Retirement Benefits

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

Problems Brewing Over Paying Medical Bills Of Disabled Police And Firefighters

- 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

State's Deferred Comp Among The Nation's Largest Public Plans

JULY 2004
- 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.

Members Beware: Home May Be Subject To Lien For Nursing Home Costs

MAY 2004
- 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.

Retirement Board Profile: Gloucester

MAY 2004
- Focus On Retirees Runs Deep - It is fair to say that the main focus of nearly all of the
Commonwealth's 106 retirement boards is bettering the lives of the
members of the retirement system, namely retirees. However, there are
some retirement boards, such as the City of Gloucester, which deserve
special recognition for their dedication to retirees.

State Board Employees Met Challenge... And Succeeded

MAY 2004
- Responded To Early Retirement Demands - Employees at the State Retirement Board recently completed a
challenging two-year work cycle that will likely never be matched again.

State Supreme Court To Decide Earnings

MARCH 2004
- Controversy For Disability Retirees - While it's taken years of litigation, the controversy over what
should be earnings for disability retirees may finally be resolved. In
January, the state's highest court (Supreme Judicial Court) heard oral
arguments in the case of a disabled Boston police officer, Paul Theodos.

Disability Retirees Update: Courts Uphold PERAC's Authority

- Members on disability are permitted by the pension law to work and
supplement their retirement. But the law does limit the amount that
they can earn.

3,600 Accept State's Early-Out

- Local ERIs Also Being Adopted - The Commonwealth's second early retirement incentive offer in
two-years was accepted by 3,600 state employees prior to the cutoff
date of September 8.

Appeal Board Rules For Option C Veterans

- Final Word: Full Vets Benefit Allowed - For veterans, who retired with an Option C regular pension, they now
have the final word on whether they should receive the full amount of
their vets benefit, and the answer is yes. "Our patience has paid off,"
reports Legislative Chairman Bill Hill who is himself a Korean War
veteran receiving an Option C pension.

Spousal Benefit: Employees Win First Round But Wait Continues For A Final Decision

- Association Takes On Fight For Member's Spouse - Employees, who have been denied the right to retire under the spousal
benefit provision because of the law's repeal this past July, have won
the first battle. But unfortunately, final victory cannot yet be
declared, as members, along with their spouses who are affected by the
repeal, must continue to wait for a decision from the state's appeal