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Retirees Push Back on Cost Shifting

GIC Lowers Medicare Copayment

GIC Set To Increase Out-of-Pocket Costs

Association Calls for Reconsideration

FEBRUARY 10, 2017: The state’s Group Insurance Commission is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, February 14th to finalize plan design and rates for FY17, which begins July 1.

Together with a coalition of active employee unions, our Association has called upon Governor Charlie Baker and the GIC to reconsider its plan to increase out-of-pocket costs. Baker, like past governors, controls all appointments to the Commission.

With Trump meeting today, Richard Neal of Mass. enters tax overhaul fray

With Trump meeting today, Richard Neal of Mass. enters tax overhaul fray

WASHINGTON — He’s known as the insider’s insider, a veteran relationship-builder on Capitol Hill, a quiet dealmaker.

Now the low-key, pragmatic Massachusetts lawmaker, Representative Richard Neal, is facing a challenge that could win him a new title: Miracle-worker.

Valeri Elected to State Retirement Board

Succeeds Association Founder Ralph White

The following is special message from Association President Frank Valeri:

Attention State Retirement System Retirees: Maris Update!

This coming January, the Massachusetts State Retirement Board (MSRB) will implement the first phase of its new information system, MARIS, replacing the Board’s current forty-year-old computer system.

For retirees of the Massachusetts State Employees’ Retirement System (MSERS), the first monthly benefit payment using MARIS will be the regularly scheduled payment for January 2017.

For more information or to access the State Retirement Board's new MARIS system, click here.

How Trump May Remake Medicare

Howard Gleckman,  Forbes Contributor

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump was largely silent on Medicare, though he often suggested he’d leave the program untouched.

Not any more. It now looks as if Trump may push for major changes in the principal health care program for older adults and some younger people with disabilities. But what will he do?

Retirement Board Election Alert

Dear Fellow State Retiree:

IF YOU HAVE NOT VOTED YET FOR THE YOUR STATE RETIREMENT BOARD ELECTION, ITS NOT TOO LATE.

Ralph White Steps Down From State Board

Ralph White Steps Down From State Board

Association President Frank Valeri Is A Candidate For Seat

October 17, 2016: Former Association President Ralph White has decided to step down from serving as one of the elected members for the State Retirement Board. He was first elected to serve on the State Retirement Board in January of 1997 and has served continuously since that time. Twenty years later his successor as Association President, Frank Valeri, has announced his candidacy to run for his open seat.

Legislature Extends Municipal Retiree Insurance Moratorium

Association & Labor Leaders Work Through Weekend

AUGUST 1, 2016: With just 9 minutes remaining in the formal legislative session for the year (which ended Sunday at midnight), the State Senate voted to override Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of a law protecting municipal and teacher retirees from runaway health insurance costs.

Retiree Insurance Moratorium Vote Pending

As Legislature Convenes Rare Weekend Session

JULY 29, 2016: Our legislative team will be at work on Beacon Hill through the last weekend in July as the state legislature holds rare back-to-back weekend sessions. The Saturday-Sunday sessions mark the end of the formal legislative calendar for the year.

WEP Reform Moves Forward on Bumpy Road

Disagreement Among Advocates Raises Concern

JULY 18, 2016: A week that began with the promise of legislation reforming the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) advancing in Congress, has instead ended with the bill suffering a setback.

Association officials spent two days last week in Washington, DC, working side-by-side with coalition partners from Texas in an effort to advance WEP reform through Congress this year.

Making Social Security fair for all

Let's Fix The WEP Law Now

Governor Baker Vetoes Municipal Retiree Insurance Protection

Legislative Override Sought

JULY 8, 2016: Despite wide bipartisan legislative support, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed the two-year extension of the Municipal Retiree Health Insurance Premium Moratorium.

Association officials are now seeking a House and Senate override of the veto, which must take place no later than July 30th.

Legislature Extends Municipal Insurance Moratorium

Retiree Insurance Reform Likely Topic in 2017-18 Session

JUNE 30, 2016: On the final day of Fiscal Year 2016, the State Legislature passed a new state budget for the coming fiscal year. Contained within the budget, as Section 45, is a two-year extension of the Municipal Retiree Insurance Premium Moratorium.

Work Continues on WEP Reform

Association Officials Visit Capitol Hill

JUNE 27, 2016: With just three weeks to go before the US Congress breaks for its summer recess prior to the national Republican and Democratic Conventions in July, work on a potential fix for Social Security’s dreaded Windfall Elimination Provision continues at a feverish pace on Capitol Hill.

Legislature Considers Retiree Insurance Moratorium Extension

Protects Municipal Retirees and Teachers From Unfair Rate Increases

JUNE 21, 2016: Members are asked to contact their Massachusetts State Senator and Representative and ask that they support Section 46 of the Senate Budget – which protects municipal retirees and retired teachers from unfair increases in local health insurance premiums.

Senate Approves Retiree Insurance Protection

Senate Approves Retiree Insurance Protection

Municipal Premium Moratorium Extended Two Years

MAY 24, 2016: Today, the MA State Senate unanimously passed an amendment to the FY17 budget that extends the municipal retiree insurance premium moratorium for two years - until July 1, 2018. Amendment 91, which received widespread bipartisan support, was passed on a voice vote during the first day of the Senate budget debate.

Association Announces New Discount Program

Association Announces New Discount Program

Zebit is Online Resource Exclusively for Members

MAY 23, 2016: Our Association has some exciting news that I would like to be the first to share with you.

As you know, in addition to our advocacy work for public retirees, we also seek ways for members to save money through exclusive discount programs. Due to the success of these programs, retirees have asked that we offer more ways for members to save.

You asked. We listened.

Municipal Insurance Amendment Before Senate

Extends Insurance Premium Moritorium Until July 2018

MAY 23, 2016: Members are asked for your help in protecting municipal retirees and retired teachers. Health insurance benefits for both groups are largely under the control of local governments, some of which are now threatening to increase insurance premium contribution percentages.

Passing of Geraldine "Geri" White

Served Mass Retirees Association for Thirty Years

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Geraldine White, following a short illness. Geri, as her family and friends knew her, was married to Association founder and former President Ralph White for over 60 years. Together, Ralph and Geri had four children, seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

GIC Health Fairs Begin Friday

GIC Health Fairs Begin Friday

Kicks Off Annual Insurance Open Enrollment

APRIL 6, 2016: Today begins the month-long open enrollment period for the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC). Retirees and employees insured by the GIC now have until May 4, 2016 to make changes to their health insurance coverage or join the retiree dental insurance plan.

Texans playing key roles in social security benefit fix

Over the years, millions of retired state and local workers — including teachers, police officers and firefighters — have received sharply reduced Social Security benefits, simply because they have had multiple jobs during their careers and weren’t allowed to pay into Social Security at all of them.

Social Security WEP Hearing Called a Success

Brady/Neal Credit Mass Retirees For Advocacy

MARCH 25, 2016:  On Tuesday of this week the House Subcommittee on Social Security held a special hearing on H.R. 711: Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act.

Association President Frank Valeri and Legislative Director Shawn Duhamel were present at the hearing and also met with key Congressional leaders from both parties, as well as Ways and Means Committee staff.

Congressional Hearing on WEP Bill March 22

Mass Retirees Plays Central Role

MARCH 16, 2016: In a major step toward resolving a complex problem we have fought to resolve for more than thirty years, the US House of Representatives will hold a hearing on H.R. 711, known as the Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act. H.R. 711 reforms the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) to create a more accurate and fair accounting of credit earned under Social Security.

AARP SUPPORTS WEP REFORM

Major Step Toward Congressional Action

MARCH 12, 2015: In a major step toward reforming the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has endorsed HR711 and urged Congress to take action during the 2016 Session.

The support comes on the heels of a meeting with the 38 million-member strong AARP that was led by the Retired Texas Teachers and Mass Retirees. AARP’s policy committee then put their stamp of approval on the proposal early this week.