k Base Included
JULY 9, 2012: On Sunday, Governor Patrick signed the $32.6 billion FY13 state budget into law. Contained within the budget is a new 3% State & Teacher COLA, a minimum survivor pension increase for disability retirees’ survivors and access to the Group Insurance Commission’s retiree dental plan for municipal retirees insured under the state plan.
Tasked With Reducing Retiree Insurance Costs
JULY 2012 VOICE: Retiree and labor advocates are keeping a close eye on the new Special Commission on Retiree Healthcare that is now entering its 3rd month of deliberations.
JUNE 1, 2012: State Treasurer Steven Grossman has launched an internal investigation after an error by his office delayed benefits payments to about 53,000 retired teachers.
The problem, which affected 92 percent of retired educators whose Massachusetts Teachers’ Retirement System benefits are electronically deposited into their bank accounts, has been rectified, but the deposits may not go through until Friday, Grossman said.
JANUARY 2012 VOICE: Chapter 176, landmark Pension Reform, signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on November 18, brings to a close the longtime concept of a public pension plan that provides full pensions for long-term employees, but allows a reduced pension for anyone who must retire before age 60.
JANUARY 2012 VOICE: As clearly evident from the lead story, our Association is disappointed at the outcome of the latest installment of Pension Reform, which, we believe, saddles future employees with the debt created by past generations of government officials who failed to properly fund the government’s share of pension obligations. In addition to seeking fair and equitable treatment for future government workers, we also strongly advocated our position that existing benefit inequalities be addressed through Pension Reform III.
Chapter 176 Marks Sweeping Change
NOVEMBER 21, 2011: As expected, late last Friday, November 18, Governor Deval Patrick signed Pension Reform III into law as Chapter 176, Acts of 2011.
The measure, which had been enacted in the House and Senate three days earlier, creates a new retirement plan for new employees of our 105 retirement systems, hired on or after next April 2nd.
Effective For New Hires Beginning Next April
NOVEMBER 15, 2011: Pension Reform III (S2065) is now on the verge of becoming law. By a vote of 27-10 in the Senate and 152-0 in the House, today the Legislature enacted a change in the Commonwealth’s public retirement law that will place new employees in a “second tier” retirement plan.
Effective next April 2, all new hires within our state’s 105 retirement systems will close the door on early retirement and require most workers to stay in the system until age 67 in order to reach a full pension.