Articles about Retirement Boards that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.
Let's Deal With The Facts, Not An Agenda
July 2014 Voice: We’ve all seen the steady stream of headlines and heard the sound bites declaring public pension systems a disaster, unsustainable or a failure. To the average citizen these are examples of bloated entitlement programs run amuck. For public retirees, these reports portray a nightmare scenario in which their retirement security is in jeopardy.
Insurance Moratorium Pending
JUNE 6, 2014: Following the passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget in both the House and Senate, legislative conferees are now negotiating a final unified state budget that will likely receive final approval in late June or early July.
Finally Recovered From FY08 Losses
MARCH 2014 VOICE: Year 2013 was cause for a modest celebration at the Commonwealth’s giant Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board, chaired by State Treasurer Steve Grossman.
A strong market year saw PRIM’s Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) Fund earn 15.2%, and finally climb back and exceed its pre-Year 2008 value with a new high of $57.9 billion at year’s end.
Adopts Conservative Approach & Increased Funding
MARCH 2014 VOICE: Governor Deval Patrick and the state’s Legislative Leadership have agreed to significantly increase the appropriation toward funding the Commonwealth’s unfunded pension liabilities, along with shortening the pension funding schedule by four years and adopting a more conservative set of assumptions.
MARCH 2014 VOICE: Former Association President Ralph White was elected to a new three-year term on the State Retirement Board effective this January. This will be his sixth three-year term.
Unlike his 2001 election when he was unopposed, White had three opponents in this latest election. They were Thomas Mullage, a contract manager at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital; Christine Turner, A UMass Amherst Librarian and executive board member of the MTA Society of Professors; and Randy Azzato, a former director with the Department of Correction.
New York Times
April 16, 2014
Detroit’s pension boards and a retirees’ group say they have reached tentative agreements with the city that could serve as a breakthrough in its quest to settle with its major creditors and propel itself out of bankruptcy before the end of the year.
Help With Your Form 1099-R
We’ve been receiving calls and emails from Boston members who receive an accidental (work related) disability pension. They were surprised to see that the federal income tax statement they recently received from the Boston Retirement Board, known as Form 1099-R, was totally different from the forms they received in previous years.
Managers add $7.9 billion to accounts, with biggest increases coming from US stocks
By Beth Healy
January 22, 2014
The Massachusetts state pension fund posted a 15.2 percent investment gain for 2013, as strong markets helped the fund’s managers add $7.9 billion to the retirement accounts of public employees.
US stocks provided the biggest boost to the fund, climbing 33.7 percent during the year, followed by investments in private equity, which rose 21.1 percent.
Includes 3% COLA & Funding Schedule Changes
JANUARY 22, 2014: Within the final budget proposal of his eight-year tenure as governor, Deval Patrick chose to include two provisions of critical long term importance to public retirees and surviving spouses.
As he has consistently done in the past, the governor has recommended a full 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for state and teacher retirees who retired before July 1, 2013. Like 2013, the new COLA will be paid on a base of $13,000.