Retirement Benefits

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

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.


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.”


JAN 2007 - Mailing dates of State Retirement Board and Teachers’ pension checks for calendar year 2007 have been announced by State Treasurer Tim Cahill. Direct deposit dates for those members, who have chosen to utilize that service through the Treasurer’s New England Automated Clearing House, are also included.


JAN 2007 - “One advantage I have is a lengthy institutional memory and
I’d like to share that with our members in regard to group life insurance. I
believe it’s relevant when we compare the GIC Commissioners of 35 years ago to
what they are today,” offered President Ralph White.

Retirement Group Study

SEPTEMBER 2006 - A special Blue Ribbon
Panel on Massachusetts Public Employees’ Pension
Classification System has issued its report and
recommended changes for how the retirement groups
are constituted.

State Board Opens Springfield Office

SEPTEMBER 2006 - State retirees in Western Mass.
will no longer need to trek to Boston if they want
to conduct business with the State Retirement Board.

State Teachers Disability Vets

SEPTEMBER 2006 - Accidental disability
retirees of the State and Teachers’ Retirement Systems,
who are veterans, will now be entitled to the same
veterans’ stipend that superannuation retirees