Articles about Retirement Benefits that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.
NOVEMBER 2005 - Number Of Over Age 80 Retirees On Rise - In this month's snapshot of a municipal retirement system's pensions we will look at the Western Mass. City of Westfield. In doing so, we will compare Westfield's current pensions with those of ten years ago.
- When considering a move outside the Commonwealth, there are naturally
several factors that a member weighs before making a decision. Among
them is whether their contributory pension, which is not subject to tax
here, will be taxed by the prospective new home state.
- Last year, a new law (Section 105 of Chapter 32) was enacted that
allowed retirees, on a regular (not disability) pension, to resume
full-time public service and be reinstated as an active member of a
retirement system. They could then retire later with an enhanced
JULY 2005 - Teacher Retirements Way Up Since Inception - Five years ago, an alternative retirement plan for teachers, known as RetirementPlus, was created (Chapter 114, Acts of 2000). Under RetirementPlus, career teachers who have at least 30 years of service - 20 in teaching - can receive an extra 12% added to their pensions.
- Application Deadline: April 30 - You have until April 30 to apply for help to pay your heating bills
during this winter. Funded through the federal government, the state's
LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) has been providing
assistance to an average of 130,000 individuals and/or families for
more than 25 years.
- Tax time is fast approaching. Because our public pensions are not
taxed by the Commonwealth, many members do not find it necessary to
file a state tax return.
- This year, the 36th Annual Meeting of our Association was held at a
new venue - the Sheraton Colonial in Wakefield on September 17.
- As healthcare costs climb and municipal budgets tighten, more and
more problems have been brewing in communities that agreed to pay
directly for the medical bills of disabled police officers and
firefighters. By adopting the local option law (Section 100B of Chapter
41), a community "indemnifies" its retired police and fire, receiving
an accidental disability pension, and pays all medical bills for their
work-related injuries. Editor's Note: It's important to
remember that this is a local option law and not all cities and towns
have adopted it. In communities, that have not accepted the law,
disabled police and fire submit their bills to their health insurance
- ING Continues To Service Members - With over $2.9 billion in assets, the Commonwealth's Deferred
Compensation Program ranks as the sixth largest public deferred
compensation ("457") plan in the country. Established some 29 years
ago, the Mass. 457 program offers to state workers, and local employees
from the 250+ municipalities and subdivisions that participate in the
state program, a voluntary retirement plan in addition to our public
pension (Chapter 32) system.
- During the budget crisis last year, changes were made in the Medicaid
law that expanded the state's power to recoup its cost for nursing home
care - a practice known as "estate recovery". Consequently, members,
whose homes were exempt from estate recovery, may find that this is no
longer the case and their home may be subject to a lien.