Retirement Benefits

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

NEW PENSION LAW ADOPTED

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.

HOUSE PASSES PENSION REFORM 3

COLA Base Increase & Retiree Benefits Included

NOVEMBER 4, 2011: Phase III of Pension Reform has now passed the House with a unanimous vote to further alter the public pension benefit structure for future employees. In addition to future benefit changes (affecting those first hired on or after July 1, 2012), the House plan seeks a series of benefit enhancements for current retirees.

REVISED BENEFIT STRUCTURE FOR NEW HIRES

House Looks To Reward Career Employees At 30 Years

NOVEMBER 4, 2011: A key component of the Pension Reform bill (H3787), passed by the House this past week, is the creation of a new retirement formula for those employees hired on or after July 1, 2012. Like the Senate, the House has also increased the full retirement age by 2 years for each group (67/62/57).

NEXT UP: Pension Reform Phase 3

Association Urges COLA Inclusion

SEPTEMBER 2011 Voice: Determined to act this year on what might prove to be a generational change in our public retirement formula, Legislative Leaders are now drafting legislation that would serve as the third major pension reform measure passed in as many years.

PENSION REFORM UNFAIR TO NEW EMPLOYEES

PENSION REFORM UNFAIR TO NEW EMPLOYEES

Association Takes A Stand

JULY 2011 VOICE: With over a half century of knowledge and experience working with our public pension laws, Association President Ralph White is widely respected when it comes to our state's pension policies. Having led the Association since 1968, he has also had a hand in formulating the state's renowned defined benefit (DB) pension plan.

Six Boards Break Ice On Cola Base Barrier

JANUARY 2011 VOICE: Six intrepid local retirement boards have broken the ice which had restricted the pension COLA base to $12,000 since 1998 - twelve years ago. This change in the law, which allows a higher base option, was made possible by the passage of Chapter 188 of the Acts of 2010, enacted by the Legislature and signed by the Governor this past July. The new law also allows boards to extend their debt funding schedules to a maximum date of Year 2040, in order to reduce annual appropriations by their community or county.

WIDESPREAD ACCEPTANCE OF VETS STIPEND

2007 JULY - Seventy-Eight Systems Implement Entire Law - It’s been 18 months since the local option law, Chapter 157, was enacted, that allows local retirement systems to finally allow their accidental (work related) disability retirees, who are veterans, to receive the same vets stipend, up to $300 annually, that superannuation retirees have long received. As for the state and teachers’ retirement systems, their accidental disability retirees are receiving the same vets stipend under a separate law – Chapter 161.

Local Adoption Increase in Child Allowance

An inequity, that had persisted in the retirement law for
several years, was finally corrected last year. It involves the amount of the
child allowance paid to a retiree on accidental disability versus the amount
received by their widow (or widower) if the retiree died from their disability.

Looking At City of Newton Pensions

2007 MAY - In the March edition of the Voice, we reported on an
actuarial valuation of the Plymouth County Retirement System, showing for the
first time the average pensions of a retirement system by gender. The valuation
was done by Buck Consultants.

Remember: Apply for Fuel Assistance Before April 30

2007 MAR - Last year some 143,000 households obtained assistance with their home fuel bills, according to officials that administer the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP. “From calls that we received here in the office, members were among that number,” comments Association Office Manager Nancy Delaney.“If you want to apply this year (for heating bills from November 2006 through April 2007), remember that you must do so before April 30. Applications should be filed with the local LIHEAP agency in your area.”